Ecstatium II

‘Ecstatium II’ © 2017 Carlos Aleman

Kintsugi Samurai

‘Kintsugi Samurai’ © 2017 Carlos Aleman

I’m finishing up my pieces for the summer Anime-Japan show.  This one has quite a bit of gold and glitter in the face (photo doesn’t quite capture it) and so I thought I’d describe it with the word, kintsugi.  If you’ve ever seen broken Japanese pottery repaired with lacquer and gold dust, you might find ‘kintsugi’ can also be a metaphor for people who have experienced brokenness and recovery.  I plan to carry the sentiment over to some paintings I’m starting to work on in my head.  I’ll keep you posted.


I’ve finished the first three paintings of a new series, ‘Androgynous,’ continuing the use of shironuri (painted white) makeup, associated with goth look in Tokyo fashion and the traditional geisha and maiko.  The Japanese word, geisha, translates as artist (gei meaning “art” and sha meaning “person” or “doer”).  To me, an artist is someone who is different, thereby challenging perceptions and shifting awareness.

Something that seems to bother many people greatly is the spectrum of gender.  Anything that can cause further thought, contemplation and acceptance is probably a good thing.  Perhaps one day, the androgynous, transgender, gender neutral and gender fluid will be seen not as threatening but as art (or as a comment below put it: as people).