Liberation, a duo art exhibition presented by two female artists will be opening in Los Angeles at the Bruce Lurie Gallery on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The exhibition comes from the perspective of the two women spanning technological and spiritual life in America circa 2018.

Iconic mixed-media artist, Karen Bystedt will debut select pieces from her new series, Texting, Sexting and Intimacy. This series is inspired by the upwardly trending topic of the day... social media APPs and internet “Millennial Dating.” Karen says, “Finding myself single again after a long, steady marriage (which was wonderful, but had come to an end), I decided I was ready to date. Two years later and with much trepidation, I began to explore the Dating App world. I had long heard of Tinder, and a friend recommended Bumble. Bumble was created by two women and requires women to ‘make the first move’. As foreign and scary as this initially was, I soon got the hang of it... and to be honest I found making the first move very empowering. For once the power shifted to my hands.” The works will be silk screen on plexi.

Photographer Scarlet Mann spent the last year traveling the United States in a Volkswagen Van with her husband and two boys. Mann will be showing select works from a series she created while on the road, America And I: A Conversation With Reality And The Elusive Dream. The series is a mix of still life documentation of America intermixed with self-portrait nudes in natural environments wearing a gas mask. The series is a sort of performance art piece. Mann says, “The shoot itself is an act of installation art. Observing the feeling I obtain while posing within the open space natural environment is liberating, yet there is a vulnerability. I feel small in the vast grandeur that surrounds me.” She adds, “Being nude, for me, is the most organic human state without all of the facades of social standards. It represents liberation, the feeling of complete freedom, and a void of rules and social expectations. It is the human form in it’s most raw, stripped down and real state.” The gas mask acts as an allegory to the toxic environment ever present in society with all of the hate, racism and bigotry. Mann says, “Sometimes I feel like I need to put on a gas mask, figuratively speaking, just to get through my day. And it’s a shame because of all of the beauty and potential of this country. The American Dream — What happened to it?”

Scarlet Mann is a fashion and fine art photographer living and working in Los Angeles. Mann is best known for her Collective Series in 2013 and 2014 LA Odyssey which she shot with two other photographers, Lily Flores and Serge Gill. Mann’s work has been represented by the Lurie Gallery in Los Angeles and the Zener Schon Gallery in San Francisco. She was a finalist in the Hellerau Portrait Competition in Dresden, Germany in 2015. Her works have sold at Art Basel Miami (Red Dot and Scope), the Aspen Art Fair, and the LA Art Show. A creator of many unique works, Karen Bystedt is well known for a series of photographs she took of Andy Warhol in the 80’s The Lost Warhols and for the conceptual collection she has created with contemporary artists such as Chris Brown and Speedy Graphito. The King Kollection series, a signature mixed-media art combining Bystedt's Warhol photographs with an iconic photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat taken by Brad Branson followed. Karen’s photographs are featured in the permanent collections of museums and foundations around the world, including The Andy Warhol Museum, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Norway, the Armenian Museum of Modern Art, and the Hearst Foundation. Bystedt currently has 2 murals in NYC in Harlem and SoHo as well as her Inclusion mural in the Arts District in DTLA.