Periscope and the art world

  • by
  • November 17th, 2015

Pippin Contemporary on Periscope
Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.
This is the tag line for Periscope, a popular new app launched by Twitter that allows users to connect through live stream videos. Think of it as Skype or FaceTime, except you can broadcast to viewers all over the world and tune in to just about anything you can think of; sneak into a closed sporting event, watch a political riot unfold, or go backstage with your favorite television actors. Periscope is a new and exciting way to share experiences and connect to the bigger picture. And for the art world, its possibilities are endless.

Museums and galleries have embraced Periscope as a way to bring their collections even closer to the public eye and broaden the impact of exhibitions. The British Museum was one of the first museums to take advantage of the app this past May with an after-hours guided tour of the acclaimed exhibition Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art. The broadcast provided an intimate view of Greek masterpieces, and viewers were able to send in questions and comments as they watched. Watch the broadcast here.

Soon the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Rubin Museum, and the Grand Palais in Paris followed suit with live broadcasts from curators and tours of exhibitions. The trend has now grown to include MOMA, The Guggenheim, The Andy Warhol Museum, and more, who have broadcasted events, historic video footage of famed artists, and museum tours to unlimited audiences. If you follow these institutions on Twitter, keep an eye on their feed to be notified of their next broadcast. Each video is available for streaming 24 hours after it’s posted, unless the broadcaster saves the video and uploads to YouTube.

Galleries and auction houses also started reaping the benefits of Periscope by using it as another outlet to sell. Videos of new acquisitions give collectors a closer look, and live streams of opening receptions and auctions attract wider audiences. Talk with an artist about a particular painting, visit a sculptor’s studio, watch an exhibition installment, or even witness a three million dollar sale at Christie’s.

You guessed it; Pippin Contemporary is now on Periscope! Follow us and tour the gallery, meet new artists, see exhibitions going up, and more. Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of live broadcasts.

Santa Fe Art Tour at Pippin Contemporary
Our first Periscope broadcast was of a tour group led by Santa Fe Art Tours. Follow us for more live gallery tours.


David Baca: Visionary Abstractions

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • November 3rd, 2015

Viewers enter into the dimensions of David Baca’s imaginative abstracts as if they are floating through a dream. Taking a train into the depths of a painting, you may encounter rural mountainsides blending into urban landscapes, with lines and forms of color pushing and pulling you into different dimensions. Silhouetted figures lead you into a new picture plane, where you cross a bridge into an empty space and disappear into its depths. You reemerge on a foggy city street, and as you turn corners made of sketched lines and enter into rooms of color, your journey continues.

Insight by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

Insight, 48×36″ acrylic/canvas

The Boat 36x50 Acrylic on Canvas - David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

The Boat, 36×50″ acrylic/canvas

Baca’s paintings are intriguing for the eye and the mind, whether they contain reoccurring icons and discernible forms, or are simply made up of sketched lines, geometric shapes and planes of color.

“For me, painting transcends time. It gives me the catalyst to reflect onto canvas, panel, and paper many paths for the viewer to see all at once.”

Train Yard by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

Train Yard, 40×60″ acrylic/canvas

There is an urban, architectural feel to Baca’s current style, which took form in his years working as an artist in New York City. Originally from New Mexico, Baca started his artistic journey with pastel drawings and monotypes of the southwest landscape. Baca’s galleries and dealers were selling everything he produced, so he volunteered for layoff at his management job in Albuquerque, ended his pursuit of a business degree at the University of New Mexico, and spent all his resources on art materials and studio space. Baca was painting full time and had successfully embarked on a dedicated life as an artist. However after a few years, he felt a tug for something more.

Reflector V by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

Reflector V, 38×54″ acrylic/canvas

“As I was watching other artists’ careers, and more importantly my own, I wanted to make sure I didn’t limit myself to a regional style,” explains Baca. “It was a turning point in my career when I moved to New York.”

With the confidence and ability from his successful career in New Mexico, Baca took off for the big city without any of his previous inventory. Blank canvases and an empty studio were eventually filled with explosive inspiration from his new surroundings. Creating monotypes and pastel drawings eventually progressed into paintings of inner city glimpses on panel and canvas, where Baca began to find his niche.

“The monotypes gave me latitude to explore imagery and composition, which really opened the doors for painting,” says Baca. “Everything started to add up to allow me to indulge purely as a painter.”

Transgression by David Baca at Pippin Contemporary

Transgression, 30×32, acrylic/canvas

Things added up for Baca in the form of SoHo gallery directors and private dealers, which lead him to solo shows in Manhattan and commissions from clients across the country. He had broken out of regionalism and felt no more limitations when it came to his art and his growing career.

On August 30th, 1990, Baca’s good fortunes took a turn for the worse. The building on East 8th Street where he lived and worked burned well beyond repair in a rampant fire. While he had luckily just shipped out a large body of commission work and had much of his inventory hanging in a dealer’s loft, Baca still lost a considerable amount of paintings, materials, and memories. Instead of dwelling in the loss, Baca quickly reassembled paint, canvases, a new studio and was working again within a few days.

“The fire fueled my work in definite ways. I still remember some of the paintings I lost, but they are only memories. But instead of feeling bad over losing so much, I turned the emotion into a body of work that landed me a solo show in SoHo.”

Baca calls them the Fire Paintings: large canvases with oppressive imagery and screeching emotion. Dark human energies, screaming skulls, and vibrant colors capture Baca’s response to the loss. “I utilized this profound experience to fuel my work,” he explains.

With All My Heart by David Baca

Detail of With All My Heart (Fire Painting), 78×80″ acrylic/canvas

Baca spent another year and a half in New York after the fire, but that powerful experience ultimately brought his time there to a close. He moved back to New Mexico in the early 1990s and allowed the culmination of his experiences and surroundings to dictate his next body of work and present style. He maintains the influence of the cityscape but with more spatial compositions, use of drawings, and looseness of paint.

“My past choices have provided a well based platform for these current abstractions. Memories from different parts of life flow through me as I’m painting – it’s all just mixing itself in the moment. It’s a very powerful driving force.”

See Baca’s work now on display at the gallery, and browse his complete portfolio on his artist page of our website.

Poetic Expressions: Bronze Sculpture by Guilloume

  • by
  • October 21st, 2015

Pippin Contemporary Sculptor GuilloumeGuilloume’s bronze sculptures and wall reliefs are made up of simplistic human forms, individualized by stone-like patinas and subtle movements that convey a range of complex emotion. A slight tilt of the head, an outstretched arm, or graceful curve in the body are minimal movements in Guilloume’s figures that express an array of sentiments to the viewer. The figures are faceless as the artist seeks to portray the commonalities that unite us instead of the physical differences that set us apart.

Guilloume (pronounced ghee-jho-may), a Colombian native who resides in New Mexico, also offers a personal narrative to go with each piece, describing it’s inspiration or providing an explanation of what the figures’ movements mean to him. These eloquent descriptions are poetic and heartfelt, allowing the viewer to feel an even stronger connection to a piece that first aesthetically drew them in. Many of these narratives describe Guilloume’s relationship with his wife or family; he is one of twenty children and now has three sons and one daughter of his own. His passion for love and family relationships shows in his sculptures and is articulated in their narrative descriptions.

Here are few of Guilloume’s sculptures we are currently showing in the gallery with their accompanying narratives. Which one speaks to you?

Stealing His Heart by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary
Stealing His Heart, Bronze Wall Relief Ed. 25

Stealing His Heart is my sculptural interpretation of a recent photo taken of my wife and me. When I first looked at the photo, I was struck by the fact that I found my wife to be every bit as appealing and mesmerizing as the day I met her – perhaps even more so. I reflected on our initial meeting in our native Colombia and how I was swept up in love as she instantly stole my heart. What is so amazing to me is the fact that I have never gotten my heart back from her – it remains stolen to this day! I am not referring to that ‘crazy love’ that one experiences in the early stages of courtship. This is a mere illusion of love that gushes forth as we mistakenly assign all of the attributes that we desire in a mate to our new lover – while at the same time, unconsciously overlooking those traits that are less appealing. Although we certainly experienced ‘crazy love’ at first, as most couples do, our love has endured because that infatuation was soon fortified by more enduring relationship builders like appreciation, understanding, support, and mutual growth.

Relying on Each Other by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary
Relying On Each Other, Bronze Ed. 15

Every now and then, I see my daughter and wife conversing across the room in hushed tones. When I ask what they are discussing, one of them invariably responds, “It’s just girl talk.” I have come to understand that this is my cue to drop it and “butt out.” The first few times I encountered this response, I felt a bit excluded, since we have a close-knit family and I like to think that I can talk about anything with my wife and children. Over the years, however, I have become comfortable being on the “outside looking in,” and in fact, have come to appreciate the fact that they have each other to rely on. I created “Relying On Each Other,” to honor the close relationship that my wife and daughter enjoy. The touching hats help to form a heart-shaped void that is meant to symbolize their heart-to-heart conversations and the respect that I have for those special “girl talk” moments.

Getting Closer by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary
Getting Closer, Bronze Wall Relief Ed. 50

Throughout much of my life, my brain seems to have selectively deleted so many of my memories. Yet, for some reason, I am able to easily recall small, seemingly unimportant things. A good example would be my recollection of a family photo session several years ago while visiting my homeland of Colombia. I was taking a picture of my wife and kids when my wife exclaimed, “Get closer, Guilloume!” On the basis of that single, obscure memory of a moment in time, I created this work. I have always wanted us to be a close knit family and, in my heart, I believe we are. I’ve heard psychologists use the term “emotional bank account” when making reference to those special memories of family and friends. Getting Closer was created to serve as a personal reminder that family and friends create the true “wealth” in one’s emotional bank account.

Time to Fly by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary
Time to Fly, Bronze Ed. 50

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” -Lucretius, Roman Poet & Philosopher (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC)

I love this quote. The idea that we cannot fly alone, but are only able to soar to the heavens when partnered with the complementary wing of out mate, resonates in my mind as a powerful truth. In this piece, I positioned one wing slightly forward while the other is angled backward. This is my attempt to symbolize my belief that oftentimes one partner leads and the other follows. One guides while the other supports. It’s a balancing act that moves back and forth in perfect harmony. It was only after meeting my wife that my life began to take flight. Out union truly lifted me up and gave me a chance to achieve new heights in both my personal and professional life. I adore my beloved wife. She is truly my angel. Without her, I would have a difficult time remaining aloft for any length of time.


Tony Griffith: Passages

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • October 7th, 2015
Taos Passage by Tony Griffith at Pippin Contemporary
Taos Passage, Griffith, 30×24″ acrylic/resin/panel.

Surrealist abstract painter Tony Griffith creates complex compositions that adhere to the style of southwest contemporary art lovers. His simplified forms and color tones have a southwest, yet modernized look, blending the idea of a simplified desert landscape with contemporary elements.

Griffith’s newest paintings for Passages, opening next week at Pippin Contemporary, vary from pure abstractions to quasi-representational surreal sky and landscapes inspired by desert sunrises and sunsets. The California artist created this body of work in the summer heat of the Coachella Valley desert near Palm Springs, which resulted in warm energy and vibrant colors in each piece.

Screen shot 2015-10-13 at 4.41.37 PM
Interphase #1 and Interphase #2, 36×48″ acrylic/resin/panel

Passages also takes on a spiritual theme, with paintings like Astral Passage, Bone Passage, Dawn Passage, and others acting as portals through which the viewer can enter into a world of depth and color. Other pieces such as Truth to Power metaphorically address internal self-reflection or peace, and the freedom of the “constant barrage of non-natural outside influences.” Interphase #1 and #2 (below) act as a diptych representing dual realms that lead to a single spiritual destination.

“The theme of Passages concerns the individual’s journey from the earth-bound physical into the spiritual realm toward enlightenment,” explains Griffith. “The work may serve as visual touchstones along the viewer’s own mortal journey.”

In order to achieve the depth and portal-like quality in his paintings, Griffith is using a technique that adds spatial layers beneath the surface, giving atmospheric effects of light, color and space within the piece. Acrylic stains mixed and applied with a spray bottle create a granite ground and marble-like appearance, while acrylic aerosols produce airy, sky-like formations. Finally, a resin finish adds a water-like dimension to this juxtaposition of elements, which according to Griffith is reminiscent of a desert oasis.

Seasonal Passage by Tony Griffith at Pippin Contemporary
Seasonal Passage, Griffith, 30″ x 24″

“The title of the series brings to mind the layers beneath the surface, which allow the viewer to pass into other realities or possibilities,” says Griffith.

“There are so many distractions in our society. I hope that when looking at my work, the viewer can clear their mind and experience inner peace for a moment.”

Join us with Tony Griffith at Pippin Contemporary on October 16th, 5-7pm for an artist reception, and see the show through October 27th.


View Tony Griffith’s online show catalog.

Back to the Future: The Art of Exploration

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • September 22nd, 2015

Aleta Pippin in her studioPainter and Pippin Contemporary founder Aleta Pippin has followed an artistic journey of continuous exploration through various media, styles, and color palettes. From luminescent oil paintings to acrylic abstract landscapes, from poured paintings to LED lit panels, Pippin’s constant experimentation keeps her work fresh and exciting to viewers and collectors. For this show however, Pippin is revisiting her original passion for creating vibrant, abstract oil paintings, and plans to bring that energy and emotional resonance into her future artistic endeavors.

Back to the Future: The Art of Exploration opens September 23rd with an artist reception on Friday, September 25th from 5-7pm. Vivid blues, glowing yellows, and joyful pinks fill the gallery with light and evoke a feeling of happiness from the viewer. Some paintings take on a more spiritual and thought-provoking theme, while others, such as Caribbean Play, are simply about Pippin’s use of color and the emotions each tone can trigger.

Aleta Pippin Paintings at Pippin Contemporary

Caribbean Play (left) and Magical Mystery Tour hanging at Pippin Contemporary.

“The reason I continue to pursue color and light in my work is because I believe it has a positive impact on people,” explains Pippin. “My goal is to create art that when people look at it, it joyfully inspires them.”

Bloom Where You're Planted by Aleta Pippin at Pippin Contemporary

Bloom Where You’re Planted, 16×16″ oil/panel.

Pieces like Reaching Deeper, Garden’s Gate, and Bloom Where You’re Planted still burst with color, but the titles allow for a deeper perspective. According to Pippin, these paintings are about connecting with your inner self and looking past the obvious.

Bloom Where You’re Planted is all about being present where you are in life,” explains Pippin. “People are always saying, when I do this or when I get that – then I’ll be happy. But all those things are outside of ourselves. All of us can make the best of where we are at any given moment.”     

Garden’s Gate takes on a similar theme of looking beneath the obvious. It was inspired by the story of The Secret Garden, a book Pippin loved as a child and continues to read often as an adult.

Garden's Gate painting by Santa Fe artist, Aleta Pippin

Garden’s Gate, 40×40″ oil/canvas.

“I think the first time I read The Secret Garden may have been in the fourth grade. I loved it then. On the surface, it’s a “feel-good” story. However after reading it several times as an adult, I’ve discovered many nuggets that can be applied to real life challenges.”

Once Again by Aleta Pippin at Pippin Contemporary

Once Again, 16×16″ oil/panel.

Pippin is constantly making new discoveries through her art that lead to exciting career opportunities as well as deeper self-exploration. With painting as her third career, the journey is never ending as new passions are pursued. Once Again is a small panel bursting with energy that speaks to this theme.

“You always have new opportunities to show yourself. For me, being an artist is a life journey as well as an interior journey.”

Join us Friday, September 25th from 5-7pm for Aleta Pippin’s opening reception for Back to the Future: The Art of Exploration.

Can’t make it to Santa Fe for the opening? View new paintings in the online show catalog. 

Poet to Painter: The Contemporary Art of Adam Shaw

  • by
  • September 9th, 2015

Adam Shaw at Pippin ContemporaryA line will take us hours maybe; yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.

This excerpt from William Butler Yeats’ poem, a favorite of Adam Shaw’s and appropriately titled ‘Adam’s Curse,’ embodies the concept of Shaw’s painting process, one that evolves over time with layers of paint and texture, but that looks as if it were created in a spontaneous moment of quick strokes and fluid color.

“I may work on a painting for ten years, but I want it to look like it just happened – like it was an accident,” explains Shaw. “There may be thousands of accidents in there, but I want it to look spontaneous and unconstructed, even though it’s intensely constructed and labored over.”

Abstract interpretations of landscapes, flowers, and trees make up Shaw’s body of work, as well paintings that use language as a visual element. He is educated in the Renaissance tradition as well as in poetics, having spent time translating poetry and writing and publishing his own work. His fascination with language can be seen in the etchings of words or phrases within the layers of paint on his canvases and panels. The placement of the words, sometimes obscured beneath the paint or written in non-linear directions, creates narratives within the piece that add to the mystery and viewer’s interpretation.

True Nature Is Toward Awakening by Adam Shaw at Pippin Contemporary

True Nature Is Toward Awakening, Shaw, 60×54″ oil/canvas

This unique style is really where Shaw’s artistic career began. He started painting as an escape from writer’s block – so inspired and moved by the poets he studied, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, Yeats and others, Shaw often felt overwhelmed by their talent and unable to produce anything that could compare. Consequently, he turned to a creative outlet that didn’t feel quite so menacing.

“I never thought of myself as a painter the way I thought of myself as a poet, so I had a lot of freedom as a painter,” Shaw admits. “Little by little, the idea of wanting to do something creative started to shift from writing to painting.”

In his shift to painting, Shaw started with what he knew by filling the canvas with a poem by one of his heroes or an original work of his own. He would then slowly cover it up with layers of paint, maybe leaving a few words or excerpts visible to the eye, but mostly using it as a starting point for his composition. It eventually dawned on Shaw that he could use the words he obscured as the focal point of the piece, as well as the basis for his entire artistic philosophy.

“At some point I realized I can bring my love and knowledge of literature into the painting and leave it there,” says Shaw. “I can incorporate those elements and actually make the painting about that.”

The world is a symptom of the mind by Adam Shaw at Pippin Contemporary

The World is a Symptom of the Mind, Shaw, 60×66″ oil/canvas.

The World is a Symptom of the Mind is one of Shaw’s language infused paintings hanging at Pippin Contemporary. It’s part of a series of globe paintings with random words and phrases contained inside a circle. This globe of ‘chatter’ can be interpreted as the world, the inner workings of one’s mind, or both simultaneously – which is how Shaw sees it.

“The title is a Zen sentiment meaning all that really exists is a projection of your mind,” explains Shaw, who is also a believer in Buddhist philosophy. “It’s the mind that creates the world.”

The ‘chatter’ inside the sphere consists of song lyrics, phrases, poetry, formulas, political statements, and more. The excerpts of thought climb over and push against each other; they’re thrown in all directions, bouncing from one idea to the next within the sphere’s painterly line. This painting is a picture of Shaw’s world, a haphazard display of what was going through the artist’s mind during its creation. The result is a thought-provoking piece that pulls viewers in as they examine and decipher the interrupted ideas and displays of thought.

New Solution to the Universe by Adam Shaw at Pippin Contemporary

New Solution to the Universe , Shaw, 66×60″ oil/canvas

Viewers can also get lost in paintings such as New Solution to the Universe, as they contemplate the depth of the layers and continuously see new passages and pops of color within the abstracted aspen trees. Shaw works on his paintings for years, building up and scraping down paint and texture to create these visual experiences. He can be working on 20 to 30 pieces at once in his California studio in the heart of wine country, spending lengthy amounts of time each day immersed in the process. Shaw has a strong sense of place and his natural surroundings seem to make their way into his art, but not in the realistic way that nature affects some artists’ work.

“I never paint what I see. My trees are a referential viewpoint. They’re not really trees…they’re just abstract. I am never interested in what a painting is of, I’m only interested in what it does to you when you are in its grips.”

See Adam Shaw’s paintings now on display in the gallery, and browse his complete inventory on his artist page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be the first to know about new work and show announcements!

Show Preview, Cody Hooper: A Spiritual Awakening

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • August 27th, 2015

Tomorrow, Friday, August 28th, from 5 to 7 pm is the artist reception for Cody Hooper‘s current show at Pippin Contemporary. A Spiritual Awakening is an exhibition of vibrant abstracts with portals of white light erupting through layers of intense color, an illusion indicative of Hooper’s current spiritual journey and artistic awakening. Check out his online show catalog and call the gallery to reserve your piece now!

Show Preview, Photos by Cody Hooper

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Curious about the creative space where Cody’s abstract paintings come alive with light and color? Take a visit to his Albuquerque art studio and learn more about his techniques and inspiration for these pieces: Cody Hooper, Studio Visit. 

Studio Visit: Cody Hooper

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • August 19th, 2015

The Studio

“This is about as messy as it gets in here.”

For an abstract artist who’s paintings burst from the walls with spontaneous movement and energy, Cody Hooper’s studio is surprisingly contained. When viewing his contemporary abstracts, you may envision the place they are created to be splattered with paint, bottles and brushes scattered on the floor…but Cody maintains order in his creative space, working on one piece at a time with a focused vision. This feeling of structure also plays a subtle role in his paintings through the use of vertical and horizontal lines. These lines anchor the work, providing a break in composition while also giving balance and depth to the painting.

Cody Hooper Studio

Hooper Studio

“I used a lot more harsh lines when I started painting, but now they’ve softened up,” explains Cody. “They’re a signature of my work. A lot of people are intrigued by them and they can add a new dimension to the piece.”

Hooper StudioCody’s grasp of compositional features and painting techniques stem from his creative beginnings as a realistic watercolor painter. After ten years of realism, he decided to dive into abstraction and the creative freedom it offered – but not without the skills he’d been practicing for most of his artistic career.

“Having a realism background creates amazing abstract painters,” says Cody. “I use a lot of realism, but you don’t always see it.”

While his Albuquerque space is his first home studio, Cody has always worked in close quarters to his everyday life – his kitchen, dining room, wherever he could find the right lighting. However after having a dedicated art space, complete with mountain views and New Mexico sunsets outside his window, Cody has subsequently shown an artistic awakening in his latest body of work.
IMG_3926Cody Hooper Art Studio IMG_3937

Finding the Light

Cody Hooper, Deepest Passions detail at Pippin Contemporary
Detail of the lighting effects in Deepest Passions, 44×44″ acrylic/panel.

In the past few years, Cody has incorporated more lighting sources into his compositions, another technique he learned when painting realistic landscapes. For his upcoming show, A Spiritual Awakening, white light bursts through dark areas of the paintings, conveying “a feeling of hope in a dark place.”

“The light sources are intuitive. When I’m building the texture with the palette knife, I start to build light in different spots. Then I decide if I want to intensify it with the brush or wash it out. It’s all very gradual – there are lots of layers before adding the white light source.”

Cody has been fascinated by lighting effects since he was a kid. With a police officer for a father, he was able to take exciting rides in the cop car with lights flashing and sirens blaring. These experiences did not cause Hooper to dream of one day becoming a police officer like his dad – he instead took to drawing cop cars and later, attempting to artistically replicate the lighting effects from the rides.

Cody Hooper Art Studio

The light in Cody’s recent work has also been a result of spiritual inspiration found through a less controlled painting process. He’s loosened up on structure and softened the harsh lines in his compositions, allowing his paintings to focus more on the natural interaction between color and texture. This instinctive painting process has brought Cody more in touch with his true artistic passions, opening a portal to another creative dimension – just like the pure white light that shines through in his paintings.

“I’ve let go of worry, control and any stress that can come along with creating a painting. Because of that, I feel much more free and in touch with my inner spirit.”

Cody Hooper: A Spiritual Awakening opens August 20th and runs through September 8th at Pippin Contemporary. Join us with Cody on August 28th, 5-7pm for his artist reception, and preview new work in his online show catalog.

Photo Aug 05, 7 28 47 PMIMG_3932 IMG_3931

Art Adds Sizzle to Your Decor

  • by
  • July 28th, 2015
Aleta Pippin painting in collectors home

Aleta Pippin’s The Ripple Effect in a collector’s home.

(By Aleta Pippin) You’ve just looked around your home and realize there’s something missing, something that has the power to make your décor pop. We’re talking about art. The right pieces will literally move your décor from “okay” to fantastic. So, how do you begin? Where do you look for the “right” pieces? And just exactly what are the “right” pieces anyway?

If you’re like many people, purchasing art can prove a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to guide you, as you search out that perfect piece(s) of art, the one that will give your home that “drop dead” gorgeous look.

First, there are a few myths that need to be debunked.

Hooper in Collector's Home

Cody Hooper’s Summer Song hanging in a collector’s home in Texas.

Myth 1: Art should match your sofa.

Great art looks good anywhere. It doesn’t have to match your sofa. Of course if you’re getting ready to purchase a piece to be placed in a certain area, you may want to consider the color and find a piece that enhances it. However, don’t make your purchasing decision based solely on such strict criteria. Remember, if you do purchase an original piece of art, it will stay with you long after the sofa has changed, the walls have been repainted, and you’ve even relocated two or three times.

Myth 2: Original art is a good investment.

It seems to be a common line in many galleries, to tell potential buyers that purchasing an original piece from an up and coming artist is a great investment. They’ll tell you that the artist’s prices have risen steadily over the years or that the artist is just on the brink of making it big. All of that may be true. However, unless you know people who are interested in purchasing art, you will not be able to resell your investment piece and make a profit. The only people who really make a killing in the art market are those who purchased Picasso 50 years ago.

The best reason to purchase an original piece is because you love it. I have several original pieces from other artists in my home, which were purchased because I loved them. (And yes, they are up and coming artists whose prices have risen steadily over time.)

To say that you should love a piece is not an understatement. Art should evoke an emotional response. That response may be from the color, composition, or even something intangible like reminding you of a poignant happening in your life.

Cody Hooper

Cody Hooper’s Distant Drums in a collector’s dining room.

Myth 3: My child could have painted that abstract piece.

Yes, children paint wonderful pieces, but to suggest that a child can produce some of the beautiful abstract work that is in the market is dismissing artists’ creativity too quickly. Actually, most abstract artists learn to draw and to paint representational work before they evolved to abstract work. All good art conforms to guidelines of line, shape, form, atmosphere, design, and rhythm. Each artist finds their voice, much the same as a writer, and that voice may express in paint, sculpture, stained glass and on and on. And in each of those categories, there is a myriad of expressions limited only by the artist’s imagination.



You’re Ready to Purchase

Before you go shopping, stop and consider a couple of things – Do you want to purchase an original piece of art or a retail piece and how much money are you willing to spend?

Originals vs. Reproductions

There is one thing that drives many artists crazy…reproductions made to look like originals. There are plenty out there. They’re those “paintings” you find in department stores, flea markets, even retail outlets in the malls. Of course, these paintings are fairly inexpensive in the $75-$400 price range. Just don’t mistake them for original pieces. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the “hand of the artist” in an original piece.

Giclees have been extremely popular. A giclee is a computerized reproduction of an original piece that is usually “printed” on canvas. Some artists, or their employees, paint into this reproduction, giving it the texture and look of an original piece. Usually these pieces are numbered in the lower corner, like any reproduction, so there’s no question in the buyer’s mind.

Giclees are good buys if you’d like to have a piece that looks like an original, at a lower cost. It’s also a way of collecting the work of an artist you like, but an original is out of your chosen price range. (Not all artists agree with mass production and will not produce giclees.)

However, nothing matches the beauty of an original piece of art. If you’ve decided to go that route and have designated the amount of money you’re willing to invest, you can probably find a piece. It may take a little doing but it will be worth it. Visit the Internet. Check out the local galleries. Talk to friends who have artwork you admire.

Aleta Pippin and Rick Stevens

Aleta Pippin’s Momentum (right) hanging with a Rick Stevens painting in a Houston collector’s home.

Blue Arc by Greg Reiche

Blue Arc by Greg Reiche, commission steel and glass sculpture Blue Arc in a local New Mexico home.

What to look for in art?

Are you looking for a certain color, a certain pattern or even a certain size? If you’re purchasing an original, you should love it. If you’re purchasing art purely to finish the décor in your home, then you’ll want to find pieces that enhance the décor. There are several retail outlets that sell reproductions and prints, many already framed – Target, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few.

Why not spend a day looking at the various options. Check out local galleries, as well as the retail outlets. You may decide to purchase an original after you see all of the wonderful art that is available. And don’t forget the outdoor Art Festivals; these are a wonderful way to connect with an artist and to purchase an original piece.

If you choose to purchase an original, do a background check. Ask about the artist’s career, sales history, and make an intuitive assessment of the integrity of the person trying to sell the piece to you. Personally, I think original work truly adds to the quality of any environment.

Have fun with this. Take your time. The right piece will show itself. And it’s worth finding it, because art will add sizzle to your décor.

© 2002 by Aleta Pippin, abstract painter. Visit her web site at www.aletapippin.comUpdated 4/7/2015.

See this blog post featured on the Santa Fe Gallery Association website. 

Guilloume: Diverse Communities

  • by Kelly Skeen
  • July 14th, 2015

Bronze Sculptor Guilloume

“My subjects are purposefully devoid of recognizable facial features. If I provide the viewer with identifiable characteristics, then I play a part in accentuating the differences between people. Instead, I prefer to underscore the similarities common to all humanity.”

When Colombian sculptor and painter Guilloume looks at a person, he sees past their temporary physical qualities and attributes of age, beauty or style. He instead looks for the forms that create the essence of the human figure; these simple body movements, delicate gestures, and subtle interactions inspire his work and define his self-described artistic style, “Bolismo.”

For Guilloume’s show at Pippin Contemporary, Diverse Communities, he has created work that represents the idea that even though no two people are like in their language, experiences, Guilloume in the studioand views, we have commonalities that unite us. The show will include freestanding bronze sculptures, bronze wall reliefs on aluminum, and oil paintings of minimalist figures that mimic our daily interactions between friends, acquaintances and lovers.

“Typically, my paintings and sculptures depict two or more people. This is simply meant to express my understanding of humans as social beings. Like living people, my characters are most happy when they are among family, friends, and others with common interests.”

Please join us at Pippin Contemporary on Friday, July 24th, from 5-7pm as we celebrate the universal language Guilloume creates through art that speaks to people from all corners of the earth, from all age groups, from all the diverse communities that make up our disparate, yet uniquely connected world.

Diverse Communities will run from July 15th through July 31st at Pippin Contemporary. Click here to access Guilloume’s online show catalog.

We Can Grow by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

We Can Grow, 12×48″ oil.

Just the Two of Us by Guilloume at Pippin Contemporary

Just the Two of Us, bronze ed. 50, 20″h x 10″w x 8″d

Read more about Guilloume and his “Bolismo” artistic style.