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October 2007

September 2007

Snow Dress.


I finished this dress last night while the kids were sleeping.
I have to give credit to Terry from Softies Central for the idea. She suggested me to make a white felt dress for her blog contest and I loved the idea. Thank you Terry! There are many categories in the contest; you should take a look...
I made the dress, teddy bear and bird out of white felt stuffed with pollyfil. The branches are made out of stiffened felt. This soft sculpture looks like real snow. Maybe I will list it on my Etsy store. First I have to check if it is OK with the rules of the contest.

My Hubby.


When I first met Bill I just knew that he was one-of-a-kind man. I have never met someone more real in my whole life. Bill is so wise and quiet and transparent. He has the most incredible talent for remaining calm and clear in the middle of the most caotic situation, that's why he is a great Film Producer. It is interesting that such a real man works in one of the most unreal businesses: Hollywood.

Being married to Bill has made me an accidental observer of the complex and fascinating world that Hollywood is (so surreal for a girl coming from the communist island of Cuba). But I have to say that it has been a good experience. Bill is one of the most important sources of inspiration in my life and I have learned so much from him. He is also one of the three most important people in my life...the other two are the product of our collaboration: Our children Natalie and Diego :)

The Fish.



This is a musical box that I made in 2004 for a solo show in Puerto Rico.
When you manipulate the little handle on the right side it plays Let it Be (The Beatles song). This piece is about the same idea that I was talking about in my previous post. The girl has a mirror just in front of her, it is a whole ocean that she could explore (like a fish) but she is too afraid.
We are afraid of what we don't know until we get to know it, then we want to know more.

Elsa and Asle.


Our dear Becky from Tortillagirl is writing an article about how to find your niche on Etsy. She is asking questions to some Etsy sellers about this idea. Very soon we will be able to read her piece on the Storque.
These photos that I just posted have to do with what I was explaining her yesterday.
I keep a book called Elsa against Asle. Elsa is my name and Asle is my name spelled backwards. So let's say that Asle is the opposite of Elsa. In this book I keep notes, drawings etc about myself.
In order to know ourselves better we need to do something concrete about it and since I am a practical girl I came out with this idea a while ago (and it works great). The idea is basically to get familiar with your two opposite sides. If you get to know better your two opposite sides you will see how many amazing things you will start doing.
My advice is: Don't let any of your two sides take over your life. Make them share 50% and 50% of your space.



Maybe you have already noticed these tiny Dudes on my Etsy store.
As silly as they are they have been amazing to me in the last few days.
I have a rule: When things get too serious do something silly.
So I made them. I was so extremely sad when I found out about my son's disease
last week. Things got as serious as I have never ever experienced before in my life.
But honestly, that's all gone, gone with the wind. I am back now from all those dark places and I am here to celebrate life and love. My son is healthy, he is strong and energetic and he is different too which makes him unique. I love you Diego, I love you all little Dudes, and I love everything and everybody!!! Viva la vida!!!!



I got the expected call from this special center for Autistic children which is very prestigious and they told me that they are willing to work with my son Diego! He is not ready for the group yet because he is only two but they will design a personalized program especially for him and in January he will join the group. My husband and I have to go there next week and meet with the person who will help Diego. I met her before and she is adorable. I loved all the people that I met over there. There is something beautiful about the people who work with Autistic children, they listen, they really listen to you and they are patient and loving and sensitive. Go Diego go!!!!




And this is something else from the same show that I mentioned in my last post.
It is an installation of hundreds of birds. I made them out of small glass bottles, antique porcelain doll legs, photos printed on transparencies, some resin material (the heads), glass eyes, acrylic paint etc. They all go on top of a narrow and long table. This piece was lucky to be featured in this issue of Artnews magazine. But the most important thing about this piece is why I made it.

The inspiration came from a little hummingbird that I found in my studio. It was dead on the floor. I was so sad, I was then pregnant with my first baby and the little body of this bird made me think about the cicle of being born and then dying or going away etc. I buried the little bird in my backyard with a little note saying something like: Good-bye and I hope that you enjoyed your short life... Then, next day, five weeks before the due date I had my first baby, I became a Mom. She was premature but perfect; the delivery was natural, easy and quick. After that I couldn't stop thinking about the little bird and I knew that I had to make something out of this experience. This was the main idea behind the whole show that I called "Birth”.

Air dress.



I wanted to share this piece with you.
This is a dress that I made for my last solo show at Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York in 2005. The name of the show was Birth and it was all about birds. I made this dress out of hundreds of transparent plastic discs connected to each other with cotton thread. Each disc has a picture of a bird. The idea of this dress is liberating to me. Imagine if you could put on a dress that made you levitate. I have always wondered what it would be like to be a bird for a day. I wish that I could try that.

Fears, mystery?



You may find these photos scary but let me explain you the story behind them.
They are part of a series called Perda do Sentido (Loss of Sense in Portuguese) that I made in 1999.
In 1999 my friend Belquis Ayon an amazing talented, beautiful, outgoing black woman and artist committed suicide.
Belquis was the last person on Earth that I thought would do something like that.
It came as a big shock to me and to all the people who knew her. Her work was unique; she made these large black and white paper collographs with human figures flying away etc. Her work turned around this particular religion practiced in Cuba (Abakua) that carries a secret revealed only to men. Belquis became a researcher of this religion and her work was a recreation of what she learned from it. She was fascinated with the "secret" I think. In her work she created the figure of a fish that represented fears, the unknown and mystery. I remember an interview where she said that fears, unknown things and mystery were like a fish, slippery, because it was hard to keep them under control in your hands.

These photos were my homage to Belquis. I painted my face in black and took some pictures of myself. I just wanted to document my very personal good-bye ritual for my friend. I made the object that you see in the second picture in order to represent the fish that she was obsessed with. I am holding the object with my hands as a symbolic way to embrace all those things that even today I can't explain about what she did and about so many other things in life.

The photo with the fish is in my studio and I like to look at it from my computer. This photo reminds me of Belquis but also it reminds me that half of the things that happen to us and other people are a mystery. I don't want answers anymore for all the things that I can't understand. I just want to be able to embrace them and don't be afraid of them. I don't really want answers anymore but that doesn't stop me for asking questions every single day. I guess that I am just human.

Things are better now.

We spent this weekend in our cabin in the mountains, away from the city and everything.
Bill and I read a lot about Autism which is great because little by little we are understanding what this disease is. The more I understand Autism the more I understand my little boy and his world. We are rediscovering him.
Diego was happy as always. I am not crying anymore and I feel much stronger. My brother called me from Florida for support. We are very close and now more than ever because very coincidently his son is also Autistic. My brother is one year younger than me but he has always been a natural leader because he is Leo.
Tomorrow I am taking Diego to a place where if he is accepted he will receive special speech therapy etc. twice a week.
I am crossing my fingers. I hope that he gets in. Please wish me good luck!