For its second opening, Los Angeles’ COREY HELFORD GALLERY attracted hundreds of art enthusiasts, musicians and tastemakers as it premiered Southern California painter, illustrator and designer Josh Agle aka SHAG’s “Jungle Drums” collection Saturday (January 16) in the main gallery of CHG’s cavernous urban industrial canopy

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“Duetto Buffo Di Due Gatti” Acrylic on Panel, 15″ x 23″


For its second opening, Los Angeles’ COREY HELFORD GALLERY attracted hundreds of art enthusiasts, musicians and tastemakers as it premiered Southern California painter, illustrator and designer Josh Agle aka SHAG’s “Jungle Drums” collection Saturday (January 16) in the main gallery of CHG‘s cavernous urban industrial canopy. The opening reception drew the likes of drummer Clem Burke (Blondie), Cindy Wasserman (Dead Rock West) and husband Patrick Dennis (singer-songwriter), and artists Kent Williams, Natalia Fabia and SEEN, among others. The “Jungle Drums” collection is open to the public and is on view through February 13.
COREY HELFORD GALLERY artists (L-R): Luke Chueh, Lola, Natalia Fabia, Shag (Josh Agle), Brandi Milne and
Korin Faught_Credit: Eric Minh Swenson
“The paintings of the ‘Jungle Drums’ collection were inspired by a sheet of vintage 1950s ‘Pinup Girl’ decals I’ve had since I was a teenager,” SHAG explains. “The girls, clad in zebra stripes and leopard spots, lounge placidly amongst tigers and panthers and boa constrictors. Even in the early 1980s when I found the stickers, I realized they were sexist, objectified women, and defied the bounds of political correctness. But they were hot-the combination of beautiful women and savage jungle beasts spoke to the part of me that had evolved from a primate in the forests of central Africa. In the decades since, I’ve seen women reclaim the Pinup Girl aesthetic: strong, tattooed models and independent female photographers have revived and revitalized the genre and turned themselves into pop culture stars.” SHAG continues, “In ‘Jungle Drums,’ the women are always in control. They exist in small patches of civilization carved into the wild undergrowth of the primordial jungle. They have tamed their environments, tamed their exotic pets, and tamed the men in their lives. I’m sure it’s a metaphor for something. But I just wanted to paint women in sexy tiger fur outfits.”
SHAG (Josh Agle) with Clem Burke (BLONDIE’s drummer)
Credit: Ashley Lynn Richards
Cindy Wasserman (singer for DEAD ROCK WEST) with husband Patrick Dennis (singer, songwriter, artist)
Credit: Ashley Lynn Richards
“The man born Josh Agle is an Orange County-based artist who started doing the tiki thing years before everyone else picked up on it. His works utilize vibrant colors and bizarre figures, all of which can be seen this week at the Corey Helford Gallery…”
“Josh Agle has unleashed his wild side. The SoCal artist better known as SHAG opens his new exhibit Jungle Drums this weekend, and the imagery includes vintage pin-up girls in animal patterns set in the urban jungle. The colorful visuals are witty and racy, and the narrative themes continue to promote female empowerment from what was once a sexist pin-up culture…”
PROHBTD.COM, 1-14-2016
About SHAG:
Josh Agle is a painter and designer from Los Angeles who is probably better known by the name he signs on his paintings, “Shag.” Agle has spent the last decade creating a body of work based on his idiomatic aesthetic preference, a world of mid-20th century modern architecture and design, populated by hedonists, supplicants, and indifferent women.
The paintings themselves celebrate consumerism and consumption on vividly colored, sharply rendered panels where the characters drink, smoke and eat in lavish, stylish surroundings. But Agle sees the visuals of his work as window-dressing or stage scenery. He’s more concerned with the narrative of the art. “Most of my paintings are set in the middle of a story or situation — characters are interacting and reacting to each other and to outside events.” Agle doesn’t offer too many clues about the stories, preferring that the viewer create his or her own narratives to fit the situations.
While Shag’s work might easily be dismissed as retro-kitsch, the influential New York Times art critic, Roberta Smith, has called his painting catchy and witty, saying “the eye is snared by Mr. Agle’s economic use of saturated colors — sharp greens and warm lavenders, smoldering reds, sour ochres – and the tinted-gel space created by his thin-on thin paint handling.” Interest by museum curators and academics culminated with a solo exhibition of his work at the Laguna Art Museum in early 2008. For more information about Josh Agle, please visit
571 South Anderson Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(310) 287-2340
HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday: Noon to 6:00 p.m.
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