Presents

Mean Girls Club, Frog Wife and Other Misfits

By Ryan Heshka

"Spider Pinky"


OPENING RECEPTION
August 10, 2019 | 7pm - 11pm
 
ON VIEW
August 10 – September 14, 2019

COREY HELFORD GALLERY
571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm - 6pm
(310) 287-2340


Downtown Los Angeles’  Corey Helford Gallery is proud to announce their next major solo show from Canadian artist and illustrator ( Mean Girls Club and Frog Wife ) Ryan Heshka , entitled FREEKS , opening Saturday, August 10 th in Gallery 2 .

Celebrating weirdos, misfits, oddballs, and nonconformists everywhere, of every size and category, inside and out, the opening of FREEKS will not only feature new oil paintings and works of gouache on paper from Heshka but a wide range of work from his unexpected alternate universe.

Much of the wall space at CHG will be dedicated to the complete artwork from Heshka ’s Mean Girls Club : Pink Dawn graphic novel , marking the first time the artist has made his original comic book artwork available for purchase. The FREEKS show at CHG will be the only chance for fans to see the complete story art all in one location.

In addition, opening night of FREEKS will be the official release event of Heshka ’s long-awaited  Frog Wife  comic book , with a limited number being made available to purchase at the gallery, along with a new Frog Wife silkscreen print and Frog Wife oil portrait , for the first time. The exhibition will also host the complete original comic book art from the Frog Wife comic , as well as a number of other new paintings especially executed for FREEKS . Frog Wife (printed by Colour Code Printing ) is a three-color risograph 16-page comic, signed and a numbered edition of 375. Plus, a limited number of the artist’s first monograph, Heshka 's 2017 Fatales: The Art of Ryan Heshka (published by Cernunnos), will also be available to purchase on opening night.

Heshka ’s artistic production is undeniably influenced by the stylistic expression of the pulp magazines and B movies that have always fascinated him. He shares, “I have been drawing since I was a kid, and many of the themes have remained constant – giant animals and insects, superheroes, epic battles, monsters. I also watch loads of movies, so I subconsciously think cinematically sometimes while painting and creating. I sort of drift off and begin to imagine images as scenes in a lost film.”

Regarding his upcoming show FREEKS , Heshka shares: "The overall theme that weaves all the work together is the celebration of individuality, and celebrating our individual weirdness, quirks, the things that make us who we are. The political climate, the actual climate, and questions about privacy and reality have been heavy on my mind this year. I didn’t necessarily want to do a show that literally explored these themes, but rather have these themes drive my exploration of individual freedom and the evolution and shift of our relationships with each other as we continue to race forward. The show itself is split three ways: a) the original art from Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn , b) the debut of my new comic book, Frog Wife (with a new print and a large oil painting and art from the comic book), and c) a series of new paintings. The narratives in all these works varies, but there is a thread of rebellion, of flipped or evolved stereotypes, and turning figures inside out to reveal an inner self. The show started as an excuse to exhibit my comic book art, but soon took on a life of its own."

He adds, "The show is heavy on the comic book art (close to 60 spreads, or 120 pages), which I have never shown before. There are also two large oil paintings, one of the Mean Girls Club , and one of Frog Wife . Large format oils are relatively new to me and have not been widely seen or available. Other paintings play with the format of tattoo flash (multiple icons or figures on a page), or focus more on figures rather than scenes, which featured more prominently in old works. The work still maintains that antiquated, distant, almost foreign look I am known for, but I feel it is more refined and yet at the same time more raw than older works."

FREEKS opens Saturday, August 10 th from 7pm-11pm in Gallery 2 , alongside a solo show with Jana Brike , entitled Soulsearching , in Gallery 3 . CHG will also be hosting a solo show with HERAKUT , entitled Of Worriers and Warriors , which opens Saturday, August 17 th in the Main Gallery . The gallery’s August line-up is an outstanding combination of artists, each completely and radically different from the others but all aggressively current and emotional, which is the strength of the New Contemporary art scene. Corey Helford Gallery is located at 571 S. Anderson St. Los Angeles, CA 90033 and normal hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12pm - 6pm.

About Ryan Heshka:
Ryan Heshka was born in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and grew up in Winnipeg. To pass the long prairie winters, much of his childhood was spent drawing, building cardboard cities, making super 8mm films, and daydreaming. Very early on, he developed an affinity for old, outdated imagery and media, such as golden age comics, pulp magazines, package design, music, movies, and animation. This affection for the old, while simultaneously exploring contemporary tone and spirit, gives Heshka’s work its distant yet familiar ambience.

Formally trained in interior design, he is self-taught as an artist and illustrator. Heshka’s personal artwork has been featured on the cover and interiors of BLAB! magazine and numerous art publications around the globe, and has been exhibited in galleries across North America and Europe. His illustration work has appeared in Vanity Fair , Playboy , Esquire , the New York Times , and the New Yorker ; plus he’s had two children’s books published by Henry Holt and Company (New York). More recently, the cult hits Mean Girls Club and Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn (published by Nobrow; UK) have marked his entry into comics. A “Mean Girls Club” clothing line by VIXEN (by Micheline Pitt; Los Angeles, CA) was launched in early 2019, as well as a clothing line collaboration between Heshka and Son of the Cheese (Japan). Fatales: The Art of Ryan Heshka (published by Cernunnos) was released in 2017 and marks the artist’s first monograph.

Heshka lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada with his wife Marinda and daughter Roxy.

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 ( The Conners , Anger Management , The Drew Carey Show , George Lopez ) 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.

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. CHG is located in Downtown Los Angeles in a robust 12,000 square foot building presenting new exhibitions approximately every six weeks.

For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit CoreyHelfordGallery.com and connect on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and YouTube .

###

For Corey Helford Gallery media inquiries, contact Chummy Press:
Aaron Feterl | [email protected]
Jacob Mask | [email protected]