Review: Renata Morales at KesselsKramer Gallery


For her Los Angeles debut, Mexico City-born and Montreal-based fashion designer and artist Renata Morales has papered the walls at KesselsKramer Gallery with silkscreens, drawings in crayon and marker and mixed-media painted collages, some of them framed and glazed. The chaotic, jam-packed style might be called “extreme doodling.”

Best known for dressing the Canadian indie-rock band Arcade Fire (“Funeral,” “Cold Wind”), Morales brings a somber yet manic energy to her graphic work, collectively titled “Forever (Carnage).” Palm trees as jagged as knife-blades, dismantled dolls, blank eyeballs, severed limbs, dancing brains and elegant yet inscrutable calligraphy are among the graffiti images packaged in runny paint.
Sometimes the paint is gilded, sometimes it’s as crimson as fresh blood. A pair of enormous, hot-pink inflated beach balls adds a disconcerting element of backyard glee.

The show surfs through an avalanche of too-much-visual-information (a condition with which any viewer can relate) while searching for an elusive stability. Morales hits one note, but she hits it hard enough to have an impact.


KesselsKramer Gallery, 963 Chung King Road, Chinatown, through Sept. 1. Closed Sundays through Tuesdays.

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