On Saturday, August 10, 2013, Corey Helford Gallery presents “First World Problems” featuring the wild, visionary robot paintings of artist Eric Joyner, his fifth solo show with the gallery.
Eric Joyner’s paintings explore surreal robot sagas of mechanical life in the material world. “Humanity reflected in robots,” says Eric on the theme of his upcoming Corey Helford show, originally and revealingly called ‘Back in the U.S.S.A.’ (United Surreal States of America).’ “These new paintings are set in urban areas as opposed to the jungle like my last show,” says Eric, “with an emphasis on robots loitering around bakeries, and other small establishments.”
In the featured oil-on-wood painting “Heavy Traffic”, robots driving X-15s, Space Tanks, and other classic-retro spaceships are caught in a boulevard traffic jam on a softly lit street of neighborhood local shops. Robot life, trapped in their slowed vehicles and oblivious to the pleasure of nearby bakery goods, is existential. “The problem here is traffic and the possible anxiety for someone in a small car.” The paintings of “First World Problems” depict the dreams and struggles of robots finding home in a hard-wired life, ironic with urban coexistence. “I am inspired by quaint shops, trees, robots, misunderstanding and absurdity,” Eric says.
Since 1999, Eric Joyner has painted his protagonist robots and in 2002, he discovered their ultimate ‘nemesis’ - the donut. In bakery goods, his robots found an existential contradiction in the deep-fried adversity of the sweet absurd. Through robo-pop narratives, Eric’s saturations of light and color find unexpected meaning with surreal juxtapositions. He adds, “I am a robo surrealist.” In his new painting “The Intervention”, a bright retro-robot brandishing a bakery good towers over a city apocalypse. Pastry makes life worth living, even for robots.
“First World Problems” will exhibit sixteen oil paintings of robot neo-realities. “I’ve been looking at American toy robots for the 1960’s,” says Eric, “Lot’s more signage in this show…and bakeries.” The exhibition’s richly painted color-noir robots, living their urban day-to-day ontologies, reveal Eric Joyner’s new robo-visions, a place not too far away from a bakery near you.
The opening reception for “First World Problems” takes place on Saturday, August 10 at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through September 7, 2013.