Arts shows are not so much about being an ‘artsy fartsy snob’, as it is simply more about supporting people in your community who create and share their talents and passions with us.  Plus, being into art and going to galleries is a pretty fun pastime.  I can definitely vouch for that.  And, they are always free and all ages, open to anyone to attend… not too shabby!

This weekend there are a bunch of cool shows going on that we think want to make sure you know about.  All of these are pretty cool, non-pretensious and are a great way to spend the afternoon.  Come one, come all… just try to come!

(Take special note of the pink colored text, alerting you what city the art show will be located.)

Ongoing in Indian Wells…


KARL BENJAMIN: under the influence

In·flu·ence -the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

As New York action painting — the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock, Willem DeKooning, Franz Kline, and Robert Motherwell — began to fall out of vogue toward the end of the 1950s, a group of West Coast painters offered a bracingly cool new style. Soon, California artist, Karl Benjamin (b. 1925), emerged as one of the most consistent and influential painters, working in Hard Edge Abstraction, also known as Abstract Classicism.

His fresh ideas, new techniques, and dynamic color relationships captured the spirit of his day, as well as the imagination of so many artists in the decades that followed. Indeed, the influence of Karl Benjamin surfaces in the work of many of today’s most progressive painters.
Tim Bavington (b. 1966) — whose work is in numerous important collections, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Palm Springs Art Museum in California— refines and reworks the aesthetics of Benjamin’s stripe paintings, drawing a deeper, conceptual meaning. Utilizing current technologies and referencing popular culture, Bavington re-contextualizes the work in present time.

Benjamin taught Alex Couwenberg (b. 1967) at Claremont Graduate School, opening him to the idea that one mark dictates the next and one color calls to the artist as he adds the previous color. Couwenberg, honored in 2007 with the prestigious Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, creates meticulously crafted works that follow this intuitive painting style.

David Allan Peters (b. 1969) was a studio assistant to Benjamin. In that time, the young artist learned a way of perceiving color that profoundly affected his practice. He carves away his pristine white, glossy black, and reflective silver surfaces to reveal dozens and dozens of thin, vibrant, colorful layers of paint below the surface.

The exhibition KARL BENJAMIN: under the influence, which opens November 27 at Royale Projects in Indian Wells, explores the work and the significance of the pioneering abstract painter. Viewing his paintings in context with three artists of today’s generation demonstrates Benjamin’s enduring impact on contemporary art.




“Beauty is not a thing-“the beautiful” is a thing” – David Hickey (art critic/writer)

It is easy to be impressed by the work of Phillip K Smith III. In his Aperture installation at the Palm Springs Art Museum (on view until December 19th. 2010) you can imagine the days spent sprawled over a computer designing the object. You can envision the intricacy and technology involved in perfectly cutting 700 pieces of acrylic to fit together like a complex, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, or the sequencing and programming of a series of over a thousand tiny Light Emitting Diodes. You can visualize the countless hours it takes the artist and his assistants to complete the 7 foot tall, 24 foot long piece of art. But, when you are face to face with Aperture the only thing you see is “the beautiful”.

“Aperture is about beauty” Phillip K Smith III states, “It is about the sublime visual experience that causes pleasure.” Like standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon or looking at the subtle movement of the clouds, Smith III seeks to find that instant that unites the design, labor, and engineering of an object or space into a single, unique, moment of awe, making all of what was invested into the creation of the work disappear.

In the artist’s third solo exhibition at Royale Projects, opening November 27th 2010, he draws inspiration from the colors and growth patterns of native flora and fauna. He finds equal motivation in the distillation of form, shape, and experience created by artists such as modernist, Constantin Brancusi, minimalist, Sol LeWitt, and the California Light and Space artist, James Turrell. Phillip K Smith IIIpresents a series of works associated to the study of his Aperture installation. These works further delve into the artist’s aspiration to merge the precision and purity of geometry with the immeasurable organic qualities of the hand and nature.

For more information, please visit:

Ongoing in Palm Desert…


Ken Foto: People, Places, Things
November 22 – December 16, 2010

The Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts

College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA

College of the Desert’s Marks Art Center is presenting a major retrospective of photographic images by artist, student, and 20-year Navy veteran Ken Foto (a.k.a. Kenneth Geiger), entitled People, Places, Things 1980-2010, from November 22 – December 16; Ken Foto’s work will also be on display at the COD Library’s Garrow Gallery Wall during this time. The exhibition—which includes over 300 images, most of which are for sale—opens to the public on Monday, November 22, with an artist’s reception that is free and open to the public on Thursday, December 2 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., in conjunction with the El Paseo Art Walk that evening; musical entertainment will be provided by Pippi Bernstein and Clive Wright. Also that day, COD’s Art department will hold its first annual Holiday Student Art Sale, to include ceramic work as well as sculpture, paintings, drawings, photography, printmaking, and mixed media works, from 9:30-4:30 on the lawn in front of the Marks Art Center’s Sculpture Garden. The Walter N. Marks Center for the Arts is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00-4:00 p.m. and by appointment (760-776-7278).

Ken Foto—born Kenneth David Geiger in South Ozone Park, New York—started taking pictures in 1973 at the age of fourteen. While attending Ohio State University, he studied the history of photography, experimented with different photographic techniques and cameras, and began photographing the wide variety of subjects—the people, places, and things—that characterizes his distinctive and significant body of work. Growing up in a military family, and later completing a twenty-year career as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy, Ken Foto has lived and photographed all over the world—from Iran to Panama, from the Far East to Italy—all the while honing his perception and aesthetic vision.

Ken Foto is an incredibly prolific artist and photographer who finds visual pleasure not only in the traditional forms of the organic still-life and the idealized landscape, but even more so in the imperfect realities of quotidian scenarios, unguarded moments, and human-altered environments. He is a photographer’s photographer, with an almost uncanny intuitive ability to document the intimate gestures and unaffected dignity of his subjects, whether they be his children or strangers at a bar, domestic still-lifes or Wonder Valley shacks, dead birds or Roman ruins. His sense of color is seductive, but equally beautiful are his palladium prints and cyanotypes. At times reminiscent of Nan Goldin’s snapshot aesthetic of tragic beauty, and at other moments, capturing the similarly tarnished beauty of a Walker Evans/William Eggleston/John Lurie roadside aesthetic populated by sublime vintage signs and banal facades, by entropy and decay, Ken Foto chronicles the specificity of time and place in a manner that is almost anthropological. His pictures look like the sound of a Tom Waits song, appropriately so given that Ken Foto also plays folk and blues guitar and harmonica, and his astute observations of the world around him—whether it be at an early ‘80s punk club in Columbus, Ohio, on active duty at the 29 Palms Marine base, or last week at the Ace Hotel—ring true for viewers of all walks of life. His pictures are as beautiful as they are honest and direct, capturing the thing-ness of his people, places, and things in a way that invites us all to come along on his mad thriftstore shopping spree, as he collects the essence of his subjects with respect and integrity.

For more information, please check out the:

Facebook event invite

Opening in Palm Springs…

Although the flyer says it all for this particular event… if you would like more information on the Desert Art Center, please visit:

Ongoing in Palm Springs…

Also, don’t forget about their ongoing events!  This Sunday the guys over at Dezart present… December 5 – Sunday  4:30 PM – Open Mic Poetry reading – Come experience the gift of the written word through the expression of poetry.  Dezart Studio – 4116 Matthew Dr., Palm Springs 760-328-144

For more information on the gallery, please visit:

Ongoing in Palm Springs…


Images By Gideon Fine Art Gallery is hosting a new show THE GOLDEN AGE OF GLAMOUR from November 13 to May 31, 2011, with an opening reception on November 27, 6-9 pm.

These one of a kind images were taken and printed by the greatest studio portrait photographers from studios including Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Columbia and Warner Brothers in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. These historical investment pieces were hand-selected for this show to represent the best of best of this era-an incredibly rare offering of the lost art of studio portraiture. The collection highlights some of the most valuable images of the greatest stars to ever grace the silver screen including: Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth and many more.

Most of these beautiful black and white photos are framed double sided, to enable seeing all stamps and information from the various Hollywood studios on the back of the prints, authenticating them as originals.

We are also showing signed, limited editions of photos taken by one of the most famous and successful Hollywood photographers, George Hurrell.

On the night of the opening reception the theme is “Black & White”. Anyone who is dressed in black and white will receive a 10% discount off their purchase.

Open: Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 11 – 4pm
Backstreet Art District, 2682 Cherokee Way
Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
Phone: 760.250.1521

For more information on the gallery, please visit: