Marlaya Charleston

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Man with Mustache         Charcoal   •   2015   •   18" x 24" without frame   •   26.5" x 32" with frame

Man with Mustache 





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Artist Statement

I experience much joy expressing my ideas and passions through my art. I am always surprised at the result as I am working spontaneously, focusing on the process as opposed to working for a particular outcome. In my recent work, I am enjoying the playfulness I experience when making my whimsical animal watercolors and my mixed media/collages. I have evolved through the years and expressed my creativity in different styles--drawing and painting the figure, making expressionist paintings of jazz musicians and singers, making mixed media pieces and whimsical watercolors. I have also acted in the theater, performed stand-up comedy and wrote and illustrated a book of poetry for children. This varied background in the arts has directed and informed my visual art which is my basic focus and love.

Biography

Marlaya Charleston has been drawing and painting since the age of twelve. She began her formal training at the age of sixteen at The Art Students League in New York City. Growing up there, she had the privilege, at a young age, to visit The Modern Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum where she was moved and inspired. She continued her studies in New York at Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union and eventually earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The School of Visual Arts.
Her influences are African Art, the German Expressionists, Picasso and Matisse.
In her latest work, Marlaya continues her artistic exploration making compositions combining realistic images with abstract shape, texture and color.
Her works have been exhibited throughout the Los Angeles area and are collected internationally.

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