Kerstin Drechsel's "If You Close The Door" At Vane Gallery (PHOTOS)

Kerstin Drechsel's exhibition "If you close the door" captures the clandestine rituals that we all do when we think no one is watching.

The Berlin-based artist focuses on how sub-cultural groups express themselves through pop music, cultural tastes and hidden habits. She paints imagery found from the internet, magazines and her own snapshots. This particular collection is based on photos of Drechsel's female friends through an exploration of the lesbian club scene. The darkroom appears as a metaphor for hidden spaces that invite illicit encounters, and the title references the Velvet Underground song, "After Hours," with Maureen Tucker on vocals.

There is a trancelike quality to Drechsel's oil paintings, as Vane Gallery says, "transforming them into an archive of constantly recycled wishes, dreams and memories." Thus images of the urban underbelly -- eating alone at a diner, making out in an alley, taking a drag of a cigarette -- appear as pure and wistful moments. Drechsel's paintings capture the innocent joy of adult activities, exploring how grown-up fantasies help us escape our oppressive realities.

Images from "If you close the door" are provided by Vane Gallery. Take a look at life after dark in the works below: