On Saturday, May 6, Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles presents new works by Lori Nelson in her second solo exhibition with the gallery, entitled “Cryptotweens: Find My Friends,” in Gallery 2. The opening reception for will be hosted Saturday, May 6 from 7-11pm at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition is on view through June 3.
In her 2016 exhibition, “Cryptotweens Are Like,” the Brooklyn-based painter presented a cast of whimsical monster-tweens who are ferociously flawed. In this ongoing series, her young monsters are usually in a position of self-discovery and power, potentially mastering their world as they encounter adolescence. Whether they are human with fantastical features or super-powerful cryptids with unusual apps on their smartphones, we can recognize ourselves in each of Nelson’s subjects. Her new series — “Cryptotweens: Find My Friends” –takes place in a parallel universe where the subjects are neither child nor teen, human nor monster, and are on the verge of discovering their own personal powers.
Nelson shares: “Cryptotweens have always embodied the strange and beastly aspects of not only adolescence but also of humanity in general. My wish is always to portray the awkward and homely as possibly beautiful and embraceable, if only we can be brave enough to stare at our own monstrosity with clear unpolluted eyes.”
“The show title, ‘Find My Friends,’ is derived from an app of the same name. The plaintiveness of this phrase strikes me as more symbolic than the programmers of this locating tool probably ever intended, capturing the motivation behind much of our technology use: as we dive deeper into our devices, we want nothing more than to find companionship. In this spirit, I’ve delivered a small friend or familiar to most of my Cryptotweens, almost as if granting a wish. This is a gesture of my hope that all of us, everywhere, will eventually find our friends.”
About Lori Nelson
Lori Nelson is a Brooklyn-based painter whose narrative work incorporates aspects of traditional portraiture, Magic Realism, and vintage storybook illustration. Nods to urban mythology and current tech crazes will often appear in her work so that both yeti and iPhone apps can exist in a strange almost sweet landscape. Teens and tweens are of particular interest to Nelson and, with the fur and scales of cryptids, have been the inspiration of her ongoing “Cryptotween” series where, for several years, she has explored the vulnerability and essence of what it means to be young and monstrous. Growing up in a religious household in the West, Nelson’s primary access to art was through the devotional paintings reproduced in the family scriptures. The believer depicted on the page was of interest to the artist, beyond the gospel message, and a fascination in believers of all types took root, leading to an appreciation for conspiracy theorists, magicians, cryptozoologists, and all who declare, “I want to believe”. Through her oil paintings, Lori Nelson presents an alien world inhabited by strange and powerful children and beasts whose situations and experiences seem spookily familiar as we recognize ourselves in the monsters and the monsters in ourselves.
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 (Anger Management, The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez, The Oblongs) 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, the production and promotion of their artwork, and the general production of their exhibits, events and projects.
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, and Post-Graffiti.
After nine years in Culver City, CHG relocated in December 2015 to a robust 12,000 sq. ft. building in Downtown Los Angeles, seven times larger than its original space, where it continues to host exhibitions within the heart of the city’s art community. The current space boasts three separate galleries, each of which house individual artist and group exhibitions, whereas the main gallery offers 4,500 sq. ft., providing total immersion for its attendees. New exhibitions are presented approximately every four weeks. For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit coreyhelfordgallery.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.