There is a lot about San Antonio-based Girl in a Coma that will appeal to Angelenos: the faint hint of '50s nostalgia in the track “El Monte”; the way Nina Diaz's voice floats across songs like a huskier Hope Sandoval; the fact that the trio is named after a Smiths' song and toured with Morrissey. But if the cover of the band's just-released album, Trio B.C. rings familiar, it might be because the artwork come courtesy of L.A. artist Shizu Saldamando.
Saldamando's drawings, which often utilize ball point pen and colored pencils, have been featured locally at LACMA, Japanese American National Museum, Giant Robot and Tropico de Nopal. What makes her work unique isn't simply her technique, but the subject matter. In her portraiture, Saldamando documents an often overlooked part of Southern California's music community: backyard parties, concerts in the suburbs, nightclubs in LA where you can practically hear “KROQ flashbacks” pumping through the speakers. Her subjects mix '50s and '60s vintage clothing with '80s band t-shirts and today's angular haircuts for a look that is neither retro, nor completely contemporary. Check out some of her pieces below.
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