On Saturday, February 23, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery is proud to present a three-artist show featuring new works from popular Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno, Mayuka Yamamoto, and Chicago-based illustrator and toy maker Travis Lampe in Gallery 2.
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Junko Mizuno is motivated by the pure pleasure of creating art, which she uses to celebrate the power of women and creates a universe for them ─ full of energy, both positive and negative.Mizuno’s upcoming show at CHG, entitled Soma, encapsulate the growth, maturity, and finality of the human existence. The definition of “soma” is 1: the body of an organism 2: all of an organism except the germ cells 3: cell body. She shares, “The series is about celebrating life, death and body. I’m turning 46 this year and I feel my body is changing as I get older. In the last five years or so, I’ve seen my friends having serious illnesses (some of them passed away), many of my friends got pregnant and had babies, some lost their parents, and I see my parents getting older and weaker as well. All of these led me to think more about life, death and body, and it’s reflected in this series.”
In Mayuka Yamamoto’s upcoming show, entitled Animal Boys, she reflects on her childhood and explores ideas of natural instinct and anxieties, related to growing up. She prefers to leave her “animal boys” (children dressed like animals) and enigmatic expressions against soft, pale backgrounds, a mystery to her viewers.
She shares, “‘Why draw a child dressed in an animal costume?’ is a question I’ve never been very good at answering because it’s simple: ‘It’s just something I wanted to draw.’ When I hear that question, I try to think about it from my starting point and ask myself: ‘What do I struggle for and what have I created up until now?’ If the viewer thinks my paintings portray ‘normal’ children, or a child who refuses to grow up, or a boy who yearns to be animal, or a boy who’s just wearing an animal costume; I can accept these viewpoints. Because, in fact, I’m trying to create work that has many meanings and is ambiguous to the viewer. Then, I realized that I don’t have an answer and I don’t want an answer. Everything is ambiguous, I want my work to exist like that.”
Travis Lampe’s new show, entitled Tales Best Left Untold, is inspired by storybook tales that you heard as a child with a boozy twist. Lampe shares, “You know the magical storybook tales you loved as a child? These aren’t those, at all, really. I prefer to improve the old tales with the addition of way more punching and quite a bit more booze. If you walk away from my work having gained insight into the meaning of friendship or learned some sort of lesson about yourself, you should probably look again, this time paying closer attention to all the punching and booze. Also, in painting for this one, I came to the conclusion that Mother Goose was, for all intents and purposes, a witch. Am I the only one who didn’t already know this? I’d never thought about it before, but it seems obvious now. I feel like an idiot. For this show, like all the others, I painted things that make me laugh. There is meaning hidden in there, I suppose, and even a kind of truth – look around, the world right now is bananas – but examining it too closely would ruin all the fun, I think.”