'Relics and Warnings'
Michele Carlson’s ‘Relics and Warnings’ is an exploration through collaged drawings of the spaces between history, memory, loss, and collectivity. Carlson’s surrealistic images of raven-haired women adorned in fabrics rich with ethnic patterns acting out the iconography of the artist’s own secret mythologies are visually seductive, interpersonal tableaux. Drawn to the allegories of lost cities and the relationship those myths have on contemporary diasporic communities, Carlson's works symbolize imagined forgotten cultures of faraway homelands. Invoking graffiti art practices, hip hop culture, homespun altar memorials, and cautionary fables, Carlson’s work delves into the detritus of the collision of contradictory sociopolitical ideas, where the valorization of certain lifestyles and memories becomes blurred with its victims’ fates. Carlson holds an MFA in Printmaking, MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts, and she also holds her BFA in Printmaking and BAs in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and American History from the University of Washington.