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Art

#animals#Hera#painting#portraits

Hera’s Poetic Portraits of Childlike Scavengers Foster Therapeutic Interactions Between Artist and Self

April 27, 2023

Grace Ebert

A large-eyed young woman looks at the viewer and wears a deer headdress

“The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.4 x 39.4 inches. All images © Hera, courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery, shared with permission

German-Pakistani artist Jasmin Siddiqui, who works as Hera and was half of the street art duo known as Herakut, brings a new series of scavengers to Corey Helford Gallery this month in tHERApy room 2. The solo show extends a body of work Hera presented in 2021, similarly depicting a large-eyed young woman donning the heads of wildlife. Defined by the artist’s graffiti style with drips, splatters, and sweeping spray-painted marks, the portraits connect adolescent wonder, innocence, and naivety to the broader human condition. “Each note I write and share with the world is actually a message addressed to that inner child, the vulnerable part that needs that extra encouragement, that talk of hope, of magic, and a little bit of escapism,” she says.

Having first picked up a can of spray paint 23 years ago, Hera considers these works a reflection of her evolution as an artist and person, saying:

If you will, you could see each piece as a therapy session, where the therapist would be Hera wielding brush and spray paint, and the patient would be Jasmin, the woman underneath the animal metaphor hats and masks. Describing my artwork that way makes it seem as if I had never stopped working in a duo.

tHERApy room 2, which also contains the artist’s new superhero sculptures, is on view through May 27 in Los Angeles. You can find more on Instagram.

A large-eyed young woman looks at the viewer and wears an elephant headdress

“A Brain That Rarely Forgets Needs a Heart That Readily Forgives,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.5 x 31.5 inches

A large-eyed young woman looks at the viewer and wears a crow headdress with rats climbing on her body

“There’s Great Kinship Among the Outcasts,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 31.5 x 31.5 inches

A close up view of a large-eyed young woman who looks at the viewer and wears a deer headdress

Detail of “The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.4 x 39.4 inches

A large-eyed young woman looks at the viewer and wears a fox headdress, a book in her lap

“Reading Together Was Like Sharing an Imaginary Friend,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.5 x 31.5 inches

Two images, on the left a painting of a woman wearing a deer headdress facing a man with a similar buck garment, who is cradling a raccoon baby. On the right is a woman facing the viewer wearing a green hat with several tiny deer on her head

Left: “Never Be King Just for Yourself,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 47.2 x 31.5 inches. Right: “Thoughts Are Free,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 63 x 47.25 inches

A large-eyed woman with wings balances on a pedestal facing two other creatures

“Year After Year Magic and Nature Conferred About the Uncertain Future of Humans and Always Ended Up Granting Them More Time,” acrylic paint, spray paint, charcoal on canvas, 39.25 x 39.25 inches

#animals#Hera#painting#portraits

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