On Saturday, July 11, SanJuly11-Essentia-Flyer-CALIFORNIADreamingta Monica’s Essentia Showroom held an opening for a new art show. Be sure to stop on in to see it. Curator Lou D’Elia has organized a fabulous exhibition titled “CALIFORNIA Dreaming” featuring two young street artists. Straight from New York City…artists FLOrE and Westgard will be featured in a two person show in the Santa Monica mattress store, which also doubles as an art gallery.

Here is some info from FLOrE and Westgard’s websites.

Christopher Florentino, known as FLOrE [pronounced Floor-ee], has been influenced by iconic artists such as Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. FLOrE aims to strip away all of the filters society places on our lives, all of the habits we get stuck in, the rules we blindly follow, and the stereotypes we subconsciously subscribe to; “I try to see things simple, but you can get lost very easily in the monotonous pattern of life. Hi-def, multi-colored filters, or distractions, can mask reality; I want to deconstruct and expose those layers for what they really are, not just what they seem.”

FLOrE continued….”When I was a little kid growing up in Marine Park, Brooklyn, my Aunt Weezy picked me up and took me to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I was sold. The next day in school the teacher asked the entire class, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” When they got to little Florē, he said, “I want to be a painter!” The teacher said, “Chris, that’s great, my husband paints houses for a living.” I said, “No, no, no, no. A real painter like in the museum.” She said, “Christopher, you mean an artist,” and I replied, “No, just a painter,” and smiled. I am Florē a humble kid from Brooklyn, warm and full of love and passion. My mouth might cause trouble from time to time, you might here me call you beautiful, but I’m just me. I just want to contribute…” Thatartistflore.com

July11 Essentia JohnWestbay-FloreSee pix of Westgard & FLOrE *(in front of works by Westgard)

For Brooklyn-based artist John Westbay, art has taken the place of words on several occasions. “In school, I had more drawings than notes in my books,” he says. “I always got in trouble for it.”

Trouble or not, Westbay’s creative ability and innate desire to express himself has since helped him become a highly recognizable New York street artist, with both a growing fan base and a growing demand for his custom paintings and unique, colorful murals. His influences range from individuals like Salvador Dalí, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and, current artist KAWS, to his personal surroundings like the urban backdrop of his hometown to the powerful presence of an African village.

“My recent trip to Africa was tremendous. I found so many answers on that trip…I decided that I would pursue what’s in my heart and nothing else.” Not surprisingly, the catalyst behind Westgard’s career was a little thing called love.

He created a logo with love at its core: L☮❤≡. Westgard incorporated this signature in messages of hope and inspiration that were spread all over the streets of New York. In addition, the logo recently became a source of fashion, with its eye-appealing look being splashed across the front of hundreds of white tees. loveforthepeople.com

Be sure to stop by the Essentia Showroom on Saturday, July 11, for a great art party and the opening of “CALIFORNIA Dreaming” from 6-10pm.

What: Opening reception
Where; Essentia, 2430 Main Street, SM
Phone: 310-450-7819
Website: http://www.myessentia.com/