RIP Nancy Riegelman

April is my birthday month, but death has been on my mind lately (RIP grandpa).

Last month, I wrote about PashaPasha dolls that inspired me to create the kind of art I create today, and you responded! So, I thought I would continue with sharing my inspirations and influences. As I started putting together my material for this post, to my great surprise and sadness, I found out the subject of this post had passed away - back in 2020.

The news hit me, in a way that was most unexpected and I sat there quietly for a while, with tears streaming down my face. RIP Nancy Riegelman, who taught me how to draw fashion figures, and shoes, and showed me what true elegance looks like.

First time I saw Nancy in class, she instantly captivated me. Everything about her was carefully and theatrically orchestrated to fit her narrative. She had ebony black hair pulled back into a tight bun. Her thick Egyptian lower eyeliner stood out so much that her red lipstick seemed tame. Her stick thin frame exaggerated by a custom ankle length dress so tight at the bottom that she could only take steps about half a foot at a time - on purpose. At the verge of breaking any time, her heart was vast for her students, I don’t know anyone who did not worship her after meeting her. She was special, and everyone knew it.

Being vulnerable and capable at the same time is the dichotomy that I explore in my art, and she is the perfect example of that. Now looking back, perhaps, she was my original muse.

Nancy, you are missed.

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