‘The Studio is My Church’ by Dora De Larios @ Craig Kull Gallery

January 17, 2019

The recently deceased Dora De Larios brought a warm positivity to the damp evening opening at the Craig Kull Gallery at the Bergamot Station (at least by Los Angeles standards). Her mirthful ink works were reminiscent of children’s illustrations, themselves generally an uplifting work to bring about a sense of wonder to a child’s imagination. Curious, it is, how often the metamorphosis into adulthood by the well-nurtured is characterized by a dramatic realization that the world is not a cheery dream place on the road to Providence; if such a child is blessed with the cognizance of such. Nevertheless, Ms. De Larios exhibits a strong definition of playfulness with reality.


Her Untitled portraiture of a friendly feline is undoubtedly a whimsical caricature of a normal-day happen stance. What would otherwise be the illustration of a common and therefore boring nocturnal gesture is brought into a warm movement of creative expressionism. We clearly see a genetical linkage to the liberation of the artist’s mind from realism brought by the Modernists a la Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 and Picasso’s Cubism. It’s not unwelcoming, in other words, for us to experience the representation of cat paws as floating orbs, nor are we dissatisfied with the lack of perspective with the cat on the carpet.


But Ms. De Larios further extends the gains from 20th century fine artistry with the interpersonal warmth of femininity. She clearly is not stern about her methodology. Were we to suggest her aim, it would be to please. And she does so with her colorful figurative expressions, which do not implore the subjective viewer to apply the brain to digest the work. It’s delightfulness to the eyes is well apparent, and it’s no small feat to be so elegant with the composition subject yet achieve such profound happiness. Ms. De Larios perhaps tells us it’s the little things in life that make it worth living.


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