Josie Morway. “Adaptogens” (oil and enamel on wood, 24” x 24”)
Josie Morway. “Adaptogens” (oil and enamel on wood, 24” x 24”)

Wealth and Hellness, by Josie Morway. Corey Helford Gallery. Los Angeles

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Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery(CHG) is proud to announce a solo show from Boston-based painter and designer Josie Morway, entitled Wealth and Hellness, premiering Saturday, January 8th in Gallery 2

A self-taught artist, Morway’s extremely detailed style of oil and enamel painting on wood panels combines the influence of Dutch Masters’ techniques, religious icon paintings, and hyper-modern color and design elements, to create paintings that have been described as “votive cave paintings from the distant future.” The wildlife in Morway’s work is portrayed with an intense reverence that escalates to surreality, creating paintings that are both politically charged, ethereally poetic, and darkly comical. The artist’s incredible work explores both the fragility and the fortitude of the natural world, envisioning the sanctity of wildlife and wilderness in the face of human degradation and seeking to challenge the assumptions and projections we bring to our interactions with the wild.  

Morway shares, “Humans, having grown almost entirely alienated from the natural world, undergo a paroxysm of desire to reconnect with nature. Having lost the wild path some time ago, we seek a route to the wilderness through our wallets, by jumping the train of cultural tradition not our own and by following dubious wellness heroes. The most privileged among us perfect and purify ourselves with fetishized plants, trample the blooms in pursuit of the perfect shot, pass over stewardship in favor of potions.” Adding, “But the birds laugh at our use of the word ‘ritual.’ The horned animals revoke our license to adventure. The flowers assert their right to transience in the face of our lavish self-memorializing. The real wilderness drops feathers in our tea and breaks a path out into the true soil. It doesn’t care if we follow, not everything is ours to touch, to tread, to harvest.”

Josie Morway.  “Master Cleanse” (oil and enamel on wood, 40” x 30”)
Josie Morway. “Master Cleanse” (oil and enamel on wood, 40” x 30”)

Last September, Morway’s work was featured in a segment about the “Duck Stamp” on HBO’s Emmy and Peabody-award-winning show, “Last Week Tonight,” hosted by John Oliver. In the segment (click here to watch), Oliver shared a history of the stamp, explained that it has raised more than $1.1 billion for habitat conservation, and then revealed that he and his production team were responsible for the entries of five satirical paintings into last year’s Federal Duck Stamp contest, one being Morway’s “stunning and conceptually evocative painting,” titled “Duck Hunting Hunters.” The winning painting of the annual art competition is made into that year’s Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, also called the “Duck Stamp.” Oliver then auctioned off the five submissions on eBay and donated the proceeds (nearly $100,000) to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Moray’s painting fetched for $16,100.

Wealth and Hellness opens Saturday, January 8th from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm in Gallery 2, alongside CHG’s eighth annual Art Collector Starter Kit group show (ACSK VIII) in the Main Gallery and a solo show from Jasmine Becket-Griffith, entitled New Works, in Gallery 3.

Josie Morway. “Master Cleanse” (oil and enamel on wood, 40” x 30”)
Josie Morway. “Master Cleanse” (oil and enamel on wood, 40” x 30”)

CHG will be requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entry into the gallery, plus guest temperatures will be checked and masks will be required. 200 people at a time will be allowed into the gallery’s 12,000 square foot space, which will be monitored by CHG’s staff. After the opening, CHG returns to their regular visiting hours (Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm).


OPENING RECEPTION

January 8, 2022 | 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm 

ON VIEWJanuary 8 – February 12, 2022 

COREY HELFORD GALLERY571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033Open: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pmVisiting Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm(310) 287-2340

About Josie Morway:

Born in Massachusetts, self-taught artist Josie Morway moved over twenty times in as many years before coming back to Boston in 2015 to live and work. Her work has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide (including in London, Australia, and on the streets of Juarez, Mexico, as well as in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Montana, and Massachusetts), in addition to being on display at fairs like SCOPE Art Show at Art Basel in Miami. She’s also worked as a sign painter and muralist, creating large scale works for cities, businesses, and festivals (including POW! WOW! and Sea Walls).

Morway’s work explores both the fragility and the fortitude of the natural world, envisioning the sanctity of wildlife and wilderness in the face of human degradation and seeking to challenge the assumptions and projections we bring to our interactions with the wild. Says Morway of the surreal and unexpected elements to her work; “I think that too often our concern for nature includes a presumption of total understanding, which is just another element of our human tendency to be paternalistic and domineering. It’s too easy to use nature as metaphor, to mine it for our own inspiration and comfort, to fetishize the parts we find lovely and subjugate what we find strange or ‘brutal.’ I hope to avoid oversimplification, and instead try to enhance the feeling of mystery, to make images that are intricate and uncomfortable, and to remind myself that no matter how carefully I observe and portray the wild I cannot truly know it.”

About Corey Helford Gallery:

Established in 2006 by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer/creator Bruce Helford (The ConnersAnger ManagementThe Drew Carey Show, and George Lopez), Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) has since evolved into one of the premier galleries of New Contemporary art. Its goal as an institution is supporting the growth of artists, from the young and emerging, to the well-known and internationally established. 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. Located in downtown Los Angeles (571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033) in a robust 12,000 square foot building, CHG presents new exhibitions approximately every six weeks. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, with visiting hours being Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit CoreyHelfordGallery.com and follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. For available prints from CHG, visit CHGPrints.com.

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