In her fourth exhibition at Merry Karnowsky Gallery, LA-based Deedee Cheriel, transforms
personal narrative into folklore through an amalgamation of influences: punk, feminism,
naturalism, East Indian art, and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Although whimsical at
times, this body of work tackles profound dichotomies between discomfort and compassion, yearning and love. As Deedee describes, the work exemplefies “the tedious dramas of every
day life ... wanting something that is unattainable, living with the illness of a loved one, trying to connect with girlfriends of different racial and social standings” -- situations that contain the complexities inherent in human empathy.
Bringing her dark fairytale worlds to the Los Angeles art scene, Dutch artist Femke Hiemstra
strays away from the so-called modern world the masses dwell in. Expressed on everything from
old book covers and paper wrappers to antique wood panels, Femke's mythical visions of nature and innocence transform ordinary surfaces into bejewled visual narratives. Fruitful knowledge of
the noir of pop-culture and child-like fantasy creates a universe 'far, far away'. Political theories are discarded and reborn in accordance to Femke’s boastful use of color and perspective, measured
by a unique visual depth. Luscious and dark, endearing and enchanting, the art of Femke sparks the viewer to write their own endings to the chapters of her artistic stories.
Mel Kadel lives and works in Los Angeles in a log cabin off the 5 Freeway. She is not only inspired by her chaparral surroundings, but is also reliant upon the weather conditions they provide to stain the paper on which she works. Unpredictable rainstorms and heat waves compelled Mel to make half of her 21 pieces in this exhibition on pristine white paper, while creating the rest in her signature stained-paper style. Upon these surfaces, Mel’s familiar intricate line work -- entanglement of figures, flowers, fabric, vines, and creatures - combine with a complex sense of structure and patterning. The results convey harmony and flow tinged with struggle and restraint. Colors both rich and romantic add to the hypnotic allure of Kadel's fascinating world.