On Saturday, May 28th, Corey Helford Gallery in downtown L.A. will be hosting ‘Allure’, an exhibition of new paintings by international street artist HUSH, his second solo exhibition with the gallery.
An explorer of multiculturalism, British artist is well-known for his depictions of traditional Japanese female entertainers or geishas, capturing their femininity and sensuality through a unique mix of seemingly incompatible themes and aesthetics likes traditional fine art painting and ‘messier’ Western traditions like action painting and graffiti, combined in such a way that it feels incredibly natural.
HUSH, inspired by detritus, uses futuristic silvers and blacks clothed in a chaotic collage of colour to create a sensual blizzard of femininity, power and loss. Painted in grayscale, often with the eyes blacked out, HUSH’s female faces are dehumanized. By reducing them to shells of sexuality, he perfectly encapsulates the transient nature of modern life as well as the timeless forces of passion and desire. In what appears to be a luxurious and opulent tale, the hidden truth may reveal otherwise. HUSH lets us in, “Classical Sirens and Japanese Geishas, be prepared to be seduced and discarded like a piece of old flypaper.”
By action painting these faces from history, he achieves “pure expressionism”. The collage-effect backgrounds are screen-printed and hand-painted, then the graffiti elements added by hand in the action painting style, sometimes over many months. The final layer of colour replicates sheets of flyposters peeling from our city’s walls whilst the Bravura use of aerosol on the portraits lends the pieces a futuristic sheen, echoing the seductive promise of technological fulfillment.
“Some people think my women are serene, others that they’re dark. What is clear is the power of their sensuality”, says HUSH. The portraits he paints are imposing and alluring, yet confrontational and unobtainable. The implication being that while the pleasures of modern life are fleeting, the succubus legend remains the most potent, rewarding, and perhaps destructive compulsion offered to man.
Want to know more about HUSH and the exhibition? Read the full press release here.
‘Allure’ opens on Saturday, May 28th from 7-11pm at the gallery located on 571 S. Anderson St. (Enter on Willow St), Los Angeles, CA 90033.The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through July 2nd, 2016.
Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.