This past Saturday, artist Ray Caesar had his first show at Culver City’s Corey Helford Gallery. The show, entitled A Dangerous Inclination, shares thirty of his digital pieces, which are somewhat dark portraits of porcelain skinned girls that have something off about them: they are beautiful and captivating while also being really fucked up. His pieces are artistic marvels that have you wondering how they were made while demanding you decipher the tale they are trying to tell.
“I look inside myself and see very difficult and wonderful memories I have forgotten; things I tucked away in a secret box 45 years ago,” Caesar said of his inspiration for pieces, finishing that he is “now sitting by that box and opening up what’s inside.” The result are the pieces and the exhibition Helford is sharing. The haunting works have this air of damsels in distress who may not actually be in distress but are causing distress in some form. Some of the women and girls portrayed are absolutely aloof of their activity while others have a menacing grimace to them. They all require a closer inspection as many are not what they are seem (many are not even human).
A Dangerous Inclination also sees Caesar pushing his own aesthetic, beyond just scenes of his girls but to still lives, portraits, and dynamic scenes of girls and creatures or girls as creatures. It’s remarkable to see how he has grown over the years, developing into a really, really complex creator. Similarly, Helford put on an equally as complex show that featured a string quartet and chocolate and coffee flavored cake in the style of his pieces to set the mood.
Caesar’s show is on display at Corey Helford through mid November and is definitely worth stopping by to see his pieces in person.
Quartet photo by Angelique Groh.