Local artist flirts with youth, violence and life in the Southwest via cartoon

The violence of local artist Beedallo’s work is often offset by her charming illustrative style. In her art, adolescents and animals bleed from visible and invisible wounds: knives, whips, fire and worms. Her work, with its pure primary colors and sharp geometric style, graces the walls of the Old Town Lapis Room art gallery, making it part of the contemporary Southwestern movement, yet bold and original in its own right.

Beedallo grew up surrounded by art with numerous Southwestern-style artisans on her mother’s side. She inherited the love for illustration from her mother, herself an illustrator, who taught her about art from an early age. However, her main interest was in cartoons.

“I always wanted to be a cartoonist. I watched “Fairly OddParents” and tried to draw the characters. I had some cousins ​​who really liked ‘Dragon Ball Z’. So even if I didn’t look at it, I would try to copy as they would. It was all in an effort to be a cartoonist,” Beedallo said.

While she became interested in comic books and graphic novels as a teenager, Beedallo’s ultimate goal was always moving animation. Recently, however, she has learned to appreciate comics as a medium of her own.

“(I’ve) tried to look at comic books as something that’s not just what you make before you make the cartoon (or) because you can’t make a cartoon. (I focused on) making comic books and taking advantage of the medium. So I’m happy with both,” Beedallo said.

Beedallo, who received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts for illustration from Southwest University of Art in 2018, creates her larger works of art, outside comics, using epoxy, plywood, and house paint, although she often uses chalk and paper for smaller pieces.

“My whole thing is I want to make it as cheap as possible,” Beedallo said.

Her childhood in Los Chavez – a farming village between Los Lunas and Belen – influences much of her work, including recurring images and themes of childhood, animal slaughter and death.

“There are many recurring themes in my work, such as animal slaughter, because we grew up with agricultural stuff. Being near death – like recent death – has always been a part of my life. And also be an angry girl. It’s kind of a channeling of what was around me as a kid that I have to revisit as an adult,” Beedallo said.

These girlhood themes are reflected in her use of color, inspired by the primary colors on vintage toys and her own vision problems.

“It’s very important for me to see bright colors that are instantly legible and large, because that’s what attracts my eyes the most. The primary colors are basically something that a child could see very easily,” Beedallo said.

While much of her work deals with themes of childhood and reflection, she also works on commission, including previous collaborations with bands such as Karen and Self-Neglect.

“We started working with Beedallo in the spring of this year… (She) had participated in (Fun-A-Day Project at FourteenFifteen Gallery) this year and we were all very intrigued by her work. She essentially stole the show for us, and I went back several times to look at her work,” Self-Neglect wrote to the Daily Lobo.

The band approached Beedallo with their new album “Miserable/Comfortable” and asked her for illustrations in her style based on her reaction to the album. The final product would be the album cover.

Deep-seated yet soft, Beedallo’s work reminds me of that place between daydreaming as a child, the place where instinct and wonder fuse furiously, evoking the fresh and naked power of symbols,” wrote Self-Neglect in their announcement of the album.

While her work reaches the world through her collaborations with music artists Pleasure and Benee, based in Australia and New Zealand respectively, Beedallo plans to expand beyond New Mexico one day.

“I really think I have such a duty to stay here. At least in part I would like to expand outwards, but my work is contemporary Southwest because it comes from here. If it’s possible, I’d like to move, but if I stay here, I’ll stay here. I am proud of the work I have done here. If I never branch out, then it’s not such a big deal for me,” Beedallo said.

Beedallo’s work can be found on her Instagram, with work currently on display in the Lapis Room and A. Hurd Gallery. In May she opens a new solo show in the Lapis Room.

Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. You can contact him at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @spenserwillden

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