I went to the “Seasonal Changes” show at Giant Robot to specifically see the work of Hellen Jo, an artist I had discovered while researching an upcoming exhibition I am curating. An animator by day, Jo is a very in demand artist and illustrator who shows her work internationally. Her work is inspired by manga, and features strong women and life in the Bay Area where she grew up. The pieces in the current show are about (fictional) Korean girl gangs.
Along wiht Hellen Jo the “Seasonal Changes” show at GR2, which opened on Saturday, March 16 and runs through April 3, features Deth P. Sun, Gosha Levochkin, and Jen Corace. I was not familiar with any of the other three artists, but I was immediately drawn to Deth P. Sun’s work.
Most of Sun’s work featured a cat character engaged in various heroics–fighting snakes, riding a dragon, exploring a jungle. Or there were drawings filled with items beginning with a particular letter from the alphabet–“S” for example–skull, Saturn, sloth, etc. I picked up an old copy of Giant Robot Magazine and discovered that Sun had been showing with the gallery for years, and had his first solo show there in 2003. The alphabet drawings came from a visual dictionary of every day things his mother had gotten to learn English when he was a child. Sun said in the article:
I was kind of a loner as a kid and we didn’t have cable, so I’d just come home from school and draw to pass the time. I drew from random books we had around the house and books I’d check out from the local library.
Children’s book author and illustrator Richard Scarry was also an inspiration.
Gosha Levochkin creates brightly colored watercolors of strange, exploding horse creatures; and hybrid houses that come alive, sprouting limbs or carried by humans and animals. Levochkin, a Russian artist who lives in Los Angeles, has been featured in Juxtapoz and he has also shown at the Cave Gallery and Hold Up Art Gallery.
Jen Corace is an artist/illustrator from Providence, RI. The monotone watercolors displayed in the “Seasonal Changes” show seem to be a new direction for Corace, whose past work was more brightly colored and childlike. Corace has illustrated children’s books in the past and according to her blog she has also recently experimented with animation. Her latest work takes on a somber tone, consisting of mostly sullen black and gray figures embracing, eating, or going about the motions of daily life in solitary. Corace adds just a touch of red or pink to keep these characters from drowning in the deep end.
As a whole, the work of the four artists went together well. The work was similar enough in style and subject matter to mesh well, but still different enough to make the show interesting. Hellen Jo and Deth P. Sun still stood out as the most interesting artists to me personally, but a good group show like this one has something for everyone. I’d also like to mention that the work was very reasonably priced, with most of the originals by Hellen Jo and Deth P. Sun priced at under $200. Deth P. Sun also brought along some ‘zines which sell for $6 to $8, so be sure to pick one up, if there are any left!“Seasonal Changes” March 16-April 3, 2013
2062 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90025
Open Wednesday-Friday, 12:00-6:00pm; Saturday, noon-8:00pm, noon-7:00pm
Top photo Hellen Jo, Les Ponytails, courtesy Eric Nakamura /Giant Robot 2