This week at the SOA Galleries I stopped by Norax Ayala’s gallery, She and I. Norax’s art was showcased in the Merlino gallery. She was the only artist there at the time but I’m kind of glad that happened because it forced me to see her beautiful works of art. The goal for She and I was to “investigate the aesthetics of sensuality and intimacy.” The prints serve as a metaphor for the intimate story between two people emerging into one.
The art pieces were prints made using lipstick and transparent layers. It was very abstract but also told a story if you observed closely. First, she rubbed lipstick over the work area, laid a piece of paper down on it and it then transferred the image. This took her about 2 weeks to complete, 18 hours each day. She explained how she was experimenting over the summer with what she wanted to do for her art show and when she finally got an idea she started working non stop.
The idea behind She and I was that lipstick goes on the lips and lips are on body parts other than the mouth. The motion of the rubbing of the lipstick indicates other things people might do with their partners or by themselves. The inspiration behind Norax’s work is her other work background. She works in gender politics and feminist causes. She also said she enjoys incorporating her personal life and things that she cares about into her art and something she really cares about is her partner. Some artists she cited as her inspiration were Francisco de Goya and Andy Warhol.
I can not relate to the particular content implied in Norax’s art because I am a straight woman. However, I can relate to what inspires her. I am most inspired by personal experiences as well as the people I care about in my life. It gives more meaning to whatever it is I may be doing if I can visual an actual person or thing rather than thinking of some random idea off the top of my head. I love that she is standing up for the LGBTQ community. As a supporter of LGTBQ rights I’m so happy that she put on this show even though there are so many people who have yet to come around to accept the fact that the LGTBQ community is just a group of normal people. I loved everything about She and I and would definitely tell everyone I know about it.
You can find Norax Ayala on Instagram @norax_darko!