On Saturday, July 15, Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) in Los Angeles presents new works by Nicole Gordon in her first solo exhibition with the gallery, entitled “Dehydrated Rainbow,” in Gallery 2.
Gordon’s paintings lean on the whimsical and somewhat grim, an expression of beauty met with the horrors of real world change and transformation. The Chicago-based artist describes her work as a combination of fantasy with darker truths: her use of bright colors and out of place objects create an imaginative view of reality.
For “Dehydrated Rainbow,” Gordon selects amusement parks and rides (many of which are now abandoned), meshed with pop-culture iconography as her subjects. The exhibition features 15 new oil paintings and a special, interactive installation inspired by the series. Populated with ghost-like children, these dramatic, vibrant landscapes draw from our innocent childhood experiences and something more sinister. Children are painted in black-and-white to suggest this world is a dreamscape, rather than reality. One element that repeats throughout is a teacup, reminiscent of the Walt Disney Mad Hatter Teacups ride.
“The spinning teacup ride is something so joyful and so innocent, but also so terrifying and sickening. I think it is something most people can relate to visually,” Gordon explains. “The ride is often simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying, not unlike the experience of looking inwardly and relying on ourselves for a deeper understanding and connection with the world around us.”
“In this new body of work, I explore the relationship of a young person set against a backdrop of common, pleasurable experience crossed with destructive events. These seemingly banal activities are set against imagery of destructive forces imposing fury against the quietude. These dreamscapes represent the thrilling and terrifying worlds that we can create within our own minds if given the chance to truly be alone.
The present world is one filled with dynamic technology so engaging that one need not ever feel alone. The ever-presence of technology causes new generations of young people to have no sense of that perfect boredom that stimulates a growing mind to create new ways to play, to work and to find inspiration. As a result, we are raising generations of people who have no idea about the power of the creative process to solve problems, find beauty in the world around us, or relate to others in an engaging, constructive, and deeply meaningful way.”
The opening reception for “Dehydrated Rainbow” will be hosted Saturday, July 15 from 6-11pm at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public and the exhibition is on view through August 12.
About Nicole Gordon:
Chicago artist Nicole Gordon received her BFA from the University of Michigan in 1998. She has been showing in numerous galleries throughout the years, including a recent solo exhibit at the Elmhurst Art Museum. She has completed public art projects for the CTA, sponsored by the Chicago Public Art Group and New England Biolabs, in Ipswich, MA. Her landscapes lean on the whimsical and somewhat grim, an expression of beauty met with the horrors of real world change and transformation. Gordon cites namely 16th century painters Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch as her inspiration, whose works while dramatic and highly stylized, also offered expressions of the every day of their time. Similarly, Gordon describes her work as a combination of fantasy with darker truths: her use of bright colors and out-of-place objects create an imaginative view of reality. In an artist statement about her work, she shares, “Each timeless setting has been infiltrated by imagery that represents the chaos that invades the quiet space that we long for. The heightened colors and out-of-place objects create absurd and sometimes disturbing stage-like scenes that cannot possibly exist in nature and become an alternate reality. The landscapes reference fairy tale settings in which complex and often disturbing narratives are revealed within a context of dreamlike prettiness. The disturbance to the serenity animates the setting and breathes new life into the space, highlighting the tension between the artificial and the real.”
About Corey Helford Gallery:
Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) was first established in 2006 by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer and creator, Bruce Helford (Anger Management, The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez, The Oblongs) and has since evolved into one of the premier galleries of New Contemporary art. Its goals as an institution are the support and growth of young and emerging, to well-known and internationally established artists, the production and promotion of their artwork, and the general production of their exhibits, events and projects.
CHG represents a diverse collection of international artists, primarily influenced by today’s pop culture and collectively encompassing style genres such as New Figurative Art, Pop Surrealism, Neo Pop, Graffiti and Street Art, and Post-Graffiti.
After nine years in Culver City, CHG relocated in December 2015 to a robust 12,000 sq. ft. building in Downtown Los Angeles, seven times larger than its original space, where it continues to host exhibitions within the heart of the city’s art community. The current space boasts three separate galleries, each of which house individual artist and group exhibitions, whereas the main gallery offers 4,500 sq. ft., providing total immersion for its attendees. New exhibitions are presented approximately every four weeks. For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit: http://www.coreyhelfordgallery.com