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Corey Helford Gallery presents ‘Into the Spirit Garden’ by Adrian Cox

“The Origin of the Specters (Part I)” by Adrian Cox
“The Origin of the Specters (Part I)” by Adrian Cox
“The Origin of the Specters (Part I)” by Adrian Cox

OPENING RECEPTION. March 7, 2020 | 7pm – 11pm. ON VIEW. March 7 – April 11, 2020. COREY HELFORD GALLERY. 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm – 6pm. (310) 287-2340

On Saturday, March 7th, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery will proudly unveil a new series of works from Adrian Cox, entitled Into the Spirit Garden, creating an atmosphere of grace, imagination, and mysticism when it premieres in Gallery 2.

Into the Spirit Garden features eighteen works, including fifteen oil paintings and three ink and acrylic gouache drawings. The studio practice for the Los Angeles-based artist and compelling storyteller involves crafting an intricate and epic mythology with his paintings, in which he explores themes of otherness and monstrosity. In creating his work, he draws inspiration from art history, science fiction, mythic archetypes, and his own experience of growing up in a closeted queer family. Cox says, “I make my paintings with a painstaking attention to craft, and the color in these is incredibly intense in person. This is largely because I create the color in my works by painting thin layers of transparent paint on top of each other, so the end effect gives the color a beautiful depth and richness. Ultimately, I’m mixing classical painting techniques with contemporary color sensibilities and materials.”

Regarding Into the Spirit Garden, Cox shares: “My paintings chronicle the lives of the Border Creatures, a group of hybrid beings that live in the verdant wilderness of the Borderlands. This personal mythology draws on a myriad of references, and blends elements of art history, science fiction, mythic archetypes, and my own experience of growing up in a closeted queer family. These works challenge how we define the Monstrous and the Other, and propose a reconsideration of the categories of the natural and the transgressive. These overarching themes are grounded in the lives of my recurring characters, and play out in the actions those that wander the Borderlands.

The Border Creatures exist in symbiotic harmony with the natural world, but are antagonized by the Specters, spirits of pure energy that casually burn the landscape that they walk upon. When these spirits first appeared, the destruction that they brought to the ecosystem of the Borderlands drove the creatures into hiding. The Border Creatures eventually triumphed over the Specters when Healer, the leader of the creatures, transformed many of the Specters into rainbow-hued Spectral Witnesses.

Into the Spirit Garden continues this mythic narrative and follows the Specters and Witnesses after the end of this first conflict. In this exhibition, the remaining Specters unite in their desire to establish dominance over the world, and band together to form the Spectral Brotherhood. Together, they create a champion, a body built from their half-remembered existence as humans. This body, which exemplifies the spiritual failings of the Specters, is a weapon that they plan on using in their war with the Border Creatures. Parallel to the machinations of the Spectral Brotherhood is the path of Penitent Spirit, a reformed Specter. Although Penitent Spirit was once responsible for the death of a Border Creature, they now wander the Borderlands in search of absolution. This quest only ends when the Border Creatures welcome Penitent Spirit into their community. This character’s journey speaks to the redemptive power of empathy and culminates with the birth of a new Border Creature, Spirit Gardener [seen in image below].

Into the Spirit Garden is a story of finding a space between heaven and earth, soul and flesh, a space in which the ties of community are the very soil in which our spirits grow.”

“The Birth of Spirit Gardener” by Adrian Cox
“The Birth of Spirit Gardener” by Adrian Cox

Opening night for Into the Spirit Garden is Saturday, March 7th from 7:00pm-11:00pm in Gallery 2, alongside a solo show from Eric Joyner, entitled Machine Man Memories, in the Main Gallery and a solo show from Kelsey Beckett, entitled The Amber Orchard, in Gallery 3. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033 and normal hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12pm – 6pm.

About Adrian Cox:

Adrian Cox (born 1988) is a painter living and working in Los Angeles, California. Cox’s studio practice involves crafting an intricate and epic mythology with his paintings, in which he explores themes of otherness and monstrosity. In creating his work, he draws inspiration from art history, science fiction, mythic archetypes, and his own experience of growing up in a closeted queer family. Cox attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate studies and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors in 2010. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2012. Cox has exhibited his work nationally and abroad, plus his paintings have been featured by VICE, Juxtapoz, Beautiful Bizarre, Hi-Fructose, Heavy Metal Magazine, PROHBTD, and in the book Anatomy Rocks: Flesh and Bones in Contemporary Art.

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. For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit CoreyHelfordGallery.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

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Written by Verónica López

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