Last Saturday, May 12, Los Angeles artist Mia Araujo returned to Corey Helford Gallery to unveil her first solo exhibition at the gallery, “Into the Woods.” Mia is known for her beautiful and ethereal imagery, tempered with the darkness and horrors of reality. “The worlds I create are heavily charged with mysticism, magic, and mythology — things that I find mostly lacking in contemporary times,” she notes.
For “Into the Woods,” Mia drew inspiration from a variety of sources: Miyazaki’s film Princess Mononoke, the writings of John Muir, and Timothy Egan’s book The Big Burn. Her newest body of work is about connecting with the outdoors to go inward and discover your truest self. Nature is a sanctuary, and “a place to heal from all the exhaustion, stress, and wounds that each of us carry in our daily lives.” Mia adds, “I feel that people today need to be reintroduced to the raw power and beautiful honesty of nature, an experience that no manner of technology can ever replicate.”
Layered with the emotions, ghosts, memories, and dreams of the main figure in each piece, her narratives have matured in every sense - color, anatomy, detail and composition. “I love to tell stories with many facets, like a diamond,” Mia adds. The main floor of the gallery will showcase seven new paintings and ten drawings, including her largest piece to date, a 60” x 40” painting.
The upstairs gallery will feature “Confectionary Affections” a new body of work by Los Angeles artist Nouar. The title of the exhibition alludes to how “the sweet things in life can seamlessly lead into the not so sweet,” Nouar adds. “Dissolved,” is one of ten new works in the show illustrating this concept. In the piece, a bubbly bottle of pop bounces along with the remains of its hapless victim inside.
Nouar continues to feature confectionary-themed resin works created from a unique process of casting and then painting each one. However, For “Confectionary Affections” Nouar embeds objects inside, producing seamless combinations to further push the medium. For the exhibition, Nouar’s signature brightly-colored, sugary-sweet works are infused with darker flavors such as skeletons, apparitions, and symbols of mortality. Nouar adds “It creates a literal sense that the good things and bad things in life, two opposing forces, can collide and meld into one.
All photos by Sam Graham, and both paintings by Mia.
Barbra and Aireal Watts
Buff Monster, Sherri Trahan, and friend
Amy Sol and Mia
Jan Corey Helford and Amy Sol
Kim Chueh, Luke Chueh, and Mia
Kim Chueh, Rhy-Ming Poon, Mia, Lola and Luke Chueh
Jan Corey Helford and Mia:
“Into the Woods”
Featuring guest artist Nouar
On View May 12 – June 2, 2012
Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City