Artificial Winter

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On Saturday, October 28, Downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will premiere the long awaited solo exhibition of new works from U.K. artist Ian Francis in Gallery 1. Titled “Artificial Winter,” this will be Francis’ first solo show in the U.S. in three years and the first solo with the gallery.

The opening reception for “Artificial Winter” will be hosted Saturday, October 28 from 7-11pm in Gallery 1 at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public and on view through November 25.





It's been ten years since the Bristol-based multimedia artist’s first solo show, which was also in Los Angeles, now Francis returns with his information-rich canvases, which often depict violent, urban scenes and contain both figurative and abstract elements—rendered in acrylic and oil, charcoal, and ink. An heir to The Pictures Generation, Francis makes socially conscious works that critique and celebrate a media-inundated age. He’s described his work as being “about pornography and news reports from warzones rather than sex and death.”

Regarding “Artificial Winter,” Francis shares: “I've always loved technology and been fascinated by our relationship with it, but I’ve found it hard to predict the extent to which it would come to dominate our relationships with each other, our own self-image and our perception of reality in the last ten years.

Looking back on my work, the focus has slowly shifted from media images of celebrities, to the curated images people create and maintain of themselves. I'm interested in the fragility of the construction of these images, the way they relate to each other, and their broader relationship with a pervasive feeling of a world falling apart. I'm amazed by the way people have transitioned from watching a world through screens, to being creators and participants of it, and the way they have become inextricably enmeshed within its structures and artifices.

I love trying to explore and express these ideas as paintings. There's something about the layered nature of paint that fascinates me. I really like the interplay between applying paint in a very transparent, delicate way juxtaposed with using it in a much more raw, abstract, chaotic way that threatens to break apart and obliterate the detail, structures and patterns. My work has always been heavily based on photography and film because I'm interested in the way people perceive themselves and each other through lenses and screens rather than physical reality.  For me, painting is a way to try and make sense of the stream of images we're bombarded with daily, to explore how these ideas fit together and relate to each other in an unreal space.”

Music On Walls had the chance to ask Ian about the role of music in his creation process: "Definitely, I love listening to music while I paint, although I'm not a musician myself. Recently I've been listening to The Antlers, Tearist, The Flaming Lips, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Radiohead, Thee More Shallows - I need to find some time to find some new music to paint to though, it would be good to try some different things."


About Ian Francis:

Multimedia artist Ian Francis currently lives and works in Bristol, UK, where he was born in 1979. He has exhibited extensively in New York and London. “Artificial Winter” marks his first solo exhibition with Corey Helford Gallery.

Ian Francis ‘Piano Duet Collapse’ (mixed media on birch panel, 31.5 x 43 inches)

Ian Francis ‘Piano Duet Collapse’ (mixed media on birch panel, 31.5 x 43 inches)