couple of weeks ago we headed on down to the NELA artwalk (now that’s North East Los Angeles, often referred to as Highland Park area) to check out a few spaces. We started out at our friend Carol Es’ little studio Moppet, which I had embarrassingly not yet visited.
We got there early, and it was just her hanging out with some cookies and her artwork. She had renovated the space herself, and it sported a sweet stained concrete floor showing off all the hard use the space has gotten under its previous owners. (Architects are suckers for well worn concrete for some reason.) While we chatted, a large gang of cyclists swarmed the place, eating all the cookies and drinking most of the water as they took a cursory look around the place.
Michele and I have known Carol’s work for quite some years now, and I have been interested in its evolution since we got to know her. I think the first show I saw of hers was at Highways in Santa Monica, not sure how many years back. Those were collage and paint works focused on the forms of clothing pattern-making. Seemingly minimal from a distance, they turned into multilayered objects when viewed more closely – I remember one one in particular where the central shape was created from hundreds (at least) of tiny cut out paper strips.
So now her work has taken these shapes and forms (themselves dredged up from childhood experience working in sweatshops) and united them with illustrated moments and scenes from her life, dreams, and dysfunctional family. So, they get pretty personal, but retain a sense of humor and accessibility that keep the viewer from feeling they are invading on someones privacy. On the contrary, they drag you right into her life and experiences and give you some pretty bare, unconnected snippets of reality. Here are some of the works she had on view:
(you can read more from her on her own blog here.)
PS. The illustrated letter at the beginning of the post there is from Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische. I think I will use them often.