DARLING, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

Just got back from a breather in New York. Got wet with some old friends on Fire Island, then went into Manhattan and got wise.

I trained at one of the best art schools in the world (CalArts). Geniuses such as John Baldessari and Barbara Kruger were my mentors. It was always not so politely driven into to us to bow to our own creativity, then to New York. Perhaps not in that order.

Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger

Have always done both pretty religiously. But I have to say, for the first time, I was not so impressed with the NY art scene this time ’round. The top galleries I visited felt…predictable. Not terribly inspiring.

Then my Manhattan pals said, “Darling, it’s summer, what do you expect?”

A lot. I’ve never been more proud of the program I began last fall at Ted Casablanca Gallery. We strive during all seasons, no matter how fucking hot it is, to hit artistic heights.

Bret Philpot

Bret Philpot

From Bret Philpot’s popular cubist inspirational painting and sculpture to Eric Schwabel’s Alex Minksy photographs, it’s captivating, always. The latter artist is literally heroic, showing how a soldier can leave the US-fueled fields of death and resurrect his life, in many ways.

‘Side B’, Eric Schwabel

‘Side B’, Eric Schwabel

Feminist portraitist Monica Orozco poses the LA women who inspire her in her unusually vivid, non-self-portraits, “DeColores.” Resident Palm Springs collage powerhouse Roger Groth has some new works at the gallery, just lusciously fresh for summer–or any moment. UK photographer James Baran captures precisely how collaborative Londoners are re-creating the street-art scene in Great Britain.

‘Desert Playground’, Roger Groth

‘Desert Playground’, Roger Groth

And in a fairly retro nod to genius California indulgence, the illustrious Michael Childers says it best with one of his vintage David Hockney 1978 seminal shots, “Hockney Swimmer,” a sumptuous C-print so glistening you’ll want to dive in with David’s naked model. Or at least I do.

‘Hockney Swimmer’, Michael Childers

‘Hockney Swimmer’, Michael Childers

Proceeds from the above pieces also go the OneOrlando fund. Giving back is a dynamic I believe should observed every season.

Of course, Eric Schwabel gets in on the underwater nudity action just as seductively as does Michael with “Alex Gets Wet,” a stunning 45 X 65 Giclee print. Large as friggin’ life, sweethearts!

‘Alex Gets Wet no.297′, Eric Schwabel

‘Alex Gets Wet no.297′, Eric Schwabel

My point being, even in parched Palm Springs, we do not take summers off, we soar.