I did something I wasn't particularly in the mood to do last Saturday and almost ended up not going. I've learned over time that when I feel like that it's a sign that I should especially go.
Today was no exception.
When I last lived in Los Angeles I'd heard about an artist's area called Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. It dates back to 1875, when it was a stop for the Pacific Electric rail system which served the Los Angeles area from 1875 to 1953. It has several warehouses which were converted into galleries in the 90's, I think. The result was a great way to spend my afternoon looking at art. Incredible art.
This artist, Cameron Gray had incredible work. The paintings were made up of tiny paintings on cut art board squares and then mounted to form a larger picture which contradicted the larger one. They were very colorful and way cool. There are more examples of this artist's work on my Flickr page, as are these, and they can be viewed much larger in all their detail there. Below is a close up detail of the above painting. You can see the different pieces of artboard. For a larger view, go to my Flickr page.
A couple months ago, I went to the downtown gallery show and it wasn't as varied and good as this space. Here, the galleries are impeccable and spacious and the artists had clear vision and skill. It was easily up there with New York galleries, but lacked the pretentiousness of them. Meaning, you got to enjoy why you were there in the first place, to see art. New York art galleries are filled with people who don't even seem to appreciate art, but see it as more of a scene or fashion label. Sure, this place was a scene too, but it felt more alive, warm and real. The shows were about the art and making it accessible to those who wanted to see it. Both buyers and appreciators.
This artist, Ellwood T. Risk used target practice papers for his figures. Again, the work was incredible.
That night, several of the galleries were having show openings. I milled around in the spaces, in some cases listening to the artist talk to patrons about their work, other times just walking around in the large spaces by myself, standing in front of giant canvases as a hired musician sang songs of yearning. At one of them a man who had bought several of an artist's paintings showed me around the gallery and talked about the artist's work. It was then that I realized I'd put myself in yet another situation because I simply wanted to see it. Now, I was in it. In an art space, looking at top rate work, talking to art people about...well...art. In Los Angeles. Who knew the art scene was so active here? I sure didn't. And it sounds odd to say so, but welcoming.
It was way beyond my expectations and I will certainly be going back.
They even have a cafe called Bergamot Cafe. Before I gallery hopped, I sat down and had a mocha and chicken quesadilla under some metal art that was posted on the wall. I took this photo, and caught the woman on the right mid-lipstick application. It was chilly outside and until the warm coffee hit me, the same inside. Out of picture, two artists talked about the goings on in their galleries and the people within it.
On other notes, the job is still going really well. I like the people which includes my boss, it takes me all of seven minutes to get to work, and I like the work. It's non-stop once I get there and that's the way I like it. When I work, I can't stand downtime. I like to have a lunch hour, of course but when I'm at work I like it when it moves at a fast pace. I'm more creative and effective that way because of my constant need for stimulation. And, the people, like I said are really funny, sharp, talented and nice. Sounds cliché, but they are team players who work well together and want each other to do well. That's so important. I also like being a vital member of the team and getting to work with so many of them on a face to face basis.
I have a couple posts due here. One from Thanksgiving and others, but I've been keeping busy in both personal and work life. It's a good thing, and I think once I ramp back up I won't take so much time between posts. Also, it's the Holidays. Yep, add that to the mix, as I'm sure it's affecting those of you who read this blog.
The main thing is that I'm taking advantage of being back in LA.
Even when I don't feel like it.