Monday, January 2, 2012

Baroque Beauty and Bygone Glamour

Detail of Regina (2011) by Sylvia Ji

"Gilded Roses" is an exhibition of new works by Sylvia Ji, on view at the Corey Helford Gallery. This is her fourth show at the gallery, which has showcased her fascinating development as a fine artist of "dark" visions, going from the Day of the Dead imagery typical of her early work, as shown in her exhibits "Por Vida" (2008) and "Haute Epoch" (2009), to an exploration of animal, "Shapeshifter" (2010), and floral themes.

This show is less overtly dark, lacking the creepy crawlies of her earlier work, but goes for a more subtle style. The antique baroque attire of her figures establishes a haunted mood, a long-lost glamour, as though we are viewing bygone beauties who persist as restless spirits. Each image is dominated by a single color. Most of the figures are associated with a particular type of flower. These qualities hint at some hidden significance, a story that explains the haunting, a meaning by which to understand the compulsions behind their lovely facades.

Mourning Dress in Violet (2011) by Sylvia Ji

As usual, Sylvia Ji has wonderful technique. The manner in which she allows the grain of the wood panel to establish a sense of atmosphere is fantastic. Her use of color is especially compelling in this show. And her skill at depicting beautiful women never disappoints.

I really loved her Native American theme in the "Shapeshifter" exhibit, but these archaic European images of departed splendor are just as enthralling. This show, running at the Corey Helford Gallery until January 14, is well worth a visit.

Detail of Green Mantilla (2011) by Sylvia Ji

Here are a few vids:

The Art of Sylvia Ji

Showcasing Sylvia Ji's "Por Vida" exhibition (2008)

Showcasing Sylvia Ji's "Haute Epoch" exhibition (2009)


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