wk10-artist conversation-Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: ink, wood, screen, marker, paint, paper, etc.
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Website: www.helenwernercox.com
Instagram: N/A

Helen Werner Cox is a graduate student in her third and final year in the MFA Drawing and Painting Figurative program at CSULB. She is from Trumansburg, NY and moved out when she was 18. In New York she taught high school and middle school for 30 years. Then began teaching high school in Boston for about 13 years, until she finally moved to California. Some of her hobbies are gardening at her home where she grows a variety of low water plants, California natives, and fruit trees. In her free time she loves reading books  She likes to carry a sketch book around with her so if she has any new ideas she could sketch them and get back to them when she wants to.

A lot of Helen’s work is associated with Merry-go-rounds, carousels, and animals. All the animals used in her worked are portrayed in different ways and styles. Some of her pieces are wooden, some are colored, others are black and white, and some are even three-dimensional. Most of her pieces have a specific style and I noticed each piece is different in their own way. The pieces are a variety of sizes and shapes. Most of the paintings are a perfect square or rectangle. Her pieces have a wide variety of colors but mostly have a focus on oranges and browns. The texture of her work looks smooth, but the paining looks rough because of the effect.

In Ms. Cox’s work shows her own life experiences, and illustrates the society around her. The main theme of the exhibition is Chaos. Ms. Cox mentioned that society is just like a Merry-go-round, it juts keeps going round and round and round. From Ms. Cox’s point of view all she sees is people keep making the same mistake and no lesson is learned in our society. This issue makes her feel angry, so she incorporates fear and anxiety into her work.

Talking to Ms. Cox made me have a better view of how our society works. This exhibition seemed different to me then the other ones I have visited. It felt more like I was in a museum than the other exhibits. My first thought was it was a happy, positive exhibit then looked harder and talked to Ms. Cox to realize the horses weren’t happy, they were struggling and the pictures weren’t as bright as a I thought.  I agree with Ms. Cox point of view, that everything is going round and round with no end. Society makes you think we are moving forward every day, but sadly we are not getting anywhere.

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