I don’t talk much about my experience in art school, but I often think back fondly to my time there. It was the first time in my life I felt like I was finally surrounded by people who understood what made me tick. I knew early on following school that making art for a living wasn’t for me, but I knew art wood be at the center of my life and career no matter what. The practice of making art has also always been key to understanding the art I am surrounded with and am inspired by and influenced by every day. No exhibition has brought me back to my school days as much as the exhibition Everything you See Could be a Lie by artist Ana de Alvear that recently opened at The San Diego Museum of Art where I work. Her works initially appear to be photographs or paintings are all achieved in hyper-realistic detail with the humble medium of colored pencil. One of my personal favorite medium has always been colored pencil and I always have a large set in my home. Seeing her astonishing still-life work me back to my drawing classes where I would burnish away laboring over similar style still-lives. I never quite achieved the same hyperrealism nor did I have the fore-thought she has to layer both medium and message, but they speak to me as kindred. Of course as amazing as the still life works are, nothing took my breath away quite like the In the Forced Vortex which are 2 large-scale hyperrealism galaxies; one in full color and the other in a white-out photo-reversal style. The ability to create these two huge pieces with 50 individually drawn pages each just astounds me. I also loved the idea of breaking a galaxy down to the simplicity of light and dark. This idea made something that usually seems so untouchable and ominous to me become just pure beauty. I decided to shoot with each galaxy separately in individually inspired outfits and the results are a super spacey and just kinda cool.

All Photos: Angela of Create with Gusto

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