On Saturday, July 16th, Corey Helford Gallery will unveil new works from internationally recognized Los Angeles artist and pop surrealist pioneer Camille Rose Garcia. Garcia’s newest series of gothic-psychedelic nature paintings, titled “Phantasmacabre,” will be her first solo show in Los Angeles since 2011 and debut the biggest paintings of her career. In addition, this will be Garcia’s first show with CHG.
Influenced by the surrealist and deeply symbolic films of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jungian archetypes, and fairy tales, “Phantasmacabre” depicts a lush and layered symbolic world that explores the realm of memories and dreams.
Mother nature dominates, with fecund, tangly gardens overtaking painful subconscious memes. Candy colors, repeating patterns, and psychedelic symmetry form an underlying organic structure for the paintings. Figurative fragments from children’s books and fairy tales form a deeply personal narrative dominated by various feminine archetypes and villains. The beautiful and the macabre negotiate a delicate balance of creation and destruction.
Of her new work, Garcia says: “I’m trying to capture an emotional and psychological landscape where dreams and memory combine to form a personal symbolic language, both unique and universal. I’m interested in the feeling of something beautiful and frightening existing at the same time. Something painful and pleasurable all at once.”
Ghosts and witches, snakes and skulls frame acid-colored fever-dream scenes of wounded goddesses slayed open, fecund gardens growing from their wounds. Vibrant strange gardens populated with insects and dream imagery portray a psychedelic dance between life and death.
She adds, “Most of my work had been about the painful intersection of nature and culture, the rampant destructive nature of the modern world. At times I feel a certain helplessness about the state of the world, and I retreat into beauty, into color, into music. This is the language of the universe, in all of its repeating patterns. This series of paintings is the most personal, but also universal. It is no longer about culture, but of trying to tap into a deeper symbolic language beyond words.”
About Camille Rose Garcia:
Camille Rose Garcia was born in 1970 in Los Angeles, California. The child of a Mexican activist filmmaker father and a muralist/painter mother, she apprenticed at age 14 working on murals with her mother while growing up in the generic suburbs of Orange County, visiting Disneyland and going to punk shows with the other disenchanted youth of that era.
Garcia’s layered, broken narrative paintings of wasteland fairy tales are influenced by William Burroughs’ cut-up writings and surrealist film, as well as vintage Disney and Fleischer cartoons, acting as critical commentaries on the failures of capitalist utopias, blending nostalgic pop culture references with a satirical slant on modern society.
Her work has been displayed internationally and featured in numerous magazines including Juxtapoz, Rolling Stone, Flaunt Magazine, Nylon, Paper Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and Modern Painter, and is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Resnick Collection, and the San Jose Museum of Art, which held a retrospective of her work, entitled “Tragic Kingdom,” accompanied by a catalog of the same name. Garcia’s recent book, The Illustrated Alice in Wonderland (published by Harper Collins,) was a New York Times Bestseller.
Garcia recently moved to the Pacific Northwest after 38 years in Los Angeles.
Corey Helford Gallery
571 S. Anderson Street (Enter on Willow St.)
Boyle Heights, 90033