“Phantasmagoria,” a solo show by Wyatt Mills, blew open the doors of Bergamot Station‘s newest addition: ESSNTL Gallery, on Saturday, March 8th. A whirlwind of styles, media and visuals, the work displays both traditional painting techniques and an unrestrained, experimental nature. This a great representative of the spirit and character ESSNTL intends to foster in established and emerging artists. As gallery owner and curator LeDoux VanVeckhoven told CARTWHEEL contributor, Baha Danesh, in her interview with him, he’s drawn to artists:
who don’t feel compelled to compromise their artistic integrity to cater to popular tastes.
Mills’ work is a must-see-in-person. There’s an immense tactility in the masterfully applied paint, poured and rippled mystery-substances, and layers of arranged vintage ads, photography and scrawled text. It has a larger than life presence. It’s scale is embodying and it’s color forcefully vivid. The work’s imagery can be erie, violently aggressive, or more reflective– but it’s always seductive– psychologically and sensually.
ESSNTL seems to be right at home in Bergamot Station, very open and community-oriented. The atmosphere is welcoming and accessible. It’s warm and upbeat. It feels just spacious enough, while remaining intimate. There was also an electric energy in the air opening night, from the power of the work and the excitement of supportive fans. There is a sense of what has already been accomplishment and the potential of how much is yet to come! It feels like a substantial and promising springtime for the artist and gallery alike.
They also have great taste in wine. The wine may be gone (or maybe not!), but you can still experience “Phantasmagoria” now through April 5th.
Unit G7 of Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Friends from Project Gallery
Wyatt Mills and Curator/gallery director LeDoux VanVeckhoven