Juan Manuel Alonso
By Jonathan Vatner
Juan Manuel Alonso, Menswear Design and Marketing '81, painted a threestory mural for the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, California. His paintings of ecstatic dancers are inspired by Afro-Cubanmythology and images of Josephine Baker. In prior years, he designed for WilliWear and Nino Cerruti and had his own line at Bergdorf Goodman. He was featured in Desert Migration, a 2015 documentary about 13 longtime HIV survivors in Palm Springs. “I’m still here after cancer and three heart attacks and back operations,” he says. “My expiration date has not come.” Bailarina, acrylic on canvas, 60 by 48 inches. In a class at FIT, famed Tiffany jewelry designer Donald Claflin taught Alonso to paint trompe l’oeil jewels.