Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) is proud to announce their next major solo show from Canadian artist and illustrator Ryan Heshka, entitled Vile-O-Vision, premiering February 19th in Gallery 3.
Heshka’s surreal and dreamy paintings–associating comics, science fiction, and his strong references to pop culture and Hollywood’s B-movies–has earned the Vancouver-based self-taught artist international recognition. Following his 2019 CHG exhibition, FREEKS, after a two-and-a-half-year break from solo shows, Heshka is returning with his next major show, featuring a new cast of intensely rendered misfits and comprised of fifteen new paintings.
Regarding his new series, Heshka shares, “Picking up where FREEKS left off, Vile-O-Vision revels in and reveals a muse composed of wrinkles, cracks, bumps, and unexpected swelling. Rejecting the unattainable but ever-pervasive cult of perfection and beauty, the painting’s figures wallow in the grotesque. It’s a world seen through thorn-studded rose colored 3-D glasses. Each subject celebrates its own monstrosity with conviction and flies its colors like a sinking parade float going down for the final count. Vile-O-Vision is a collection of forms and flaws, like dew on a spider’s web, which reveal something otherwise nearly invisible to the naked eye. A something that, while wonderous, may have an unexpected function lurking below the surface.”
He adds, “In this exhibition, my intention was to relinquish as much control as I could, and let each piece unfold as a surprise. Rooted in a visual language of mid-century art forms, cinema and pulp, as well as dreams, this show builds upon and yet deconstructs decades of craft. At this point in time, in an era of great change, opportunity, and challenges, this approach was a ‘gift’ of sorts to myself. I hope it will somehow emphasize our humanity through its exploration of the strength of flaws.”
In August 2019, Heshka premiered his solo show FREEKS, celebrating weirdos, misfits, oddballs, and nonconformists everywhere, of every size and category, inside and out, which not only featured new oil paintings and works of gouache on paper from the artist but a wide range of work from his unexpected alternate universe. Much of the show was dedicated to the artwork from Heshka’s graphic novel Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn,marking the first time the artist had made his original comic book artwork available for purchase. The show’s opening night was also the official release event for Heshka’s long-awaited comic book,Frog Wife. The exhibition featured the complete comic book art from the new comic, as well as a number of other new paintings especially executed for FREEKS.
Vile-O-Vision opens Saturday, February 19th from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm in Gallery 3, alongside a solo show from Eric Joyner, entitled Someday World, in the Main Gallery and the Fab Five exhibition featuring Jesús Aguado, Leegan Koo, Kari Tirrell, Yasuhito Kawasaki, and Sun-Mi in Gallery 2. Heshka will be attending the opening; plus new prints from him and Joyner will be available for purchase at the gallery for those in attendance.
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 Ryan Heshka:
Ryan Heshka was born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada and grew up in Winnipeg. To pass the long prairie winters, much of his childhood was spent drawing, building cardboard cities, making super 8mm films, and daydreaming. Very early on, he developed an affinity for old, outdated imagery and media, such as golden age comics, pulp magazines, package design, music, movies, and animation. This affection for the old, while simultaneously exploring contemporary tone and spirit, gives Heshka’s work its distant yet familiar ambience.
Formally trained in interior design, Heshka is self-taught as an artist and illustrator. In addition to gallery shows across North America and Europe, Heshka’s produced and self-published three comic books (including the cult hit, 2018’s Mean Girls Club, plus 2019’s Frog Wife and 2021’s Pleasure Planet), as well as produced a graphic novel (Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn ? published by Nobrow, UK) and two children’s books (2010’s Welcome to Monster Town and 2013’s Welcome to Robot Town ? published by Henry Holt and Company, New York). Fatales: The Art of Ryan Heshka (published by Cernunnos) was released in 2017, marking the artist’s first monograph. The “Mean Girls Club” clothing line by VIXEN (by Micheline Pitt; Los Angeles, CA) was launched in early 2019, as well as a clothing line collaboration between Heshka and Japan’s Son of the Cheese.
In addition to appearing in all of the major illustration annuals (including American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, 3 x 3, and Applied Arts) and numerous art publications around the globe, Heshka’s work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Playboy, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, the New York Times, and the New Yorker, and on the cover of BLAB! magazine. Heshka lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada with his wife Marinda and daughter Roxy.
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.