Today, April 1st, is the opening of another amazing exhibition at Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) that will be presenting a new collection from Welsh-born, Los Angeles-based pop surrealist painter Richard J. Oliver.

It’s been two years since Oliver had his last solo exhibition of new works, and the result this time is truly stunning. Titled, “Immersion”, the new body of work is both beautiful, soulful and engaging in a unique and timeless way. According to the artist this new work is an expression of and meditation on deep-rooted feelings of dissociation, isolation and the difficulties of realising a union between mind and body.

I get trapped seeking meaning and understanding at the expense of becoming unaware of the life-giving source that supports and nourishes me each second. While my attention is on insignificance, I miss the majesty of what is all around and within this existence. As a result, life can sometimes appear devoid of any vibrancy.

The challenge therefore has been to try and express this perplexity of uncertain and unclear ideas into a tangible and communicative expression using color and form, or as Plato puts it ‘render the realm of perfect eternal ideas into its imperfect copy.’

But why? Ultimately my hope is that meditating on interconnectedness and immersion in life will attend to the struggle and ease some suffering. By portraying this paradox of solitude of our human condition, I hope to relate and connect through relationships with others, who are feeling the same smallness and often frightening isolation of this human incarnation.”

According to Olivier, he has tried to return in each of these paintings to a state of psychological stability and composure reflecting about the issue. Using painting as a way to release the struggle by embracing all aspects of experience without judgment, mindfully. “While making the art, I adopted a loving kindness to all the inner feelings of confusion, frustration and limitation, and also an outward expression of compassion to others in the knowledge that they are likely to be experiencing the same difficulties in their lives.” And believe me, that is such a hard thing to do.

Paintings like “You Only Lose What You Cling To” and “Equilibria” reflect this immersion in the artist’s mind, the reflection about issues like pain, loss, happiness, spirituality and probably the hardest one for me, letting go and enjoy what it is. Because only what it is can bring happiness.

“Immersion” opens today Saturday, April 1st from 7-11pm at CHG. The reception is open to the public and the exhibit will be on view through April 29th.

"Equilibria” (oil on canvas, 27” x 36”)

Richard J. Olivier “Equilibria”

Richard J. Oliver_'Ocean' and 'Stardust' (oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches each)

Richard J. Oliver ‘Ocean’ and ‘Stardust’

 

About Richard J. Oliver:

Richard J Oliver was born and raised in Wales, United Kingdom, studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England and undertook his Masters at UWIC in Wales. In his time between studies, Oliver built his reputation, beginning in Wales and later gaining recognition throughout the UK. His work has been included in numerous European group shows, which then segued into solo shows, including an exhibition at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in Wales.

Oliver’s early work focused on his homeland, particularly the struggle of its youth trying to find identity in the aftermath of the local mining industry’s demise. His work often showcased the skeleton landscapes of mining villages in the Welsh valleys juxtaposed with contemporary youth. His latest works explore more universal subjects, from environmental issues to humanitarian and social problems that are close to his heart.

Since becoming a parent, Oliver has explored the anxieties of raising a child in an environment on the brink of disaster. The images touch on the tragedy of children forced to survive in an apocalyptic environment and violently fend for themselves. He transforms the natural instincts of fatherhood and family protection into striking visuals. More recently, portraits have crossed into the dark, brooding world of Grimm’s fairytales and surrealistic subjects that help convey the emotion and tragedy of our world’s children. Oliver works closely with many charities, having donating proceeds from his work to DreamLoveCure.org, City of Hope’s Department of Pediatrics, Williams Syndrome association and the Autism Society of Los Angeles. He currently paints and resides in Los Angeles. (source)

For more info, visit richardjoliver.com and follow on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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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 visit coreyhelfordgallery.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter andInstagram.

Author: Fran

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.