On Saturday, February 25th, Corey Helford Gallery is proud to premiere “Antisocial Network,” the first exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade from local visual artist Alex Gross. On display in the main gallery, the new collection features oil paintings, drawings and mixed media cabinet card paintings.
Although modern technology appears in only about half of the works, the multiple readings of this phrase apply to every piece in the exhibition. One interpretation gleaned from the new work is that social networks, both real and online, rather than bringing us closer, are in fact eroding our connections with one another, resulting in isolation, loneliness, and the inability to exist in the present.
Several paintings reference well-known corporate brands, but overall the work has a more intimate and personal slant than Gross’ previous exhibitions. In several pieces, figures are lost in thought, if not distracted by a phone or VR headset, then perhaps by their thoughts. In another, a young lady seems to contemplate her own mortality within a giant slurpee. Another floats aimlessly, lost in thought in the bath, alone but for a few rubber ducks. An attractive couple embrace while at the beach, but one of them appears to be quietly fading away. And a seeming bride-to-be cradles the head of her apparently android companion.
These paintings straddle the line between surreal dreamscape and incisive social commentary. The result is an intimate portrait of the modern condition in 2017. What the future holds for us as a species, and for our relationship to the world around us, is one of the key themes that unifies these unique and powerful paintings.
Alex Gross was born in 1968 in Roslyn Heights, NY, graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA in 1990. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.