Magaly Ohika, painter & toy designer; San Juan, Puerto Rico:
“When I was a child, I pictured the real world as a circus. It was the only way to cope with the ugly reality I found around me.”
“I realized within the ugliness of things lay an underlying charm.”
“Life as I saw it became my playground, taking bits and pieces of it and turning them into art.”
“My mother is a poet and my father a painter; but he was killed in Brooklyn when I was six years old.
One of my favorite pieces is the one I call, ’Say Goodbye to What was Left Behind and Fly .'”
“I learned early that I can allow myself to feel everything even when it isn’t pretty.
The idea of perfection in a piece of art does not appeal to me. I don’t restrict myself creatively; I absorb, channel whatever might be hidden, and throw it up to create with as soon as I’m ready.”
“My art conveys emotion. I turn daydreams and nightmares into abstract pieces.”
“People are the most complicated creatures; and their behaviors at once overwhelm and intrigue me. As an artist, I note each of their imperfections and hidden secrets they unknowing display in their actions.”
“People tend to conceal different things.”
“But in my art, I portray what has been broken, and what’s been healed.”
“I love the playfulness in my characters even though some may appear confused and tormented. They are whimsically loud as if they are not afraid what they feel. When I’m happy or sad, I paint. When I want to scream, I spill the colors madly onto paper or canvas into one, overt emotion that I am feeling deeply at that moment.”
“There I find total bliss. I own the imaginary world I create.”
“So I stage my playground with whimsical creatures, and my child inside takes a brush and plays.”