{ ART & CULTURE }

SECOND NATURE

Salty seacapes and nature’s drama inspire local artists on display this summer

BY BRIANNE BROWN

In this issue’s roundup of must-see San Diego artists, one theme runs throughout: a love of the ocean and nature. From mixed media and landscape photography to acrylic on canvas and modernist abstraction, this summer’s featured artists use a variety of tools to create stunning and serene seascapes and scenery.

KATEY K

A La Jolla local, Katey K has formed an unbreakable bond with the ocean and our coastlines. Views of the great blue ocean from above and a variety of coastlines around the world inspire Katey’s works. Katey’s textured paintings utilize uncommon materials—such as sea salt and crackle paste—that evoke and capture the unpredictable forces of nature. These powerful elements create a feeling of serenity and wonder, reminding her audience that what lies beneath can be easily concealed by exterior beauty. Recently added to the lineup at Legends Gallery of La Jolla, Katey’s works nearly sold out on opening night, an incredible achievement for the young artist. Katey considers herself a humanitarian by nature and is an advocate of earth-friendly products and keeping our beaches and oceans clean. Through her everyday life, she is reminded of how much of an impact we can have on our planet. See Katey’s work on display now at Legends Gallery of La Jolla.

[ Legends Gallery of La Jolla, 1205 Prospect Street, Suite B, La Jolla, 858.456.9900, legendsgallerylajolla.com ]

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EVGENY YOROBE

One of a few native San Diegans who has never moved away from home, Evgeny Yorobe’s love for his hometown is evident in every photo he takes. Shot primarily at sunset or at night, Yorobe’s landscape photos feature iconic San Diego landmarks as well as coastal panoramas from the South Bay to Orange County and beyond. Yorobe’s photos are evidence of his love for his city and, indeed, for photography itself, a hobby born from observing his father, an amateur photographer who shot on an old film Nikon and an SLR Minolta. Instilled with a love of photography, Yorobe now seeks to show the world San Diego’s beauty through his lens. Yorobe’s work has been featured in a number of local publications and earned awards at the San Diego County Fair and the La Jolla Festival of the Arts. In 2017, Yorobe was named by Photography Talk among the “20 Best Landscape Photographers” in the world, an honor he considers his highest yet. Visit MK Envision Galleries on Saturday, July 29 from 4–6pm for Evgeny Yorobe’s opening reception.

[ MK Envision Galleries, Liberty Station, Historic Decatur Road #101, San Diego, 619.516.8186, mkenvision.com ]

IAN ELY

Ian Ely believes in magic—or at least the “magic hour.” The hour before sunrise and the hour before sunset are his favorite times of day to take these awe-inspiring shots. But the final product that you see on display at his gallery in La Jolla is the culmination of years of work and, in some cases, almost 50,000 shots before “the one” is taken. Ely takes these once-in-a-lifetime shots by becoming one with nature, believing that if you can’t experience nature in all her dramatic glory, you can’t hope to capture it on film. His technique involves using a long exposure to capture more detail and color contrast, and the final images are typically digital files compressed into film negatives and developed in a darkroom. While Ely’s gallery is located in sunny Southern California, he admits that his favorite season to shoot is in winter, when Mother Nature is at her most dramatic. Believing that every image has a story behind it, Ely invites you to visit his La Jolla gallery to experience the story for yourself.

[ Ian Ely Gallery, 1141 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 858.291.8084, ianely.com ]

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Norman Muller

Currently in production at Morten Gallery is a series of abstract works by resident artist Norman Muller. Early on his career, he was influenced by artists such as Diego Rivera, Siquerios, Rufino Tamayo and Pedro Coronel. His recent works, however, are inspired by the work of Gerhard Richter, a master of modernist abstraction. The Richter technique involves sieving oil paint through muslin to create a smooth mixture with no lumps of pigment. Further, paint is applied in a number of ways—not simply brushed on, but rather smeared or rubbed with both paintbrushes and other objects like glass or wood. Muller uses pallet knives and squeegees to create multi-layer works with different dimensions and textures. A labor of love, these works are time-intensive: created layer upon layer, each layer must fully dry before another layer can be applied. And because oil paint requires more time to dry than acrylic paint, the process is often lengthy. The result, however, is worth the wait: deeply rich colors and textures are enticing and create iconic works evocative of nature’s dramatic moods. These works are currently on display at Morten Gallery in La Jolla.

[ Morten Gallery, 1264 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 858.203.3616, mortenartgallery.com ]

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KERRY HALLAM

Enthusiasm for his art is fully evident in Kerry Hallam’s vivid, windswept seascapes and timeless, sun-dappled village scenes. Also intriguing are his nautical images, which feature acrylic paint atop nautical charts. Strongly inspired by the Fauves, Hallam has an affinity for the 19th-century French Post-Impressionists, Cezanne and Van Gogh. Born in Northern England, Hallam moved to the U.S. in 1973 and completely dedicated himself to painting. He later established his first studio in Boston, and opened a studio and gallery on Nantucket Island in 1981. Since then, he has lived and painted in many parts of the United States, most recently settling in New England. Inspired by St. Tropez and the French Riviera, Hallam returns frequently to renew his spirit. Noted for his power to evoke emotion, opulence of light and distinctive color harmonies, Hallam translates the ordinary moment into the magical, inviting us to be revitalized by the world’s simple pleasures. His panoramas continue to draw accolades, including a first place award by the prestigious L’Association Pour le Promotion Artistique Francais. 

[ Martin Lawrence Galleries, 1111 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 858.551.1122, martinlawrence.com ]

This summer, Martin Lawrence Galleries hosts both a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and their annual art auction.

CHALLENGED ATHLETE FOUNDATION BENEFIT AT MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLERIES

Join us for the fourth annual benefit for the Challenged Athlete Foundation at Martin Lawrence Galleries on Saturday, August 5 from 6–9pm. Enjoy an extraordinary exhibition of master works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Former NBA great Bill Walton will be present to draw the art raffle at 7:30pm. Contact Martin Lawrence Galleries for an invitation to the benefit.

MARTIN LAWRENCE GALLERIES FINE ART AUCTION

A live auction will be held on Saturday, September 16 at 8pm at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla. Up for auction are rare paintings, bronze sculptures and limited edition prints from artists such as Philippe Bertho, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Robert Deyber, Erté, Brad Faine, Sam Francis, François Fressinier, Kerry Hallam, Keith Haring, Frederick Hart, Douglas Hofmann, Liudmila Kondakova, Mark Kostabi, René Lalonde, Felix Mas, Joan Miró, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol. Contact Martin Lawrence Galleries for a free auction catalog.