Event blog and photos by Bona Hong
Slideshow by Nikki DeVries
The opening reception Saturday night at James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica was where I was introduced to the work of some incredible and incredibly eclectic artists: Morris B. Squire, Susan Rosman, Thom Surman, Marylyn English, David Cook, and Kitty Rocquemore. James Gray Gallery is divided into five separate spaces. Strolling through the gallery, I got my fill of some of my favorite components of art: colors, textures, composition, and fantastically disturbing whimsy.
The first piece that caught my eye was Morris B. Squire’s Pop Art portrait of Dennis Rodman. The moment I laid eyes on it, I started to hear a mash-up of the Jackson 5 and Guns N’ Roses in my head. The crazy blocks of contrasting colors conveyed the Dennis Rodman that I’m certain Dennis himself would endorse.
Moving into Gallery 2, I was set adrift in the murky waters of Thom Surman’s “1,000 Steps.” Not to be morbid, but if I would have to meet my end by drowning, that is exactly the type of abyss I would consider worthy of my demise.
In Gallery 3, Susan Rosman’s intricate “Butterfly Kimono” transported me back to my simpler times when I was a when i was a little girl with a bowl-cut folding origami. Tucked away in Gallery 4, David Cook scared me with dismembered teddy bears and abandoned babies. *shudder* Still gives me the chills, just thinking about it.
Finally, I climbed the steps to the Mezzanine where I met (and instantly fell in love with) Kitty Rocquemore and her lovely ladies. I absolutely adore that although Kitty herself is a tiny little thing, she envisions the beauty of the female form in all of its ample, child-bearing-hipped glory. Clearly, texture is a key element in her work, as is vibrant color.
The figures seem ready to rise off the canvas and hold you in a tender embrace. I urge everyone to go and have a look-see – there’s a little something for everyone and every mood. The exhibit will be at James Gray Gallery until December 20th so you still have some time to check it out…but not that much time! GO!
WHO: Kitty Rocquemore
WHAT: Gallery Opening
WHERE: James Gray Gallery Bergamot Station
WHEN: Nov. 21, 2009 (6-9)