Opening Saturday, November 14th, downtown Los Angeles' Corey Helford Gallery is proud to announce two solo shows featuring new works from Japanese mythological surrealist painter Chie Yoshii, entitled Myth, in Gallery 2 and from Canadian illustrator and designer Bennett Slater, entitled Homemade Easy, in Gallery 3. Both shows mark each artist’s second solo at the gallery, and CHG plans to celebrate their debut with a virtual opening (details TBA). Japanese born and U.S trained oil painter Chie Yoshii creates works that explore timeless psychological themes with a contrasting mix of techniques and styles. On the one hand, the brushstrokes and the luminosity of her panels are reminiscent of traditional Flemish paintings. The details, the quality of shading, and the softness of each character's complexion are presented in a masterly manner. On the other hand, the subtle symbolism and compelling presence of the figures bring an unexpected air of accessible modernity.
Much of Yoshii's work is inspired by the relationship between human psychology and mythical archetypes. In her show statement, she quotes pioneering psychiatrist Carl Jung, who said: "It is not storms, not thunder and lightning, not rain and cloud that remain as images in the psyche, but the fantasies caused by the effects they arouse."
In Yoshii's newest series Myth, these enduring themes are woven into surrealities, filled with symbols and visual narratives. Yoshii shares, "When we say, 'That is a myth,' we mean that it is not true. However, myth does reveal psychological truth. When we experience events, what remains in the psyche are the fantasies that arise with the emotions they cause. These fantasies become myth. The reverence we feel when we see the sunrise becomes the myth about the sun god. The puzzling feeling we experience when we are faced with tricky questions gives birth to the mythical trickster character. Myth is not about reality but the fantasies aroused by its effects. They are viscerally conceived and more tangible than reality. I have always been interested in what is common in human psychology: patterns, tendencies, and archetypes. Mythological themes inspire me because a myth that stands the test of time shows us a collective psyche that is common among us all. For this show, I created a world with these mythical motifs that make me feel connected, beyond time, culture, and space."
Bennett Slater utilizes traditional oil methods on wood. His techniques are borrowed from Flemish and Dutch master disciplines combined with bold, geometric forms linked to more contemporary futurism and deco sensibilities. This dichotomy of contrasting artistic disciplines and influences lends itself to the underlying dualities observed in his work.
Slater's work is inspired by the relationships the future shares with the past, the new from the old, life from death. Regarding his latest series, Homemade Easy, he shares: "The atomic age of Americana brought us dizzying highs and creamy middles- but one thing to survive the blast, a unifying nostalgia for the tastier, simpler, kitschier things. The dewy sweet aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice, the radiant crackling of bacon in a pan, and the sudden spring of the old reliable toaster put us somewhere- somewhere specific. Somewhere where you're sitting cross-legged on a patch of scratchy shag carpet, clasping the cool ceramic of your cereal bowl, while cartoons clank and bonk across the room. Cares seemed simple, and concerns seemed few. The sights, the smells, the sounds, and the feel of effortless comfort, a pure joy, can be tapped with the simplest memory. But keeping those memories stoked can feel more and more challenging. The further we walk down the road, the harder it can be to reach back.
This series of work looks to tap your senses, experiences, nostalgia, and creature comforts- whisking your memory into soft peaks so it doesn't melt away. Fill your bellies, and your hearts will follow."