We’ve all witnessed the quick flip of window blinds or heard the rushed click of a door locking securely into place. In cramped suburban and urban environments, it’s commonplace. Now imagine that your neighborhood watch group consists of a trio of bears: black, brown, and panda. Maybe the animal lookouts don’t know how to file a noise complaint, but they’re really good at keeping the block safe, and much cuter than cops.
Toronto-based artist Richard Ahnert lets his imagination run wild in a series of cuddly new works that explore the abiding kinship between animals and humans. Now on view at Corey Helford Gallery in downtown Los Angeles, Richard’s solo exhibition, While We Wait, pulls viewers into satirical narratives that reflect on all-too human anxieties: hope, wonder, safety, community, environmental conservation, and, of course, existential despair at the end of a long work week.
Richard humanizes his furry protagonists by placing them in familiar situations: on a coin-operated kiddie ride, at a kitchen table with a bowl of surgery cereal. Painted in a realistic style, the creatures in Richard’s work are enveloped in a dreamy haze as they’re caught in moments of action and suspense. In “Pizza Party” a ravenous pack of foxes dig into a pepperoni ‘za, while “Usual Table” portrays a bear cub waiting for his favorite meal.
Much like life, Richard’s oil paintings capture feelings of anticipation, of yearning for a simple desire or even the next big thing. The work in While We Wait begs the question, “What are we waiting for?,” with hopes that whatever’s taking its precious time will be worth the wait.
Richard Ahnert’s While We Wait runs through March 4, 2023, alongside the gallery’s ninth annual Art Collector Starter Kit group show. Please visit Corey Helford Gallery’s website for more information.
Maybe the animal lookouts don’t know how to file a noise complaint, but they’re really good at keeping the block safe, and much cuter than cops.
Richard Ahnert: Website | Instagram
All photos published with permission of the artist(s).
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