Italian artist Marie-Esther (aka Gaia) draws sensitive portraits of women interrupted by overlaying abstract images. Her women have a multi faceted quality which she literally peels back in layers, revealing their emotion underneath. She describes her subjects as “a sort of icon of rationality, the way I see it. Geometric, cold. The rationality we need when people, or even our emotions hurt us.” A self taught artist inspired by Italian classical drawings, her mixed media work is beautiful while a little rough around the edges. Her focus on figures most likely stems from her education in medical studies which requires skilled observation of the figure. Gaia’s “Transparency Series” featured below is focused on depicting her subjects as “see-through Chinese boxes”, tied up in knotted red string representing their complexity. This feeling of being entangled and restrained is combined with the feeling of losing control. Her young subjects experiencing love, sadness and hope for the first time struggle with the choice between experience and remaining secure.