Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Helen Werner Cox

Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Woodcarving, Oil Paint, Pastel, Water Based Materials

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: www.HelenWernerCox.com

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Helen Werner Cox is a California State Long Beach graduate native to New York. She has previous experience as a middle and high school teacher. She also enjoys several hobbies, including sustainable gardening,  reading mysteries and fiction, and sketching.

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Her style and used media often changes; some paintings can be in monochrome wood sculptures, while others are rendered in soft oils or pastels. Despite these variations, all her works maintain contrasting themes of whimsy, represented by animals and carnival rides, laced with expressions of anguish. In her paintings, this interplay is also highlighted by the soft, curving lines as well as the dark, cool textures beside warmer tones.

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As with most proficient artists, Ms. Cox finds inspiration within her emotions as well as from her surroundings. The carousels are meant to represent the cyclical nature of people and society, insofar as that she believes neither has learned from past mistakes, and both will continue on the same repetitive path. The faces of the horses also reflect this idea, appearing terrified and panicked, as if they themselves know of their doomed predicament but can find no way of escape. She utilizes flowing lines, startling colors, and a keen use of perspective to suggest this frantic movement.

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Her insight becomes increasingly understandable if the viewer thinks back on recent news, especially as everything seems to fall apart all over the world despite the fact that this is an era with the fastest technological development in history. Through her works, Ms. Cox not only seeks, but demands change from us, portraying with an artist’s hand the true nature of the world around us.

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