On Saturday, April 6th, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery will proudly unveil their next solo show with Australian Pop Art painter Ben Frost, entitled Pure Sugar, in Gallery 2.
Frost, who is coming off a recent collaboration with fashion designer Jeremy Scott for his Winter 2018 Moschino line (profiled here by Vogue), is known for his kaleidoscopic Pop Art, mash-up paintings that take inspiration from areas as diverse as graffiti, collage, photo-realism, and sign-writing. Pure Sugar is a playful and often confronting exploration of the nature of “excess” within our contemporary society. Using colorful and dynamic pop art motifs, the artist presents a series of satirical and provocative observations of western culture that is as sour as it is sweet.
The exhibition consists of over 70 new paintings, from large scale acrylic and spray paint stencils on canvas, to tiny hand painted “found” packages such as McDonald fry boxes, pharmaceutical packages, fashion bags and cereal boxes. Both a celebration and critique of consumerist culture, Frost’s work is paradoxically a love/hate affair with the colors, icons, and logos of the advertising world that we are obsessively immersed within.
"Sugar is something that we all know is bad for us - but we crave and desire it so badly.” Frost says, “It’s a metaphor for how we experience the world, a level of attraction and repulsion that keeps increasing as we dig deeper in the mediated social-media environment that continues to spoon-feed us a ‘quick-fix’ to cure all our problems. After all, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”
Frost’s work unveils a dystopic vision of society from behind a saccharine-sweet facade of Disney characters and the advertising. Each work requires further inspection, as on first glance, the kaleidoscopic colors and perfectly executed clean lines are intoxicating. Looking more closely, the fantasy is not what it seems. The nostalgic dreams mutate into subliminal subversions, with unlikely juxtapositions that question our relationship to the things we hold so dear.