While teddy bears and robots are both reminders of childhood naivete, painters Luke Chueh and Eric Joyner use these nostalgic figures to explore emotional dilemmas and existential crises. Both artists will be showing with Corey Helford Gallery on August 10, Joyner with his solo show “First World Problems” at Corey Helford and Chueh with “Random Acts of Sadness” at sister space CHG Circa. Joyner’s paintings for his new series are tongue-in-cheek; he takes us into an urban world populated by robots, slowly cluing us into their lore.
Chueh’s new series is decidedly dark. Known for using the cartoon bear as a persona to illustrate his personal struggles, Chueh presents a new body of work full of inner turmoil. In many of the pieces, Chueh is on the brink of annihilating the bear — he paints it with a target on its belly in a shooting range or on the brink of being decapitated — as if he is struggling with the power of the icon he created. Take a look at a sneak peek of both shows below and see “First World Problems” and “Random Acts of Sadness” August 10 through September 7.