Helvie’s newest paintings capture loading Instagram images initially taken as screen captures from the artist's personal feed and then painstakingly rendered in oils. The seven new works seamlessly move between abstraction and photorealism, presenting a foggy and filtered reality where all subjects are equally obscured. These purposefully unclear compositions, still “loading”, present a peaceful limbo. The image will never become clear and we are left contemplating an indistinct, albeit richly painted middle ground.
The result is a body of work that simultaneously elicits tension and reflection. In contrast to the immediacy of social media and the digital age, Helvie’s paintings offer an inherent slowness: in order to really see the image, they demand patience, submission and meditative appreciation. By isolating the image from its context, captions, and comments, the artist removes any narration and offers viewers the pure essence of the image. Choosing to only present the "loading" circle centered and floating in a cloudy square, Helvie nods towards a timelessness outside of our specific reality.
Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in South Africa, Eric Helvie lives and works in NYC. His work has been reviewed in ArtFuse, The Creators Project, and featured on PBS and in The Daily Beast. His paintings are included in numerous private collections.