"Lake of Fire" Reigns on Melrose

 At first glance, driving past Melrose and Seward Street might not look like much, but among the busy street lies a hidden gem called Ghettogloss Art Gallery.

Ghettogloss is not like many other galleries in the Los Angeles district. Most of its art is created by native Los Angeles artists.

"We are the most diverse business I have ever worked for," says Kristin Stegemoeller. "We represent our local artists. We represent graffiti art."

Ghettogloss Gallery is currently presenting "Lake of Fire," an exhibit by artist Doro Hofmann, until this Saturday. Hofmann is a German artist who lives and does her work in Los Angeles. She graduated from Karlsruhe State Academy of Art and Design in Germany.

Hofmann adds a "ghetto fabulous" twist to all of her portraits. Instead of having a portrait with beautiful scenery, she paints a unique background that depicts past, current and future events.

For example, in her piece, "Before Day 1 (of creation)", a woman appears to be engulfed by diamonds and crystals in the middle of space. Light is flowing through her in godly form as if it were representing the big bang. Surrounding her are galaxies made of diamonds and fire.

Furthermore, Hofmann's oil canvas portraits give life to her character with a kaleidoscopic background. In "The Awakening," a female looks like she just woke up from a bad dream, only to find herself surrounded by acrylic glass.

Females are a factor in every portrait, with products that are often used by women in the background. For instance, hints of the Chanel brand or a glass of champagne collide with graffiti instead of the typical scenery of trees and mountains.

Though every painting has a fantasy twist, Hofmann makes the composition realistic and lets the viewer decide on his or her own interpretation.

When a new artist is presented at the Ghettogloss Gallery, it is a festive event. "Some people come for the art and some come for the vibe," says Stegemoeller.

Ghettogloss is located on 6109 Melrose Ave and will be featuring the work of Doro Hofmann until February 27. 

"You never know what you are going to get when you come in here," says Stegemoeller.