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Ludo ‘The Snake Bitch’ Smolic: &gallery’s next solo exhibition

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Viscera: Ludo “The Snake Bitch’s” solo exhibition is open at &gallery until Nov. 30. (Photo Courtesy of &gallery) 

As November starts up, a new exhibition makes its way into &gallery. The new exhibition features local artist Ludo Smolic a.k.a. The Snake Bitch. They have worked with &gallery before with collective exhibitions as well as selling their art, but this is their first time having a solo exhibition dedicated to their artwork.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s also really exciting. It’s the first time that I’ve ever had a whole gallery to myself. It’s stressful, but I’m also very excited to see the end product,” Smolic said.

Smolic has been drawing their whole life as it started out as a hobby when they were a kid. In 2017, Smolic started taking drawing more seriously as they realized it was something they loved doing enough to make it a job. For the last year and a half, they have been a freelance artist.

As a freelance artist, Smolic’s favorite media to use are micron pens and sharpies as a way to lean towards more traditional inking in their art. Smolic is displaying new pieces as well as old pieces they redid just for the exhibition.

“A lot of horror inspires my art. I’ve had some really weird nightmares throughout my whole life, and I’ve always been really interested in things that scare people and scare me too,” Smolic said.

Smolic uses cross-hatching as well as other detailed means in their artwork which stemmed from needing something to focus on at a former job. They crafted that ability into their current style. They mostly focus on black and white in their art pieces citing Junji Ito as a main source of inspiration.

Smolic has been a longtime artist with &gallery, having been there since the beginning according to the owner Cynthia Naugle. &gallery started carrying and selling Smolic’s art around 2019, and a solo exhibition has been a long time coming. Since then, Smolic has become one of the bestselling artists at &gallery.

“I first heard about Ludo’s artwork through my husband. They had a spot in Tucson Comic Con in 2018, I believe, and my husband bought me this jackalope pin. I thought it was so cool and my husband was saying the artist had a bunch of cool stuff. That’s how I first heard about them was from the pin my husband got me and they ended up approaching us about having their art in the gallery, and I thought it was perfect,” Naugle said.

Through the solo and collective exhibitions, &gallery’s goal is to help artists grow. Naugle challenged Smolic to go bigger as they had mostly been working on a smaller scale due to the amount of detail put into their work.

Azra Garcia, the assistant manager at &gallery, also spoke about Smolic, as they are longtime friends. Garcia is quite excited to see the solo exhibition, having watched Smolic grow their art for the last ten years.

“The goal with showcasing monthly exhibitions is to … get artists out there more and get more attention to artists, especially with group shows … [and] with solo shows, getting that individualized attention. I think the goal of it is to reach as many people as possible and spread out art as far as possible,” Garcia said.

The Viscera Exhibition opening reception on Nov. 5 featured live snakes, and the exhibit is now open to the public until Nov. 30. &gallery is open every day of the week from 12-6 p.m.


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