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painting of Layla by Carlos Aleman
‘Layla’ © 2018 Carlos Aleman


Layla seemed like the logical next step to take after Ruyoo No. 2. In trying to draw you in closer to the subject, I further blur the lines between fictive body paint and the painting itself. The analogous color study begins in the middle of the face with warm yellows and radiates outward into violets and blues. The contradiction between the illusion of physical representation and the electric mystical seems to be leading to yet another step towards the unknown. I wait for it, like the model seems to be waiting for something, and yet I can surmise that the answers are already before me by the apparent vacuum of significance.


Women’s Day

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Happy International Women’s Day 2018.
The artist who painted the woman in the lower right passed away last year. Her name was Tamara Natalie Madden. This incredibly talented painter was born in Jamaica and moved to American when she was young. She became ill with a rare disease for women. Art helped her cope with her suffering. The birds in her paintings represent freedom from disease.


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‘Adrift’ © 2018 Carlos Aleman

My wife thought of the title again, ‘Adrift,’ which I promptly used as the hashtag. I worked from a reference photo taken by my Instagram buddy, Jayden Tan in a test photoshoot. Thanks JT! Here’s the story behind it:

“Chap Goh Mei” (aka the 15th night of Chinese New Year) is regarded as the Chinese equivalent to Valentine’s Day. And in the olden times, it was the only day that single young ladies were allowed to venture out of their homes. It was an opportunity to parade their beauty in front of potential suitors. It was also the practice for them to throw oranges into the sea in the hopes of securing a good husband.


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‘Freedom’ © 2018 Carlos Aleman

Special thanks to Lenne Chai for the reference photo I used. Also a big thanks to models, Mei and Bora.

Lenne’s photograph was inspired partly by a news article about a Chinese girl adopted by an American family and by the note her birth parents had left “…If the heavens have feelings, if we are brought together by fate, then let us meet again…”