The 2019 LA Art Show returned this year, delighting gallerists, and thrilling the public with an exciting, five day whirlwind of non-stop action, sales, and great art; hosted by Kate Beckinsale. Held once again at downtown Los Angeles’ outstanding venue of the Los Angeles Convention Center, nearly 200 art galleries from around the world drove and flew in for one of the largest and most important art shows on the planet.
Galerie Fledermaus from Chicago was back with some nice works by Gail Potocki, as well as prints by Klimpt.
BG Gallery was back with some nice works including artist Natalia Berglund and Susan Moss. They carry some paintings by Moira Cue at their gallery in Santa Monica.
Artstar was here with a cool neon sign stating the word Artstar. Their postcard states they are an online buying and selling platform. Their title of course, reminds me of the great song “ArtStar” by the amazing band Yeah Yeah Yeahs; here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PBl2qsYtDo
Michael Scott Slosar had some nice fashion photography images up. His assistant at his booth was very kind and cordial.
Bix Art Group Los Angeles had some nice works by Jose Zuno, which have intense psychedelic patterns.
Artist Minnie Yoshino was present and very nice and cordial. She posed for a picture for me with her cute “Goat Marionette,” that hung from the ceiling.
Simard Bilodeu Contemporary out of China had a nice painting by Iranian-American painter Yalda Sepahpour. I met Yalda a year or two ago, and she was very kind, posing for me in front of one of her paintings.
Artist Farahn Height had some nice works demonstrated in a useful calendar they gave away.
Tannaka Museum, out of Osaka, Japan, has a nice collection of outstanding Noh Masks, sculpted from wood and painted, framed against a black wall, lending themselves to a dark, ominous appearance that is both haunting, and beautifully cool.
Masterworks Fine Art from Oakland Hills, California was back, with some outstanding pieces as usual. They were also friendly and cordial, as always.
Solomon Fima Fine Art has some great prints by some of the masters.
Mizuma Art Gallery from Tokyo had some great works here by artist Ohata Shintaro (Flightless Wings, and also; In the Sea, both from 2017, as well as works by Amaano Yoshitaka, including When Sleeping Beauty Awakes, and Daydream (2018) that were both outstanding. Yoshitaka merges a manga style crossed with Dr. Seuss and Murakami, with vibrant pop colors in aluminum panels utilizing both acrylic and automotive paint on a two-dimensional surface.
Shintaro creates beautiful three-dimensional wood, metal, Japanese paper, and Styrofoam sculptures; one diving, another dancing in each of these two works here, with the sculpture framed in front of a two dimensional painting that lends itself to a beautiful form, playing with depth of field, light, shadow, and dimension; making a quite filmic and hyper-realistic quality that works brilliantly.
Caldwell Snyder out of San Francisco has some nice works, and an outstanding Art Consultant named Colleen with them. She is a charming, outstanding professional who deals expertly with the public.
5Art Gallery (LA), Art Gangnam (Seoul, South Korea), Palette Contemporary (Albuquerque, New Mexico), SM Fine Art (NY, NY), Sunny Gallery Toronto, and Galerie Sabine Knust (Munchen), are other notable mentions of galleries here this year.
Anthony James: One of the most popular artists at the LA Art Show this year, and one of my favorites, are the psychedelic like light sculptures by artist Anthony James at Melissa Morgan fine Art (Palm Desert, California). Smaller to larger sculptures draw in the viewer with neon like lights that reflect off of each other seemingly back into a near infinite point. Some; filled with narrow, short pieces of symmetrical tree trunks, others, simply blue and white or green and white patterns among more; these works are truly amazing, and were the star of the show, with many crowded around them staring and taking photos each time that I passed them by. The young man who spoke with me about the artist briefly was also cordial.
The VIP party was nice as usual, with plenty of complimentary drinks, food and desserts from local eateries. I disciplined myself to have only a bottled water and a few samples of cashews, pecans, and almonds from Totally Nutz in Carona, California, which are good.
VIP PATRON LEVEL:
The St. Jude VIP area was in an area this year with several foot-tall barriers, where some without tickets to the event area, were lined up by the short “wall” and watching it as well. Haute’ Chefs from North Hollywood catered the event, with some truly delicious vegan and vegetarian hors d’oeuvres including some amazing hummus, gourmet chips, and breadsticks. I highly recommend them.
About St. Jude Children’s Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the premiere children’s hospital which helps treat and fight children with disease. The hospital kindly and graciously covers 100% of all medical expenses of every child treated at the hospital, and the LA Art Show kindly donates 100% of their proceeds from the VIP tickets to St. Jude. It is an honor to have met some of the children over the years that have been helped by this great organization, and some of the amazing people that help to make the fundraising for this great place happen.
The beautiful and talented Kate Beckinsale drew a great crowd as the evening’s host, meeting with St. Jude patient families, and delivering an address about the organization’s mission. She looked as lovely as ever, and being a fan of “Underworld,” it was especially exciting to see this global star.
Rocker Gavin Rossdale (Bush) was very kind, and served as the year’s Art Ambassador, reminding the audience that art can save lives. Gavin’s great song with Bush; “Everything Zen” has been on my playlist for years, so it was an honor when he accidentally bumped into me and graciously apologized.
Gavin and Kate were both joined by previous host; the lovely Emma Roberts, and other stars and VIP’s including Jessica Szohr, Peyton List, Cameron Monaghan, Joe Manganiello, Lance Bass (NSYNC), Amy Smart, Odette Annable, Brandon Boyd, Brigitte Nielsen, Evan Williams Bailee Madison, Kevin Zegers, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Perrey Reeves, Amber Stevens West, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Naomi Grossman, Davi Santos, Barry Sloane, Brittney Palmer, Ian Bohen, Denim Richards, Celeste Thorson and many more.
Art Stars Tristan Eaton, Camille Rose Garcia, Jorge R. Gutierrez, Gregory Siff, Dave Pressler, Brandi Milne, Dosshaus, Gary Baseman, RETNA, Andy Moses, Moira Cue, Mikael B, and more were in attendance, along with over 7,500 VIPs.
Most of the returning gallerists were generally friendly. One can possibly get away with a bit more attitude in Chicago or NYC for example, but L.A. is simply a friendly town. We have enough stars here that arrogance is simply something that most buyers don’t need to tolerate.
Those that sell to the stars generally don’t get away with treating stars with disdain; on the contrary. And I suggest this system of VIP treatment of celebrities in Hollywood generally trickles down to the non-celebrity clientele’ as well, benefiting most fairly well-monied prospective buyers with a bit more courtesy than they may find otherwise outside of L.A.
Some gallerists new to the LA Art Show, may not realize this cultural difference, and often return to the city or country they came from, blaming the show and blaming the crowd for no sales; rather than looking at the real problem–themselves.
Advice to Gallerists:
Gallerists; when you move into a new market to sell, you must study that market, and get a feel for it. Immerse yourself in the culture, get in to the streets with the people, and see what makes the city tick. Do your homework. At the very least; acknowledge each and every person, put down your phone or paperwork, and be present at your booth. Talk to people, and explore their interests and needs. Be nice, and treat every person walking up to your booth as a potential buyer; because they are!
Bruce Lurie Gallery, BG Gallery, and Caldwell Snyder Gallery are fine examples of three such galleries at the LA Art Show this year who exude professionalism, elegance, and style.
Sales at the LA Art Show:
I observed many red dots (sold stickers) on quite a number of my favorite art works at the LA Art Show this year.
Ferran Josa of Pigment Gallery, returning for the 4th year in a row, commented about always having unusually good experiences in Los Angeles. For his artist Rosa Galindo, all but one of her paintings sold.
Simard Bilodeau Contemporary reported high sales and interest from a number of new collectors. Their artist, Yalda Sepahpour, sold out for the second year in a row.
Rebecca Hossack of Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery stated that she was excited about sales across the board for her artists.
Every person attending the LA Art Show cares enough about art to get dressed up, leave home, drive near or far away to go downtown, spend 20 or 30 dollars to park, spend another 15 dollars each to get in (which by the way is all worth it), pay for lunch or dinner out, pay for fuel to get there and back, and spend a good part of or all of their day seeing art. That’s at least around a one-hundred-dollar investment; not counting the value of their time, that each and every person made for art, just to see art, to come and attend the LA Art Show. That fact to me, when I think about it, is incredibly amazing, and exciting.
I love it that so many people; young and old, from Hollywood hipsters to the average looking people next door-love art. Art is more popular than ever. And every attendee is factually a prospective buyer. If one attendee is not in the market for a $800, $5000 or $60,000 painting, they may have a boss or co-worker who is. And now that they saw the work in person, they are your best salesperson if you are a gallerist.
Public Comments About the Show
Things I heard attendees at the show this year state passing me by were words including the show being “overwhelming,” “cool,” and “incredible.” Another girl stated, “There is no way I can see it all.” When I came back to the show Saturday, it was the best energy I’d ever felt at the LA Art Show. People were friendly, happy to be there, and clearly having a good time.
Some attendees came by themselves, couples came, friends went together, husbands and wives, parents with children, a man carrying his baby on his chest, and even a man with a therapy dog. Art is for everyone, and anyone attending the LA Art Show will simply love it, because there is inevitably something for everyone. It’s a great experience, exciting, big, and unforgettable. When you go, plan on going for at least 2 full days or more, to take it all in. You will be glad you did.
This content is ©2019, Hollywood Sentinel / Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.