Gusford Gallery // Love The Skin You're In

This contemporary art gallery represents emerging and mid-career local and international artists. We had the pleasure of meeting with #glowgirl, gallery owner and director Kelsey Lee Offield for a tour of the current exhibition. We were thrilled that Kelsey's lovable bulldog Gusford--the namesake and handsome mascot behind Gusford Gallery-- was there to accompany us during our visit. In addition to being a gallery owner and director, Kelsey is an animal lover, athlete, yogi and visual artist. She has traveled the globe to discover emerging talent, introducing some of the most interesting and ground-breaking artists into the LA art scene.

This chick has impeccable taste and the gallery's current exhibition, Oliver Jones: Love the Skin You're In is no exception. The work really blew us away; incredibly life-like drawings--so realistic they felt like optical illusions-- depict a dynamic exploration of how society portrays youth and beauty. The work is both terrifying and playful, and makes you think about the ridiculous and often tragic things that we humans put ourselves through in search of an unobtainable ideal. The message "Love The Skin You're In" is as glowy as it gets-- and this artistic portrayal is a powerful reminder to us all.

In the words of the artist, Oliver Jones:

"The image of flesh is one of the most abundant and influential cues in our modern day lives, yet due to its frequency and industries eagerness to reflect an alternate version of reality these falsities have the capacity within our perception to be accepted as the norm. It induces society to become familiar and accepting of an idealised image that is far removed from the everyday and has accentuated our narcissistic and vain traits prompting a pursuit of perfection or alternate reflection and leads to a shrouded image of reality."

Given that advertising is one of the most powerful ambassadors of such an image Oliver adopts similar techniques in his work in an attempt to 're-advertise' and exemplify a more common and truthful image of flesh.

"My work is a retort towards the way this improper image of the flesh is advertised, manipulated and exploited, it takes the form of large scale photo-realistic drawings using paper and chalk pastel as their fragile properties reflect and enhance the fragile nature of the flesh but more importantly the application is comparable to the way we apply products, touch and handle skin. It also aims to dispel the immediacy of the instant and technological portrayal of the exterior that we have become accustomed to due to the time taken during the process, application and completion of the piece."

The show is up until October 25th and we strongly suggest you go check it out for yourself. Located on Melrose, just east of La Brea in Los Angeles, the gallery houses some incredible talent that is not to be missed. If you can't make it to this one, we guarantee that anything Kelsey puts up at Gusford will be worth your while. We can't wait to go hang with her and Gus again.

Gusford Gallery 7016 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90038 323.452.9563 //