Hyegyeong Choi, “Thinner Happy” at Slow, Chicago

Hyegyeong Choi‘s “Thinner Happy” at Slow Gallery is a wild rumpus of a show. She gives us a fanciful riot of imagery, weirdly behaving physical material and startling painterly techniques. In “Amazon Olympia” and “Wish Fulfillment”, Choi reveals the naughty side of dolphins, illuminating their flair for trouble making.  Her dolphins are clowns but they are also sexy fools. In both paintings they seem to be miming human sex appeal or perhaps performing a mating dance similar to that of birds and seizing the opportunity to show off their languid surfing abilities.

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"Thinner Happy", Installation: (Left) "Super Gendered Town" and (Right) "Next Life Goals".

The landscape of “Amazon Olympia” is an overtaken terrain. It’s a sludged up Giverny pond, over grown with Day-Glo vegetation, recalling phallus impudicus and the like. A few lotuses float above the pudding thick waters, as they are known to do. One of Cezanne’s bathers is discovering the joys of frottage on the left and Menneken-Pis or his brother from another mother is marking his territory on the right of this hullabaloo paradise. The commotion of the various compositions, call you over to them and by no means with a gentle cajole. These paintings behave more like a person overzealously chewing their gum on the bus, you can’t help yourself but to look. None of your basic needs are met in these horror vacui packed canvases but there are; melty cupcakes, goopy stuff, gloppy forms, nipples, pickles, sausages, phalluses (as joy sticks) and sushi rolls as hair curlers.

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"Amazon Olympia", 42 x 50.5”, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020.

Harvesting”, mixed media on paper, is a stunner. As is the watery diptych “Super Gendered Town”, acrylic and oil on canvas. The smaller work on paper is a lush world, where all is spinning, swirling and hovering in space. The colors are seductive. The layers of pictorial images, slowly reveal themselves. The world depicted is one where three breasted and multi-phallused beings are mirrors of what they eat, bulbous and tuberous.


"Harvesting", Mixed Media on Paper, 2020.

The white cube, albeit what artists strive for, in this case, reminds me of that big cat at the Lincoln Park Zoo who moans awfully and paces the cage- these paintings want to explode their frames, they are just barely contained.

Hyegyeong Choi, "Thinner Happy" INFO

TitleThinner Happy
DateJanuary 18→February 22, 2020
Address2153 W 21ST STREET, CHICAGO, IL
HoursSaturday, 12 am - 6 pm or by appointment