Corey Helford Gallery is proud to premiere The Wonderful World of Dr. Deekay by Camille Rose Garcia on Saturday, May 12 in the Main Gallery . The massive showcase will premiere 36 new paintings, including water color paintings and 40 framed original sketches, puppets, a stop-motion animated film and a new mural on the gallery’s wall based on her long-awaited illustrated book “The Cabinet of Dr. Deekay,” a dystopian horror fairytale that will be published this summer in conjunction with the exhibit.
The world of Dr. Deekay is a surreal psychedelic commentary on our modern world inspired by the real-life dental horror Camille endured over seven years ago. During a one week period, Garcia had to undergo 11 root canals, a full mouth reconstruction, gum surgery, and finally a bad reaction to an anti-anxiety pill that created frightening hallucinations and the inspiration for this story. The book follows young Alex Winchester after he wakes up in a strange hospital and parts of himself missing—his introduction to a dystopian new world in which everyone is systematically “rearranged.”
In the tradition of Orwell, Huxley, and Roald Dahl, Garcia carefully blends humor and horror to create a singular world reflecting our own reality—life in an invisible asylum of pharmaceuticals, consumerism, and consumption that’s destroying the earth, our oceans, our bodies and our psyches.
The Wonderful World of Dr. Deekay solo show will guide viewers through key parts of the story with concept art and illustrations from the book itself. But the show expands the universe far beyond the 200-page book, with ten new paintings on wood exclusive to the Corey Helford exhibit, highlighting characters, settings and major moments in the story, such as Alex’s operations and first meeting characters during the adventure. As Camille finally premieres the first chapter in her “Dr. Deekay” universe, she is also entering a new chapter of her creative career. This stop-motion video being featured in this exhibit will mark her first foray into the medium, despite the fact that she originally sought to become an animator before ever entering art school. It’s being produced in collaboration with Mark Meunier, best known for his work in “James and the Giant Peach” and “Coraline.”
Camille Rose Garcia was born in 1970 in Los Angeles, California, The child of a Mexican activist filmmaker father and a muralist/painter mother, she apprenticed at age 14 working on murals with her mother while growing up in the generic suburbs of Orange County, visiting Disneyland and going to punk shows with the other disenchanted youth of that era.
Garcia’s layered, broken narrative paintings of wasteland fairy tales are influenced by William Burroughs’ cut-up writings and surrealist film, as well as vintage Disney and Fleischer cartoons, acting as critical commentaries on the failures of capitalist utopias, blending nostalgic pop culture references with a satirical slant on modern society.
Her work has been displayed internationally and featured in numerous magazines including Juxtapoz, Rolling Stone, and Modern Painter, and is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum as well as the San Jose Museum of Art, which held a retrospective of her work, Tragic Kingdom, in 2007.