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Motherhood inspires creator to explore love & opposites

Who: Los Angeles-based artist Carlee Fernandez.

What she’s known for: Surreal works that are deeply nostalgic at their roots in mediums that include video, photography, sculpture and sometimes taxidermy, the latter not as a nod to death but as a celebration of life. Motherhood and relationships are a recurrent theme. Her works are part of the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Los Angeles County Art Museum of Art; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; and San Jose Museum of Art.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Where does the family unit end and the individual begin?”[/pullquote]

In her latest show at ACME Gallery, an archival pigment print on rag paper titled Let This Cup Pass From Us portrays four pairs of exposed human legs surfacing from a large metal mug that’s engraved with a family tree. The body parts represent the artist, her husband and the couple’s two children.

Of the image, Los Angeles Times art critic Sharon Mizota posits: “Where does the family unit end and the individual begin? Fernandez uses the bodies of her own family to explore a phenomenon experienced by many mothers: the flickering of the self in the slipstream of generations.”

What’s being said about her: About Fernandez’s show titled “According to Xavier” (2010) at ACME Gallery, critic Leah Ollman of Art in America describes her work as abounding in beauty and tenderness that also verges on the grotesque — as it’s common in the artist’s aesthetic.

“Fernandez displays earnest, appealing expressions for the camera, confidently harnessing multiple visual and visceral effects, much as she does with more oblique and impersonal means in her sculptures.”

Image: Courtesy of the artist. Let This Cup Pass From Us, archival pigment print on rag paper, 2014.