Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery is proud to announce a four-artist show with Iowa-based Vietnamese painter and illustrator Bao Pham, international award-winning Canada-based artist Josh Tiessen, Australian artist kelogsloops, and Chicago-based Sasha Ira now on show in Gallery 3.
Bao Pham creates colorful, nature-inspired art with soft and precise brushwork. For his new series, entitled The Rain, Pham shares: “The Rain is a loosely connected narrative chronicling the changes that have come my way this past year. Rain brings life and color, but it can also bring devastation. It has been a great source of joy, sadness, and most of all inspiration. Each piece is a reaction to this theme, a celebration of a spring shower, the melancholy that comes with it and the overwhelming force that it can be. They also offer opportunities to play with the medium to represent something so fleeting; such as, washes of color, swipes of thick paint, or even streams of iridescence. Using new techniques to incorporate ideas and designs that have been deeply rooted in the culture I grew up in. I pulled elements from my Chinese and Vietnamese heritage, finding new ways to create works that connect to something deeper. I wanted to create paintings that I never got to see or learn about, as a way to connect to my past while building on the foundation that I have formed.”
Josh Tiessen is considered one of the world’s top ten prodigy artists (Huffington Post) and the only known male art prodigy in North America (Dr. J. Ruthsatz, global prodigy expert). His hyperreal shaped oil paintings, which take 400-1200 hours to complete, reflect the interaction between the natural world and manmade structures, drawing upon his studies in philosophy, theology and intercultural aesthetics.
For his new series, entitled Streams in the Wasteland II, Tiessen shares: “As an artist, the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) has always interested me because of its employment of semiotic imagination as a conduit for illuminating deep truths. Art also has the ability to do what plain academic texts often fail to do for the visual age in which we live.Through theological studies I have investigated the ancient book of Isaiah, which includes zoological motifs wherein wild animals inhabit abandoned spaces. These foreshadowing’s, which depict animals having dominion over human civilizations, implicate humankind for shirking the Creator’s mandate to steward the environment (Genesis 2:15). This theme is relevant for today, as we both witness and participate in the exploitation of our earth. The title for my body of work was inspired by Isaiah 43:20-22: “The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland …yet you have not called on me, Israel.” I have applied Isaiah’s prophecies, which reflect the nations’ lack of honor for their Creator, to civilizations across vast time periods, whose greedy desire for wealth and power ultimately led to their demise.
With the heightened position of the environment and animal rights in our present day, my painting series highlights the metaphysical impetus behind caring for the earth, and humanity’s often-unharmonious relationship with nature. While there is much despair about the state of the planet, with scientists signaling that we are approaching the point of no return, I desire to offer streams of hope within the post-apocalyptic wasteland. While our conservation efforts are not in vain, I believe God will create a new universe with a restored earth. Humans who desire to be resurrected into this new world will be in perfect harmony with their Creator, fellow humans, and animals.”
kelogsloops specializes in both digital and watercolor paintings, often depicting female portraiture as his preferred subject matter of choice. His work blends abstract and surreal art styles with anime influences from his upbringing. He paints with the intention of capturing fleeting and intangible feelings, portraying his figures suspended in time. For his new series, entitled Sanctuary, kelogsloops shares: “Sanctuary is a series of watercolor paintings that collectively define the places we go to find escape and quietude. These havens that replenish us exist in many different forms, both introspectively or through external interactions. The figures portrayed are each trying to find their own refuge – perhaps by enveloping themselves in thought or sharing moments of intimacy with others. Placed throughout the works are decorated elements of fragility which hope to capture a sense that the paintings are all fleeting moments suspended in time.
He adds, “Sanctuary is a continuation of my previous body of work, Breathe. It takes inspiration from that show’s recurring motifs about seeking appreciation for contentment amongst the chaos of everyday life. This is something I try to reflect in my own practice, by constantly reminding myself to seek haven and moments to breathe, which is why it has become so personal and important for me to continue depicting and exploring this motif through the current direction of my art.”
Lastly, Sasha Ira is a talented artist known for her eye-catching portraits of beautiful women. Her art is inspired by Art Nouveau, fashion illustration, and Japanese anime styles. For her new series, entitled Undercurrents, Ira shares: “This show came about from my own personal feelings and the emotions I was going through while I was creating the pieces for this show. It is about what I hold on to and carry with me but tend to hide all while I try to navigate through the changes and things that happen in my life. With the works for this show, I started off by sketching out several pages of some very rough ideas in my sketchbook. Next to them writing down what I was thinking, the size I am thinking of making the piece, the colors I wish to use, feelings I wish to convey, things I wish to add, or something I just simply wish to remember.
After deciding on which ideas I wish to pursue, I will spend some time researching and putting together a file of images for reference, and of things that inspire me, I will also shoot a few reference photos as well. Then finally I will begin the drawing, that will be transferred over to a painting. Sometimes in this stage, the drawing will be more refined the way the study to ‘A Particular Feeling’ [pictured below] is or it might be more relaxed and loosely drawn so it’s open to change in the painting process as ‘Sink Into The Silence’ was. Once the drawing is transferred over to the painting surface I will simply paint until I feel I can no longer bring anything more to it.
Just as my last show, this series was about what I was going through at the time of creating these pieces and even though I feel my work is more simple, I hope people see the sincerity and love that goes behind each piece.”
Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033and normal hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12pm – 6pm.
About Bao Pham:
Iowa-based Vietnamese painter and illustrator Bao Pham’s art is instantly recognizable for his soft, precise and colorful portraits of wistful and melancholic figures set in lush natural settings. He incorporates eastern elements and designs using traditional western techniques with a touch of the surreal. After working as a digital illustrator for many years, Pham found a new direction working with a variety of traditional media. He hopes to create work that speaks to his heritage and the environment that he lives in.
About Josh Tiessen:
Born in 1995 in Moscow, Russia, Josh Tiessen is an international award-winning artist based near Toronto, Canada. As a teenager, ranked among the world’s foremost realist artists, Tiessen was juried in as the youngest member of International Guild of Realism, Artists for Conservation and Society of Animal Artists, all elite groups featuring the top nature and wildlife artists worldwide. As a young adult, Art Renewal Center designated him “Associate Living Master” and New York-based gallery Jonathan LeVine Projects awarded him First Place from 2000 artists in their international competition Search for the Next Great Artist.
Mentored by masters such as acclaimed Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman, Tiessen has exhibited his work since 2006 in over 100 exhibitions and is frequently juried into group exhibitions throughout the U.S. He has sold over 90 originals and hundreds of limited-edition giclée prints to private/corporate Canadian and international collectors.
Featured upwards to 200 times in the press (including in American Art Collector and International Artist), speaking and teaching at 60 venues, and making 90 invited art donations to charitable organizations, Tiessen established the Arts for a Change Foundation. The Josh Tiessen Studio Gallery has been voted #1 Art Gallery in the region for the past five years. Plus, Tiessen has been voted #1 Best Local Artist, adding to over 60 awards and honors, including: IGOR Creative Achievement, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 for artistic achievement & philanthropic work.
Hieu is an emerging Australian artist who goes by the alias kelogsloops. He started drawing as a child, often losing himself in his sketchbooks. He went on to paint digitally in 2009 after receiving his first Wacom tablet. In his final years of high school, he began experimenting with watercolor. Consequently, he fell in love with the medium and has defined himself as both a watercolor and digital artist ever since. Hieu currently exhibits his work in galleries and maintains a presence on social media. He intends to continue his current projects and pursuits, hoping to one day have his own studio and teach.
About Sasha Ira:
Sasha Ira uses themes of transition and personal growth which are articulated in her refined technique and exquisitely emotional female sitters. Thought, wonder, and the beauty in the sorrow are readily apparent, while layers of complex emotion and multifaceted thinking are demonstrated through Ira’s use of gestural paint application, quintessential binding elements and an ethereal balance between highly rendered detail amidst the suggestive ghost of what once was or will be.
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 (The Conners, Anger Management, The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez) 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.
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. CHG is located in Downtown Los Angeles in a robust 12,000 square foot building presenting new exhibitions approximately every six weeks.