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Art & Life with Haydee Torres

Today we’d like to introduce you to Haydee Torres.

Haydee, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I never planned to be an artist.

I was born in New York. During my childhood, my family moved back to Puerto Rico. Growing up in Puerto Rico meant life was full of color. I always had a passion for clothes, makeup, and color. To express my love for these art forms, I used my body as a canvas, dressing up and painting my face. I was not aware of this at the time of course. In my early childhood, I wanted to be an astronaut, then a criminal lawyer, then a fashion designer. After serving three years in the US Army, my husband and I relocated to South Florida. Here, I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a Fashion Designer. While attending the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, it became very clear to me that my passion was in the process of creating an image. I was encouraged by several of my instructors to continue pursuing the fine arts. Eventually, I found myself in a live drawing class. That was the moment I remember becoming totally enamored with the process of painting. It was my hallelujah moment. When the model disrobed himself, I remember being terrified, overwhelmed, embarrassed and defeated, but I needed to complete my assignment. My brain was screaming. How was I expected to draw that human being and capture all of it?

The rest is history.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My earliest influence was Gustav Klimt. His work is timeless and has always resonated with me.

My work is about the figure, mostly the female figure. I call them my queens. My intention is to portray women in a light that is fashionable, beautiful, convey a story, and can still deliver a sense of attitude. The story behind my pieces will always be up for interpretation; similar to the abstractions I use to frame my figures, I strive to keep that same abstraction in the meaning of my work. I would rather the viewer have the room to give my pieces the story they feel resonates loudest with my subject.

I work in different mediums and techniques. I love to mix as many mediums as I can on a piece of paper, canvas or wood panel. I love to incorporate abstract elements with the human figure to craft a dynamic image. One very important aspect of my work, at least for me, is respecting the material that I am using. I never want to comprise my mediums, always looking to maintain whatever vibrancy and texture first attracted me to them.

I prefer to work alone and in silence. If I play music I will start with Einstein on the Beach, then Godspeed. Eventually, I’ll settle into instrumental music. The piano has always been my preference.

Art is an essential part of human development and evolution. I am fascinated by the influences art can have on the brain, something I consider to be part of the reason why I find myself so passionate about my field.

Artists as players are the eyes and ears of time, not only telling the story but inventing reality.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
The art world is very difficult just on general principle. The Internet has created a lot of opportunities for artists that were not possible before. I believe that education is an essential part of the culture that will teach people to not only understand but appreciate art. I believe through education and exposure, cities like ours can help encourage people to find a passion for the arts.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find my work on my website or Instagram. I like to post pictures of my progress with a piece as I go along.

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