Tito, the Phantom Monk is Dani Montlleó’s personal account of the life and work of artist Tito Díaz (Barcelona, 1958). The director unravels Díaz’s career, an extreme and maverick author who will abandon his public persona to become an obscure artist. In the manner of Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog, Díaz dissolves and becomes a ghost behind his own work, consisting of tons of blocks of hair and goat, horse and cow bones that become sound, painting, stone and calacas (human skeletons).
Montlleó’s interest in art grew out of his fascination with hair in the early eighties, following three discoveries: firstly, the triad of the Beatles/Stu Sutcliffe/Astrid Kirchherr, a perfect triangle that included music, art and fashion. Moreover – and also in the orbit of the Beatles – he got to know the secret fantasy of Ringo Starr, who wanted to be a hairdresser in order to serve coffee to women. Secondly, the discovery of the poem ‘I want a life shaped like a fishbone’ by Boris Vian, and in particular the line ‘I want a life… in the shape… of a wild barber’. And finally, his discovery of Tito Díaz, the sort of artist almost non-existent today.
While there are ideas about psychological and emotional developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling, communicating and relating.