PORTRAITS Over the years Käla continued to document those she met who seemed to push the boundaries in society. Talents from the Coney Island Side Show, patrons, performers and go-go dancers from the legendary Don Hill's and Meow Mix - the only East Village lesbian bar at the time. And more behind the scenes portraits from illegal underground dance parties and after hours hangouts. Finally a few select photographs and stories were published in her book, UNDERGROUND in 2010.
BURLESQUE Among the many talented people Käla photographed one was good friend, and roommate at the time, Melody Sweets. She documented her career as a burgeoning burlesque artist, filming and photographing her life from New York City to Las Vegas, and was introduced into the not yet mainstream world of burlesque in New York City including such talents as Peekaboo Pointe, MsTickle, The Maine Attraction, Stormy Leather, and more.
MUSIC After a year as electric keyboardist in a glam rock band as a teenager, playing all the great venues of Manhattan (CGBG, Continental, Coney Island High, Brownies, Knitting Factory, The Pyramid, Spiral, No Tell Motel, The Bank, and many more) Käla befriended many other local New York bands and shot their live shows and backstage action at places like Babydoll Lounge, The Library, Meow Mix and more). Her portfolio of musicians include mostly women in rock'n'roll, such as Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Lunachicks, LP, Spitfire America, Special Head, Wilma, Firegods, Sexpod, Lourds, The New Professionals, and more.
EXHIBITIONS Käla's first photography exhibition was literally on the streets of New York. She went out late at night and wheat pasted a few 13 x 19" printed photographs on billboard scaffoldings and the sides of buildings. Photographing at fifteen years old, documenting and befriending punk bands, squatters and runaways of the Lower East Side and Alphabet City gave her the motivation she was searching for to make a career in pictures.. She frequented non-profit organizations such as ABC NoRio, and The Collective Unconscious; the Gas Station, local community gardens and squats such as C-Squat and Glass House. Her work has been seen in various publications, galleries, venues and art festivals in New York. Staying true to her vision of the "underground," Käla has most often sought out places that are artist owned and operated, or are simply part of the New York underground scene. Her first exhibition in 2000 was at CB's Gallery (the gallery/live music space of the legendary CBGB club). Other galleries include the Silver Whale, Rivington, MaxFish, BAG, aRAMONA, Mother Jaguar and many others.
Silver Whale Gallery, NYC
Silver Whale Gallery
MaxFish "New York By Night"
Curated by Eric Bryant
SpitEast Women’s Festival
Copyright © 2018 Käla Mandrake - All Rights Reserved.