Friday, September 17, 2010

Charleston Rocks!

What a great city this is for fine art! The mayor of Charleston, Joseph P Riley stopped by the gallery along with our landlord, the esteemed attorney Capers Barr, Esq. to see our lovely space on Historic Broad Street. He asked questions abut why we chose Charleston. Well! I was delighted to explain to him the exhaustive search I personally did exploring every art market in the country, visiting hundreds of galleries and how Charleston was head & shoulders above the rest when it came to realism in fine art. I talked about how they support their merchants, how gracious every one was and what a spectacular collectors' heaven this is. He was concerned, interested and took the time to come in to meet us and welcome us to his city. Charleston has true southern hospitality and a clear understanding of the importance of our mission and galleries like us dedicated to furthering the skills of painting, drawing and sculpture handed down by the masters of the ages...thank you Mayor Riley, thank you Capers Barr what a truly gracious wonderful moment for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 6: Great friends & Great Art

Clayton Beck drew this most vulnerable woman and captured her welling tears and chin up nature. He is an absolute master of capturing expressions in his models; giving them the comfort and space they need to reveal them selves as he renders their very soul. I am always impressed when a painter can do this miracle of soul capturing. It never ceases to amaze me. There are so few painters who can actually pull it off and when they do as Clayton did in this piece it simply brings you to your knees. I have been humbled this week as new visitors to our six day old gallery in Charleston have reacted to the work on our walls. We have had such kind accolades and dramatic warm reactions to the work we hang it dawned on me I had ceased seeing the work clearly. I spent part of this morning before we opened gazing at paintings, thinking about the painters, realizing the attachments I have formed to them both as friends and as beloved images. I spent an especially long time in front of Joanna. She is extremely well drawn. Clayton's mastery of values, evident. His extremely facile handling of temperature a mark for all to strive after. But the thing that sets this work, and frankly identifies Clayton as a true master is, after all the skill and mastery he has pulled a little piece of this woman's soul out to share it with us. The piece is intimate, it is personal and it is lovely. This work and others like it can be viewed at our new M Gallery at 11 Broad Street Charleston, SC or on the internet at

Friday, September 10, 2010

A sucker punch

Enough is enough, really. This guy is selling paintings made out of chewing gum and or grass stains or other ridiculous materials and claiming they are art work. And, remarkably people are buying them Well, B. T. Barnum was right.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Refuges From The Storm

As many of you know, we recently relocated M Gallery to Charleston SC from Sarasota FL. We were feeling the excruciating pain of the protracted collapse of the Florida housing markets & the related economies.
We did thorough research and determined that Charleston was a strong market for the kind of paintings we carry and provided a nurturing environment
for museum quality representational art.

I found it ironic, that after years of drawing the
parallels between over inflated financial derivatives and non representational art, we would find our selves financially entangled in a collapsed balloon of a
real-estate market. We knew based on our adamant stance & experience in the art world, carrying works of tangible value that escalate slowly but steadily in value, that are competence and skilled based works of art by living masters, that the consequences of this collapse would be long lasting and we felt we needed to depart our beloved Sarasota.

I never imagined I would feel at home elsewhere our art community in Sarasota was so strong & loving. The minute we settled in Charleston, it was as if we had always been here. Everyone is so friendly, so warm. There is great appreciation for the work we carry and we fit in to the
existing art venues comfortably. We feel a bit like refugees that have come into safe harbor from a financial storm of unimaginable strength. What a relief to be here.

As my friend Clayton Beck reminds me, in the last 2 centuries, since the development of photography in 1829 the purpose of Art and the commercial enterprise of Art has drastically
changed. Historical rendering of events, scenes & persons no longer was required
by painters. Photography could document history much more efficiently and
cheaply. The commercial proliferation of artists as documentarians of life was
no longer needed. Peggy Guggenheim, Sotheby’s and the vast gallery network in
the urban centers of the world began to market & promote art works which were no
longer skill based (much cheaper to make & required less training) as an
alternative to the mass production photographs offered. These schools of art:
cubism, expressionism, abstract expressionism, minimalism etc hijacked the idea
of art and turned it into a Ponzi scheme of selling valueless works which
required no skill for great amounts of money.

As a result the general public and the collecting public became very confused.
Academia and the museum establishments embraced the absolute non-sense of what
amounted to art derivatives and invested heavily. Now consumers of art were
befuddled and began to say words like: I don’t know much about art (meaning what
they were taught in school made no sense) but I know what I like (meaning beauty
and skill interest me but I am embarrassed to counter such an overwhelming

The emperor had no clothes.
What has emerged out of all this mess is finally a recognition that the works
presented by these schools of art are no more than hucksterism and what is
occurring as a result of this understanding is a great resurgence in
representational work: Skill based & aesthetically beautiful. M Gallery’s
mission is to provide a commercial venue for these works, reflecting one of the
greatest art movements of our time. Our painters and their peers are the
vanguards of an art movement which promises to change the direction of the
future, rewrite our understanding of art history and restore an understanding of
art for generations to come.

We are tickled to be in Charleston’s embrace.
Robert Liberace's Crouching Man captures it all.

M Gallery is located at 11 Broad Street in the Historic District of Charleston,
SC. Hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am to 6 pm; Sundays 11 am to 4 pm.