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Let me run my fingers through your...

 

July's portrait of the month.

 

This time it's Tenille, a talented singer from North Carolina originally from Brooklyn. 

Since Tenille was going through a transformation in her life, like many women, she needed a small reminder of her value and grace despite feeling ungraceful. I engineered this artistic transformational glamour piece as a reminder of both her inner & outer beauty. 

Outer:

I really exaggerated her naturally curly locks to express the quote “The higher the hair the closer to God” and to give her a majestic regal vibe. The pose and the jewelry push a glamorous look that offsets the nudity in a tasteful way. It’s a glamour technique I’ve learned to deploy while living in Las Vegas and observing the stunning showgirls, specifically from the extravaganza ‘Jubilee” at Ballys. From the 1950’s to the 1990s each major casino had their own spectacular showgirl showcase. Sadly Jubilee was the very last of it’s kind until they closed a few months ago. The space is making room for yet another Circe De Soliel / EDM club thus forever erasing the showgirl culture from Las Vegas Strip. 

Inner:

I also created an “Anahata” heart chakra flower hair piece. Anahata translates to “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten" in Sanskrit and is the 4th primary green chakra.  It’s considered the wellspring of self-nurturing, love, warmth, compassion, joy and is located in the center of the chest at the heart level.  In addition, I repeated the Anahata behind her in a hypnotic fashion. It fades away in a 1920s zig-zagging Art Deco flower pattern. It was my attempt to represent the importance being present, meditating, and how one zones out during a focused breathing session. Lastly, her curly mane is shaped like a giant heart to push the self love concept as strongly as possible for the days when it’s harder to embrace oneself.

In the end this commission was a cultural gumbo mix of pinup, showgirl, Vegas, 1920s jazz-age, and Eastern spirituality with a sparkly twist of self love and reflection. The title for this particular art piece is “Anahata” or the more fun and corny choice “Let my run my fingers through your heart chakra.”
Enjoy.

-Santi-

Jazz Age / Harlem Renaissance couples portrait of Peg and Lee.

Harlem Renaissance

Since I am a huge lover of Art Deco and love the sophistication and dapperness ( just learned that’s a real word ) of the era, I thought it would be the fitting opportunity to create a really upscale portrait

I was inspired by the 1930s harlem dancer Margot Webb for her elegance and sophistication and chose to transform Peg into her, however whatever concept I chose to do, Peg insisted on having curls. So after a bit more research, I stumbled upon a hair style from one the great silent movie era actress, Norma Shearer. She sported finger waves that transition into curls sorta of like an elegant 1930s afro. Finger waves and curls. 

The Art Deco / Jazz / afrocentric characters and city scape are all inspired by the underatted African American Art Deco muralist Aaron Douglas, who pioneered a futuristic translucent flat afrocentric stylee. Sort of a black version of Diego Rivera, he beautifully illustrated the struggles of the oppressed, spoke on slavery, the elevation of the race, the beginnings of the NAACP in Harlem, while also transitioning into the new world of the, automobile, radio, jazz age, skyscrapers and mans quest to find identity in this new world. I also included the marquee of Harlem’s world famous Savoy Ballroom known for both it’s dance innovations and home of Jazz giants of the day, a place Peg’s grandparents used to frequent in their youth. Here is a before and after.

-Santiago-

And here is a few more details.   

And here is a few more details.

 

Harlem Renaissance details