Gold Queen at Karen Bystedt's studio in Down Town Los Angeles with Caligraphy by Raul.


Meditations with Andy materialize the mystical interchange of two mixed media artists, in visual conversation, offering emblematic refractions of their own individual experiences and daring narratives. The work represents the commitment to champion impulse and honor the powerful, directing way of instinct demonstrated by the two internationally acclaimed artists in the mixed media form.


Bystedt’s and Raul’s artistic paths crossed one day in Los Angeles; Raul had been brought to Bystedt’s studio by Destiny, a mutual friend. Upon seeing Bystedt’s Gold Queen, Raul felt compelled to decorate her radiant self-portrait with his own signature calligraphic symbols. Delighted by his artistry and the authenticity of his individualized style, Bystedt became transfixed by this piece that had taken new form as a fundamentally collaborative work. The two were soon determined to once again co-create, yet with defining intent; that commitment, the mutual interest of their respective creative souls, takes its ultimate shape in this series of 75 unique, collectible mixed media pieces. Bystedt invited Raul to join her immaterial factory, her The Lost Warhols collective, and interpret her iconic portrait of Andy Warhol, photographed at the recently late but forever great Interview Magazine in late 1982, in his own artistic language, one defined by dashing color schemes and a seemingly linguistic yet non verbal category of imagery. His crafted company of impassioned symbols echoes his diverse travels and externalizes his own internal dynamic meditations on his global experiences.


Under Bystedt’s consultation and direction with regard to selection of color and medium, Raul has allowed his fervent creativity and emotional torrents – most essentially, a cocktail of sensations - to pour freely, reifying in emblems and imploding in signs that lay upon this bewitching portrait of the iconic artist posing as a model, thus positioning himself in this particular image most vulnerably as the subject. Raul cites his voyages to Peru and India – his sensory experiences in and in between these distanced locations – as the source of his inspiration for this particular canon of calligraphy, colored in Bystedt’s preferred palette of pink, white and orange, designed to dramatically contrast her black and white photographs, and thus, through collaboration, vividly stamp an element of pop upon a portrait of its king.


Words by Samantha Michelle


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