The Colonel and the Muse Part II

7 Dec

It had been 3 days now since things had gone south with Muse Leira—she wanted Lala Drona out, out of that room as soon as possible.  Never had she ever met an artist so enveloped by her own work, so committed to her own style and message, an artist with vision alright…with tunnel vision. 

Muse Leira tried, time and time again, to inspire Lala Drona to continue her and Colonel Morgado’s work with battle strategies. She tried to influence Lala to wage art war on the Art Guild: the legislation which passed all art-related laws.   When that didn’t work, She tried to influence the artist to strategise against those who did not believe in art.  She tried to convince Lala of the destructive force that she possessed when she put paintbrush to canvas.  Muse Leira’s work with Colonel Morgado had been left unfinished, and she wanted Lala, more than any other artist to have entered that room before, to implement the battle strategies that Leira and the Colonel had started, into her paintings.

Lala Drona refused to accept the muse’s battle inspiration, and arrogantly explained to Muse Leira how this creative collaboration would unfold.  Lala had already decided on a concept, and merely needed the muse to help her develop the images for it.   The concept for the triptych of paintings would examine the development of online relationships/friendships, from the digital to the real.   It would unfold over three parts on three canvases:

Canvas 1:  “We Find Our Match in the Digital Masses”

Canvas 2: “We Give Each Other Space to Grow”

Canvas 3: “Together, We Make Each Other Human”

“Together we make each other human?  What’s so great about being human anyway?” Leira said.

Lala explained. “I meant for “human” to be taken metaphorically…like coming together in real life is what helps us maintain our humanity— or our compassion—empathy…”

“You are insinuating that “humanity” only expresses a compassionate side—while today more than ever we are witnessing humanity’s “inhumanity”. Not to mention, that idea is corny.  It would be a disservice to the entire triptych.  I’ll sign off on the first two ideas, but the third has got to go.”

Lala laughed, “I don’t think you really understand your role here.”

“Role?  You will suffer if you chose to stay in this room and not implement my inspiration.”

Lala scoffed and ignored the muse.  She threw herself into the work, but her ideas did not flow; she felt creatively blocked.  Sketching the third idea was like trying to manoeuvre a paintbrush with her toes.  The images would not translate onto paper.  But Lala kept drawing, too committed to her method.

Through the night, Lala persisted with her work but not without rebellion from Muse Leira.  Over the next few nights, Leira appeared to the dog outside Lala’s room.  At first, the barking only distracted Lala slightly, as she told herself that she would get used to it, just as she got used to the other sounds of the town.

Hours upon hours, the dog barked outside of her window, a rhythmic barking that ricocheted off the walls of the colonel’s room—every burst of canine scream was a wack over Lala’s ears. Muse Leira appeared over Lala as she drew, willing her own inspiration into the artist’s mind.  The more Lala resisted, the more Leira’s inspiration would change shape and become stronger.  With every wave of inspiration, Lala’s drawing began to warp and transform as well, into circles and lines, a battle strategy that she could not decipher.

The church bells clanged, the roosters cooed and every dog in that town barked simultaneously in the same rhythmic pattern. Lala covered her ears and screamed as an image of Muse Leira and Colonel Morgado emerged from a white fog with their troops behind them.  Flashes of bloodshed, of flesh in the air, a mix or white and red coalesced into a pink cloud.  They marched on through the pink fog…then, as quickly as it came, the image went dark again.  A new image came into Lala’s mind.  The artist, followed by her drones and muses, sitting atop a globe, sitting atop with someone she had never met before…working together towards a common goal. 

Lala began drawing the new image, and as she drew, the cacophony outside dulled; it subsided. Muse Leira appeared at her side with a hesitant smile.  Lala finished the drawing, but just as her pencil left the paper, the noise started up again.

Lala covered her ears and Muse Leira peered closer at the new concept for the third painting.  She read the title below:

Canvas 3: “Together, We Conquer the World.”

Muse Leira couldn’t have been happier with the results of their collaboration—she thought of Colonel Morgado, their late nights together planning their battle strategies, side by side like in Lala’s drawing.  Before the Colonel’s death, Muse Leira thought that they would one day conquer the world, and now through Lala Drona’s piece, in some way, they had. 

Muse Leira looked up from the sketch, and found Lala packing her bags.  The barking had stopped outside, but continued to pulsate through Lala’s mind. 

“The barking in my head won’t stop.” Lala said.  Lala held her head and threw her backpack over her shoulder.  She smiled.  “And I think our work here is done.”  She approached Muse Leira, who was standing in front of the door of the room.  Lala stood there, canvases under her arms, and looking Leira up and down.  She took a deep breath and then hugged her. “Thank you, Leira…for everything— I know I’m not easy to work with, and my inspiration extraction techniques are unconventional, but I knew you could do it all along.”  Lala patted Leira on the shoulder.  “Well done.”  Lala sighed, pushed through the doorway, and ventured into the night. 

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The Colonel and the Muse

9 Nov

muse leira and lala

Lala Drona (right), and Muse Leira (left)

What Lala Drona wrote had the tendency to come true.  Fortunately (and unfortunately)  for her, all the desires and dreams that she had written had already come true, and she was now living them.  Lala lied alone in her bed and thought about how creation comes from a lack, and how a satiated writer isn’t much of a writer at all.  Lala thought about what she wanted.  What did she desire?  Perhaps it was world domination, perhaps it was to get the art laboratory  back in business.  Whatever it was, it was in that moment that Lala realized she wanted nothing more than to be lying next to someone else.

 

The story of Muse Leira

In 18th century Portugal, in the small town of Messejana, Colonel Morgado died and left his estate to his four servants.  His loyal and dedicated Muse, grew depressed from the lack of creative collaboration with the Colonel.  Over the years that followed, the battle strategy notebooks and plans they created together disappeared,  buried in dust.  Muse Leira refused to occupy any other room after the Colonel’s death and condemned herself to those four walls for eternity.

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Messejana, Portugal

It wasn’t until recently, three centuries later, that Leira had the opportunity to dust off her inspiration projectors and collaborate with artists visiting the Colonel’s room.

 

The last servant left alive in the house decided to move into the house next door and rent out the Morgado home.  A young couple moved into the house with their baby, but made a point to stay out of the Colonel’s room at night, as recommended by the previous owner.  Muse Leira haunted the room at all hours, but her image only appeared at night, when she had the power to touch the tenants of the room.

The couple converted the house into an art residency, inviting international artists from

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Colonel Morgado’s room

around the world to visit and work on their projects.

 

Winnie was the first to stay in the Colonel’s room.  She was an ink-landscape painter from China.   The lights constantly switched on and off and the bulbs burned out.  Winnie saw Muse Leira for the first time on the night of the new moon.  She could not sleep and when she opened her eyes and rolled over, a head covered in a white cloth bag stared straight back at her.  Needless to say, Winnie left the residency early.
Madeleine was the next to stay in the Colonel’s room.  She was an abstract expressionist painter from France.  She began work right away on the first day and filled the room with canvas and color.  When she woke up the first morning, she saw that all of her t-shirts and pants had been thrown on the floor.  But no matter, she submitted to the strong inspiration that boiled from within and jumped out of bed to continue painting. 70_year_old_art_supplies_by_kymmacaleb-d492xvm.jpg

Night fell and while working at her desk, Madeleine tipped over a bottle of varnish.  She desperately looked for a cloth to absorb the liquid and took one that was handed to her.  She dabbed the painting with no result, and looked down at the cloth to find it was one of her t-shirts from the floor.  She looked to her side to see who handed it to her, and Muse Leira stood there, wearing all of Madeleine’s clothes and giggling.  After a bit of an awkward meeting, Madeleine and Leira became good friends and collaborated easily for the remainder of her stay in the Colonel’s room.

After Madeleine left, the room grew cold again, the air stagnant without the flow of creative energy.  A week went by and artist Lala Drona, an American painter living in Paris,Screenshot 2018-11-09 at 18.51.05 moved into the Colonel’s room.  On the first day, Lala rearranged the room to take advantage of the light coming in from the windows.  Lala’s painting materials still hadn’t arrived and she felt herself growing weak from the lack of creation.  She woke up in the middle of the night sick with a cold.  The roosters crowed and the dogs barked outside, rattling the bed she slept in.  Lala found the strength to approach the tissue box in front of the mirror on the other side of the room.  She grabbed a tissue and while blowing her nose, she looked into the mirror to find the head covered in a cloth bag standing behind her.  Lala would have screamed if she hadn’t lost her voice.

Muse Leira ran across the wall and knocked a trapped door open before hiding in the corner.  Realizing Leira was a muse, and having had extensive experience with muses, Lala tried to calm her while tiptoeing towards the trapped door.  Inside, Lala found old paintings on paper—portraits of the Colonel and his servants.  Further inside, she found charcoal.IMG_3345

Lala started coughing and Muse Leira led her back to bed.  Muse Leira brought over a board with paper and the charcoal and sat next to Lala.  She set up the drawing board and Lala began sketching out ideas for paintings.  She thought about what she wanted.  She thought about the relationships she had had with the Drones (assistants in her former art laboratory), other artists and muses.  Muse Leira reminded her that it is those relationships which make Lala human.

 


Over the next few days, Leira nursed Lala back to health.  Leira inspired Lala, and Lala grew stronger with every collaboration.  Lala’s painting supplies finally arrived, and thanks to Muse Leira, she is now off to a strong beginning.

Based on a fact.

Kendal Dreges, Minisota Artlife Press

Lala: The European Art Tour

25 Oct

BOAF european art tour

Since her return to Paris last May, Lala Drona doesn’t seem to be able to keep her feet on the ground!  From France, to Spain and now to Portugal, her European tour is causing a media art frenzy!

In June 2018, Lala began her European tour at an art residency in Seville, Spain.  She spoke with the local media before her exhibition there “The Power of the Click” to tell them that she had been staying at the residency with seven other women artists from around the world.  “I had already lived with seven women once in a favela in Brazil in 2010, so I had my reservations about living with so many women at once, however, I was surrounded by so many talented, warm-hearted and hard-working artists.  I felt fortunate to be part of such an incredible team.”

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“The Power of the Click” triptych by Lala Drona

She went on to explain that the ecosystem of feminine energy and experience intensified her feminist beliefs and contributed to the creation of her triptych “The Power of the Click”—a piece which examines how our digital actions on women’s bodies can have consequences in the real world.  She continues to have strong links with some of the artists, and says that these artists support and inspire each other everyday through voice message notes.

Lala returned to Paris in August, where she recharged and replenished her inspiration receptors.  It was during this time that she locked herself in to her workshop and broadened the scope through which she viewed her current area of artistic research.

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Title: Speak or Listen, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 50cm x 60cm Paris France, 2018

She had been sensing the world changing due to the growth of social media, a positive change where everyone started to have an opinion and exercised their voice.  And at the same time, a rise in the tendency to not listen to people when recounting their experiences.  “It’s important to remember that every conversation is not an attack or a debate, but that sometimes we are just sharing stories.

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Title: Zoom in 1, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 50cm x 60cm Paris France, 2018

We don’t always have to prepare a rebuttal.  I notice a lack of picking up on those conversational nuances, a lack of knowing when to listen, and when to speak.  That’s why I created this painting [Speak or Listen].”
Through September and October, Lala stayed in Paris to show her work in an exhibition in the Marais, and work in another art residency.  Here, she decided to create 3 different paintings on one canvas (each new painting covering the last).  This concept aimed to push the artist to experiment and develop her style without the pressure of “the end result” looming over.  “I took aspects from the first and second paintings that I liked, and integrated them into the third painting.

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Title: Presenteeism, Artist: Lala Drona, Acrylic on canvas 100cm x 100cm Paris France, 2018

This method also gave me the freedom to try out new concepts in the first two draft paintings to know if I liked them enough to try them again in future paintings.”  She finished with the piece “Presenteeism,” a painting which examines how social media contributes to the overwhelming pressure to be seen/present at all times.  Lala plans to continue developing the geometric style found in this painting and further research the topic of how our digital lives on social media and the internet affect us IRL.  

 

During the months of November and December, Lala will participate in another artist in residency program in Alentejo, Portugal.  Here, she will continue research on her topic and create 2-3 painting to be shown in an exhibition in Portugal in December.  “I’m going into my project in Portugal with an open mind.  I’m waiting to be inspired by the moment.  I will definitely continue researching the same topic, but I have no images in mind yet.”

As far as the rest of the year goes, Lala has plenty of projects lined up.  We’ve heard rumours of Norway and New York, and have confirmed that she’ll have an exhibition in Lithuania this summer, and another in Finland in the fall. Get ready to see a lot of Lala Drona in 2019.

Jeff Southers, Columbus Ohio Journal of the Creative Arts

Go Hashtag Yourself Interview, 2018

5 Oct

Lala Drona sits down with L.D. Times Magazine once again for an exclusive  interview.  This time she discusses the ways in which social media and the Internet influence and affect her work as an artist.  Read the full article here.

 

 

Lala goes blonde: show in the Marais–Paris

9 Sep

Image result for blond hair pngLala Drona opened the season last night with with a new look: Bleach blonde hair.   “I wanted to mark, and celebrate my first show in the Marais,” Lala said when asked about her new blonde hair.
She showed her triptych “The Power of the Click: Women’s bodies on the Internet” at the exhibition Lettres, Mots et Clics.  The exhibition opening took place at Galerie Art’et Miss in the Marais, a Parisian neighbourhood webbed of cobblestone streets, a trendy neighbourhood which is home to a large LGBT community and a diverse array of streetart.  See the video of the exhibition below.

If you’d like to read more about these pieces, please visit http://www.laladrona.com/paintings.html

Goodbye beauty and into the Darkness

28 Aug

I am beautiful

Artist:  “How would you describe this painting?”

Viewer: “I like it, but it’s so dark.  Sort of bumming me out.”

Artist:  “Really? You think it’s dark?

"Dr. Royal" Paris 2013
“Dr. Royal” 2013, by Lala Drona

 

I have dedicated my entire life to creating art.  Spanning from paintings, to video, to performance art, to short fiction.  I believe that creating from the most personal, connects most universally.  However, words in the form of viewer-comments hover over my creations, descriptors like “suffering,” “painful,” and “dark.”

The funny thing is, I’ve always been embarrassed of my dark side showing, although it is the natural way I create.  I feel like I seem weak, too self-pitying or self-indulgent; I’m ruining your good time.  During the creative process, my mind and hand have made a pact to tone down the darkness, to try and make it more digestible through bright colors, or balanced/symmetrical design which is pleasing to the eye.

 

I look at my pieces now with suspicion.  My themes are dark, and most embody suffering, because that has been my reality.  The decision to aesthetically express darkness and suffering in a way that is pleasing to the eye

“Beautiful on the Inside” 2017, by Lala Drona

plays the role of propaganda and glamourizes a perpetual cycle of suffering.  It packages hard truths in a cruelty-free, sterile and overly-inspected product—something impersonal and all too easy for the mind to take in and forget, trauma-free.

The truth is, as a woman with my specific experience, I believe that I’ve expressed my darkness through the scope of beauty because I felt that this was the only way my experience had value.  I am beautiful, therefore I am.  Gaining and being rejected access to resources has been heavily based on my outward appearance and presentation ([un]attractive; woman), and has infiltrated the most sacred parts of my being, and now I’ve been creating from it.  The societal pressures to be “polite,” “make sure everyone’s having a good time,” and “keep it light” have only served to silence my voice and my art has suffered because of it.  I am aesthetically pleasing to them.  I am beautiful, therefore I am theirs.

Moyen No. 1
“Moyen No. 1” 2015 by Lala Drona

                  Confronting the darkness within, a darkness I believe we all have access to, and then unabashedly expressing it, is one of my greatest fears.  However, I have always believed that if something scares you, it is a sign that you are going in the right direction, so you must do it.  The darkness in my work seems to always peek through, and now its time to confront it and accept it fully.  To approach its truth.

 

“Doom and Destiny” 2017, by Lala Drona

I fear that I’ll lose a handle on reality when diving into the darkness and chaos.  I fear what I will discover, what doors I may open or whether I’ll be able to return from the madness.  However, I must reconcile this within myself, and so here today, I pledge to create something brazenly dark.  No protection, and no filters that make the message more digestible.

I will release myself from the external motivators, from the viewer-comments and the male-gaze.  I will neither be nice nor polite, and I definitely will not “keep it light.”  I will create something “ugly,” and I will make the viewer

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“The First Follower” 2018, by Lala Drona

accompany me into the darkness.  Because We still exist without the mask of their “beauty.”  I will create something that aesthetically matches and communicates its message.  I will communicate truth.

Yes, I am beautiful, but I am not theirs.

 

See Lala Drona at her next exhibition in Paris at Galerie Art’et Miss in Paris, France– Sept. 8th 6pm-8pm.

invit-drona

Radio Interview with a Visual Artist

8 May

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Lala Drona in her first ever public radio appearance on Beijing International Radio.  Listen to her interview on Touch Beijing 93.2FM, where she explains what it means to be a visual artist today, and how Beijing has inspired her art.  Stay tuned until the end where she reveals her plot for the future.

 

Lalatina by Lala Drona

9 Oct

LalatinaA new video performance video from Lala Drona’s series “La Minute Lala” has just been released.  In her new video “Lalatina,” Lala Drona expresses her Latin American side.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 06.52.20Lala Drona’s mother is originally from Caracas, Venezuela.  Her mother grew up in the project 23 de enero, a barrio infamous for it’s crime, slums and squatters: remnants of the 1958 coup d’etat which overthrew dictator Marquez Perez Jimenez.

Barrio 23 de Enero

23 de Enero, Caracas, Venezuela

“My mother’s experience growing up was not easy, but she has remained an optimist.  Her stories are unbelievable, and the values transmitted through them, indispensable to me.  These stories can only be described as dark magic realism.”

Lala Drona often integrates her mother’s experiences into her own in her writing and paintings.  “Some of the lines in my videos, in my writing are inspired by her.  She’s always there as an advisor on my paintings.  She is such a big part of me, and I am truly lucky to have her.”

Lala Drona continues to work and live in Beijing, China on her current series, “Wrong Place, Wrong Time,” a series inspired by her experience in China and taking place in her artistic universe.

Based on a Fact

Drone Video 2017

10 Sep

Three new Drones appear in this new video.  Drones Video 2017 has just been released:

L.D. Times Article: The Blank Canvas, 2017

25 Aug

Lala Drona opens up for the first time about her experience since arriving in China in an exclusive interview with the L.D. Times.  She comments on her new video, due to release next week: “The Blank Canvas.”   A deep and inspiring article that delves into the artist’s psyche.

Click the image below to read the full 6-page spread.

The Blank Canvas

 

 

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