Carlos Diaz was born in Pontiac Michigan. He is currently a Professor and former chairman of the Photography Department (1994-2000) at the College for Creative Studies where he has taught for 31 years. Before that time Diaz taught at Bowling Green State University, and The University of Michigan, School of Art.
Diaz received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in 1980 and his MFA from the University of Michigan, School of Art in 1983. Before his formal studies in the arts, he was a mechanical designer and draftsman in numerous capacities and a drummer in a rock and roll band. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ford Foundation, NEA Arts Midwest, The Polaroid Corporation, the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Kresge Foundation.
One of Diaz’s ongoing series is the Invented Landscapes works that are one of a kind, hand assembled collage pieces that incorporate vintage steel plate engravings placed onto black and white silver prints. These collage pieces bring together Diaz’s interests in the American Industrial Revolution which gave birth to the working class and the impact this had on American culture and the resulting amusement parks like Coney Island. Diaz’s work is represented by the David Klein Gallery, Detroit, MI and resides in numerous collections public and private including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Museum of the City of New York, The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
Recently Diaz finished the first phase of work on the series, Beyond Borders: Latino Immigrants and the Homes of Southwest Detroit. This work was featured at the Detroit Institute of Arts, in the exhibition, Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000- 2010. This work reflects Diaz’s interest and concern for the political, cultural and environmental landscape.
Currently and for the past 2 1/2 years Diaz, has been working on new body of photographs titled, The ROUGE, The Legacy of Detroit and the Autoworker. This body of work is ongoing and a result of having gained full access to the original Ford Rouge Complex in Dearborn, MI. An industrial complex first photographed by Charles Sheeler in 1924, it was at the time considered a “modern wonder of the world” that employed over 100,000,000 workers. Largely designed by Albert Kahn, it become a standard for future manufacturing facilities.