On Saturday, May 12 , downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will proudly premiere 17 new large-scale oil paintings by Polish artist Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak , in her Gallery 2 solo show, True Colors . This will be her first solo exhibition with Corey Helford Gallery.

The work in True Colors is a study of life’s contrasts, explored through Prończuk-Kuziak ’s surreal animal hybrids, consisting of fur, feathers, eggshells, woven fabrics, clouds, plants, flowers—a collection of items usually found in still-life paintings. “Animals in my paintings become personifications of human emotions and stories related to them,” says Prończuk-Kuziak. “They are the medium I use in order to communicate. They allow me to share a range of feelings a viewer intuitively captures.”

In True Colors , the emotions the artist is exploring arise from the duality that’s inherent in all of life—the good and the bad, the up and the down, the left and right. “The starting point [for this body of work],” explains Prończuk-Kuziak , “was a personal situation of mine when I felt really strongly how beautiful and astonishing, yet fragile and unpredictable, life can be.... The name ‘True Colors’ refers to the true face of life and of people. It’s about how reality is made of extremes that cannot function without each other. There is no light without darkness, or love without suffering. Day always follows the night, and peace follows a storm. Flowers hide beneath an armour, and power beneath fragility.”

In each of her 17 new paintings, Prończuk-Kuziak personifies her feelings as these surreal animals, capturing the emotion’s complexities in stunningly alive, surreal portraits. “The Fragility of Life” depicts a deer made of strands of fur, flowers and plumes of smoke, among other materials, and captures Prończuk-Kuziak’s conundrum of whether or not awareness of life’s delicacy will lead to more joy or more worry. “Lazy Love” depicts the proverbial feeling of the “walk in the clouds” when one falls in love—how soothing, but also overwhelming it can be.

“Life is beautiful, it rushes and changes,” says Prończuk-Kuziak . “No matter how hard it is, it is necessary to find beautiful moments in it, at all times, worth living for, dancing for, and laughing for.” The opening reception for True Colors will be hosted Saturday, May 12 from 7pm - 11pm in Gallery 2 at Corey Helford Gallery . The reception is open to the public and the exhibit will be on view through June 16 .

Ewa Prończuk-Kuziak is a Polish contemporary artist who lives and works in Warsaw, Poland. She studied Polish Philology at the Warsaw University, Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp, Belgium) and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts (Warsaw, Poland) where she obtained an MFA in Painting. Ewa’s oil paintings are a combination of still life, nature and fantasy. She creates rainbow-colored visions of animals that are made of materials, as if woven out of thread and decorative fabrics. Building on contrast, they are full of life, energy, and fantasy, always idealized in their complicated nature and continuous transformation. In her works, Ewa uses intensely saturated colors, which illustrate the vibrancy of the world her characters inhabit.