Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil Paper, Oil Paint, Pastel
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: No Instagram
For my second artist conversation this week, I got to meet artist Helen Werner Cox. Helen is a graduate at CSULB and has her Masters in Painting & Drawing. She was born in Ithaca, New York and lived in Boston for 18 years, until she moved to Long Beach because the climate was too much for her. For this exhibit, she worked on this project for a year and three months and filled two sketch books when she went to antique carousels and took sketches. Her work explores the ideas that a carousel is a symbol and a metaphor for society on how we go in circles and keep making mistakes over and over again. Some other interests of hers include her garden that she has and that she loves to read Elizabeth George books.
Helen’s art has a strong focus on drawing tons of energy. For her art style, she borrowed techniques from futurists. Some of her art pieces are monochromatic, while others have a warm or cool feeling that complements the colors. Most of the materials Helen used to create her art work consisted of oil paper.pastels, and oil paint. In her pieces, the lines represent motion and structure. They can be seen as sinuous and as one of her middle school students explained, “Each art piece has its own story.”
Helen did not want to work in a studio alone so she went to antique carousels to get her ideas and get a first-person point of view of what she was going to make. She wanted people to see what kind of work she has done and have it be seen as museum quality work. She explained how she had been “holding crayons and pencils since before she remembers”, so she wanted people to see how all of her time and work has paid off. By using a carousel as her main focus, it is used as a metaphor of how we keep going in a circle and we never make any changes.
Overall, I thought Helen’s art work was creative and how she used the carousel as a metaphor. I understand what she is trying to portray and how we as people need to stop going in a circle making the same mistakes over and over again. Our lives do not need to be like a carousel. Instead, we need to learn from our mistakes and move on instead of having the same thing keep on happening. With Helen’s carousel art work, I believe her message is understood.