What Yayoi Kusama is to polka dots, Alia Penner is to multicolor anything. Not to oversimplify her talent, but everything she touches turns to rainbows. Or stripes or concentric squares or whatever else fits the surface.
In the time I’ve know her, Alia has painted on an old schoolbus as a background for an H&M campaign, created a teenage-girl’s-bedroom-set for a Vans event, flown to Paris to help create an installation at Colette, and designed a one-night environment at the Standard Hotel in LA (where she lives). Her graphic design is uniquely hers; a mixture of Peter Blake-meets-Haight Ashbury with beautiful, friendly hand type. Her non-commissioned art is currently (literally) going through a growth spurt: “It’s getting bigger and more abstract,” she explains, “And hopefully at some point I can fill up an entire room. No, make that a whole house.“
You know how, sometimes, when you’ve seen a really great movie, you keep thinking about it for a couple of days after the fact? That’s what happened to me when Alia walked in on the day I took her portrait.
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