Tuesday, August 12, 2014

http://helenbayly.com/ is now the best place to see new artwork


Give Me What I Can't Have, 2014, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
 If you're looking for the most recent artwork, you can click on the tab below which is the the website I will now be updating regularly. Thanks so much!

http://helenbayly.com/

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

9.6.13 Making Friends with the Devil Exhibition





LeQuiVive Gallery Presents:

Making Friends with the Devil



Approached as an exercise in liberation, Helen Bayly abandons the idea of polite beauty and casts her eye on primal nature and female sexuality in Making Friends with the Devil, opening Friday, September 6, 2013, at 7pm.

Baby Machine, be fruitful, mounts a challenge to historical traditions that assign the maternal as an idealized state of womanhood. In an image of exaggerated fertility, aberrantly placed crowning infants are seen pushing their way out of a woman’s chest, torso, and hips, highlighting the violence and pain inherent in childbirth. Born into This (a nod to Bukowski’s eponymous poem) dismantles the sacrosanctity of maternity as well, with a woman giving birth to a skeleton shown reaching back to tear at the mother’s hair. The artist takes a more playful tone addressing female desire with 'I love you' penis, a 30"x22" graphite drawing which spells out “I love you” in what could be typographically termed “penis font.” The fetishisticly elongated member twists and ropes itself into an elegant cursive against a background of pale petal-pink flesh tone.

Bayly unflinchingly takes on raw subject matter, expertly pairing it with a sweeter aesthetic. Bloodied animals, unraveling umbilical cords and exposed genitals are displayed in delicate pencil rendering often surrounded by tiny flower garlands and light acrylic washes. This balance allows Bayly to convey graphic imagery in an affectionate manor even when the content is darker in mood. In doing so, the works comprising Making Friends with Devil conjure Julia Kristeva’s idea of the abject, detailed as a sense of disgust which is simultaneously morbidly compelling. “By way of abjection,” Kristeva writes in Powers of Horror, “primitive societies have marked out a precise area of their culture in order to remove it from the threatening world of animals or animalism, which were imagined as representatives of sex and murder.” Societal and moral development has been aligned with the repression of primal urges and it is this repression that Bayly is set to explore.


Get It, 22"x16.5", 2013, graphite pencil, graphite powder, color pencil and acrylic paint on paper
From the artist:

When starting a body of work, I tend to choose subject matter very close to my personal experience. In this series, Making Friends with the Devil, I wanted to take on issues around my relationship to female sexuality. The title represents a change in what I used to see as taboo and now am finding an attraction to, embracing my human nature regardless of its moral corruption.
At a time where we as a culture consume more pornography than ever before, I felt inspired to work with some common porn themes, like female masturbation or submissive/dominate role play, to properly sift out my primal attraction versus my rational aversion. In the evolution of the human brain, we began with the basic instinctual reflexes. Currently our comprehension extends to allow the ability to remember, recall and to use stored information to inform future responses. While we may understand our behaviors more deeply, we are still fueled by instinctual reflexes, one often times in direct contradiction to the other.

Event Information:
Making Friends with the Devil
Opening Reception – September 06, 2013
7pm – 11pm
@ LeQuiVive Gallery 
1525 Webster St  Oakland, CA 94612





At my desk, drawing
Drawing at my desk, working on Skinned Cow Head

Flipping through art for the show
'I love you' penis, 30"x22", 2013
Color pencil and Acrylic paint on paper



Framed, ready to hang

Posing with my fellas in the studio
Also, check out a promo video here:
Making Friends with the Devil by Helen Bayly

Photos by Derek Macario, written press release by Jennifer Goff and video by Maria Romero. Thank you all!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Friends with the Devil


I am working on a new series of pieces that are based on sexuality. It's in it's infancy stage, much to be developed but I'm wildly enthusiastic about the results thus far and looking forward to unveiling a new body of work in a solo exhibition this September. Stay tuned for saucy graphite and smudgy washes.

Say cheeeeese!






White Walls Installation

The before and after of my paper flower installation at  White Walls ten year anniversary show. Very exciting event for the gallery and a great opportunity for me to install art with great people in the new White Walls/Shooting gallery building, still in the Tenderloin of course.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Aqua Art, Miami 2012

Absolutely the best trip I've ever been on. There was art installations, murals, art fairs spilling over with exhibitions surrounded by beautiful landscapes of warm weather and sandy tropical beaches... oh right, in December! No one sleeps here and I fell right into line with this philosophy. I would take care of art business in the day time, then out and about exploring the town and the super sexy people in the night. Four hour dancing sessions, live murals, bright pink sunrises, it was so good. I loved that there was so much excitement over art as well. People from all around the world flew in to take over Miami, art was so popular for a week. Art should get weeks everywhere all over the world, even small towns in rural areas, at least a few times a year. Bring back the celebration of the imagination!
Here are a few shots of the Aqua Art adventure, and if you're going next year let me know and we can have cocktails together on the beach!
The Beach! Even relaxing on the white sands there was a number of planes trailing messages in the sky, someones addition to the Art Basel experience.

Art Basel interior



Untitled, Art Fair on South Beach
Aqua Art, the best art fair (and also the one I was showing in coincidentally)!


The Autobody Crew, Jackie and her team of Artists

Drinking aqua drinks at Aqua Art, with Natalie Hegert, a writer from ArtSlant and a friend from way back when
My painting, Lust for Life

The view from the balcony

I think we were feeling pretty optimistic, opening might with my fellow artists

"free art"

Stucco and neon, it looks good down here

The Autobody crew out to eat. A truly lovely bunch


The Beach!


Kill Your Idol bar and club where I painted my mural. It was a challenge because I hadn't slept the whole time I was there and then tried to paint it the night before I left, whoa.

But it was painted anyways! I can sleep when I'm dead, right?
A great group of people work here by the way, stop by if you're in the neighborhood.

A drawing I made upon returning from my trip, Santiago from Miami 
 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making Art, Hearing the Music

Red Devil Lounge Mural, the theme of the piece is temptation.

the left side...

the right side...

     Life works in mysterious ways, and after a long and not so unusual series of meetings I ended up with two new projects around music. One project was a poster I made for musician Roem Baur, and the other was a mural I painted last week for the Red Devil Lounge, a live music venue on Polk Street. I found these projects to be especially exciting because in a loose sense, it's a cross genre collaboration. I wanted to get a sense of what these fellows did, while making Roem's poster I listened to his album over and over (I obviously liked it too, so it wasn't strictly for research), I was trying to get a sense for what he was really expressing as an artist. And while meeting with Jay, not quite as intimately but on a personal level I wanted to understand the character that he wanted to give the club based on his beliefs of what the Red Devil meant to him. It was an enjoyable interchange all the way around and rather than promoting food products, or something else I care for equally as little, I got to spend time thinking about music, and in the end, I got to go see Roem perform and I experienced a show at the Red Devil Lounge, both of which were memorable and a total blast. If you didn't know it already, dancing is good for your soul.

Here's some links if you'd like to know more:
http://www.roembaur.com
http://www.reddevillounge.com/

Roem Baur poster in progress, just the face
 
Roem Baur posters