This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Santa Monica’s Essentia Showroom presents two New York street artists, Westgard and FLOrE. The artists have shown their work together before and will be showcased in a two-person show named “CALIFORNIA Dreaming.”
For this exhibition, ten of each artist’s solo works will be on view. He said he is looking forward to showing at Santa Monica’s Essentia showroom. This is my first full show in California. I will be flying in a few days before the show with a one way ticket.” When asked if he thought LA artists would be very different, he answered, “No I think artists are the same all over the world. Their work may look different.”
Well known for his “Love” themes on the streets of New York City, Westgard has an eclectic yet positive energy in his art. He talks about his work…“The Love tag is so simple, but powerful…People need it, they take to it. They email me and tell me how it helped them through a hard day or just made them smile while walking by.”
Westgard is a fan of Johan Vermeer. One of his works entitled 1665, was inspired by Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring. “I have always loved this image. Vermeer is a master,” said Westgard. “As I find/create my own style I enjoy "remaking" these classic images as well as creating brand new pieces.”
Westgard has shown his work in several pop up shows in NYC, Manhattan Proper, Refinery Rooftop, Salon de Lafayette, etc. In LA he has shown at Gallery 38 and NWO Gallery.
Another street artist, FLOrE said he believes we (as a society) are pushed into stereotypes. He tries to avoid that at all costs with his art. He explains, “I try to see things simple, but you can get lost very easily in the monotonous pattern of life. Hi-def, multi-colored filters, or distractions, can mask reality; I want to deconstruct and expose those layers for what they really are, not just what they seem.”
When asked what he was most excited about, he answered, “To show my work it has been a while since anyone has seen my new work and it super rad and I’m so proud of it i cant wait to see the people react.”
FLOrE has shown in both NYC and LA, at venues such as Gallery 69, Arlington grocery, Manhatan Proper. Studio Bancs, Gallery 38, Stone Malone, NWO Gallery, lab art and more.
The two artists first me Lou D’Elia (curator), at Essentia Showroom. They happened to be visiting from New York when walked into artist reception.
D’Elia is also an artist in his own right. He is an accomplished assemblage artist as well a busy curator. He will also be featured in a documentary running nationally on PBS entitled BREAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS, which begins on August 1st. He explains, “It tells the story about the first women's national air derby that took off from Santa Monica in August 1929 and concluded in Cleveland Ohio. Will Rogers dubbed the race "The Powder Puff Derby." I am interviewed/featured because I am the custodian of the Estate of Pancho Barnes, who was an aviatrix and participant.