If you've never seen the artwork of digital artist Chiara Bautista a.k.a Milk, at first it could be quite difficult to describe due to the immense complexity of its subject matter. Her haunting and resoundingly beautiful imagery invokes and feeds from a multitude of emotions and states of being, none more evocative than love and its great narrative distance from reality.
The 38 year old's artwork is crammed with homages to fairy tales, biblical imagery, music and the personification of heartache. They burst with a stark verticality which acts as the perfect springboard for her ethereal and beleaguered shades to leap out of frame, hearts on sleeves, and discuss with us the crush and the colossal, fantastical nature of love. You can almost feel her opening her chest, exposing her wary heart for all of us to ponder.
Bautista's influence echoes her own elusive nature and makes her vision even more interesting. She is embroiled in an online relationship with her muse Ilka, whom she has never met in the real world (as far as I know) and possibly may never.
The hurt that the lovers' distances from each other provides fully drives Bautista's exploration into the beautiful defeat of love. The dissonant ecstasy of a love you cannot touch. The lovers' conversations are open and plain to see. Doesn't it almost feel voyeuristic, watching their act play out, without the intrinsic knowledge of the two parties? Still we are picked up and swept along on their timeless romantic voyage.
You could look at these images and be shocked by how much it alludes to death, especially in the images where Bautista's characters are riddled with arrows, or hanging themselves with pink ribbon...
...But with all of the childlike imagery, ranging from angelic teddy bears and puppies with halos, I believe that Bautista is alluding to the death of the inner child and the birth of the relentless dreamer, the lover and the knowledge that love is the most powerful force in the universe and we are its keepers.
Have a look at more of her wonderful work and see what you can decipher!
Utterly beautiful and fascinating work, don't you agree? If you like what you see, head to her Facebook page for more art and to give a few plaudits.
(Sources: Chiara Bautista via Facebook, Beautiful Bizarre)