Last Saturday, I visited the galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. It had been a while since my last visit, and I was back specifically to revisit my two favorite galleries there: Shoshana Wayne Gallery and William Turner Gallery. This time, both of them are holding special group exhibitions. Shoshana Wayne Gallery presents “Salon 2016,” featuring the works of James Richards, Zadok Ben-David, Kathy Butterly, and Rachel Lachowicz. William Turner Gallery presents “Strata,” featuring the works of Oliver Arms, James Hayward, Jimi Gleason, and Andy Moses. Both of these gallery exhibitions are quite impressive. Go see them if you are in Santa Monica.
Walking around the galleries in Bergamot Station, I was thinking about how this place has changed since my last visit a while ago. Some galleries have disappeared, and some are still here but have changed hands and are not what they used to be any more. Like so many of you, I do not like change. I feel somber to see galleries go and disappear, especially the ones which have been a leading source of art and culture for us all. We can blame it all on a mighty monster called technology, swallowing the old continuously and spitting out the new ever-so-repeatedly, making us out of breath to keep up with all the changes it brings to us. The internet has changed it all for the art galleries, allowing artists to be able to reach the public and clients directly and through the online art websites and social media. Nowadays, it seems like the art world, as well as the music world and the publishing world, are all mourning the slow death of their businesses that once were alive and well but are now changing, and no one knows exactly which direction they’re headed. Even though I read everything online, at times, I still like to hold my New York Times Sunday edition in my hands. I quite enjoy flipping through its pages while I am on my stationary bike, and I still enjoy the human contact and interaction of going to art gallery openings and book stores, picking up the books and looking through their pages. The fact is that the internet and social media have made it very convenient for us all to be artists, film makers, photographers, and published authors.
As I am walking around the galleries, I think to myself, Could it be possible that one day soon, art galleries would be just a fraction of our past memories and the way it used to be? Perhaps thinking back on them would feel the same as looking at our flappy disks nowadays, and always with a smile!