Inspiring and brilliant LA-based artist Deedee Cheriel is in the UK for the launch of her new exhibition Little Spirit And The Infinite Longing at the Pure Evil Gallery in London. We caught up with her to discuss her career, her blissful-sounding typical day and – of course – beauty. Read on…
Your art career has encompassed music and a movie before street art – can you tell us more?
I was in bands and making t-shirts and record covers for mine and other bands. The movie was kind of my farewell to playing music by writing about my crazy time doing it. I was already doing art – Shepard Fairey came to one of my shows and liked what I was doing, so he invited me to do a show at his gallery in LA, Subliminal Projects. His shows attract a lot of people, so it brought a lot of new attention to my work which I really appreciated. He does that for a lot of new artists which is very cool.
Is there a typical day at the “office” for you?
It starts with feeding our three weird dogs, then a walk with them through the hills of Los Angeles, and some phone calls to friends to discuss all our problems. Listening to some old archived shows of Jarvis Cocker’s BBC 6Music Sunday Service and then painting. My husband brings some of his vegetarian tacos, then I beg him for a foot rub and we watch Game of Thrones and fall asleep.
Your ‘shouting bear’ is so iconic now, where did that idea come from?
It comes from the Buddhist philosophy that to desire is to suffer. When I quit smoking I was miserable unless I was painting, so I started painting the bear over and over. That image seems to really resonate with a lot of people, perhaps because there’s a lot of suffering out there.
You’ve said that the other artists you find yourself surrounded by are men, why do you think there are less women in the same circles as you right now?
I think maybe there are less women because maybe there are so few role models in the art scene right now. I would definitely love to inspire some young women to begin making art.
What’s the inspiration behind your new London exhibition Little Spirit And The Infinite Longing?
The new work is about overcoming fear, ignoring false evidence and paying attention to your intuition.
What advice would you give to your younger self and what advice would she give you?
Stop worrying and enjoy the journey, even your mistakes. Ultimately it all makes you who you are and you learn from it. My younger self wouldn’t have listened and would have given me all sorts of advice.
What are your favourite things about being in the UK?
I lived in London for two years a while back. It’s changed quite a bit, the east side is really vibrant and reminds me of the east side of Los Angeles… But with curry instead of tacos.
Finally, what’s coming up for you in the future?
After London we’re going to India for a bit. Then I have a show in Los Angeles at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery and whatever Coates and Scarry have planned…
QUICKFIRE BEAUTY QUESTIONS:
Day-to-day beauty regime: Take a shower, try to eat relatively healthy, exercise and try to remind myself to be happy.
Biggest indulgence: Diptyque fig-scented body wash… And being half Indian helps.
Favourite recent discovery: Incense rose body oil from India.
Make-up bag essentials: MAC Lady Danger red lipstick and a green coconut Moon Juice.