WOAW Gallery is proud to present ANTICS, a solo presentation by artist Baldur Helgason, at its location at Queen’s Road Central between 9 November and 9 December 2022.
Baldur Helgason (b.1984) is a painter from Iceland. He moved to the United States twelve years ago to study art, and stayed behind after meeting his partner. The works in this series are inspired by Helgason’s time in his native Iceland, where he found himself in the midst of the pandemic. After a period of isolation, Helgason was possessed by a hedonistic impulse to “let loose, meet up, get drunk and party,” and to channel his inner Dionysus—the Greek god of harvest, festivity, and pleasure.
“I didn’t realize when I started making the work how much this urge, this yearning for a good time, and its hangover would be the impetus of these paintings,” Helgason said.
Helgason’s surreal paintings are often a play on the human body, depicting the anatomy in a humorous and nostalgic, yet manic and deeply unsettling manner. At the centre of his works in this exhibition is a figure in a striped shirt reminiscent of Breton shirts, engaged in a series of antics—wielding an axe, smoking multiple cigarettes, or burning a candle on his enlarged nose. The artist’s vivid, theatrical figures draw on classic cartoon aesthetics, and are characterised by a fervent, anxious energy that are informed by his experience as an immigrant in America.
Helgason’s works were previously exhibited with WOAW in the group exhibitions WoP and Romancing Relevance.