With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, celebrate love’s holiday early starting today at haleARTS S P A C E at 2443 Main Street. Step out with your loved one and enjoy the opening reception tonight of “Love & Lust,” a special Valentine’s Day exhibition curated by owner Michael Hale and gallery director Sean Hemeon.
Artist Charles Swenson’s work will be part of the exhibition. Perhaps best known for his work as an animator on the popular TV series “Rugrats,” Swenson is also an accomplished painter. Works from his current series “Nudes and Shoes” will be on view as part of the group exhibition.
In his latest series, Swenson explores the combination of nudes and shoes. Typically high-heeled shoes or boots float in the foreground of the painting, nudging the viewer to wonder just how important fashion has become to our society.
When Swenson describes his fascination with women’s shoes and why he is drawn to paint them, one cannot help but acknowledge the art and design of a strappy stiletto.
“My wife’s shoes… any woman’s shoes… high heeled and finely made are design wonders, I think,” Swenson said. “I love the subtle curve of the instep against the reverse curve on the inside of the heel, both complicated by the need to turn the right instep toward the left and vice-versa.”
Swenson admits that he is looking forward to the opening at haleARTS S P A C E and is excited to be part of this annual Valentine’s show.
“Michael and Sean are great guys… interested and enthusiastic,” he said.
haleARTS S P A C E has been presenting “Love & Lust” as a planned annual event since 2011.
This year’s show features a mix of figurative and representational paintings by artists Erin Hammond, Allison Hanley, Sarah Stone, and Swenson.
Michael Hale reveals how it came together.
“We curated this group show to feature works that exude emotions of love or lust,” Hale said. “Either from a perspective of traditional nudes of a sensuous nature or eclectic and playful explorations of love.”
Hale said he was pleased that Swenson was part of the show.
“Charles Swenson is a very talented painter who captures a specific energy in his work,” he said. “Whether it is as playful as his satirical toy series or as fetish-y as his shoe nudes, he captures a compilation of energy from diverse methodologies.”
Swenson is also currently enjoying a solo show at Barbara’s West at the Brewery, located at 620 Moulton Avenue #110, Los Angeles, CA 90031. The exhibition will be on view through the first week of March.
The opening reception for “Love and Lust” takes place today from 5–8pm at haleARTS S P A C E (Edgemar Center, 2443 Main Street, Santa Monica). The show runs though February 20.
Gallery hours are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm.