Caesar’s first exhibition with Corey Helford features 30 pieces, unveiling Caesar’s cathartic process of making art. “I look inside myself and see very difficult and wonderful memories I have forgotten; things I tucked away in a secret box 45 years ago,” Caesar explains. “I am now sitting by that box and opening up what’s inside. [This exhibition] communicates what I am finding.”
Caesar is known for his elegant and haunting works, which are a reflection of his subconscious mind and path to self-discovery. “I take difficult memories and hidden emotions and turn them into something that at first glance seems pretty, then you notice something a little disturbing or an ingredient that you wonder why it might be there,” Caesar explains. “A little tainted, a little melancholy, a little funny, a little sad and a little taboo… I mix this with clocks and scissors and irons and knives and silk dresses hiding strange things underneath.”
“A Dangerous Inclination” continues on this theme, disclosing a more personal side to his narratives than before. For example, his new painting “Iron Shoes” features a child wearing a fluffy, white petticoat and fiery feet, which deals with Caesar’s traumatic childhood memories and his experiences working in a children’s hospital. Whereas “La Chasse”—a three-dimensional fête galante inspired by Antoine Watteau—is about hunting back innocence that has been taken from childhood. Other works, such as “Siren” and “Titania” serve as metaphors for self-exploration and escape, respectively.
While maintaining the self-discovery theme, “A Dangerous Inclination” has noted differences: some of the pieces feature multiple figures, whereas some feature none at all. For example, the subject of “Death of an Unfaithful Still Life” is a dresser lying broken on the floor. “It is a strange piece for me and part of my work I am moving towards of non-figurative pieces—although I see them as figurative,” Caesar explains.
The opening reception for “A Dangerous Inclination” takes place Saturday, October 22, at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition will be on view through November 12, 2011.