Tama Distler

Artist + Tama Distler

To most people, Mardi Gras beads are only important during the season and quickly lose their luster once the parades have stopped rolling. Not for me. I love finding the unique strands from the 60s and 70s that other people call “gutter beads”. I crave the unusually shaped and colored ones, and admire the way the newer beads glitter and shine in the sunlight. I stand on the sidewalk side for every parade throughout the season, gathering materials to make my art in hopes of collecting a year’s worth of goodies until the next Mardi Gras rolls around.

Using culturally iconic imagery representative of New Orleans, because the material lends itself so, and borrowing the ideals of Pop-Art and Neo-Impressionistic Pointillism, I hope to elevate what may be considered Kitsch to a level of fine art. The resulting play of light and color attempts to recall the ideals of historically significant fine art pieces while adding a new dimension of glitter and shine through the use of metallic, plastic, and luminescent beads.


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