Hello, ArtSalsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo, amigos! I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the holiday than to give you guys a chance to win beautiful salsa art from our newest sponsor, ArtSalsa! Before I get into the nitty-gritty contest details, I'd like to introduce you to woman behind the magic, Alla Gerzon.

Alla Gerzon, ArtSalsa
Alla and I met dancing (hard to believe since she paints SALSA art, right?) back in 2008. I knew what she could do on the dance floor, but had NO idea what she could do with a paintbrush! Wow.

I remember when I first saw her artwork featured at the New York International Salsa Congress, I was completely blown away! The colors, content and character in those paintings touched me in a way that I can't describe. I was so proud that my friend was so tremendously talented and able to beautifully capture the passion that we all shared for dancing in her paintings.

In all the years I've known her, I've never had the opportunity to ask her how she started incorporating her passion for dance in her paintings, so I'm very excited about this little Q&A. Let's go!

Me: What got you into painting salsa art?

Alla: I got into painting salsa art because when I became passionate about salsa dancing, I wanted something to decorate my walls to express that as well. There was just nothing that expressed the salsa scene in art! A little bit after I started to get serious about salsa, I started taking painting lessons as well. When I saw that there was nothing I liked for sale related to salsa in the art market, I decided to create it myself. From then on, I created ten dance paintings. I've continued to use dance as the main theme for my paintings during my art lessons throughout the years.

Salsa Y Guaguanco
Me: When did you decide to start selling your creations?

Alla: I decided to start selling them in 2006, two years after I started painting. I never got into art thinking I would sell any of it (I just wanted something for my walls), but as my collection grew and I got a lot of compliments on my work, people suggested I should sell them. I didn't want to part with any of my original creations, so I decided to make reproductions for people who were passionate about salsa dancing to buy and decorate their homes, too. I started off selling giclees which I found to be the next best thing to the original. Over the years, I have added new formats for the artwork so that it could be affordable for anyone. 

Me:  What are your biggest influences?

Alla: My biggest influence has been my art teacher, an amazing 83-year old Russian artist. I have been taking (and continue to take) art lessons with him since 2004. He likes to paint very colorful paintings which is where I get my love of color. For "famous" influences, I always look at great French impressionists like Monet, Renoir, Degas and Van Gogh for color ideas. Lately, I have been looking at work by Klimt and Chagall for inspiration.

I usually get my inspiration from browsing pictures or even from taking them myself. When brainstorming ideas for a new painting, I try to find a photo I like. If I like the movement in the photo, I try to piece it with other photos I like and invent backgrounds for them until I like the composition. There is actually a lot of work to do before starting a painting, such as figuring out the composition and color. Once you have that, it's just a matter of putting your vision onto the canvas.

Me: Which are your favorite paintings from your collection? 

Alla: It's hard to pick a favorite painting because they are all my babies, but I would say the ones that transport to another place and make me feel that I'm there are Tango Cafe, Noche de Salsa and Smooth Salsa.

Salsa de Los Perros
Me: Do you only paint dance scenes?

Alla: Not at all! I started off painting dance scenes, but I have ventured into all types of themes. I'm fascinated with the human form! I just finished a collection I call the Four Seasons composed of four paintings. It depicts female nudes and each painting relates to a season, which is expressed in the environment and her expression. I'm trying to learn as much as I can, in all mediums I can get my hands on. My favorite is oil painting because it is so flexible.

Me: How can our readers order from ArtSalsa?


I love that girl and hopefully you do, too! If you're not convinced about how awesome she is, maybe this will help...she's giving away one of her paintings to a lucky reader! That's right, compaƱeros! You can salsify your own walls in your own home with one of Miss Alla's spectacular creations. All you have to do is comment to win! We're running this contest until 11:59pm, Tuesday, May 10th and will announce the winner the next day. Good luck, people!


Melissa Lopez said... May 6, 2011 at 11:52 AM

This is great. Dance truly does inspire so many creative and beautiful things. Keep up the great work!

Yvonne said... May 6, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Alla, your artwork is beautiful. You're gonna have to paint a picture for me of Danielle and Wil dancing in their wedding attire. That would be so cool.

Danfredo Photos + Films said... May 6, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Mom, I LOVE what you wrote! An Alla original of my Love Cub and me would be an AMAZING wedding gift! LMAO

Yvonne said... May 6, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Sorry but that gift will be for me. Mine, mine all mine. LOL

  said... May 7, 2011 at 6:32 AM

I have no art in my life....I need thissss!!!

Alex Fernandez said... May 10, 2011 at 10:09 AM

The artwork is very awesome! It would look very nice in our room

Unknown said... May 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM

These paintings are great! It would definitely look nice on one of my walls. Pick meeee Pick meeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! I am artistic tooooo ;) lol

Bobby said... May 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM

All of those pieces are beautiful! If only I knew what medium they were in. I'm assuming oil paint, though =P

Alla said... May 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Yes, original is in oil paint! Thanks all for the lovely comments.
Yvonne, you can contact me when you have a chance through FB or my website artsalsa.com and we can discuss the proposed painting :)

Linnette said... May 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

This will be an awesome gift for my poppadiddypop!

L.S. said... May 10, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Art and Salsa...soooo meeeeee!!! :)

Alla Vilnyanskaya said... May 10, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Thanks Alla for making such beautiful art

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