Friday, July 17, 2009

Mel Kadel Drawings and Prints

Mel Kadel's prints are like a four-way love child between M.C. Escher, Dr. Seuss, Salvador Dali, and that dream you had last night that you can't quite get a grip on. The first thing I noticed about them were the strong repeated graphic elements and slowly evolving "this-into-that" theme throughout the work. This is one of the many pieces with the Escher-like quality:

Backdrop of Angels

But then the shapes and organic elements of several pieces began to remind me of some of Dr. Seuss's non-child-oriented pieces. Take a look at the colors and swirling, wandering linework in Foot Bath

and Break Out:

One thing that most of his pieces have in common is a sense of weight and heaviness,a struggle that is almost unbearable to the figures. It's this psychological and subconcious effect on the viewer that reminded me of the surrealists, Dali in particular. Check out Falling in Line.

The artist is really playing with form and the figure, but doesn't forget his material--I love in the upper right hand corner where some of the little people look like they are almost trying to escape. They don't only rebel against falling into the "correct" shape provided for them, they want to rebel right off the page! Or are they trying to break into the picture?? This one makes me feel similarly uneasy, for obvious reasons:

It's Personal

Worth looking at, no? The one thing I wish was available on the site is more of a bio--who are you Mel? Also it would be great to be able to sign up somewhere to be notified of new shows...these are some pieces I would like to look at in person for the textural quality of the stained paper. Check it out at

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