Skidmore Contemporary Art presents two one person exhibitions…. “Bookends” features the art of Brighton Smith and “California Now” spotlights the paintings of Bradley Hankey. The exhibition September 10 and will remain on view through October 15, 2016. If you missed the opening, you will want to pop in to view both of these wonderful exhibits…
Bookend with Gucci, 2016, Watercolor on paper, 22″ x 30″

Brighton Smith’s Stacks are meditations on the deep connections in our society between art and fashion. His typical format features piles of coffee table books on the history of art, style and culture. They are usually topped by an iconic fashion statement—a high heeled shoe by a famed designer such as Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, or Christian Louboutin. The juxtapositions are witty, provocative and capture the universal appeal of fascinating art and extraordinary design.

He began painting the stacks as an evolution from his previous fashion paintings which featured groups of folded shirts and hats. Having a deep interest in art history, it was natural for him to turn to his personal library of art books. As he began to arrange his compositions he sought clever juxtapositions of subjects and themes. Some stacks are about the wide allure of a certain style or movement in culture. Others are a blend, reflecting a voracious interest in the overwhelming variety of our shared visual culture.

Bradley Hankey first starting painting images of California when he moved to Los Angeles in 2009 and hasn’t stopped since. Here is some info from the artist…”I see potential paintings every day. I could never paint all of them in my lifetime. My paintings are my way of trying to make sense of the world around me—more specifically, Los Angeles and California. There is so much beauty here that I am convinced I will have subject matter for the rest of my life.

My paintings begin as photographs taken with my smartphone—my way of quickly referencing the beautiful moments I see every day. I review my many images to determine which ones will become paintings. The images that become paintings are often places I see regularly—the silhouette of palm trees from the freeway; the downtown skyline; the mountains and the ocean. Sometimes I see something so intensely gorgeous that I immediately know I have to paint it—the sunrise reflecting on the wing of a plane; the city lights from a downtown bar; a piece of plastic shining in the sun. My work references themes of nature and man.”
See image: Bradley Hankey, Tormenta, 2016, oil on wood panel, 24″ x 24″

On view: September 10 – October 15, 2016

Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
Phone: 310-828-5070