Malena on Paper

We’re back on track

I recently joined a Funky Gospel Choir called Inside Voices Paris (which I’ll tell you more about in the next few weeks). There, I had the pleasure to meet so many great singers including our special guest on the JemsWrite shoooow: Malena !

More seriously, if you read my articles since Day 1, you know I love art. The very first article I published here, the essence of this website’s existence revolve around Dali’s Woman Desk. I was mesmerized by the image given to women through this picture. Although I’m no expert, I appreciate how Art gives us the ability to create deep and complex emotions inside each of us.

So here it goes my dear readers! JW is back on track and we’re starting 2020 with Malena on Paper, the pen behind fierce women with messy feelings.

JW: Hello Malena! We both know each other and obviously I know your real name is J***😜, so first question is, why Malena ?

Malena: I chose Malena as my stage name when I started singing, ten years ago. At the time, I used to do little jazz and soul concerts in bars and small venues with a band. Malena” is the title of a very famous Argentinian tango song. The song is actually about a singer 🙂

Malena canta el tango como ninguna / y en cada verso pone su corazon...

JW: While scrolling through each of your pieces, we can see there’s a strong focus on women. And again, because I know you, I can see that most of them share your facial traits. Would you say that you represent yourself in order to express your feelings ?

Malena: Yes, totally. Each drawing is a self-portrait in some way. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. I can’t really help it, I’m always drawing different versions of myself. I guess it’s because I draw my own feelings on paper, in order to understand and process them better. I also feel like I am always changing and discovering new things about myself, and doing self portraits is a way to channel that.

JW: I also find a funny resemblance of style with Frida Kahlo, would you say she is an inspiration of yours?

Malena: I’ve always loved Frida, so I cannot deny the influence. I feel like she used her art to express all the pain she suffered and made it beautiful. Her self-portraits are so raw and moving, it’s like looking directly into her soul. I am inspired by her authenticity, she was unapologetically herself. She embodies female vulnerability and strength, I’ve always found her fascinating.

Malena El Desierto
El Desierto
Frida Khalo The broken Column
The Broken Column
Frida Khalo

Music, feminism and emotions, that’s where Malena’s Artwork takes its form. Truly authentic to herself, the artist shows us a beautiful way to reflect on ourselves during a time where most of us are isolated. Indeed, when our daily routines are crushed by the obligation to stay home, isn’t it a great time to reconsider who we are and the path we took to get there? Are we the person we always wanted to be? And if these feelings are too strong to handle, how about channeling them into one of your passion, just like Malena?

Let’s get a little deeper in her mind with my 3 favorite drawings of hers:

After a 10-year-break without touching a pencil, “El Desierto”, a song by Lhasa De Sela, brought back Malena on her feet. Her drawing, sharing the same title as the song, is a reminder of her strength when she was at her lowest point : lost & drained.

“No man is big enough for my arms” by Ibeyi the French/Cuban twins, also the title of the adjacent picture. This time, disappointed by a man and not wanting to give in to moaning and self-pitying, the artist felt like sketching an empowering portrait. The goal was to reclaim her own power & celebrate her femininity.

Last but not least, “Mutate”. Yes, it’s also a song title/drawing title by Jeanne Added. I think its my favorite. You can see so much sensitivity emanating from the colours and shapes. “The message of this piece is, even when we are hurting and struggling, we are mutating, becoming a better version of ourselves. It was about recognizing that I had come a long way. We all did.”

Interested in Malena’s Artwork?

Follow her on Instagram and don’t forget to slide in her DM to get your own piece of art for only 10!

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