Hello everyone, this week I would like to include you all in an interesting conversation with an artist I just met by the name of Norax Ayala. Norax does feminist work her at California State University, Long Beach and she is also a graduate student. She grew up in the Inland Empire and went to undergraduate school there before coming to Long beach. She has always been interested in art and decided that she wanted to major in art coming out of high school. She started doing a lot of coloring when she was younger and then transitioned to water color painting. Norax now does small work like the one I saw today in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery which is inspired by feminism. Her piece “She and I” represents everything she stand for as she is very inspired by gender politics and what she cares about most, her partner. Her inspiration for her work comes from well-known artist Fransisco De Goya who does etchings.
The objective of “She and I” is to “Represent relationships, of any kind”. She says that relationships are essential to humans because we need to have emotional experiences “emotionally, physically, mentally, and sometimes even spiritually” Her body of work is to investigate aesthetics of sensuality and intimacy. Her paintings show two becoming one through the use of transparent layers. She also likes the use of lipstick, since lipstick goes on lips and lips go on other body parts, she felt it was appropriate to use lipstick as a material. Lipstick was also a good material for her to use because it is nontoxic.
Her pieces all took about 2 weeks to make which includes 18 small pieces. The red and pink ink and the lipstick create patterns on the paper that range from curved lines to full circles and blank spaces. Her focus when creating her peace was on her partner and using their experience. Norax says that the rubbing motion to transfer the ink is like the motion of what people do with their partners or with themselves.
Least to say, I was not very comfortable in my conversation with Norax because our point of views are millions of miles apart. I grew up with a very different background from her but I was easily able to identify what her piece was saying. It was interesting watching the piece slowly mix together like two partners do and watch the piece become one. Her piece easily got her point across of what she was trying to accomplish. if you all would like to see more of her work you can follow her on instagram- @norax_darko. In the pictures below you can see her two paintings become one.