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Robots and Donuts and Bears, Oh My

"I am inspired by quaint shops, trees, robots, misunderstanding and absurdity." So says painter Eric Joyner of his most recent exhibition, opening this weekend at Corey Helford Gallery. "First World Problems" sees the man best known for his perennially appealing robots-and-donuts series exploring another corner of the parallel robot universe -- urban life. Whereas previous iterations of the robots' adventures have operated in settings culled from science fiction, film noir, outdoor exploration and various intersections there-between, today's robots have decamped for the concrete jungle, with all its picturesque local-business signage, elaborate architectural flourishes, crowded sidewalks, rage-inducing traffic gridlock and ubiquitous bad-habit temptations like cigar stores, bars and, of course, bakeries. Although rendered with a mastery of fine detail, painterly gesture and ostensible realism, Joyner's robots have never exhibited much self-control in their appetites, and the bright lights of the big city may prove too much for them to handle. In the adjoining CHG Circa space, "Luke Chueh: Random Acts of Sadness" takes an arguably more huggable avatar for human consciousness -- the teddy bear -- and demonstrates through his trademark style of edgy mannerism and bruised psyche that cuteness is no better protection against existential crisis than a shiny metal suit. Corey Helford Gallery, 8522 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat., Aug. 10, 7-10 p.m.; free. (310) 287-2340, coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 10. Continues through Sept. 7, 2013

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