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An art piece called "Oryx" made in August 2022, by local artist Beedallo. Photo courtesy of Beedallo.

Local artist flirts with youth, violence and life in the Southwest through cartoon

The violence of local artist Beedallo’s work is often offset by her charming illustrative style. In her art, adolescents and animals bleed from wounds both seen and unseen: knives, whips, fire and worms. Her work, with its clean primary colors and sharp geometric style, adorns the walls of the Lapis Room art gallery in Old Town, establishing it as part of the contemporary Southwestern movement, yet bold and original of its own.

Beedallo grew up surrounded by art with numerous Southwestern-style artisans on her mother’s side. She inherited a love for illustration from her mother, an illustrator herself, who taught her about art from a young age. Her primary interest, though, was cartoons.

“I always wanted to be a cartoonist. I would watch the ‘Fairly OddParents’ and try to draw the characters. I had some cousins who really liked ‘Dragon Ball Z.’ So, even though I didn't watch it, I would try to copy the way they would do it. It was all in an effort to be a cartoonist,” Beedallo said.

While she became interested in comic books and graphic novels as a teenager, Beedallo’s ultimate goal was always moving animation. Recently, however, she’s learned to appreciate comics as a medium of their own.

“(I’ve been) trying to look at comic books as something that's not just what you're making before you make the cartoon (or) because you can't make a cartoon. (I’ve been focusing on) making comic books and taking advantage of the medium. So I'm happy with both,” Beedallo said.

Beedallo, who received her bachelor’s in fine arts for illustration from the Southwest University of Art in 2018, creates her larger works of art, outside of comics, with epoxy, plywood and house paint, though for smaller pieces she often uses crayon and paper.

“My whole thing is I want to make it as cheap as possible,” Beedallo said.

Her childhood in Los Chavez — a farming town between Los Lunas and Belen — influences much of her work, including recurring images and themes of childhood, animal slaughter and death.

“There's a lot of recurring themes in my work like the slaughter of animals, because we grew up around farming stuff. Being around death — like recent death — was always a part of my life. And also being an angry little girl. It’s kind of channeling what was around me as a child that I need to revisit as an adult,” Beedallo said.

These themes of girlhood are reflected in her use of color, inspired by the primary colors on vintage toys as well as her own difficulties with vision.

“Seeing bright colors that are immediately readable and large is really important for me because that's what my eyes are most attracted to. The primary colors are basically something that a child would be able to see very easily,” Beedallo said.

Though much of her work concerns themes of childhood and reflection, she also works on commission, including previous collaborations with bands like Karen and Self-Neglect.

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“We started working with Beedallo in the spring of this year … (She) had participated in this year’s (Fun-A-Day Project at FourteenFifteen Gallery) and we were all very intrigued by her work. For us, she essentially stole the show, and I went back to look at her work several times,” Self-Neglect wrote to the Daily Lobo.

The band approached Beedallo with their new album “Miserable/Comfortable” and asked her for illustrations in her style based on her reaction to the album. The final product would become the album cover.

“Beedallo’s work is visceral yet soft and reminds me of that place in between daydreams as a child, the place where instinct and wonderment bubble furiously together and evoke the fresh and naked power of symbols,” Self-Neglect wrote in their announcement of the album.

Though her work reaches around the world through her collaborations with musical artists Pleasure and Benee, based out of Australia and New Zealand respectively, Beedallo wants to one day expand even further outside of New Mexico.

“I do think that I have this sort of duty to stay here. At least partially, I'd like to expand outward, but my work is contemporary Southwestern because it's from here. If possible I'd like to move out, but if I'm staying here, then I'm staying here. I’m proud of the work I’ve done here. If I never branch out, then it’s not too big of a deal for me,” Beedallo said.

Beedallo’s work can be found on her Instagram, with work currently showing at the Lapis Room and A. Hurd Gallery. In May, she will open a new solo show at the Lapis Room.

Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @spenserwillden

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