DATES: March 2nd – April 29th, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: March 2, 2018, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
What’s in a zip code? Melek Zertal’s early spring exhibition at Classic Cars West Gallery is an intimate documentation of just what can happen in a few square blocks. The artist’s half-year sojourn in the East Bay will culminate in this series of prints and comics recreating what the artist calls “a sour sweet promenade through Oakland streets. So many iconic buildings and signs, so many people walking past them, so many different stories.” The intertwining of feeling and place is a specialty of Zertal’s work, which conveys intimate moments of love and distraction in a few strokes of ink and gouache.
Moments of emotional upheaval are layered over the backdrop of a city alternately eerily still and in dusty, shifting turmoil. A greyhound station, a crumbling victorian, and a messy room create poignant triangulations of absence, presence and dissonance. When asked to elaborate on the connecting theme of each story, Zertal chose to focus on the “the sad romantic ones for now, for purely masochistic purposes”. And when such moments of pain are relayed with a heady, pleasing mix of realist linework and dream-like color, one can’t help but become a temporary mental resident of the 94612 … and a lifelong fan of Melek Zertal.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Melek Zertal is an Algerian artist based in Paris, France. She graduated from Les Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg in 2017, following a long line of illustrators bent in two scratching paper in dark rooms. The illustration and comic world being quite small in France, she moved to California to see a different scene, meet and work with local artists and printmakers, and try to establish a connection between the two countries. Not at all to escape cold winters.
Her drawings are regularly featured in the New-York Times.
For More Information: https://oaklandartmurmur.org/events/94612-new-works-by-melek-zertal/