Male. Female. That’s the gender binary. Now meet the artist who wants the world question it.
As a straight cisgender man, Carlos Aleman opened up from his Asian-inspired art and wondered what creations he could make to support the LGBT community. And that’s how the “Androgynous” art series was born.
The series includes drawings and paintings of models identifying as genderfluid, non-binary or gender neutral.
“I did not know what gender fluid was. I did not know what non-binary meant,” Aleman spoke about his time before the ‘Androgynous’ gallery. “Yes, there are masculine and feminine energies, but there’s this whole spectrum of mystery.”
Aleman’s artwork is featured in Art Frenzie, an art gallery specializing in framing. The gallery has just hit its 20-year mark on Wilton Drive. The exhibit had a reception on March 18, which featured a contest where one spectator was chosen to win an original self-portrait valued at $1,500.
“My artwork has been an exploration of painting and thinking about ‘What is gender? What is the spectrum? What about the people that are somewhere in between?’ And so this whole androgynous series came about.”
Aleman’s message from his gallery is “ultimately love.” He also wants to educate people outside of the LGBT community by encouraging open minds.
“It’s been said before that art sometimes is designed to confuse people,” he explained. “When you're confused, you want answers. So you get drawn in and you start asking questions ... I want someone to see (the art) and at some level admit that what they are looking at is the depiction of a beautiful person. And once they get past that … then maybe some shift in consciousness is happening and their perceptions are alternating slightly.”
Aleman finds his models on Instagram. He has models across the world from Malaysia, and Germany to Great Britain and more. He has only met one in person — Rune De La Vince, who came to the exhibit’s reception on March 18.
With his work, Aleman hopes his audience will try to be more open minded.
“Be open to experience and believe that being more open minded can lead you to better places and become a better person,” he said.
Bernadatte Zizzo, co-owner of Art Frenzie alongside her business partner Debbi Burke, originally nudged Aleman out of his comfort zone by welcoming him to the Frenzie family.
“I find Carlos’s work very different,” she said. “It’s like a fashion show, and I think it speaks for itself. Sometimes I think images can speak louder than words.”
Zizzo is currently working on bringing Aleman’s “Androgynous” art exhibit to other galleries in New York and Boston.
“I think his work needs to be seen and heard. I think Carlos needs to be heard.”
If You Go:
What: ‘Androgynous’ Art Exhibit
Where: Art Frenzie, 2151 Wilton Dr, Wilton Manors