A Tale of Two Openings: Peter Blake and Brett Rubbico Galleries
What do you do if you are a respected gallery owner and a highly anticipated show looks like it won’t come to fruition just one week before the opening? If you’re Peter Blake you somehow pull together three solo shows of leading LA-based contemporary artists, within days of the opening event. On Saturday night at the Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach it appeared as if this was the plan all along: the shows were as flawlessly put together as we have come to expect with this gallery, featuring collections of three complementary yet distinct artists: Scott Heywood, Joe Goode and John M. Miller
Surrounded by several of Miller’s pieces in various shades of black and gray can make you a bit cross-eyed. I want one of these in my front room so I can hypnotize guests into doing my bidding.
Vibrant acrylic paint on individual canvases creating a Mondrian-esque effect. The intrigue of Heywood’s pieces is the imbalanced composition, which challenges our discomfort with things that don’t “line up”.
Recent small multi-media work by the venerable LA artist Joe Goode plays with the idea of “seeing through,” in this case with some sort of epoxy over a photograph of a tree. Most of this work by the Oklahoma-born artist focuses on nature elements: water, trees or a tornado.
The Brett Rubbico opening of MORE of Less by artist Michael Maas in Newport Beach was well attended by members of the OC gallery scene mixed with LA-based artists, writers and photographers. It’s pretty commendable when an opening can inspire the reverse commute from LA to OC on a Saturday night. We had a long conversation with the artist as well as Mat Gleason of the Huffington Post and Coagula Curatorial.
Similar in some ways to Miller’s work at Peter Blake, but without the dizzying optical effect, Maas’s paintings in the Alhambra Confluence series are exquisite in person. Maas uses stencils with thin layers of spray paint to create luminous, metallic, delicate shifts in color resulting in a cool combination of Moorish-inspired motif with urban-art technique.
Maas explained he explores large factorials and the divergence and convergence (or confluence) of numbers in the repetition of patterns, citing 3 and 4 meeting at 12 as an example. This theme is executed in shades of white and gray as well as a darker palette creating a mysterious and exotic effect.
The next morning, I packed up my car for an extended stay in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Peter Blake and Brett Rubbico openings were a wonderful way to spend an evening in Orange County and take-in the local art scene before I left.
Peter Blake Gallery: 435 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach 92651 (949) 376-9994
Brett Rubbico Gallery:361 Old Newport Boulevard Newport Beach, California 92663 (949) 515-5102
Photos by Jared Millar, images of Maas’s work courtesy of the Brett Rubbico Gallery