Jessica Cusick, Cultural Affairs Manager for Santa Monica, welcomed reporters from throughout the USA at the opening of Art Platform LA, the fall show for trendsetting contemporary art. For the first time, this special event was held at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, September 27 to 30, 2012.
The location near Santa Monica College and the Bergamot Station art studios reinforced the image of Santa Monica as a popular destination for working artists and art collectors alike. â€œWe want visitors to see Santa Monica as a hub of arts and culture,â€ asserts Cusick, who points out that over ten percent of Santa Monica’s employment and even more of its tax revenues are based on the creative industries.
Art Platform LA greeted visitors with a public art exhibition by local Santa Monica artist Clayton Campbell. It is part of Campbell’s â€œ911â€ photo essay showing multiple facets of changes in American society following the devastation to the World trade enter and Pentagon following the September 11, 2001 plot unfolded. Art Platform LA Executive Director Adam Gross explained how Clayton took the initiative to contact the fair early enough with a distinctive proposal that would help expand the audience and appeal of the program and cited Campbell as a role model for other area artists who want to try to do something new.
The extensive exhibition in two pavilions radiated creativity and built anticipation for even greater things to come. Dianne Tanzer of Melbourne, Australia is a first time exhibitor and explained why Los Angeles has become important for so many international art trendsetters. â€œEveryone goes to Art Basel and nothing stands out. Los Angeles is a place where you can see where the future is going. And the Art Platofrm director Adam Gross is so helpful. He made it an easy decision.â€ Tanzer also plans to show at other major art centers in the Pacific region in Hong Kong and Singapore. Her first show in Los Angeles featured six paintings by Neil Haddon of Tasmania, a large island between mainland Australia and Antarctica. The high gloss, stylized images of real life events reinforce the popular trend of art that tells a story.
The Patrick Painter Gallery featured works by Rhinus Van de Velde of Belgium. The ART1307 studio introduced two dozen Italian artists as part of its program of fostering cultural exchange between Los Angeles and Italy. Three works are part of a series featured as part of the â€œLast Days of Pompeiiâ€ exhibition at the Getty Villa, showing how Pompeii legends and landscapes have inspired artists throughout the centuries. Exhibitors from Turkey and Israel added to the sunny Mediterranean aura of the show.
The results of a rare special exhibition of art from the Japanese Gutai School commanded attention. A dozen rare works by avant-garde trendsetters in mid-Century Japan were exhibited by the Whitestone Gallery of Tokyo, Japan. Nine works by iconic Gutai school artist Chiyu Uemae sold during the first hours the fair was open, all at high-five figure prices. More works by Gutai school artists will be exhibited in New York this November at a special program of the Guggenheim Museum.