Week 10 // Artist Conversation // Helen Werner Cox

Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Oil pastel, prints, carving, water based material, etc.

Gallery: Gastov West Gallery

Website: http://www.helenwernercox.com/

About the Artist

The exhibit she showed last Thursday is the last one she will be showcasing at CSULB because she is expected to graduate this semester. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and later moved to southern California to pursue her passion in fine arts. She is deeply intrigued by carousels, which wasn’t hard to see by the nature of her exhibit. She gathered many of her inspirations by being around carousels. Her favorite place to go and be around carousels was in Griffith Park. When Helen Werner Cox is not working on her pieces, she enjoys gardening, reading fictional novels, and playing on her favorite App -“dots”.

Formal Analysis

I can see the hard work and dedication put into each piece by  Helen Werner Cox. She mentioned that each piece takes a while to complete but the amount of detail in each piece was insane. I noticed that her strokes are made up of lines. A bunch of long lines. I had to take a large step back to take in the large pieces. She had a sculpture in the left corner and I thought it was interesting that she used a human torso instead of a horse torso.

Content Analysis

Cox’s work reflects societies inability to grow. Like a carousel, society is a never ending spiral. A carousel goes round and round but it never goes anywhere. She feels that society is moving but not “moving on”. The horses in her drawings are portraying emotions humans feel in this never ending ride. The horses face show fear and anxiety. Merry go rounds used to portray a somewhat dark/scary message is genius.

My Experience

As I get older, the world becomes a scarier place. People are not nice, nothing is perfect, we are all doomed. We grow up thinking that life gets better as we get older, but that is not the case. The naivety of a child’s mind is a precious thing. Carousels are meant to bring happiness to kids and the fact that Cox was able to put a dark twist of reality into  a distant memory is remarkable. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciate the the message Cox left within me.


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