Aliana Grace Bailey

Ambivalent Intimacy
Ambivalent Intimacy
Surface Portrait
Surface Portrait
Conversations & Connections
Conversations & Connections
Statement

I am a mixed media artist, designer, and social good doer who thrives on vibrant colors, intricate patterns, bold typography, and raw emotion. I strive to give viewers a sense of joy, healing, and a reminder of how to love—themselves and the world. My artwork is a juxtaposition of beauty, a sense of optimism, and, at times, traumatic realities.

I use art as a means to explore and manifest awareness of self, black womanhood, the world around me, and all things sacred to her. By practicing vulnerability, self-love, and empathy, I hope to inspire the same in others.

Currently, I am exploring the theme of intimacy through a series of investigations into materials, space, and relationships. I have always been passionately invested in lifting up the meaning of love and intimacy, for both myself and the world at large.

Intimacy takes many forms—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Intimacy is the loving embrace with a best friend, a heartfelt conversation with a family member, an affirmation from your lover. Intimacy is a process where people can feel seen, known by, and connected to another. Just as it is widely recognized to exist physically between couples, intimacy can exist in any or all its forms within all relationships—including between friends, colleagues, families, and any other self-identified collectives.

While intimacy is not something to force, it is something that can be intentionally explored, better understood, practiced, celebrated, and strengthened between individuals and communities. Intimacy is one of life’s greatest treasures and fears. It requires opening parts of ourselves up, leaving us vulnerable to the possibility of great loss and heartbreak. In the same breath, intimacy is an essential part of living, loving, surviving, and healing.

Through material, I weave layers of connections, comfort, and conversations, exploring a deeper connection to mark-making and abstraction. I am embracing my art as a comforting and healing experience for viewers, in new and intentional ways. My art practice begins within myself at the core of my being and expands outward. I have learned that by creating artwork that focuses on self-exploration and vulnerability, audience members join in the journey and begin reflecting on and/or participating in a similar life-enhancing process of self-empowerment. I wish to inspire people to feel love and courage, as well as appreciate their relationships and everyday interactions with others, whether small or large.

The psychologist Susan David, speaking on emotional courage, has said, “How we deal with our inner world drives everything. Every aspect of how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead.” My current work embraces artmaking as a vehicle for my own personal development and inner peace by aligning it with my greatest values—a specific focus on deepening and building the relationships that surround me.