Bert Green Fine Art Gallery Presents Viva Hoffman and Carl Ramsey
Bound simply by their realistic painting styles, the two artists showing Thursday, March 12th at the Bert Green Fine Art Gallery provide two very different stories. Carl Ramsey, who has shown at this gallery before, fills his solo show with images of downtown Los Angeles life. Viva Hoffmann, most recognized for her days with Warhol, takes an exciting step away from her well-known landscapes to reveal a new body of stunning icons.
Ramsey’s previous work at the Bert Green Fine Art Gallery received such positive feedback that he was asked to create a new body of work for a solo show. The pieces shown this Thursday continue in the same vein of his previous paintings. “Carl lived in the neighborhood for many years and painted the neighborhood”, said Green.
Along with the painted Los Angeles life, Ramsey will show a series of 14 8×10 paintings entitled “Women of Skid Row”. While his other paintings are intriguing, these images are captivating. They will be arranged together all on one wall as only a small part of the show, but take time in front of them to appreciate what they offer. In essence they are, “giving these women an opportunity to provide a certain amount of dignity for themselves that they might otherwise be denied,” Green explains.
Sharing the Gallery with Ramsey is Viva Hoffmann with her landscapes and delectable icons. When Green first saw Viva’s work in Palm Springs she had mostly Californian landscapes and only one icon painting.
“It was not the landscapes I was interested in, it was the icon paintings. However, the landscapes are very good. There’s no reason not to have some continuity between what some of her previous collectors expect of her and what she’s doing now,” says Green. Viva’s new icons provide a visual meal. Each piece could be looked at for any great length, the viewer unpacking one symbol after another.
The sheer size of the paintings creates in the viewer a sense of awe that traditionally surrounds holy icons. The heavy-handed imagery is handled beautifully, sometimes playfully. The self-portrait nature of the paintings doesn’t ring so personal to Viva that the viewer becomes excluded from the piece. In all honesty, it is those personal musings from a very public life that breathe vibrancy into the images. Green muses that they are “A reconciliation between the amazing things she’s done in her life and where she is right now.”
So Thursday night, have a bite with friends, gallery hop galore, but also set aside some time to take a really good look at what Bert Green Fine Art Gallery has put up for you to drink in!
Bert Green Fine Art 102 W 5th Street