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Archive for the ‘art’ Category

An Enjoyable Evening

It was a night where everything aligned to create a most enjoyable evening.  The galleries were packed with patrons who all seemed to be in a good mood. And the art, from a $200 sculpture to a $40,000 painting, was stellar.  Even though the sky was gray and overcast due to a recently arrived cold front, the temperature was still warm enough navigate in shirt sleeves.  As the evening wore on, the increasing winds blew tumbleweeds down the street. 

Friday evening started by meeting Bruce and his guy at Space Gallery to see new offerings from Noelle Phares and Philip Tarlow.  The offerings did not disappoint.  After Space, the guys dropped me off a few blocks north at D’art Gallery before they headed off to drinks and dinner.  D’art’s juried print show is one not to miss.  I walked down the street to Rule after leaving D’art.  Rule was hosting an opening for Martha Hughes, who normally shows at the Rule’s sister gallery in Marfa, Texas.  After Rule, I walked a few blocks back to my car parked across the street from Space.  I was happy to see the gallery packed with a lively crowd. 

I drove out west to see the offerings at the co-ops located near Casa Bonita, the Mexican restaurant made famous by the popular animated television series, South Park.  Core Gallery’s, Architecture of Form Show, is another one not to be missed.  The show is filled with works from local artists, many of whom are pillars of the regional art community.  Nicholas Kremske opened a show of new mixed-media work at the adjacent Next Gallery.  The works are simultaneously haunting and stunning. The Next show is another must see given it showcases the work of a rising star.

Here are a few of my favorites from my gallery tour:

Nicholas Kremske, Tethered, mixed media on board, 48 x 72, Next Gallery.
Noelle Phares, Plume, oil, oil pastel, acrylic and gouache on panel, 40 x 30, Space Gallery.
Martha Hughes, Untitled 1219, oil on canvas, 72 x 72, Rule Gallery.
Phillip Tarlow, Fly Anywhere, oil/collages on canvas, 32 x 42, Space Gallery.
One of the tumbleweeds.

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Recent Favorites

The galleries have been packed in recent weeks.  A combination of stellar offerings and a perceived pandemic end have brought the art community out.  There’s a joy and optimism prevalent in the local art world.  Here are a few favorites I’ve seen over the last few weeks.

Jeff Wenzel, Cyra, mixed media on wood, 72 x 48, 2021, Bitfactory Gallery.
Gavin Benjamin, Old World Luxury 9, photography, fine art canvas and lacquer, 24 x 30, Walker Fine Art.
Walter Barton, The Marton and the Guardians, mixed media installation, Pirate Contemporary Art.
Don Quade, Yves, mixed media on wood, 48 x 48, Walker Fine Art.
Kate McGuinness, untitled, monotype mounted on wood, 8 x 8, 40 West Arts.

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Friday Night Favorites

The galleries were packed on Friday night. The mostly maskless crowd was full of life. I ran into so many people I knew who I hadn’t seen for ages. I ran into JP at the first gallery. We visited two other galleries together before parting ways. There were too many openings in too many different parts of town to visit in one night. I concentrated my efforts on Santa Fe Drive and the Golden Triangle.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Lynn Heitler, Deductive Reasoning, oil on canvas, 72 x 96, Space Gallery.
Mark A Lunning, To Be King, mixed media on wood panel, 20 x 16, Space Gallery.
Sushe Felix, From Sky to Earth, acrylic on panel, 24 x 24, Willaim Havu Gallery.
Kelton Orborn, A Moment is for Forgetting, 37 x 37, acrylic and graphite on canvas, Michael Warren Contemporary.

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Current Favorites

Four of us hit a few of the galleries last night.  The weather had been bitter cold with snow the last few days so not many people were out.  Month of Print is rapidly approaching which means many galleries have already opened their print shows.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Lola Montejo, Hereafter 12, oil monotype, 35.5 x 30, Space Gallery.
Catherine Shuman Miller, Not So Fast, oil and watercolor monotype, 47 x 62, Space Gallery.
Taiko Chandler, On and On #115, oil monotype, 32 x 43.5, Space Gallery.
Heidi Jung, Artichoke, sumi ink and charcoal on mylar mounted to panel, 30 x 20, Michael Warren Contemporary.
Quintin Gonzalez, Fight Girl II, acrylic on canvas, 46″ diameter, Michael Warren Contemporary.

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Four Openings in Four Hours

There were too many art openings to attend on Friday night so I hit the ones I knew would not disappoint. I started at Space Gallery in the Santa Fe Arts District. My second stop was Walker Fine Art in the Golden Triangle. My third stop was also in the Golden Triangle at the Denver Art Museum for the opening of Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France. After seeing the exhibit the museum offered drinks and European-inspired small plates for an after exhibit snack. Vaccination was required for entrance so no masks were required. It was a festive event. The final stop of the night was John Davenport’s new exhibit at Pirate Contemporary Art in Lakewood. I left my house at 5:30 and returned at 9:30. Four venues in four hours. What a great night!

Steven Baris, Never the Same Space Twice A1, oil on mylar, 14 x 14, Space Gallery.
Mark Penner-Howell, Blessing with Birds, mixed media on wood, 24 x 21, Walker Fine Art.
Edward Hopper, Les Pont des Arts, oil on canvas, 1907. On view at Denver Museum of Art (on load from the Whitney Museum of American Art).
Butternut squash risotto at the DAM.
John Davenport, Self Portrait, vintage diptych, GSP analog silver print, 55 x 77, Pirate Contemporary Art.

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A Night Out

Bruce was my plus one for the Denver Art Museum’s preview of the recently renovated museum tower and newly constructed welcome center (the round building in the photo).  It was my first big event without a mask since the pandemic.  All attendees had to be vaccinated (yeah!).  The cocktail party dress code resulted in a well-dressed crowd.  I opted to skip the black-tie dinner event on Friday night as the cheapest ticket was $1,000.  Everyone was in a festive mood.  I saw so many people I hadn’t seen since the pandemic.  It was a most enjoyable evening. 

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Recent Viewings

I hit a few of the co-ops on Friday night by myself.  I had been out with Bruce two nights in row.  The fundraiser on Wednesday and a gallery opening on Thursday night.  I wanted to have art night without watching Bruce work the room, which he can do like no one else.  I’m also still on a hiatus from Bart after a rather unpleasant conversation about hateful statements he makes.

A few pics from recent viewings:

Louis Recchia, Inside Out, oil on canvas, 36 x 48, $750, Pirate Contemporary Art.
1,Tracey Russell, Something about Cicadas, acrylic on panel, 30 x 30, $1,400, Core New Art Space.
Michael Hedges, The Dreaming Tree, oil on canvas, 70 x 62, $9,500, Space Gallery.
Karen Scharer, Thunder After Dark, oil on canvas, 72 x 60, $13,500, Space Gallery.
Kathryn Oberdorfer, In Gratitude, acrylic, oil pastel and pastel on canvas, 36 x 48, $700, Spark Gallery.

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Giving Back

Last night I was Bruce’s plus one at a fundraiser for one of his causes.  The event was held in a stunningly-beautiful house in Cherry Creek situated on a double lot.  The open-floor plan house with a sleek modern interior had doors opening onto an expansive patio and pool which easily accommodated the hundred or so attendees.  The trans community was well represented at the art auction event.  A local drag queen was the MC.  I didn’t find any art I was interested in so I donated a couple of hundred bucks, which, paled in comparison to Bruce’s contribution as an event sponsor.  Bruce also dropped a bundle on art in the auction.  I met a few Bruce’s coworkers, one of which was a strikingly handsome man in his early thirties.  He was most engaging which made the evening very enjoyable. 

Bruce dropped me off a little before 10.  I googled the house before I went to bed.  It had recently sold for $7.5m.  Given Cherry Creek real estate prices, the house is easily worth penny.

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Rooftop Cocktails

Bruce met me a gallery opening on Friday afternoon decked from head to toe in Ferragamo.  He was wearing an exquisite pair of custom lace-up alligator shoes.  The shoes were almost as expensive as the art.  The shoes became a topic of conversation. 

After the gallery opening, Bruce hosted a small cocktail party on his rooftop deck.  Mike called me on the short drive to Bruce’s townhouse.  He wanted to know the parking options as he was trying to decide which car to drive.  The Bentley he recently acquired or his G-Wagon.  I told him the G550 would be easier to park given the only option was on-street parking. 

I arrived at Bruce’s house first and let myself in as his front door was unlocked.  His house was a mess.  His other guests were arriving at 6 and there was clutter everywhere.  It was type of clutter that a person who grew up with domestic help would have, who never learned to clean up after themselves.  When Bruce arrived I told him we needed to pick up the place.  I pointed out his guests had to walk through four floors of clutter to get to the roof.  Bruce didn’t care as the guests would be on the rooftop most of the night.  We barely made a dent in mess when the first guests arrived.  A handheld vacuum stayed mid-way up the second flight of stairs all night.

It was a most enjoyable evening even though Bruce only offered drinks.  Not a nosh in sight.  Mike and I were the only single guests.  The other guys were couples.  All were friendly and handsome with interesting tales to tell.  Conversation was lively all night.

The guests departed for dinner just before 9.  Mike was meeting his nephew at Capital Grille while I headed home. Before we parted ways at our cars, Mike remarked about the messy house, the sink full of dirty dishes and unkempt guest bathroom without a hand towel.  It seems Bruce never learned about entertaining, which, is odd given his mother hosted lavish parties and fundraisers in the mansion he grew up in. 

I spent the rest of night snacking while watching a Netflix dating show about young adults on the spectrum.  The most interesting evening was a good way to kick off the weekend.

Pamela Joseph, Doritaenopsis (orchid), acrylic, gold leaf and mixed media on plexiglass, 40 x 45 x 3, 2002, $18,000, Michael Warren Contemporary Art.

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The Have and Have-nots

After getting my booster shot yesterday after work, I hit the gym before meeting Bruce at a gallery opening.  Upon entering the gallery we were greeted by the owner and the manager.  Scotch was offered but we both declined as I had a few stops to make and Bruce was stoned. 

Bruce advised the owner he wasn’t going to buy the sculpture on loan on his rooftop deck but fell in love with a more expensive sculpture. Bruce decided to pass on the sculpture for now as he’s dropping $5K on weekend in P-town with the new boyfriend.  He said he needed to economize, which means flying commercial. 

As we were leaving the gallery, Bruce asked me if I wanted to come over and help paint his media room.  Seriously?  I was wearing a linen shirt and summer bucks. He offered to loan me a pair of pants and suggested I could paint shirtless. I declined the offer as I had other openings to attend. If Bruce can afford a pricey weekend in P-town he can afford to hire a house painter. 

We parted ways.  I headed to the co-ops while Bruce drove home.  The co-op openings were a mixed bag, but mostly positive.  I ran into Miss Y who was with two ultra-chic lesbians who looked like they just walked off the runway of a cutting-edge fashion show.  They were friends of Miss Y’s live-in girlfriend who was out of town on business.  Miss Y bought a sculpture which will be a nice addition to her collection. 

After the co-ops, I met Miss Y and her posse, which had grown in size, at a new gallery in the Golden Triangle just a few hundred feet from The Art Hotel.  The gallery has a DJ and a bar.  It’s owned by the nightclub next door which financially supports the gallery.  A huge pride flag hung in the window of the gallery. It was a welcoming sign.  The crowd was definitely more upscale and well-dressed than the co-op crowd.  The art was stellar and expensive.  I didn’t see anything under a grand and most were over 5.

I called it a night a little early.  I bid adieu to Miss Y and the fashionista lesbians.  I was feeling really fatigued.  Perhaps it was booster shot side effects.

I walked by The Art Hotel valet on the way back to my car.  There was a Jaguar SUV and a McLaren waiting to be parked.  I passed the DAM with its Gio Ponti building sitting dark after a $150m renovation. The reopening this fall has been monetized with a series of splashy events.  Next, I encountered a row of tents pitched on the hell strip in the block before my car.  Expensive art, $200k sports cars, and a pricey art museum renovation yet there are people living in tents just a few blocks from the Capitol.  It’s becoming a city of the have and the have-nots.  How sad is that?

The drive home was uneventful.  Ferdinand arrived home as I pulled in the driveway.  Moments later a G-Wagen blocks my driveway.  It’s Mike.  He knew I was out and about because he was tracking me on Scruff.  He wants to go for a drink.  I use booster shot fatigue as an excuse. I skip my usual Friday night candle-lit bath. I’m in bed a little after 10 headed to dreamland.         

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