Saturday, June 15, 2024

Curated Conversations: Ayla El Moussa

Above: “Allegorical Determine of Day & Night time” by Ayla El Moussa, 2022. 

Curated Conversations: Ayla El Moussa

6 months in the past

Ayla El Moussa is a surreal artist whose visible vernacular juxtaposes conventional compositional parts of nude portraiture with nature. Her self-portraits draw her viewers right into a contemplation of the worlds inside. Ayla traces her love of mythology and the fantastical to her magical upbringing on a farm on the western coast of Canada, explaining why her work typically seems like a snapshot of a for much longer and grander story. She is each the artist and the muse, thus difficult the ability dynamic of nude portraiture by reclaiming company over her personal physique and alluring her viewers to expertise intimacy as she defines it. Ayla’s work has been featured at Christie’s. She is without doubt one of the 6529 Meme artists, has collaborated with Playboy and with SuperRare Labs on quite a few events

Linda Dounia Rebeiz: Scene 3 of the Painted Muse Sequence has a painterly texture that hasn’t been seen in your work to this extent. Parts like this texture, the selection of garment, and the mannequin’s pose seem to be a nod to the Renaissance.

Ayla El-Moussa: My analysis of the Renaissance began with the Century Sequence and additional expanded with the Painted Muse Sequence. The bear market was the right time for me to dig into a few of my influences from the Renaissance and discover them in my apply extra formally. The connection that painters from the Renaissance had with gentle has all the time been very attention-grabbing to me as a photographer. Whereas beginning the Painted Muse Sequence, I wished to present myself room to discover a few of these curiosities and actually take the time to experiment.

Scene 1” by Ayla El Moussa, 2023. 

LDR: What are some stylistic references from the Renaissance or in any other case that we will count on to see in Scene 3?

AEM: Caravaggio’s method to chiaroscuro, balancing wealthy darkish tones with stunning moments of sunshine to information the attention by way of a portray, is one thing that I used to be very intentional about in Scene 3. And since I used to be engaged on portraits, I saved coming again to John Singer Sergeant’s bravura brushwork and his use of white paint to create gorgeous portraits with out too many high-quality particulars. I really did plenty of portray on Procreate on this collection. I took my time to experiment and get the strategies proper.

LDR: Your viewers was launched to your portray somewhat bit with the Nude Abstracts. Is the Painted Muse Sequence a continuation of that journey?

AEM: Nude Abstracts was my first alternative to color in Procreate. The Painted Muse Sequence is extra figurative, however I feel individuals will see the stylistic hyperlinks between the collection. Introducing portray to my apply has been a means for me to develop it and discover methods to play with supplies I’m recognized for, like silk, water, and rock.

LDR: What was the concept behind the composition of the Painted Muse Sequence’ artworks?

AEM: Scene 1 was an experimental piece. I used to be taking part in round with studio images in Procreate and didn’t actually have an finish aim in thoughts. I used to be so proud of the outcome that I made a decision to develop the scope with the subsequent piece, Scene 2, and work on a much bigger scene. In it, there’s a determine reclining along with her again to the viewers, similar to plenty of my work in that it’s an nameless girl. I don’t prefer to create an identification so to talk for my characters. I favor the viewers to depart their preconceived concepts and venture themselves into the character. Scene 3 was attention-grabbing as a result of I’ve not often performed a frontal pose. The one one I’ve performed up to now was The Allegorical Determine of Day and Night time, which additionally makes use of silk as a cloth. In Scene 3, I’m wrapped in silk however the therapy of the fabric in Procreate makes it appear to be marble. I might virtually say that Scene 3 is probably the most erotic piece I’ve labored on. There’s a thriller about what I could possibly be doing. Am I posing for somebody? Is there somebody watching me? The way in which the sunshine penetrates the silk and is mirrored by it’s unbelievable but in addition intriguing. Have I simply completed doing one thing with a lover? To me, it was good to finish the collection on intrigue as a result of there are such a lot of questions on what I could possibly be doing.

Scene 2” by Ayla El Moussa, 2023. 

LDR: You didn’t essentially begin with a narrative in thoughts, however finally each bit within the collection results in the opposite. That in itself is an excellent testomony to experimentation – one thought constructing on one other till one thing bigger emerges.

AEM: The method of experimentation to make this collection was very pleasurable for me. It’s unbelievable to step again and notice that a lovely story has written itself by way of the method of making an attempt new issues and, additionally, see how far I can stretch my apply to discover new grounds whereas protecting the sensation of my work.

LDR: Parts like water, sand, or rock are very current in your earlier work, however within the Painted Muse Sequence, they’re stripped again and your character is an empty area. What was the pondering behind this new route?

AEM: Most of my work is both shot outdoor or consists of parts of nature. I wished to problem myself and strip away as a lot as I may however nonetheless maintain recognizable references to earlier work. For the Painted Muse Sequence, I shot all the things within the studio for instance. The thought was to then use portray strategies to present the character the phantasm of being a marble statue. I’ve all the time been drawn to stone, sculptures, and the concept of cementing one thing, like a legacy. It’s an enormous phrase however in a means, I really feel that artists on the blockchain are cementing their contributions to artwork by minting it, in the identical means sculptors immortalize their work in marble. The therapy of the silk on the character’s physique was instrumental in getting that marble impact. The silk additionally fluidly wraps round her, water-like. So in a means, nature continues to be current on this stripped-back model of my work.

Allegorical Determine of Day & Night time” by Ayla El Moussa, 2022.

LDR: You defined earlier how this assortment was a nod to the masters which have impressed your work. I’m interested in your relationship to them, and to artwork historical past normally, and what it means to you.

AEM: It’s an essential query for me as a result of we’ve uncovered that there are such a lot of unbelievable feminine artists who had been overshadowed by their male counterparts in artwork historical past. Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the influential artists of the Baroque interval, however she is just not as well-known as Caravaggio right now, for instance. With this collection, I’m virtually inserting myself again into this era of artwork historical past and making an attempt to reclaim it. On prime of that, I’m utilizing my very own physique. I’m the artist and I’m additionally the muse.

LDR: In a means, the ability construction that exists between the male artist and his muse is by no means current in your work. Because the artist and the muse who additionally occurs to be a girl, the method of constructing your work is empowering you.

AEM: I really feel very fortunate to have the ability to be each. Whereas portraits throughout that interval of historical past channeled a sure gaze on ladies, I’m able to interact in dialog with myself. It helps me find out about myself as a girl and articulate what I need to say as an artist. It’s very intimate and it additionally feels very secure. I don’t have anybody me whereas I work. I’m myself and selecting to permit my viewers to see me in the way in which I current myself. That’s empowering to me. I’ve been requested many occasions by colleagues to pose as a mannequin however I’m such an ungainly individual. If another person is taking {a photograph} of me, stepping in entrance of the digital camera could be very onerous for me. As quickly as I’m alone, there’s a full shift. It’s like I’m coming to life and I draw vitality from feeling possession over my physique.

LDR: The historical past of nude feminine portraiture is certainly an advanced one. It’s virtually pure to surprise who we’re , how they felt in the course of the expertise of being painted or photographed, and whether or not the outcome feels objectifying or not. These questions don’t really feel obligatory together with your work.

Canvas II: Yorkshire Moor” by Ayla El Moussa, 2022. 

AEM: It’s attention-grabbing that nude portraits had been traditionally made for boudoirs and different male areas prefer it. That explains why there’s a voyeuristic factor to them, to create a fantasy or the concept of sexual worship. In my work although, I’m selecting what to point out, easy methods to pose, and easy methods to compose the piece. I maintain coming again to this concept of ‘outdated’ scenes with new particulars. Which means I’m not essentially creating new poses or compositional references, but it surely’s my context, as a girl working with know-how, that’s the novelty.

LDR: Utilizing Procreate to this extent is new for you. What was that have like?

AEM: I’m going to present a shout-out to my brother for introducing me to Procreate as a result of it’s been a tremendous expertise. I used to color lots in highschool, oil work largely, earlier than I began images. Procreate has actually introduced again a number of the foundational rules I discovered then, but it surely’s additionally opened up some fully new dimensions for me. I can channel the embodiment of a portray whereas nonetheless having complete management. It was the right program for channeling my analysis. I might have a look at how John Singer Sergeant approached brushstrokes or how Caravaggio treats gentle on folded materials and attempt to emulate them on the pill. It was time-consuming but it surely was undoubtedly definitely worth the effort. It was additionally wonderful that I may virtually carry my work on my pill. Every part I wanted for this collection was good there. I began engaged on the Painted Muses Sequence in California the place my studio is, however I completed it in London whereas touring to see my household who’s based mostly right here.

LDR: The place to from right here? Is Scene 3 the final act of the Painted Muse Sequence? Are we going to see extra of this stripped-back model of Ayla shifting ahead?

AEM: This assortment is a bridge to a brand new route. It’s research-based and in addition explores the supplies I’m accustomed to in a brand new means. My urge for food for experimentation has grown and I’ll maintain increasing in these new instructions. The Painted Muse Sequence specifically, although, is a brief story. Scene 3 is the final act of that story. To me, it seems like a prelude to what’s subsequent.

Nude Summary #37” by Ayla El Moussa, 2023. 


Linda Dounia Rebeiz

Linda Dounia is an artist, designer, and curator based mostly in Dakar. She is inquisitive about how know-how reinforces techniques of inequity, investigates the philosophical implications of technocapitalism, and desires of solarpunk, degrowth, and decolonized futures. She is a curatorial editor at SuperRare.



Curators’ Selection

The publish Curated Conversations: Ayla El Moussa appeared first on SuperRare Journal.

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