The Other Lover, a multimedia image by Jaime "Jay" Pacena II, crystalized around the narrative of a girl stoic in mien and disposition. Her story is clear in Pacena's mind, as clear as his digitally composed portrait of her sitting ramrod straight in a bright-colored eddy of three-dimensional chevrons. Although the work is undoubtedly contemporary, the position and posture of the girl is tinged by the dignified classicism of the Renaissance period.
Pacena's subject is neither mistress nor kept woman. She stares at the horizon, a paragon of strength and independence holding on to memories as tightly as she holds on to the handkerchief and train ticket she has in her hands. A monochrome picture of calm, she possesses the quiet resolve of one who has made an irrevocable decision.
The piece plays around with the idea of soul mates meeting at the wrong time and place, of choices and goodbyes, of journeys that must be made for the self.
Unlike previous works, Pacena makes a conscious effort to do no damage to his subject's face. Despite her vacant stare, the girl depicted on this canvas is not a victim of sad circumstances. Her imperturbable expression—a blank, faraway look— is central to The Other Lover's message, summarized by the artist's insertion of the word "bliss" (often preceded by "solitary") and by the flourishes of turquoise blue and yellow he uses as embellishment.
Hearts break, parted lovers move on. We say goodbye knowing that every end is a beginning.
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