Deep in the heart of Hollywood, tucked away in her cluttered backyard studio, artist Sylvia Ji blasts heavy metal through iPod speakers and works tirelessly at a pace nearly matching the blistering guitar solos. Inspiration lies scattered about like confetti: books on Gustav Klimt, stacked DVDs of Jane Eyre and Queen Elizabeth I, fashion story boards of modern haute couture. It’s all in preparation for Ji’s fourth solo exhibit, “Gilded Roses”, debuting December 17th at the Corey Helford Gallery.
But it wasn’t research alone that brought her here. Since a young age, Ji’s been fascinated with the theatrical nature of Elizabethan fashions, and by injecting her trademark style with a Victorian theme she’s found a renewed vitality evident in every brushstroke. Expect alluring femme fatales dressed in ornate fashions reminiscent of a bygone era. Explosions of lace, feathers and silk adorn the silhouettes of her subjects as she explores the heightened beauty and satirical grace of Britian’s Golden Age. Thanks to her enduring passion for European costume, “Gilded Roses” holds a special place in Ji’s heart, and it just might do the same for you. Here’s a sneak peak. – Stephanie Chefas