The fourth wall is an imaginary boundary that separates a story from its audience, who live in the real world. It’s also the name of a new exhibition now on view at pop-surrealist gallery Corey Helford in downtown Los Angeles.
Open now, The Fourth Wall runs through August 19, 2023, and includes new works from four different artists: Irish oil painter Chloe Early, UK-based mixed-media artists HUSH and Ian Francis, and Indonesian artist RYOL.
Chloe Early debuts Day-Glo Wanderstar, a collection of color-drenched paintings that feature female figures suspended in space. Imbued with elements of escapism, fantasy, and freedom, the works in Day-Glo Wanderstar are indebted to astronomy, flight patterns, color, and the symbolism of gravity. “I’m interested in circular objects, from a symbolic perspective,” says Chloe, whose work is filled with puffy swim rings to keep everyone afloat. “To me, they represent continuity and life cycles, and the shape reminds me of planets, their rings and orbital paths. I also like that these swim rings are reminiscent of childhood, summer holidays, leisure, and escapism, and I wanted to contrast those seemingly frivolous human activities against a darkness and emptiness akin to outer space.”
Blending street art with traditional techniques, UK mixed-media artist HUSH blurs the boundaries between the controlled environment of his studio and the ever-changing nature of the urban landscape. Populated by enigmatic female figures who exude a sense of strength and allure, HUSH’s work explores themes of beauty, identity, and empowerment.
In a new series of paintings, UK artist Ian Francis fixates on the “artificial, constructed realities we see through screens that make up so much of our daily life and experience.” Exploring his reaction to the impacts of social isolation over the pandemic, Ian creates chaotic figure work that threatens to disintegrate at any moment. “I’ve found it a difficult subject to explore visually in a way that feels true to me, but there’s a sense of emptiness and separation from one another that seems to permeate this moment,” he says.
The last artist exhibiting in The Fourth Wall, Ryo Laksamana (aka RYOL), is originally from East Java. His new series, Togetherness, celebrates the intimacy of close relationships through a whimsical, pop-art lens: “The way I imitate pop culture, such as the anime and cartoon figures I received as a child, cannot be separated from the way pop artists work,” he says. “My perspective as a growing consumer of popular culture in the age of globalization is an authentic part of the artistic process.”
The fourth wall is an imaginary boundary that separates a story from its audience, who live in the real world.
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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