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I Left My Eyes in Malaga.
(Not the best photo, I know, but this experience was too enthralling to sit filed away, unshared.) Down one of Malaga's winding alleyways dotted with street vendors, artists, and the occasional gelato stand, you might see a balcony adorned with the most interesting abstract art. If you see this balcony and the door below is open, creep up the narrow stairway, feeling all the while like the clumsiest of intruders, and enter the tiniest art gallery you may have ever seen. A street artist had invited us to the loft, and our original trepidation was quickly wiped away when we found ourselves inside the cramped room surrounded by a hodgepodge of tilting, colorful canvases, sculptures, and lounging artists. Among them was Valerio Arduino Gentile, an Italian artist known for his Da Vinci-esque works. He excitedly explained that he was drawing womens' eyes for an unlikely art project and asked if we'd be willing to pose. Well. Ask non-models like myself and my sister-in-law to model, and we will laugh in your face before finding ourselves awkwardly standing on a balcony trying to "look natural." We shared many laughs, but eventually our eyes, laugh lines and all, were captured on paper by the hands of an artist. Welcomed inside this tiny colony nestled within one of the many buildings aligning Malaga's bustling veins, we felt at home with our new best friends for the day -- a day that, as travel often goes, was all too short. I wonder where our eyes are now.
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