Hi, my name is Carlos Aleman. Although I studied art history and took studio art classes in college, I’m mostly a self-taught painter. I was born in New York City and raised in South Florida. I spent my 20’s as a struggling artist until the digital age arrived. I decided to acquire some computer skills, and with those, I was able to spend my thirties and forties as a product designer for a media and technology company. Upon turning 50, I reached an early semi-retirement and returned to my first love, painting.
That’s not to say that I put off art until later in life. I’ve always felt the need to express the wonder and fascination I have felt every time I have discovered something new.
1995 – 2017
My love of Asian art began with a visit to a Japanese Museum in 1995, a time in my life that I sought to see the world from a different perspective. My interest in eastern philosophy, coupled with my appreciation for Chinese landscape painting and Japanese woodblock prints fueled my longing to admire the yin of the east through western eyes. My first trip to Asia in 2010 introduced me to the grandeur and beauty of China. Experiencing the mountains and mist, the culture and art firsthand, inspired me to draw and paint foo dogs, dragons and women dressed in qipaos when I returned home. It was about this time that I began exhibiting my work.
My trip to Kyoto, Japan in 2013 was another life changing adventure which inspired more art. Together with the novels of Haruki Murikami, the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki, Tokyo fashion, cosplay, anime, manga, geisha and samurai, I found a rich visual language for magical realism and conceptual realism embodied by the feminine form. I also attempted to express something of the notion of mono no aware (an artistic sensitivity to the beauty and sadness of impermanence).
2018 – 2019
Early in 2018, my work was exhibited at Art Palm Beach. It was during this art fair that I wandered about the convention center, enthralled by the contemporary art being created by many other talented artists. As a response to this, I started a new series called ‘Big Pixel.’ Using square stencils, I endeavored to express the ‘pixels’ of the digital age and the merging of humanity with technology. I incorporated neon colors to convey this electric stream of knowledge, after all what can be as both beautiful and kitsch at the same time as neon?
2019 – Present
Taking a step back from all maneuverings to impress the art world, I drew inspiration from about a dozen years back, from the pop surrealists or as they are sometimes called, lowbrow artists. What could be labeled bizarre and creepy became a starting point that after much reflection seemed to cry out for a new examination on my part, perhaps with more feminine beauty and only slightly creepy. BJD dolls (ball jointed dolls) for some reason facilitated this convergence of splendor and horror, or as one writer commented, ‘utterly frightening and beautifully abstract.’ The new series I’m working on, called Ethereum Dolls, in a sense, has been a long time in the making. I recall a neighbor passing away in 2009 with an enormous collection of dolls. As if haunted by her spirit, I soon developed something of an obsession with Japanese kokeshi dolls and eventually BJD and the work of the artists/fashion designers/doll makers, the Popovy Sisters. I wonder what my old neighbor and doll collector would think of all this. I have a feeling it’s like most things that are veiled by eternity, everything we do and everything we are lives on in others like a morning mist over an endless field.
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
You can contact me at email@example.com
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