Artsy Fartsy: Take II

Friday, August 3, 2012

When we spent the night in La Jolla, California a couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure of visiting some great art galleries in the area.  The first was Legends Gallery, which I had been to before many, many years ago.  What makes them so unique is the fact that they sell original pieces by none other than Dr. Seuss.  Some of you  may be thinking, "What in the world is a grownup going to do with a Dr. Seuss painting?!"  First of all, let's talk privately.  Second, you must be really stressed or lacking in overall creativity.  Because let's face it, who wouldn't want the great Doctor in your life everyday?  While some of the work is from his books, a lot of it is not.  They call them "Secret Art/Archives." These are a few I fell in love with and felt must be mine.  If I was a billionaire. Cue Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars.  Actually, the prices weren't thaaat bad.  Look, I recently stayed at a Ritz Carlton, so I'm feeling really fly right now.  Don't judge.

"A Plethora of Flowers" by Dr. Seuss
"A Prayer for a Child" by Dr. Seuss
"Freebird" by Dr. Seuss

I love the worth "plethora," too.  I'd really, really love a piece from my favorite Dr. Seuss book: Fox in Sox. And to be honest, at around $1600 per piece for an original, they weren't that bad.  I won't be dropping that many Benjamins on art anytime soon, but this goes on my wishlist. 

"One Beat of Your Heart" by Mackenzie Thorpe

While in the same gallery, I encountered another brilliant artist named Mackenzie Thorpe. Many of his pieces feature a faceless little guy in a black hooded cloak pulling or carrying a large heart.  Despite his cloaked nature he is lovely, not creepy.  The above piece was framed and on display in the gallery. I connected with it immediately.  With some time and thought I could probably explain why, but I'm not sure I want to. As I mentioned in my last post about art, I firmly believe that people are often attracted to individual pieces on a visceral level that may never be explained.  I love that. They were having a special lithograph trunk sale of his work, but even a print was about $850 and I wasn't prepared to fork that over.  He is also going on my wishlist.

Pop Alphabet by Nelson De La Nuez

This was yet another artist I loved in that gallery.  He does mostly "pop art", which I never really thought I liked, but he made me a convert.  This particular piece was hanging in the gallery, and my husband and I had so much fun identifying the different fonts. "W is Wonka, R is Reese's . . ."  I just discovered some of his other work that wasn't on display when we were there and it is so much fun! One features famous cartoon cats, and another superheroes. Click on the piece above to see those, too.  I keep picturing a room in my dream house lined with built-in bookshelves and a few of these pieces to add a spark of color.

Peter Lik Gallery, La Jolla, California

Mario and I passed this gallery next and had to walk in.  Thank goodness it was still open . . . it would have been torture not to be able to see his work up close.  I had never heard of this artist, but my husband thought he remembered him from somewhere.  It is hands-down the most amazing photography I've ever seen in my life.  It was like my brain couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing and I was totally and utterly overwhelmed.  The photos where very large, yet the detail was more crisp than even my own eyes could see if I was standing in the scene.  It defies explanation.  You just have to see it for yourself. This one is a good example of what I'm talking about:

"Bella Luna" by Peter Lik

Yep, that's a photograph of the moon. From earth. Apparently he is an expert on exposure, giving him the ability to capture things in a way others cannot.  Then he prints on paper coated in silver halide which gives the photo a glowing finish, like it is backlit. Peter is also ruggedly handsome. Does that matter in a photographer if he doesn't do self portraits? I guess I thought you'd want to know. I would. He has galleries all over, so if you are ever in the vicinity of one, don't pass up the opportunity.  His work is quite pricey, as they are fine art collectables and worth every penny. There is a system in place where, if 10% of a piece's prints are sold, the price goes up.  Mario explained it to me.  I'm not sure I can explain it to you.  I'll try, though. It goes something like this: If there are 30 numbered prints made available of a certain piece and three are sold, the price goes up by a certain amount.  That way the value of the pieces are preserved for collectors.  He actually broke the world record when he sold one photograph for $1 million.  This is it:

"One" by Peter Lik

There were so many amazing photographs that I struggle to come up with a single favorite.  But for some reason, this one spoke to me more than most:

"Solace" by Peter Lik

This was actually taken in La Jolla . . . one of my favorite places. I didn't know that until just now, so perhaps my attraction to it is a testament to the whole visceral-reaction-to-art theory. I think I just made my own point.  Here it is in someone's home:

I want it to be my home.  I don't even care what the rest of the house looks like.  Sold!

"Fire and Ice" by Clark Little
"Pink Flash" by Clark Little

The Ritz we stayed at in Laguna Niguel had a print in the hallway that was divided into three canvases, one above the other.  It was of a beautiful orange wave. Mario and I thought it was amazing.  Lo and behold, the artist has a gallery in Laguna Beach.  We didn't get the opportunity to go inside, but I've scoped out his website.  His work is indescribable.  He photographs the ocean, waves specifically, from the perspective of being inside of them as they break.  The colors, the details . . . I'm obsessed.  My dream house is going to have to be huge or have an inordinate amount of wall space.  I want all of them.

Are you getting tired of hearing about art?  If so, well, I don't know what to say.  Unfortunately, I don't get to spend a lot of time in art galleries, so this is it for a while. That night of walking up and down the street with my husband after watching the sun set on the water while the waves lapped at our feet was pure bliss.  I want to capture that night somehow and keep it with me always.  I guess that's what memories are for.  But seeing this art again brings it back with amazing clarity.  We collect bouncy balls in jars on our living room bookshelf as a way of commemorating places and events.  And we have a book of smooshed pennies from various places. Art is the grownup version of that.  One day I'll be in a place where pieces like these will grace my walls.  Until then, there is the internet and desktop backgrounds.

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