About & News

Lori Nelson

Current & Upcoming Exhibitions

May 6, 2017, "Cryptotweens: Find My Friends" Solo Exhibition, Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles

Recent Press

Vice's The Creators ProjectSci-Fi Paintings Show How Strange Being a Tween Girl Is 

Flavorwire: Creepy-Sweet Paintings of Cryptid Tweens Exploring a Bizarre Coming-of-Age Universe


Hi-FructoseLori Nelson Paints a Magical World of Monstrous ‘Cryptotweens’

Sweet Article on Disinfo about Lori's latest monster work! Here!

Great Article in Beautiful Bizarre on Lori Nelson: Click Here!

Recent Work 

One humid summer day, as I was painting in my studio in Brooklyn, the Emergency Alert System kicked in.  A stuttering, belching alarm cut into the afternoon radio programming and I froze at the easel while my two kids started up from their reading/gaming on the sofa.  I turned up the radio; a funnel cloud had been spotted over Manhattan and we were being instructed to go underground.  Electrified, we grabbed our backpacks, shut off the power, and locked up. The air was yellow and thick in Brooklyn, bruised over the East River, charcoal over Manhattan and going into the subway was our best guess as to how to do this emergency.  We headed down into the York St. station, a fairly deep subway stop. My children and I took shelter in the subway for about ten minutes and then decided to just go on home.  We guessed we should watch the TV.

 No tornado touched down in New York City that day, only a vindictive rain, but as we had clambered down into the subway for safety, I thought about how like animals we are in a crisis, burrowing underground.  These thoughts were with me when we got home and watched the news about the nasty weather and failed tornado when an even more startling news item came up:  a real Yeti had been found in the South, its body preserved in a block of ice in somebody’s deepfreeze!  While I have never been one to dwell on the reality of the fantastic, I do consort with hopeful believers in our not-aloneness.  I suppose I have feared and suspected that it is true, that beasts live hidden among us, watching us, loving and hating us, opting, for personal reasons, not to make themselves known.  Was this man-beast population then to be finally exposed?  What then?  Would they assimilate and blend in with us?  Mate with us?  Would they be mistreated and discriminated against?  Would they be used as pets or for labor?  These questions were never answered because, like that summer twister, the Beast never really showed.  As the ice block in the deepfreeze slowly thawed over the period of two days, the hovering media watched the dark and beasty figure in its core grow clearer and clearer until at last a Yeti fiber emerged from the icy surface.  Acrylic.  The press cleared out, the believers nursed their wounds and outrage, and the Yeti-discoverers disappeared with the cash-advance for their book deal.

 The weather improved in the next couple of days, becoming crushingly sunny and bright in the city.  By most, the would-be tornado was forgotten and the Yeti dismissed. I however was left with a newly wakened and unsatisfied suspicion that there could be and are imminent storms and beasts awaiting us, just out of sight but somehow palpable. I became interested in the nature of the Beast.  Has the myth of the half-man-half-beast persisted because we have always all felt its undeniable presence on some level?  Where does the Beast dwell?  What does the Beast do for a living?  What does the Beast do for fun?  Most importantly, what is the Beast?  These are the questions that informed my work for the next while.  My conclusions are not scientific but they are, I feel, informative. I think I know now where the Beast lives and I think I understand better the essence of the Beast. The answer is both obvious and frightening because he does indeed inhabit our same space.

 The Beast is incredibly close.

Painting the door at Cotton Candy Machine Gallery, Brooklyn     Photo by Aviv Zucker