Brittanny and Aliya, 2021, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Artist.
Hear from the Artist
Hey everybody my name is Rebecca Box. This particular painting that you are looking at is of two women who are also gifted artists themselves. On the left is a woman named Brittanny Taylor, she is a wonderful photographer. On the right is Aliya Johnson, she’s a great decorator, a wellness practitioner, curates events, she has many talents.
At the point of painting this particular image I had met and become friendly with Aliya. She had posed for me three or four times. Aliya is a generous person, and a generous fan of mine and so she convinced her friend Brittanny to sit together. We talked about a lot of different poses and settings. It was Aliya’s idea to evoke the Frida Kahlo painting The Two Fridas, where she holds hands with herself.
I remember the two of them coming and telling them the sitting would be three hours and asking them if it would be awkward or uncomfortable to physically hold hands with each other for that long. Nope, they held hands the entire time and I think that sisterhood and that relationship comes through in the image, at least I hope it does.
Personally, I came back to making art in the last 5 years after a long hiatus for almost 20 years. I am still discovering what my art journey is going to be and where I am going to go. Right now, I paint people and sometimes places. I paint the people and places that I have a relationship with. Sometimes it’s my neighbors, someone I know through social media, local spots like my comic book store. I paint a lot of my neighborhood, I live in the North end of Newport. I know my community and my neighborhood won’t look the same in 10 years.
I am excited to see what’s next.