Lori Nelson Float On, Anyway (oil on canvas, 20 x 24)

Today, May 6, Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery will be dazzling its public with two new exhibitions featuring the work of Pop-surrealists Lori Nelson and Eric Joyner, at respectively gallery 2 and 1.

“Cryptotweens: Find My Friends by Lori Nelson is the follow up of her 2016 exhibition, “Cryptotweens Are Like” (featured), where 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.

“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.”

Lori nelson “Neighbour Girl” (oil on panel, 30 x 30)

“Tarsus Bondon Dot”
, the new solo exhibition from San Francisco-based award-winning artist/illustrator Eric Joyner, marks his seventh solo exhibition at CHG and be hosted in Gallery 1.

The work of Joyner depicts the tenuous conflict between children’s toys and the adulthood as a portrait of another reality. His work is characterised by his playful and surrealistic style that creates the harmony between the mix of cartoon characters, especially Japanese tin robots and colourful donuts inserted in all kinds of landscapes from the Dinosaur Ages to the bottom of the ocean.
“In many ways, ‘Tarsus Bondon Dot’ represents the totality of my life.” – Eric Joyner

According to Joyner he wanted to show in this exhibition some of the activities we partake in, to distract ourselves from everyday life. In his work, he enjoys exploring the absurd and reflecting on life around him, as he sees it.

Eric Joyner Rockin’ At Sharkys (oil on panel, 48 x 36)

Eric Joyner The Raven And The Clock (oil on panel, 36 x 36)

Eric Joyner Golf (oil on panel, 16.5x 20)

The opening reception for “Cryptotweens: Find My Friends” and“Tarsus Bondon Dot” will be hosted Saturday, May 6 from 7-11pm at Corey Helford Gallery in gallery 2 and 1 respectively. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition is on view through June 3.

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 Eric Joyner:
Eric Joyner attended the Academy of Art and the University of San Francisco and went on to establish himself as a commercial artist, creating illustrations for Mattel Toys, Levi’s, Microsoft and Showtime. A member of San Francisco Society of Illustrators and New York Society of Illustrators, Joyner has been an instructor and speaker at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University and California College of the Arts. His work has been featured in San Jose Museum of Art’s exhibition “Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon”, and he has shown in numerous galleries and cultural institutions worldwide.

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.