Massey Lyuben Gallery is pleased to present NOOL, a solo exhibition of paintings by Eric Helvie. This is the artist’s first solo show with the gallery.
Helvie’s partially photorealistic oil painting, Pipe Smoker (Cyclops), greets viewers with two enthusiastic thumbs up, its overwhelming optimism clashing with its own distorted predicament. The horned, fleshy, pipe smoking mass seems to say, “cool", but everything is clearly, "not cool." Things are only as good as they can be when you're the lovechild of a horror film and an emoji.
The smoking pipe appears again in a photorealistic painting of an aircraft carrier inexplicably turned on its side. For, Pipe Smoker (Leviathan), Helvie sourced imagery of a WWll battleship from the National Archives’ internet database and after painstakingly rendering the image in oils, proceeded to paint over the vessel with a layer of cartoon-like scales, as if the ship itself were being taken down by some giant, hazy, pipe-smoking sea monster.