Jana Brike Goes "Soulsearching" @ Corey Helford Gallery
Mostly using the traditional medium of oil painting on canvas, Brike's art focuses on the internal space and state of a human soul – dreams, longing, love, pain, the vast range of emotions that the human condition offers – and the transcendence of them all; the growing up and self-discovery.
Regarding her new series, Brike shares:
"To me, painting is a strange medium, where countless hours, days, weeks, sometimes even years of constant energy flow into a dedicated piece of work depicting a frozen moment in time. This time and energy is my personal soulsearching time. That alone can give that metaphysical feeling of a window into a world where time just flows differently and one second of the protagonist's time is a million years in our reality."
“Soulsearching consists of all new oil paintings. Through exploring the significance of feminity and transcending the darkness of personal life experiences, I create paintings that are autobiographical; visual poems about the connection to my own body, soul and path, the numinous quality of everyday life, and the curious exploration of natural, living organisms. Life, death, life after death, and rebirth create important themes. As does ecstasy, the shining of pure joy of living. Mysticism, magic, and dreams are mixed with 'real-life' in an inseparable entanglement. It is all a Soulsearching – shifting through your own mysterious depths in search of your truest self and answers to life's most important questions.”
About Jana Brike:
Growing up under Soviet occupation had a profound effect on everything from Brike's work ethic to aesthetic sensibilities. A self-described "reclusive and dreamy child," Brike showed burgeoning talent at a very young age. By 15 years old she was participating in international exhibitions, later going on to receive her Master of Arts degree from the Art Academy of Latvia in 2005.
Informed by everything from Russian Realism and Soviet animation to her Grandmother's religious postcards featuring biblical works of the European masters, Brike's surreal and haunting imagery is culled from folklore, fairytales and children's book illustrations. Her subjects embody a fantastical quality, illustrating what Brike views as the "forbidden imagery of Western pop culture" that took on a "mystical, almost religious tone for Soviet children."
Soulsearching opens Saturday, August 10th, with an opening reception from 7 to 11pm, and is on view through September 14th, 2019. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033.