Vladimir M. Baptiste is a passionate artist whose paintings practically ooze with emotion. He is also my Facebook friend 🙂  He’d read my last post on Chopin and was kind (and real enough) to share his thoughts with me. We spoke briefly on our favorite Chopin selections and he even ended up recommending a violinist for me to listen to. The one thing Vladimir never mentioned was that he is an artist himself. What I admire most is where his inspiration comes from and his willingness to share those details.

     The scariest thing about being an artist, to me, is that your art speaks, but it never explains. For this reason, I’d like to include  Vladimir’s  own words in explaining his artistry and the purpose behind it:
I picked up art back in 2008 to cope with some intense suppressed emotions thatIi had. I know it might sound like a repetition of the same thing that I wrote about myself in the passed competitions…but that’s the source of what drives my creativity. Those suppressed emotions are the same that we all deal with in our daily lives. I’m sure some people can cognate some of my experiences with theirs, when I paint a picture of my love, heartaches, sickness, (re)birth, death which gives us a purpose for living. Exempting those that were dealt a bad deck of cards in life, God knows this world isn’t for the distracted and aimless mind.

I want to keep exploring this blessed gift that God has giving me. I remember a friend of mine who wanted to deal with a very bad break up she was going though, we all have had our hearts broken once or numerous times and know the excruciating pain that comes with it; While she was explaining her story to me she inspired on of the artwork below that i painted of her with a broken heart on a plate.

Basically, we all are conscious beautiful statues that over the years life’s obstacles put cracks on our mental, and physical being. For me, and I hope to others ART comes in and fill that void. – Vladimir M. Baptiste

        Each brush stroke is soaked in emotion. As I looked through  Vladimir’s work, it felt like with every piece, you could not only feel what the subject was feeling, but what he was feeling while painting it. The painting above, with the woman with the heart on the plate, made me stop immediately. Vladimir explains that the piece was inspired by stories of heartbreak from his friend. Everyone can relate to heartbreak, but this representation was so brutally honest; there is a heart broken, and seems she has done this to herself. The woman holds a knife behind her back and gazes directly at the audience, as if to say, “You understand. And if you don’t, you soon will.” Regardless of this devilish undertone,  she remains beautiful, and that’s what I love the most: how beautiful he makes his women –although ordinary women and not the socially defined representation of beauty. 
       Whether portrait or photo, Vladimir’s eye always portrays a beautiful point of view. It is as if he is always gazing at the beauty of the subject rather than the subject itself.  Noting I’m no professional art critic, the only word I can use to describe is brushstroke is fluid and carefree. His moving lines give all of his images a life-like quality although the images are certainly drawn. It’s like… the prettiest anime.
                
 
    The photos and paintings featuring balls of light, as I like to call them, emit a gold-like aura to me. Perhaps someone else would see something else, but that is the light. The images below feel so open. It is as if they are drawn from inside the valley of darkness, looking out. These are those “aha” moments in life; moments when you know it is almost over. 

 

     The final photo seems we’ve finally escaped the wilderness.  Still, you can see the crack of light in the horizon. To me, this seems to say, no matter how perfect we are or how far we’ve come, there is always another step we can take. Additionally, it makes me grant reverence in knowing that no matter what I do or how great I might become as a person, I must always understand that the greatness of God outweighs mine. Personally, I see how this can be overwhelming to submit to –because it was overwhelming for me to submit to –but Vladamir’s photo illustrates how beautiful that submission can be. Sometimes, we are simply called to submit to whatever is in our hearts, and in our hearts is where true art resides. I hope whoever views Vladimir’s arts can see something similar to what I have and are “encouraged… to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)”
Beautiful work, Vladimir. 
Thank you for sharing & for the honor to review. 

ELLA