“Todo tiene arreglo” or “everything can be fixed” is a phrase that local artist Alejandra Tobon finds herself living by whenever she is finding her way in creating a new project. It was something her mother used to remind her of in her childhood frustration when creating her art projects, and the message sticks with her to this day. Tobon was born in Cali, Colombia, but her family immigrated to the United States when she was only two years old. After some moving up and down the East Coast for a period of time, they finally settled in Lake Nona 10 years ago.
Her love for art was established at a young age, heavily influenced by her mother’s own artistic talent. As her work has developed, she describes her style as a matrimony between elements of surrealism and modernism incorporated into it.
“Art is important because it is an omnipresent aspect of our lives, although we aren’t always necessarily aware of it. Simply noticing the beauty in quotidian events can change our perspectives, even make us feel happier,” said Tobon. “I don’t think something has to be in a museum gallery to be considered art, we can find beauty in almost anything.”
Tobon is a multi-talented creator. A biomedical science major at UCF, she finds herself inspired by science itself, taking a variety of the content she learns in her classes and incorporating it into her pieces. “I am currently taking human anatomy, which has helped me portray the human body with more precision and accuracy. Furthermore, body parts are often subjects in my pieces, so the class has further made me appreciate the perfect synchronicity that makes human life possible,” said Tobon.
Scrolling through Tobon’s Instagram, it is obvious the amount of intricate work that goes into each of her pieces. Tobon’s work with lines, balance and symmetry, as well as the beautiful blend of surrealism and modern art, makes her work entirely unique and masterfully beautiful. Though she finds inspiration in a variety of elements in her life, music tends to reign supreme in her life when it comes to finding inspiration to create her pieces. “I am a firm believer in the butterfly effect and perfect conditions, meaning every little event or change in events can completely change the direction of a piece,” said Tobon. “I don’t think any of my pieces would’ve came out the same way if I had simply changed what music I was listening to while working on them.”
Music, it seems, has also inspired a recent series of works by Tobon in which she is constructing a variety of portraits depicting her favorite music artists from Biggie Smalls and Erykah Badu to Sade, the members of Pink Floyd, Quincy Jones, Kali Uchis, Gucci Mane and Frank Ocean. She hopes the series will have about 22 paintings in total. Tobon describes this project as one of her most challenging efforts – it includes a variety of male artists and Tobon notes that she paints women more often than men – but also one of her most rewarding in trying to capture each artist’s “presence and essence.” Her goal is to release a new portrait every two weeks.
Another project currently in the works by Tobon is the launch of a website she is working on with a friend. It will encompass a wide variety of content including, but not limited to, art, writing, politics, philosophy and hopefully a platform to sell the artist’s work as well. She hopes to launch it by mid-summer.
Tobon is currently building an online platform where people can purchase her art, but for now you can contact her via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in purchasing a piece from her. She also currently has prints available for $10-$20 depending on the size.
As far as what Tobon hopes the Lake Nona community takes from her work, she cites this: “I just want people to enjoy it aesthetically and interpret it how they see fit. There is no singular or correct interpretation.