James is probably Portuguese. He has no real name nor identity. He is homeless and badly battered by hard and brutal life. He is eking existence by basking on cold streets of wintery Porto. The only pleasure and companion he has is a bottle of rough spirit, which is partially hidden behind in the doorway behind him. His voice is very delicate, somehow broken and fragile. However, his beautiful tone and squeaky, whisper-like sound of his guitar, allow passing by strangers to dream about everything they miss.
He is still in the gutter, but looking at the stars.
Alejandra is a stunning women. She is a mother of two and appears to be successful. She lives in Guadalajara and travels twice a month to Tijuana in Baja California Sur. Once upon a time, her heart was full of love and she had a dream to have a perfect family. She did everything possible to orchestrate happiness. However, her daily reality is harsh and in a total contradiction to her earlier ambitions, aspirations and desires. She has now reached her mid-30s and cannot see any potential for change.
This is a portrait of a sensitive and fragile Colombian girl living a long way from home. She is determined and focused, planning for her future, but wishing to be loved in an environment that is harsh and unfeeling. Her ephemeral youth and perfection will vanish with transience of life. Will her dreams and desires be fulfilled in the passing of time?
I have supported my painting with two video experimentations, which bring the character to life.
Ariel’s fantastic ballet career is over. She is no longer able to reach the gates of heaven during her never-ending pirouettes and glamorous jumps. Her body is now deformed and she feels constant pain. Her twisted joints are permanently inflamed and swollen. Her potential to perform and inspire is forever gone. Underneath her fake pose and put on facade, she is very down to Earth. She has never enjoyed dancing. It was her parents dream, which destroyed her future, health and beautiful body… Once upon a time, her mother had one distinct ambition in life – she wanted to become a famous ballet dancer.
I have continued with the painterly process while repeating Aries’s body in a rhythmic movement. The intention is to arrange a sensation of grace and ballet in the context of anxiety and worries. After all, Ariel has bend her moral spine and made her principles vague and ambiguous. What is she going to do next?
I have finally made some progress with my current piece. This breakthrough stage follows a long period of stagnation and uncertainty. Re: living my trip with Captain Ahmed and the danger of the experience of sinking on his little and crude boat has made me realise the importance of hypnotic repetition of daily survival.
I developed a screen with images of fish we both caught while struggling to stay afloat. I proceeded with a complex process of overprinting and stating each layer with ink – somehow trying to imitate the sophistication of glazing while using a range of water based media, including inks and water soluble pastels. More developments will come soon.
I have started to introduce a range of vibrant details in the background space. The idea was to create a sense of cohesion and belonging. I have used a repetitive motif of a baobab tree, which is typically associated with this fantastic island. The current stage of the painterly process is below:
This is the first preview of my new piece inspired by Micheline. She is a French language teacher from Antananarivo. More developments will follow soon.