Quantcast

Artist & Galleries

Share this:

Instant Recall: Future of Art

We asked two Laguna gallerists to predict the future: How will this era of art be remembered? They weigh in on the defining traits of today’s modern art scene.- Section by Hannah Ostrow

Kalina Justice, director of creative marketing and sales at Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA)

After interviewing hundreds of artists from around the world at LGOCA, one trend is abundantly clear: There are now more artists than ever, all making valiant efforts to express themselves through passion and creativity, in ways that were never before possible.

The themes remain the same. I see love, loss, regret, happiness and the telling of secrets that would otherwise be inexplicable. It is the way that these diverse artists go about their work that is so fascinating. So many people in so many places are creating art with such fervor that it is rapidly evolving the genre. In this world where the Internet has opened the floodgates of information, it seems to have done the same for art. Each one is competing, striving to create something new or unique, something never seen before.

Whether it is sculpture that comes off the canvas, powerful video presentations, unimaginable installations or performance art, the contemporary artist is pushing the envelope in an effort to communicate, to affect, to empower, to move us, to bring us to tears, to peace, to a place where the artist can be heard or where we can hear ourselves reflected in the work.

With so many artists coming through the doors of LGOCA, it has also allowed us the opportunity to take note of movements within the industry.What exactly is contemporary art? Succinctly put, it is art being made now. What makes it new or exciting is the fingerprint put upon it by the artist himself. To quote a well-known art director in town, “People don’t just buy art, they buy the artist.”

Kalina Justice, director of creative marketing and sales at Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA)

After interviewing hundreds of artists from around the world at LGOCA, one trend is abundantly clear: There are now more artists than ever, all making valiant efforts to express themselves through passion and creativity, in ways that were never before possible.

The themes remain the same. I see love, loss, regret, happiness and the telling of secrets that would otherwise be inexplicable. It is the way that these diverse artists go about their work that is so fascinating. So many people in so many places are creating art with such fervor that it is rapidly evolving the genre. In this world where the Internet has opened the floodgates of information, it seems to have done the same for art. Each one is competing, striving to create something new or unique, something never seen before.

Whether it is sculpture that comes off the canvas, powerful video presentations, unimaginable installations or performance art, the contemporary artist is pushing the envelope in an effort to communicate, to affect, to empower, to move us, to bring us to tears, to peace, to a place where the artist can be heard or where we can hear ourselves reflected in the work.

With so many artists coming through the doors of LGOCA, it has also allowed us the opportunity to take note of movements within the industry.What exactly is contemporary art? Succinctly put, it is art being made now. What makes it new or exciting is the fingerprint put upon it by the artist himself. To quote a well-known art director in town, “People don’t just buy art, they buy the artist.”

Laurie Swenson, owner of Swenson Fine Art

To some art historians, “contemporary art” starts from around the ’60s or ’70s moving forward, while “modern art” was from 1880 until the ’60s or ’70s. Other art historians say that anything moving forward from World War II would be considered “contemporary art.” At any rate, it is now.

Each decade, a new form of art emerges and is accepted by galleries, museums and collectors. In the past 50 years, we have seen dramatic changes. To name a few: The ’60s brought abstract expressionism, neo-dada, the Bay Area figurative movement, pop art. The ’70s brought in body art, installation art, lowbrow, video art, pattern art. The ’80s: graffiti art, postmodern art, sound art, electronic art, live art, hard-edge. The ’90s: new media art, software art. The 2000s: realism, the kitsch movement, street art, video game art.

With modern design in homes remaining very desirable, this gives a clean slate, so to speak, for clients to collect anything they want. These days, in meeting clients from all over the world, I find the trends and collecting patterns to be quite diverse. From no color and minimalism, to shapes and texture with bold color, to figurative with minimal definition, collectors are allowing a mixture of styles of art in their surroundings—collecting, most importantly, what moves them. More and more people are seeking out art that is unique and original in its medium and presentation.

Report Points to Arts as Driving Force in Laguna Economy

Washington, D.C.-based arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts recently released a report analyzing the impact of the arts on the economies of 182 cities and towns across the nation, including Laguna Beach, whose arts expenditures soared past similarly sized communities, putting it on par with much larger cultural capitals in per capita spending.

According to the report, in 2010, Laguna’s arts expenditures checked in at $49.1 million, while the median spending for populations under 50,000 was just $9.1 million. Arts and culture also contributed over $2 million of local government revenue and provided 1,351 full-time jobs.

Laguna’s Artistic Past at John Wayne Airport

Generally speaking, airports are less a destination than a stop along the way, but John Wayne, for one, is trying to change that: With its exhibition series, “Orange County: Destination Art and Culture,” the airport brings attention to the area’s uniquely artistic draw. This fall, the series turns to Laguna Beach, showcasing the three summer art festivals, Laguna Playhouse and Laguna Art Museum, with archival photographs and ephemera dating back to 1904.

“Laguna Beach has long been synonymous with the arts—both visual and performing,” says Alan L. Murphy, airport director. “We are delighted to help showcase these amazing venues and hope that passengers and local residents alike will be moved to see some of them firsthand in beautiful Laguna Beach.”

“Laguna Beach Yesterday, Laguna Beach Today” is located before the security checkpoint and is open to the general public for viewing. The exhibition runs through the end of October in the pedestrian walkway between Terminals B and C. (18601 Airport Way, Santa Ana; 949-252-5200; ocair.com)

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’ Opens at Laguna Playhouse 

Fans of mystery and parody will find something to love in the next show to hit the playhouse stage: Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps,” the Tony Award-winning comedy-thriller adapted from the 1935 film and the earlier John Buchan novel, running from Sept. 25 to Oct. 21.

The play debuted in England in 2005 before making the leap to Broadway in 2008. It became the longest running Broadway comedy-thriller before moving off-Broadway in 2010. During its New York run, the show earned two Tony Awards and four nominations, including one for Best Play.

In typical Hitchcock fashion, the story follows an ordinary man who meets a mysterious woman, who is promptly murdered in his apartment, pulling him into a world of inexplicable occurrences. Patrick Barlow’s stage adaptation turns the film on its head: Four actors play more than 150 characters, infusing a hilarious dose of absurdity. (606 Laguna Canyon Rd.; 949-497-2787; lagunaplayhouse.com)

Resin Whims

“I have art on my floor every day, and every day I have to cover it up,” Greg Martz says, and he genuinely seems to regret the task. “I make surfboards all day, and my specialty is color, so I’m doing 15, 20 colors a day, and they’re all blending. I just keep watching what falls on the floor.”

Greg has been glassing surfboards for more than 40 years, and under the auspices of his company, the Waterman’s Guild, he’s the go-to glasser for surf bigwigs like Bob Hurley and Bruce Jones. He brings to his boards a distinctive level of craftsmanship: He hand-mixes his resins, adding richness and depth to readymade hues.

Five years ago, Greg started experimenting with “resin articulations” independent of the boards. He tried to replicate the intricate patterns and vibrant color pairings that he saw on the floor of his workspace every day. Then last year, right after he’d started hanging some of his resin abstracts in his office, some folks from Nike (which owns Hurley) came in to look at his boards. “They were more interested in what was in the office than what I had been doing for 45 years,” Greg laughs.

Pacific Edge Gallery

Celebrate Pacific Edge’s 25-year presence in the Laguna Beach art world with a group show highlighting the gallery’s best and brightest. Running through the end of September, “The Best of Laguna 2012” will feature new works from Maria Bertran, Tom Swimm, Sandra Jones Campbell, Brenda K. Bredvik, Jacobus Baas and Bryan Mark Taylor. (540 S. Coast Hwy. #112; 949-494-0491; pacificedgegallery.com)

AR4T

“(One Look at You and) Heaven’s on Fire,” featuring street art-inspired work from painter and screenprinter Steve Whelan, prints using text and borrowed pop culture imagery from David Blake, and rock ’n’ roll illustrations from Rob De Bank, among others. This dynamic show runs throughout September, with an opening reception during the Sept. 6 Art Walk. (210 N. Coast Hwy.; 415-690-6180; ar4t.com)

Sue Greenwood Fine Art

Susan Bennerstrom’s dramatized representative paintings and Glenn Ness’ realist urbanscapes are on view at Sue Greenwood until Sept. 30. Joe Brubaker’s found-material sculpture and Chris Gwaltney’s fragmented landscape abstractions go up on Oct. 4. (330 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-494-0669; suegreenwoodfineart.com)

JoAnne Artman Gallery

Don’t miss “Leap of Faith,” featuring Fauvist-inspired mixed media works from Randy Brennan and neon light sculptures from Lisa Schulte. Two special events are also on the books for the gallery: On Sept. 12, catch a screening of “She Done Him Wrong,” starring Mae West and Cary Grant, complete with wine and hors d’oeuvres—all co-hosted by award-winning journalist and film historian Stacy Davies. On Oct. 3, the gallery hosts a benefit for Ryman Arts, an LA-based nonprofit that offers free studio art courses for high school students throughout Southern California. Tickets are required for both functions. (326 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-510-5481; joanneartmangallery.com)

Exclusive Collections Gallery

The new gallery on the block has an array of offerings this fall: Daniel Ryan and his vibrant, whimsical “tree-scapes” come to Laguna for live (and participatory) painting demonstrations on Sept. 1 – 3; floral painter Gloria Lee does the same the weekend of Sept. 15 – 16. The gallery’s official grand opening is Oct. 6 – 7, which will be celebrated with artist Michael Flohr and his energetic, impressionistic urban and nightlife scenes. (417 S. Coast Hwy.; 855-372-8213; ecgallery.com)

Sandstone Gallery

September at Sandstone Gallery features bright, Abstract Expressionist-inspired paintings from Sunny Kim’s “Cosmic Dream” series, alongside enigmatic mixed media works from Marge Chapman. Stop by during First Thursday Art Walk on Sept. 6 to meet the artists. (384-A N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-6775; sandstonegallery.com) LBM

In 2011, Greg’s resin works were on view at 225 Forest in Laguna, and at the Hurley headquarters in Costa Mesa, and are now at Gallery 104 in San Clemente and McKibben Studios in Laguna, 540 S. Coast Hwy. #110. (gregmartzart.com)
Share this:



One thought on “Artist & Galleries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *