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Life's Flavor

Brazilian painter Nina Pandolfo's frolicking girls take center stage in her first solo show

by Wendy Dembo in Culture on 22 March 2010

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Currently on display at L.A.'s Carmichael Gallery, Nina Pandolfo's "Life's Flavor" marks the first solo show for the successful contemporary street artist. Known for depicting wide-eyed, stocking-clad girls, the Brazilian explains that the title of the show reflects her view on life, "sometimes it is sweet and some times it is spicy and sometimes a combination of the two."

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Sculptures and paintings of the girls, often wearing little more than Brazilian-cut underwear and knee-highs, with their cute kitties, dolls, toys, jelly beans and hot peppers float and fly through the gallery space. Pandolfo described to CH how she purposefully sequenced four paintings together to tell the story of a special world where "everything is possible—it can even rain fish!"

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In the first piece a girl looks out of a cuckoo clock window as she eats red hot chili peppers with little fairies hovering, while in the next, another girl falls downward surrounded by dolls, cats and fairies as she tries to catch the cuckoo clock. Following that, a canvas shows two girls lying on a cushion eating candy, watching as the second girl falls past them. The last painting depicts two girls getting dolled-up with some familiar socks peeking out from the edge.

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Seeing Pandolfo's work in person reveals many little details and textures that don't show up in photos. Using spray paint as a base, she creates richly-detailed images that have the effect of water colors, pencils, glitter, jewelry and even appliqué—seriously magical art.

Life's Flavor runs through 18 April 2010.

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