Color Us Impressed
Discover Palm Springs artists and art galleries
By Kevin Perry
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then our hometown is engaged in a macro-conversation that reverberates to the stratosphere and beyond. The Palm Springs art scene embraces a dynamic dichotomy of fiery passion and cool refinement; it paints a legendary tableau at the intersection where gritty technique meets upscale euphoria.
Strolling our gallery landscapes is an exercise is transcendence. Shopping for keepsakes empowers the full spectrum of collectors, from the novice to the esteemed. And a visit to our museum spaces is a love affair with aspiration. It’s a vibrant curiosity that permeates our city and connects us all to an international, timeless yearning for universal truth and beauty.
What is your artistic inclination? From traditional to otherworldly, Palm Springs is designed to dazzle. Walk this way…
Before thrilling your senses to the galleries enumerated below, excite your mind at a nearby exhibit. The Palm Springs Art Museum welcomes visitors for free on Thursday nights from 4-8pm and the 2nd Sunday of every month. Their permanent collections include the Art of the West, celebrating Native American culture and creativity, as well as Modern & Contemporary offerings that explore the dizzying recesses of the artistic soul.
The museum’s Architecture and Design Center is a masterpiece unto itself. It has been designated a Class I Historic Site and consists of 13,000 square feet of construction splendor. With an upcoming roster packed with insight and innovation, the unparalleled staff ushers guests through a labyrinth of architectural know-how. It’s that stuff of which dreams are built…
Palm Springs has become synonymous with the retro-futuristic anachronism of midcentury modernity. Brightly colored starbursts and groovy space-age imagery festoon many of our more popular resorts, and you can fashion your personal pad accordingly with collectibles from SHAG the Store.
Keep the virtual beverages flowing with a toast to two hip destinations nestled just down the street from Shag: The Art of Nat Reed brings playfulness from the swinging 60’s to the oh-so-now, while his next-door neighbor Heath Gallery is a visceral pop of color run amok.
Rounding out our midcentury category, Haya Modern Art explores the contours of vintage expression through a thoroughly present prism. They have cultivated artists who dare to delve into the modernity of Palm Springs, the city that defines their movement. Welcome home.
If abstract is more your obsession, skew your perspective at one of our city’s brave, bold, bananas galleries. Elena Bulatova Fine Art greets you with oversized pillars shaped like melting lollipops and ascends further from that fiercely unique foundation. Your eyes glimmer with optical gymnastics as they peruse the wildly ambitious works flanking every wall.
Continue your tour of the fantastical at Rubine Red Gallery, an explosion of pop-art madness and contorted wonder. Not to be outdone, Barba Contemporary Art sprawls with grandeur and invention, lining their ample space with twisted fractures of brilliance, beckoning you further into its hallowed corridors of creativity.
Adding another dimension to the abstraction game, Christopher Anthony Ltd. offers designer furnishings, fine art pieces, and quixotic sculptures that entice the viewer’s imagination. Consider these pieces for your home collection as we shift our perspective once again…
Realism and regality meld at several local art spaces that celebrate a more traditional (yet never boring) point of view. Desertpainter Studio Gallery is the playground of Plein Air maestro Terry Masters. His approach depicts our arid Palm Springs surroundings in hues so lush, you’ll want to sip from the sand.
The artists at Stewart Galleries employ a similarly classic methodology in evoking everything from Renaissance vistas to eroticized male visages. The works at Brian Marki Fine Art run the gamut from cubism to photography to impressionism, adding a dash of California style to its signature European roots.
Warmth abounds at Palm Springs Art + Design Gallery, a bustling emporium of 20th and 21st century paintings, sculptures, and furnishings. You’ll be whisked away to a virtual Mediterranean sensibility while remaining decidedly focused on a picture-perfect paradigm of home.
THE ART OF THE UNEXPECTED
Life in Palm Springs is a daily dose of spontaneous joy, from the people you meet to the energy you imbibe. Unexpected is our stock in trade, so bank on the offbeat with a trip to the Michael Weems Collection. His curious collectibles are the perfect accessory to your desert existence, and his standout line is called Autoerotica. It’s a depiction of roadside gems from yesteryear, like motel signage and drive-thru decadence. Get lost and found simultaneously!
Speaking of a triumphant past, the Antique Galleries of Palm Springs will help you transform your home into a work of art. Their chaotic curios span the horizon of humanity, from art deco keepsakes to military souvenirs to jewelry and lighting fixtures to illuminate your lifestyle.
And no tour of the Palm Springs aesthetic would be complete without a detour to the Backstreet Art District. Their Art Walk on the first Wednesday of every month rolls out the multicolored carpet to such disparate destinations as Artize Gallery, Galleria Marconi, Taylor Mickle Photography, Tom Ross Gallery, and Maxson Art Studio. Aspiring creators can stock up on art supplies and rub paint-stained elbows with accomplished thinkers, curators and enthusiasts alike.
Our art scene is a microcosm of Palm Springs itself. We express, we coalesce, and we impress… join us, won’t you?