While teachers and parents attempt to teach children otherwise before they reach adolescence, the glamourous lifestyle of the young, urban socialite certainly is alluring — there are always parties to attend, substances to experiment with and friends to meet. Helen Bayly’s new solo show, “Lust for Life,” which opened at Lopo Gallery last Saturday, examines this push-and-pull relationship between the pressure to stay on the straight-and-narrow and the temptation of hedonism. Read more after the jump!
With her sharp wit and even sharper precision in drawing the human figure with pen-and-ink, Bayly created a humorous series that puts a contemporary spin on Renaissance-era portraits of virgins romantically splayed out on sunny meadows and martyrs in meditation.A native of Santa Cruz, where party culture is rampant, Bayly says witnessing the destructiveness of excess inspired the concept behind this show. The drawings serve both as a criticism of the idealization of youth culture in the media and a humorous reflection on a carefree time in one’s life. With their massive scale (one of the drawings is mural-sized and was completed over a period of six months) and painstakingly detailed backgrounds, Bayly’s work is almost as indulgent to look at as her subject matter. Check out some photos from the opening night.