It’s a shrewd move really, and one I’m sure a lot of galleries will be emulating. Corey Helford Gallery asked their stable of top tier artists to create 12″ x 12″ pieces for “Art Collector Starter Kit” (which opened Saturday). This allowed the artists and gallery to set the prices within the realm of possibility for the working masses (providing at least $1,000 is within the realm of your discretionary budget). However, this also meant you needed the foresight to contact the gallery ahead of time, as more than half of the sixty some odd pieces were sold before the doors had even opened. You can see why. It’s not everyday that an original Ron English, Van Arno, or Colin Christian (see top photo), is offered at anything resembling a steal.
At the opening reception, I stood behind a pair of gallery patrons who were taking in a trilogy of paintings by Risk & Cooz. One of the men was very animated, and vehemently insisting that “These guys are totally ripping off Nathan Ota! The Circles! The boxes! They could get sued!” Yes, I could have interrupted to tell them that, in fact, Risk is Kelly Graval and Cooz is indeed Nathan Ota, but instead I just chuckled and walked away. I’m kind of a jerk that way. It’s only fair. I’m late to the party plenty. For instance, nobody told me about the work of Marie Vlasic before this show. I’m kicking myself now, having seen her sterling, erotic, photo-realistic Cupcake. Not to mention Red, which features a young tattooed girl with hands clasped (in prayer?), giving off a rather unsettling vibe reminiscent of the infamous Blind Faith album cover or the Janis standing nude (both by Bob Seidemann). Soey Milk provides another sensual morsel with Near Light. I have a weakness for artists who do classic figurative work in the post-modern era.
The show features fifty artists in all. It’s a grouping so large that one gallery couldn’t contain them, thus it spills over to the sister gallery CHG Circa, just two doors down. You’ll find an array of work from the likes of Germs, Joshua Petker, Ben Frost and Shag, all safe bets to start any art collection off with impressive bragging rights. Ubiquitous names such as Luke Chueh, Lola, and Eric Joyner are also represented. Since you’re reading CARTWHEEL, I can assume you’re an art lover, and somewhere in the back of your mind you probably long to be the next Herb & Dorothy. Corey Helford Gallery has tapped into that desire and kicked open the doors for you with this show. The thing is, you have to hurry. You’re not alone, and these pieces are going fast!
“Art Collector Starter Kit” runs through April 10, 2013