CHG Circa presents
Opening Reception Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 7-10 pm
On View November 3 to December 1, 2012
8530-A Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Open Tuesday - Saturday, Noon to 6:00pm
On Saturday, November 3, 2012, CHG Circa will feature “La Catrina,” Sylvia Ji’s new paintings of sublime Catrina beauty and her fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Central to the paintings of “La Catrina” is the specter of La Calavera Catrina, an iconic deity of Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” celebrations, invoked by Sylvia Ji as a chromatic presence enciphered with allegory. “I wanted to revisit this female figure that haunts me, the Catrina, and put her in a less sexually provocative form to a more concerned, almost sad tranquility and reflection,” says Ji.
La Calavera Catrina, or The Elegant Skull, was originally portrayed in 1910s by the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada as a richly adorned skeletal figure and became an enduring icon of the “Day of the Dead” celebrations. The Catrina was adoptive of the Aztecan goddess Mictecacihuatl who in the afterlife watched over the bones of the dead and all commemorating festivals. In “La Catrina,” the Lady of the Dead oversees the artist’s changes, divined through painting, and reflective with her unearthly visage.
“The color red is still prominent in a lot of the work, but takes on new meaning as the color of blood,” says Ji. “Not only is red prominent, but other colorful jewel tones as well; also intricate use of gold, copper and silver leaf.” Red hues change from the noir to traditional, shapeshifting its figure’s lives from the past to the present. As a painterly possession, “La Catrina” reveals the contemporary as a translucent identity of the past. “Many of the eyes are closed, mouths drawn in a sort of calm resignation to fate.” “La Catrina” exorcises the contemporary, where the past remains an ongoing force, grounding the present with an unworldly vibrance.
“La Catrina” will exhibit twenty-three paintings, including a series of smaller works. “I’ve tried to incorporate many of the textiles and patterns that evoke the indigenous spirit of Mexico,” says Sylvia. The rich hues and tonalities inlaid with traditional patterns and metallic foil motifs create an exhibition of saturnine beauty, resonant with life.
The opening reception for “La Catrina” takes place Saturday, November 3 at CHG Circa. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through December 1, 2012.
Sylvia Ji was born in 1982, and raised in San Francisco, California, where she received her BFA at the Academy of Art University. Upon graduation, she relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 where she currently resides. Ji’s work encapsulates an alluring beauty that is both cutting edge and a nod to time-honored technique. Her paintings are symbolic reflections of herself, portraits of people she knows or nameless faces set in a landscape of fleeting and decaying beauty. Possessing an artistic voice as unique as the times we live in, Ji is at once contemplative, spiritual, enigmatic, and yet whimsically funny. Above all else, it is perhaps beauty that emerges as her defining characteristic, and her art reflects this: an extension of herself; a passionate appreciation of simple aesthetic pleasure fused with intimately complex subject matter. Ji’s work has been featured in numerous gallery exhibitions worldwide as well as Art Basel’s “Art Fair Now” and “Art From The New World” at Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery. She has been profiled in publications such as Juxtapoz, Trace, and Mesh Magazine, and her painting “Dona Dolorosa” graced the cover of the LA Weekly. For more information about Sylvia Ji, please visit sylviaji.com.
Established in 2012 by Los Angeles gallerists Jan Corey Helford and Bruce Helford, CHG Circa is their exciting new art venue on Washington Blvd. After launching the highly-successful Corey Helford Gallery in 2006 in the Culver City Arts District, the Helfords opened CHG Circa as a platform to highlight figurative and pop surreal artists worldwide, including Lola, Van Arno, Sylvia Ji, Amy Sol and many more. Corey Helford Gallery is internationally-renowned for its standout exhibitions, from “Letters From America” during the 2012 London Olympics to “Art From The New World,” Corey Helford’s transatlantic collaboration with the Bristol’s City Museum & Art Gallery showcasing work by a formidable group of 49 of the finest emerging and noted American artists in the New Contemporary art scene. CHG Circa will present exhibitions and special projects of equal quality and caliber. “We believe the artists we show and support are creating timeless art,” the Helfords add, and to celebrate this, CHG Circa will have an elegant 1930s’ ambiance, stamped tin ceilings and 10 foot archways. CHG Circa presents new exhibitions every 4-5 weeks. For more information and an upcoming exhibition schedule, please visit chgcirca.com.