It’s time to get a little freaky with a new body of work from Canadian artist and illustrator Ryan Heshka that celebrates “weirdos, misfits, oddballs, and nonconformists everywhere, of every size and category, inside and out”.
On show at the Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles this month, FREEKS will feature his new oil paintings and works of gouache on paper along with a wide range of work from his unexpected alternate universe.
Much of the wall space at the gallery will be dedicated to the complete artwork from Heshka’s Mean Girls Club: Pink Dawn graphic novel, marking the first time he has made his original comic book artwork available for purchase.
The exhibition will also mark the official release of Heshka’s long-awaited Frog Wife comic book, with a limited number being made available to purchase at the gallery, along with a new Frog Wife silkscreen print and Frog Wife oil portrait, for the first time.
Heshka’s art is undeniably influenced by the stylistic expression of the pulp magazines and B movies that have always fascinated him. He says, “I have been drawing since I was a kid, and many of the themes have remained constant – giant animals and insects, superheroes, epic battles, monsters. I also watch loads of movies, so I subconsciously think cinematically sometimes while painting and creating. I sort of drift off and begin to imagine images as scenes in a lost film.”
Regarding his upcoming show FREEKS, Heshka adds: “The overall theme that weaves all the work together is the celebration of individuality, and celebrating our individual weirdness, quirks, the things that make us who we are. The political climate, the actual climate, and questions about privacy and reality have been heavy on my mind this year. I didn’t necessarily want to do a show that literally explored these themes, but rather has these themes drive my exploration of individual freedom and the evolution and shift of our relationships with each other as we continue to race forward.”
FREEKS by Ryan Heshka opens Saturday 10 August at the Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles.
‘Frog Wife’ (oil on canvas, 53 x 26 inches) © Ryan Heshka
‘Frog Wife’ comic book cover © Ryan Heshka
‘Band Shirt Prototypes’ (gouache and pencil crayon on vintage paper, 14 x 10 inches) © Ryan Heshka
‘Parade of Pleasure’ (oil on cradled wood panel, 16 x 12 inches) © Ryan Heshka
‘Spider Pinky’ (oil on cradled wood panel, 24 x 18 inches) © Ryan Heshka
“I So Beautiful” (oil on cradled panel, 7 x 9 inches) © Ryan Heshka
‘Soft Shell Time Bombs’ (oil on cradled wood panel, 13.75 x 11 inches) © Ryan Heshka
Preview of original artwork from ‘Mean Girls Club Pink Dawn’ graphic novel (pages 4 & 5)(gouache and pencil crayon on paper (B&W), 27 x 17 inches) © Ryan Heshka
Ryan’s studio © Ryan Heshka