Artist: Helena Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Pastel, Oil, Canvasing
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Helena Werner Cox is currently a graduate student at California State University of Long Beach and will graduate at the end of this semester with a major in painting and drawing. Before starting her art career, she was a high school teacher in Massachusetts. She was vocal against the climate there and thus, moved to California where the weather was much more tolerable. She then changed to teaching middle school children and “completely fell in love”. After, she became the school librarian for 14 years before finally, ending up at CSULB. As for her artwork, Cox says that it took her and extremely long amount of time but paid off in the end.
Silent Screams is a series of paintings that are made with a mixture of oil and pastels. Helena Werner Cox spent a lot of time on each piece, but there is one that took more than the rest. The piece with the yellow background is made entirely from pastels. This is extremely time consuming and Cox stated that she would probably never do something like it again. The colors used are very contrasting. There is an idea of cools and warms in the paintings that really bring focus to the horses. The carousels have vivid designs on the top that make it seem realist. That is because Cox painted these designs while actually on a moving carousel.
Silent Scream‘s main goal is to depict what these horses on carousels. These horses looked as if they were screaming however, all that is heard is the soothing music that plays in the background. The horses always go forward but never really go anywhere because they go in a circular path. This is a metaphor to the way society functions. Even thou time seems to go forward, we as a society always go to the same path. This could be connected to war and conflicts as well as other scenarios. This idea of “false progress” can really be connected to the way modern society might be going.
Overall, I found Helena Werner Cox’s work to be extremely appealing. I really enjoyed the life that she gave these horses at made me feel emotion that is difficult to create in art. With that being said, Helena Werner Cox now has my seal of approval. These are probably my favorite paintings as of my time at CSULB and I am excited to see more of her work. To check out more of her work, you can check her out and HelenWernerCox.com !