Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sylvia Ji at Corey Helford Gallery


I have always enjoyed the artwork of Sylvia Ji. She's well know for her women with Dia De Los Muertos paint/make-up. She has a new show called Shapeshifter opening Sunday the 11th at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City (L.A. area in CA). The paintings are beautiful--all of women painted and/or dressed; or more accurately, in typical Sylvia Ji style, mostly undressed; in a way that represents an animal. Some of the symbols she uses remind me a little of  Gustav Klimt. However these pieces don't draw me in the way her Dia De Los Muertos paintings do. They don't quite touch that gothic, dark place inside. Although I am tempted to purchase the one titled "The Bandit" because the background of birch trees would go so well on my tree and bird themed family room. But not at $9,500.

From the press release: "Sylvia Ji is internationally recognized for capturing beauty in its most exotic forms. For “Shapeshifter”, Ji continues to evolve her elegant style, combining her narratives with elements of Native American mythology, designs and motifs. Shapeshifting is a theme that appears in Native American folklore, where a being acquires the ability to alter its physical appearance - such as a human changing into a wolf. Depending on whether the being is the subject of a curse or spell, the transformation may be intentional or not."

"Employing Carolyn Niethammer’s book Daughters of the Earth: The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women as her muse, Ji adopts a more organic narrative style, adding to her stunning portraiture of the past. Ji’s fi gures are graceful and fl owing. Foregrounds and backgrounds merge, working together symbiotically and adding movement and pattern to her graceful subjects. Twelve large-scale paintings make up the collection of new works, which will introduce orange and blue hues to Ji’s red and gold leaf palette."

To receive a link to the advance online preview for the show, email

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