Return 2 Earth by Alisa Sikelianos-Carter is presently hanging in the Opalka Gallery. Standing tall at 121” x 83 3/4”, this detailed piece is mixed media. It’s composed of Ink, gouache, acrylic, powder pigment, micaceous oxide, copper leaf, gold leaf, silver leaf, liquid gold leaf, interference pigment, glitter, gold coarse mica, and collage on paper. The way that the medium is worked and how the characters are portrayed is giving them an ethereal feeling. These two beings do not seem like they are from this world. The patterns and detail to the characters dress are reminiscent of the African culture. From the intricate details on their bodies to the masks covering the beings faces. It looks like they are wearing tribal masks, but they don’t look like masks at all. This gives them a God-like effect only to be aided and complimented by the source of light.
The source of light seems to be emanating from the two beings in the painting. It’s like the light is surrounding these two, protecting them from the world. The two beings are standing in contrapposto poses, reminiscent of roman and Greek sculpture. Behind these two characters seems like they both have another being that lives inside of them. It looks to be coming out of them from behind their bodies. These two seem powerful yet respected at the same time. To aide in the other worldly effect, they both contain patterns that remind me of creatures from the animal kingdom. Both beings from the feet up start in the black, gold specked pattern that transitions at the torso. On the left being, it transitions into this beautifully deep yellow that’s separated by spots that also break into an animal-like pattern. On the being on the right, from the torso up it transitions into a desaturated rusty red, orange pattern. Both colors are leading up to these god-like faces, that remind me of the ancient Egyptian gods and how they depicted their faces with animals that related to their culture. The same reverence is shown here, bringing in the African motifs with a technological twist.
The way that the background is framed and worked makes it seem very tech like. It gives me the sense of a futuristic computer program or even an artificial intelligence aspect. The light fades away as we go further to the top of the artwork. It makes it look like the two beings are connected to the box-like light structure of the background. This is a beautiful twist of culture and technology.