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Carly Chaikin of ‘Mr. Robot’ on Painting as Meditation

“This dress is like a parachute if anyone wants to climb in,” says Carly Chaikin. Just moments before, she was rapping Drake lyrics with her eyes closed as a makeup artist touched up her face. She wears a billowing olive green dress before changing into her “painting clothes” — stained gray shorts and a holey T-shirt.
“So many of my paintings, people would be like, ‘What more do you have to do?’ But the smallest little things make all of the difference,” she says, adding subtle touches to her latest work — a closeup of her lips. “Technically, oil doesn’t dry for years, so you have to wait a lot because it will be too wet to work on it and it just gets muddy.”
Chaikin, known for her role as Darlene on “Mr. Robot,” has been painting for about a decade. She’s self-taught — “I’ve done figure drawing classes or whatever” — and had her first art show three years ago, in which she showcased about 40 works. “I sold all the ones that were under a thousand,” she says. “My dad has some and my boyfriend, but most of them are hanging in my apartment here [in New York] and

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