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 ⊶ About the Artist ⊷

My name is Lierre Kandel, I also go by Li or Lee. I was born in 1982, in a small valley of the northern Appalachian Mountains, growing up as the oldest of 7 children. As a teenager, studying several languages, I won a government scholarship to go to school in Germany and moved sans family to Hamburg. By the 2000s, I had officially relocated to the eastern part of the country and taken up more permanent residence in Europe.

I belong to a small percentage of people who are neither male nor female and the correct pronouns to use for me personally are "they/them/theirs" accordingly. "Lierre" is grammatically masculine, like the more common name which it rhymes with -- "Pierre" -- though used as a unisex name.

Since 2013, I have been living ½ time in former communist East Germany and the other ½ time in Cambridge / Boston, in the US. I typically commute every 3 weeks by plane, in order to have both my 3 children in Germany and my spouse in the US equally in my life. I also adore a pink Sphynx cat named Aggie, a furry white cat from Moscow named Alisa, and Prague Ratter pup named Jasper, all rescues.

I draw some inspiration from my Celtic heritage from my mother and Indian heritage from my father, with a particular interest in patterns and in ancient languages. I have spent some time learning to read Sanskrit as an offshoot of Hindi and Buddhist studies, and practice secular Buddhism which has also influenced my art (for example, the hundreds of mandalas I've designed). Much of my work can be described as expressionist. To varying degrees, I utilize many patterns, colors, wide palettes, bright contrast, macabre themes, faux naivety, whimsy, and absurdity.

For several years in the early 2000s, I worked full time as an artist, painting watercolor miniatures in an unusually bright style, and selling primarily online. A sudden vestibular failure abruptly ended this career for over half a decade, due to sequelae. Finally able to start again with some adaptations—such as sometimes using an eyepatch to tolerate unilateral nystagmus better—another disaster struck. The dysautonomic condition which with I had been dealing virtually lifelong became significantly more disabling following two serious illnesses very close to each other during the end of summer 2016. Increasing loss of dexterity has made watercolor painting arduous, as watercolor is usually difficult—if not impossible—to correct if loss of hand/wrist control causes undesirable marking, so while working on possible solutions to this issue, I have begun in January of 2018 to also learn oil painting autodidactically. I have additionally returned to the ink drawings done pre-2006, as holding a pen usually requires firmer touch and tolerates constant heavy contact with the surface, both helpful with dexterity difficulties.

My training has been mainly as a linguist. I have worked both as a language teacher and as an interpreter / translator, and have studied medical language for a time. I have been almost entirely self-taught in art and prefer to continue in this fashion. I like speedcubing with a modest collection of various Rubik's cubes, and previously enjoyed rollerblading, climbing trees, and bojutsu / jojutsu. I'm also, by all accounts, skilled at cooking.