Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Helen Werner Cox


Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Oil paints, pastel, oil, markers

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: www.helenwernercox.com

Instagram: N/A

Helen Werner Cox was the artist I chose to analyze this week. She is currently a graduate student at CSULB. She was part of the Drawing and Painting program. Cox is from Ithaca, New York. She first stayed in Boston for sixteen years. She later moved to California. Here, she had various jobs.Cox has worked as a middle and high school teacher. When questioning her about her hobbies, Cox said she enjoys reading fiction and mystery books. Cox also said she was a librarian. Lastly, she said her favorite hobby to do is to play the dots game.

Helen used various materials to create her art. Cox said that she mostly used oil paints, pastels, oils, and markers. All her art seem to have a fairytale connotation. This is due to the various use of the motif of horses, unicorns, etc. The color scheme is mainly soft pastels ranging to browns, blacks, and white. The main colors overall are black, white, and brown. The horses are mainly colored brown and black. Most of the art pieces were made of pastels. Thus, Cox had to remind many students to be careful. This is because if we touch, or accidentally bump into the pieces, the pastels will smear. Overall, all the pieces’ scales were very big. I believe this is to give the illusion of how big the actual horses are.I noticed that most of the pieces have “wind motions,” this is to give the illusion of the horses running through the wind.

Cox’s main theme is the demise of society. She wished to convey the fact that society is basically trapped, and that there is no room for evolution. This correlates to the piece where the horses are running around in a circle. This shows that the horses only run in one direction, and one motion. Symbolic of society, it shows how society is simply moving in one place, never improving. Another interesting note to analyze is how the horses all have a fearful, agitated expression. I believe this represents people in society, who also feel trapped. Due to the everyday monotonous routine all society experience, it can cause feelings of fear, pain, sadness, and anger. The horses symbolize the humans/citizens trapped inside this never ending cycle of pain, also known as this continuous loop – society.

This probably has to be my favorite piece. This is due to many reasons. First, I agree with all the reasons behind the art. I also agree with how society is not really improving. I feel that society has not improved as much as we can. Although there has been some improvement in society, there could be more. This reminds me of George Orwell’s novel 1984, since it’s about broken societies. Overall, I enjoyed the colors used in these pieces since they were very calming and mostly neutral colors. I believe the best part about this exhibit is the music that played in the background. It really livened the experience and made it more special. It basically bought the art to life.




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