This week, She and I by Nora Ayala, was on display in the Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery at Long Beach State University. The majority of her work is serigraphy, or screen printing, made with a lipstick mesh. She chose lipstick because it’s non toxic, and found significance in the motion of applying lipstick to a canvas. Since this collection deals with gender politics, it could be considered offensive to some viewers.


Ayala found inspiration for her canvases in intimacy. Just as lipstick is applied to lips, lips are applied to the body of a partner; hence, why she chose to use lipstick. The prints narrate a story of two becoming one through intimacy. With this in mind, the idea is to examine her work to decipher the poetic gestures between two lovers. Although, the topic can be controversial since it addresses sexuality, Ayala believes that, “Art gives people a voice, and people shouldn’t be sorry for their thoughts or what they believe in.”


For me personally, I think this display was a wonderful idea. It truly captured intimacy for what it truly is supposed to be; love. I also agreed with her standpoint on having a voice. I found inspiration in her collection as well as her ideas behind it. There really is an art behind human interaction, and to display the passion behind one of the most distinct human emotions, is just phenomenal.


More of Ayala’s work can be found at Greaterlamfa or at her Instagram page.