Thursday, February 11, 2016

Classic Plastic 2016

Classic Plastic 2016 exhibition at White Walls Gallery in San Francisco, installation view

Hand painted fruit

Canary with Branch

Canary with Branch, 22"x30", 2016

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Selected Works from 2015

Atominc Northern Lights 30in x 22in

Great White Shark, 22in x30in

Banana Flavor, 30in x 40in

Hey Sexy Burger Theif, 10in x 10in

It's All Good, 24in x 36in

My Girl Hot Dog, 10in x 10in

Word Search with Paisley, 30in x 22in

Plaid with Birds, 18in x 19in

Talk Dirty, 10in x 10in

The Time of My Life, 30in x 22in

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 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!

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!