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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

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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.

 

 

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.

 

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

 

 

La Rupture

5 Jun

Lala Drona- La RuptureLala Drona has made her first artistic appearance since arriving in Beijing, but one could say she’s not quite all there.  In her newest performance art video, Lala Drona sports a broken tooth.  In typical “Lala” fashion, she gives no explanation to what happened, hoping that the art will be enough to satiate her followers.  Lala Drona- La Ruture (2)The peculiar thing is, this gaping smile isn’t all that unfamiliar.  Lala Drona emerged broken-toothed in February 2013, just some four years ago right after she moved to Paris, France.  Why Lala is sporting a look from four years ago is past us, and whether or not she sprouts the next fashion tooth-trend is up for debate.
But in all seriousness, it is quite strange that the last two times Lala has changed countries, she has emerged with a broken tooth.  As the video mentions both Paris and Beijing, one can infer that Lala is not only talking about her dental fracture, but also the fracture that comes from leaving a country, and its people behind.  She also states that Lala Drona- La Rupture (3)she doesn’t have much time [before someone comes and repairs her.]  In the performance, Lala expresses a desperation to explore her moment of “rupture,” before someone comes and “fills in the gap” so to speak.
We can all relate to this feeling of rupture, whether it be saying goodbye to someone, or moving on from a particular stage in our lives.  Most of us try to push through it as quickly as possible.  However, in her video performance, “La Rupture,” Lala asks us to pay attention to it, to live it and to appreciate it while it’s there.  It could be where your rawest creativity exists.

Based on a fact.

Percy Fleming, Beijing’s Booming Magazine

The Tarot Unfolds: Lala relocates to Beijing

21 Dec

Lala in Beijing

At the end of 2012, Lala arrived in Paris in search of inspiration for her paintings and world creation.  Along with inspiration, she also stumbled upon success, as gallery owners and collectors found her work groundbreaking.  She felt like a star, but all things have an expiration date…

One cold day in February 2013, while on her way to an event, Lala took a violent fall on the subway station stairs in Paris.  This painful welcome to Paris left her with a broken tooth and knocked unconscious.  Her friends rushed her to an emergency hospital where dentists repaired her teeth by sealing the cracks and capping the lateral incisor.  However, the trauma she suffered would have lasting effects far beyond this.

In the summer of 2016, Lala travelled from Paris to Sedona, Arizona and visited a medium.
The medium read the Death card, a card denoting change…the death of one thing and the beginning of another.  Lala took the card quite literally, and rushed funeral arrangements, creating plans for her last tableaux, a funeral installation displaying her body in her coffin, breasts exposed, surrounded by flowers.  Needless to say, Lala’s reaction was an overreaction, as she probably wasn’t really going to die, but still, Death wasn’t going to let her get off that easy.

In November 2016, while rehearsing her next performance piece “Phalanges revitalisation,” she felt a sharp pain around her nose and front teeth.
The pain was unbearable and her Drones took her to an emergency dentist.  The dentist found that both of her incisors were “necrosées” (necrotized, dying).  Lala underwent a “devitalisation,” a procedure where the dentist drilled holes into her teeth in order to kill the nerve and disinfect each tooth.  The dentist then filled in her two teeth like mummified bodies.  A literal Death, foreseen in the cards.  After the three-week long procedure, Lala’s teeth felt back to normal again, but, Death’s influence had just begun. teeth-2016-png-jpg (text continued below).

Towards the end of 2016, due to too many failed art experiments, and Lala’s plunging media presence, investors in Paris pulled out from financially supporting Lala, leaving her with a large debt from which to recover.  With the Lala Laboratory destroyed, and Drones scattered around the world, Lala’s artistic success seemed ill-fated.  All her efforts were futile, and Lala at her lowest, went out to the bars in Paris, and danced another deadly dance with red wine and the Paris underground.  In the tunnels of the Paris subway, she tripped on the stairs and fell again, hitting her head on the wall.  The next morning, Lala woke up in the Paris subway with a jarring headache, and a beeping coming from her phone.   Lala looked at her phone to find an email from a group of investors in Beijing, China.  They were fascinated by her work and were inviting her to relocate her projects to their home country.  A drastic change, presented itself.  As foreseen in the cards, the beginning of one thing,  and the death of another.  Lala hastily accepted the project.

She is calling out to all Drones in Beijing, as her estimated time of arrival is mid-March, 2017.  She will spread her Drone empire, rebuild the Lala Laboratory, and resume her art/Muse experiments.

It seems the Death card has closed its chapter on Paris.  Lala’s accident on arrival in Paris caused her teeth to slowly die over the 4 years she has spent there.  Now that her teeth have finally perished, so has her time in Paris.  A promising future awaits, as Lala will soon begin her next chapter in Beijing, China.

Based on a fact.
Alisa McQueen, Art Tomorrow Weekly Magazine



Exhibition: Narcisse Obligé

10 Oct

Lala Drona to appear in collective exhibition “Narcisse Obligé” at La Savonnette Electrique next weekend October 15th-16th, and during the rest of the month by appointment only.

Ken Phak interviews Lala about her work and upcoming exhibition in The L.D. Times magazine.  Mirror, Mirror- L.D. Times article 2016.

LD Times October 2016, Mirror Mirror

Tarot Reads DEATH: Lala plans funeral arrangement.

11 Aug

title photo funeral plans-001Lala Drona has reported trouble sleeping and vivid nightmares during her spiritual walkabout through the Western United States.  Many dreams end in her death, or the death of another at her own hand.

DSC_0754.JPGWhile perusing along the rusted streets of Sedona, Arizona, Lala Drona stumbled upon a very familiar looking building.  A sudden rush of déjà vu came over her.  The font of the letters on the glass, and the rusted color on the exterior of the shop called to her.  Lala’s dream the night before involved a psychic warning her of imminent death, and the shop in front of her was the spitting image of the shop in her dream.
Tarot readingLala entered and smelled the same nagchampa lavender candle that burned in the dream the night before. She sat on the paisley printed cushions in the room and waited as Madame Bonnie, the same psychic from her dream entered into the room.  Reliving the scene, Lala followed her into a hidden room in the back.

Lala answered Madame Bonnie’s question before she had time to answer it.  “Yes, this is my first tarot reading,” she said.
Madame Bonnie looked into Lala’s eyes and squinted. “You are a very sensitive person, aren’t you?  Perhaps some psychic abilities of your own?”  Madame Bonnie took Lala’s hand and read her past life.  “You were a creative…a very sensitive and spiritual woman in your past life.  Your ideas were unusual but intelligent.  There were many people around you that were jealous, and you died early on because of this…somewhere in your twenties.  You are still this woman today, but today people are much more accepting of your ideas.  This is the time you were meant to live in, so now you are living out the life she didn’t get the chance to.”

Madame Bonnie asked Lala to shuffle the cards, and laid them down on the table in a celtic cross fashion.  Lala anticipated the death card.  As soon as Madame Bonnie laid it down, she said, “Are you dealing with death at the moment, or anything resembling death?”Tarot guide

Lala wanted to tell Madame Bonnie of how she lived her life…of how she intentionally confronted death daily, how she called upon death  everyday in order to live life well.  To appreciate the things she had and to extract drive from it.  However, Lala responded, “No.”
“Many people fear the death card, but it can be a very positive card.  It signifies change, and in your case an extreme change in your career…the death of one thing and the birth of another.  I read that you will soon receive the type of recognition that you have been searching for in your career.”  Lala thought of her projects, the book she’d been writing and her new art piece to be released in an exhibition in October.

Immediately after, Lala called a video
meeting with several Drones and Muses to plan her funeral arrangements.  An open casket funeral displaying the body of the artist covered in flowers, only the breasts and face exposed.  As the artist has vowed to only show her breasts in her paintings, she has denied several prominent photographers her image.  The funeral will be the sole moment in the artist’s life that the public will see her breasts “dans la vie réelle.”  The installation is what Lala Drona likes to call her “final piece.”
Lala explained the piece to Based On a Fact:
“I’m not planning on going anywhere now, but I would like my life’s work to finish with something beautiful and intentional.  As Marina Abramovic said You cannot choreograph death, but you can choreograph your funeral.”

Based on a fact

Harry Gilbert, Sedena Art Tribune

BCasket explanation-001

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