Lovesick artist crash-lands in Long Beach, bruised but still painting

Press Release 

World-renowned, mythically inspired LGBT artist René Capone debuts his first solo art show in half a decade at Hellada Gallery—a love-charged, hopeful exhibition celebrating the miracle of his survival after years of surgery and the partner who hasn’t left his side.
Self Esteem Balloons, by René Capone, 2018

April 21, 2019 /LGBT News/ Morié: Evolution Under Pressure will be René Capone’s first solo art show in nearly six years, featuring an opening reception on May 25th, 2019, at Hellada Gallery. Temporarily displaced from his home in San Francisco, needing another place to live while his long-term boyfriend recovered from a dramatic surgery, Capone made a “crash landing” in Southern California this winter.

Among the rubble of this sudden “crash landing” was a large stockpile of paintings and drawings from 2017 to 2019, yet to be shown to the world. And so an art show was born — no insignificant art show, either. Morié celebrates Capone’s reemergence onto the art scene after years of battling a serious HIV-related health condition that kept him in and out of hospitals, allowing him to paint only sporadically. Finally healthy enough to devote himself to his art, Capone considers his life a miracle. 

An internationally acclaimed figure artist since 2002, Capone is well known for his evocative, mythic portrayals of young boys searching for identity, hopelessly looking for love and acceptance, while wandering through whimsical landscapes. This show breaks new ground, revealing a side of the artist never before seen: someone who has finally found himself, and who has, in fact, found love — against all odds. 

Both he and his boyfriend have battled HIV-related complications, and as Capone puts it, “two miracles belong together.” After eight years together, Capone says he finally thinks “love might be measurable.” They are an unlikely match, Capone says, citing opposite views on religion and a two-foot height difference between them, but, “If two people can go through that much together, and still not be able to walk away, then god dammit, love is real.” One of the paintings exhibited at Morié depicts a small elf-like boy and a tall giant taking turns carrying each other on their backs up a hill, exposing Capone’s signature style: the mythologizing of his own life experiences in wondrous, imaginative, awe-inspiring imagery.

4 Red Squares, by René Capone

This newfound attitude reveals itself in his work, showing a departure from earlier themes of disillusionment, recovery from trauma, and mythic escapism. The art displayed in Morié is lighter, brighter and maybe even a bit joyous. The work is inspired by the queer naturalist photography of the Weimer Republic in Pre-Nazi Germany — perhaps seeking innocence in a world of brutality. 

René Capone
“Maybe I won’t have to go the next twenty years looking under every trash can for someone to give me a hug,” Capone says. “This show is really a love letter.”

Also featured in Morié are paintings that awarded Capone a scholarship to Parsons School of Design in NYC, showing the arc of the artist’s journey — from emerging to resilient.

Capone has always been a fearless artist, described in The Advocate by Arts Editor Adam Sandel as “blending childlike wonder with eroticism, creating images of innocence, beauty, dander and fear.” As he ventures back onto the art scene, Capone hopes his exhibition inspires the questions, Is mankind free? Is there true love in the future? Are you really free to love whom you choose? Though his attitude about love may have changed, Capone’s approach to art is as vulnerable and enigmatic as it has been for the past twenty years. 

The opening reception will take place on Saturday, May 25th, at Hellada Gallery in the downtown arts district of Long Beach, 117 Linden Ave. The artist will be in attendance, and the evening will feature a guest performance by local poet David Russo, as well as featured art from guest artist P.K. Benbow. The exhibit will run from May 18-June 14. 

René Capone &Hellada Gallery Present:
“Morié: Evolution UnderPressure”
May 18th - June 14th, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 25th, 6:00-9:00 pm (artist in attendance) 
Featuring guest artist P.K. Benbow and guest performance by poet Dave Russo
Hellada Art Center, Long Beach, CA, 90802 // Gallery hours: Wed.–Sun. 2-10pm

GALLERY CONTACT: (562) 435-5232 // 


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