Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) is proud to announce Fab Five—a five-artist exhibition featuring new works from Jesús Aguado, Kari Tirrell, Leegan Koo, Sun-Mi, and Yasuhito Kawasaki—opening Saturday, February 19th in Gallery 2.
About Jesús Aguado’s new series Foreign Body:
Jesús Aguado is a Spanish illustrator who creates works that encompass parallel and surreal universes and are full of unexpected juxtapositions without written rules. Regarding his new series Foreign Body, Aguado’s shares: “Pearls are formed when a foreign body is introduced inside the mollusk. The mollusk reacts by slowly covering the irritant, which creates a pearl over time. With this metaphor, I speak of those strange elements that always contaminate the epic of the scenes that are represented. Each painting has a narrative that goes in two directions: one magical and grandiloquent and the other one, mundane and absurd. This is how I see life, in a constant change of frequency according to subjective observation. It’s the way I have to filter the world around me. Expressing this duality, by disturbing the fantasy world, is funny and tragic at the same time.”
About Kari Tirrell’s new series Toy Stories:
Kari Tirrell is an American Master Pastelist and self-taught contemporary still-life artist, who now chooses acrylic as her preferred medium. Tirrell’s work melds meticulously rendered realism and time-consuming craftsmanship with humor. Regarding her new series Toy Stories, Tirrell shares: “I try to tell a story with every painting and I particularly love using old tin toys as subject matter. They are so full of character, which sparks my creativity. If the toys were sentient beings with human intelligence, what would they be doing? I mostly consider their expressions, although sometimes their clothing (or lack thereof) comes into play to create whimsical tableaus that engage the viewer’s imagination. Occasionally, it’s obvious what the toy is doing, and the story is simply told through the toy and the title of the painting. Sometimes, a toy will spark an idea, and I’ll build a scene to support my original concept, using a title that may be a play on words, an idiom, or just something that supports my original idea. It is fairly common for me to think of a title first, then select the toys to create a painting around it. Either way, the title of the painting is always part of the narrative. Of course, the viewer is free to create their own interpretation.”
About Leegan Koo’s new series Alter Ego:
Leegan Koo is a U.S.-based, Seoul-born contemporary artist who creates works inspired by the experience of dynamic urban life with a focus on cityscapes—a visual manifestation of memories and emotions attached to certain places. Regarding his new series, Koo shares: “I created five paintings that mainly deal with the concept of alter egos, or different selves, that exist within us. I especially wanted to express a different self that we unconsciously create when we are under the gaze of others and how being aware of others’ gaze affects our perception of ourselves. The viewers may imagine the situation from the “gazer” or the “gazed” perspective and interpret the narrative accordingly. To make it more relatable, I painted the characters in everyday life situations, like taking a train or eating in the school cafeteria. I added humorous elements hoping that viewers would enjoy the viewing experience and have fun while interpreting the paintings in their own ways.”
About Sun-Mi’s new series I Wear My Heart on My Sleeve:
Sun-Mi (a.k.a. Pamplemouze) is a contemporary artist in the Faux Naif movement, best known for her erratically naive girls who find themselves in never-ending conflict. Utilizing mono-painting as her main source of medium, her work is a way of documenting her life and is depicted by her constant struggle to express her sheltered emotions. The stylization in her work is a homage to her childhood born out of admiration for cartoons and can be best described as a controlled mess. Regarding her new series, Sun-Mi shares: “I always regret not being able to listen to myself. I am so busy paying attention to everyone else that my opinions are becoming quieter. This show is all about showing a small glimpse of my life by bringing out my inner child and emphasizing the importance of self-expression.”
About Yasuhito Kawasaki’s new series Mascot Costume Series:
Yasuhito Kawasaki is a Japan-born sculptor who has honed his casting technique over countless years and is well known for his trademark sculptures of innocent looking children. Kawasaki’s characters are self-portraits that are often direct caricature renditions of himself and sometimes animals. In his works, the inner character and emotions are as important, if not more important, than the external form. The expressions of the characters, colors, textures, and the settings that he creates narrate their thoughts and emotions.
Regarding his new series, Kawasaki shares: “Before COVID-19, my approach to art-making had largely been influenced by the outside world. The spread of the disease has caused my sphere of existence to shrink dramatically. My daily life is now centered around the ongoings of my wife, my pet, and garden. Given such a situation, I was inspired to create pieces for this exhibition by cherishing the little changes that I noticed while digesting my inner mind and recalling memories with my wife and family. My Mascot Costumes Series artwork is based on the part of the child in me that is selfish, innocent, and full of curiosity. The bears and owls in my artworks are anthropomorphic representations of myself, my wife, and my family.”
Fab Five opens Saturday, February 19th from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm in Gallery 2, alongside a solo show from Eric Joyner, entitled Someday World, in the Main Gallery and a solo show from Ryan Heshka, entitled Vile-O-Vision, in Gallery 3.
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).
About Jesús Aguado:
Jesús Aguado has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Salamanca (Spain) and is constantly searching for new styles and ways of expressing himself through art. His illustrations are recognized by many schoolchildren because they appear in many textbooks. A fan of comics, he has won prizes in several contests (for example, Tomelloso, Portugalete, Elgoibar or Salamanca). As an illustrator he has worked on many projects for more than 18 years. Among its clients are Edelvives, Kumon, Warner Music, Santillana or National Geographic. In 2018 he started using traditional methods to complement his work as a digital illustrator. Creating a parallel and surreal universe full of unexpected Juxtapositions and without written rules.
About Kari Tirrell:
Kari Tirrell (b. 1965) is a self-taught contemporary still-life artist living in Gig Harbor, Washington. While growing up in Huntington Beach, California, she received much support and encouragement for her childhood passion of drawing but didn’t consider it a viable career choice. It wasn’t until much later, after she got married, moved to Washington, and her two children were in school that she decided to paint. Although she started out painting abstracts in acrylic and was successful selling her work online, she soon discovered soft pastel, which married her two favorite things: painting and drawing. She was hooked. She started showing her pastel work in 2009, and excelled in the medium, eventually achieving the designation of Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America. In 2015, after taking her work as far as she felt possible with soft pastel, she decided to change course and paint exclusively in her now preferred medium, acrylic.
Tirrell’s work has received recognition in regional, national, and international exhibitions and magazine competitions, and has been featured in numerous art publications, including The Artist’s Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, and The Pastel Journal.
Leegan Koo was born in Seoul, Korea and began drawing at a young age by himself. He grew up moving from one metropolitan city to another—Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City to name a few—and cultural diversity and experience of dynamic urban life became the major source of his artistic inspiration. In 2011, Koo began to focus on painting cityscapes—a visual manifestation of memories and emotions attached to certain places—and experimented with various styles of realism and surrealism. In 2013, he moved to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University where he received his first formal art education. In 2014, Koo moved to Los Angeles and began his career as a freelance artist while working part-time for art companies that specialize in producing artworks for clients such as Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Z Gallery. He currently lives and works as a freelance artist in Bellingham, WA.
Sun-Mi (aka Pamplemouze) is a contemporary artist in the Faux Naif movement and best known for her erratically naive girls who find themselves in never – ending conflict. Utilizing mono-painting as her main source of medium, her work is a way of documenting her life and is depicted by her constant struggle to express her sheltered emotions. The stylization in her work is a homage to her childhood born out of admiration for cartoons and can be best described as a controlled mess. Born in Asuncion Paraguay, she later went on to study at Maryland Institute College of Art where she received her BFA in Illustration.
About Yasuhito Kawasaki:
Born in Saga in Japan, Yasuhito Kawasaki graduated from Kanazawa Art University in 2010 with a Master of Art Degree in Casting. Using the technique of casting that he continued to hone through the years as an artist, Kawasaki is known for his trademark sculptures of innocent looking children. For the artist, these characters are self-portraits, whether direct caricature renditions of himself or of other people and sometimes animals. In his perspective, one subconsciously sees others as extensions or semblances of the self. Many of Kawasaki’s self-portraits are influenced by family members, whom he spends the most time with. In his works, the inner character and emotions are as important, if not more, than the external form. The expressions of the characters, colors, textures, and the settings that he creates for each piece seem to narrate their inner thoughts and various states of emotions, each telling their own intriguing story.
About Corey Helford Gallery:
Established in 2006 by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer/creator Bruce Helford (The Conners, Anger Management, The 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 at 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. For available prints from CHG, visit CHGPrints.com.