Tangled Up In Blue: The Art of Mel Kadel

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I recently discovered the dreamy, swirling artwork of Los Angeles-based artist Mel Kagel and I was immediately drawn to the organic colors, forms and movement of her work, as well as her use of repeated graphic elements and slowly revolving themes of one thing leading into another.

Dream A SceneThere’s a lot of M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali and other surrealist influences at work here, but oddly, I could find very little biographic information on her. In this case, I’ll use the bio I found on her website, which you should check out after viewing the gallery that follows the jump.

“Mel Kadel is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. After living in New York for a few years, she moved to Los Angeles where she now resides in a log cabin by the 5 Freeway with her partner, artist Travis Millard. She works using coffee-stained paper, micron .005 pens, hand mixed ink wash, pencil, and blades to create carefully detailed and layered drawings of childlike characters exploring, opening up, and overcoming peril with fierce determination.”

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About Stephen Kelly Creative

Hi, I'm Stephen Kelly, a writer, editor, photographer and graphic designer living in beautiful San Francisco, CA, USA. Amongst the things I love are writing, photography, movies, music, fitness, travel, Batman, all things Australian, food and fun, all of which I hope to reflect in this here blog. Welcome aboard ... now let's get busy!
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17 Responses to Tangled Up In Blue: The Art of Mel Kadel

  1. Jo Bryant says:

    really interesting artwork

  2. It’s funny, so many of the female figures in the paintings look alike, that I had assumed it was a sort of self-portrait, or self-reference at least. Then, in Mel’s picture, one sees a strawberry blonde with an assured smile and a secure bearing, and one is unable to make an immediate connection between the at-risk and put-upon figures in the paintings and the controlled visual persona of the artist. Not that one can judge from appearances, but now I wonder what the female figures refer to, or whom….

  3. Angeline M says:

    I really like her work. As shadowoperator notes, all the female figures appear to be the same “person”, which makes the works even more interesting to try to interpret. The artist has a wonderful imagination and creative mind.

  4. restlessjo says:

    You do find some amazing “creatives”, Stephen! I rushed past this in a hurry earlier on but knew I would come back for a closer look. Such a distinctive style 🙂

  5. ilargia64 says:

    I like it!!! At the beginning I was not sure about it, but then I review it…And I went to her webpage…Love her work for books and for Brushfire records…

    • Hi Ilargia … and welcome back. I’m with you … at first I wasn’t sure if I was connecting with her work, but further analysis really drew me in. glad you visited her website. this is just a small representation of her immense talent.

  6. ilargia64 says:

    Sorry…”I reviewed…!!!! ” (I hate this computer! )

  7. Madhu says:

    I love it too Stephen. The colours and patterns in the background of all the paintings remind me of block prints used in Indian fabric! And the figures convey a tension that is intriguing as well, apart from the similarity of the female figures.

    • Hi Madhu … I totally agree! I also think that are some strong Aztec influences going here, too. This is just a small selection of her work, so visit her website to see the full scope of her talents. It’s pretty amazing.

  8. Ana Jain says:

    v evolved art. v inspiring too. beautifully chosen earthy palette and brilliant patterns, can see much hard work behind. loved it!

  9. Alexandra says:

    very interesting… especially the combination of so many different patterns… the subdued colors and the flying people remind me of Chagall’s work… love the Tears image, very emotive…

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