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Kellesimone Waits’ New Exhibit ‘Transmutation’ At Project Gallery


Kellesimone Waits


Just like Neil Young’s daughter, Kellesimone Waits, yes Tom Waits’ daughter, is an artist and she had a new exhibit opening at Project Gallery in Chinatown, downtown Los Angeles. ‘Transmutation’ is a series of crayon portraits of young women with totem-like animals, and if most of the women are left unfinished, the animals – swan, bear, lion, donkey, frog, fawn, and a lot of crows, in the background or nesting in the women’s throats or faces – are represented in colorful gouache. Since the exhibit is called ‘Transmutation’, there must be something symbolic going on there.

There also were two larger colorful paintings and just when I was taking pictures, a loud woman with a smoke-a-pack-a-day raucous voice entered the room saying ‘Alright, alright’… Could it be Kellesimone Waits, I asked myself? She certainly was a woman with a voice worthy of a Waits progeny, I thought about it for a few minutes as she was posing in front of the paintings, but she was talking too loud and seemed too confident to be the author of these paintings, and she appeared not at all like the starry-eyes girls of the paintings. It turned out that the loud woman was not the daughter and Kellesimone was a much more discreet dark hair young woman, wearing high heels and black from head to toes. She looked shy and fragile, somewhat ready to be absorbed by one of her bright colored paintings.

She seems to draw her inspiration from mythology, fantasy or fairy tales and I could see her paintings used as illustrations for children’s books. This is not surprising at all because she has said to be an avid reader and to be heavily influenced by diverse literary sources, as well as by places and people she’s met along the way. Her work is a bit strange and mysterious but somewhat sweet too, blending myths, dreams, and real life… and no I didn’t see Tom, may be it’s better this way since I may have had a heart attack.












More pictures here.

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