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03 Feb 2017

Locals, Represent! Meet Just Two of the Coachella Valley-Based Artists Who Will Shine in the Art Palm Springs Spotlight

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“Icon,” from the Taming the Wild West series by Tim Shockley; steel, 24-karat gold and glass (2016). “Icon,” from the Taming the Wild West series by Tim Shockley; steel, 24-karat gold and glass (2016).

Tim Shockley’s sculptures almost seem alive—as if they have a mind.

The works in his Taming the Wild West series—they look like wire tumbleweeds, but are so much more—represent the conflict between the West’s nature and man’s development.

Then there’s his Loose Ties series. Is it just me … or do those ties have a serpent-like vibe?

“The tie relates to corruption—symbolic of a Bernie Madoff-type guy in a suit and tie, who then rips you off!” Shockley said.

Shockley is just one of the artists whose works can be viewed at Art Palm Springs, the ever-growing annual art exhibition formerly known as the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair. This year’s fair, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, takes place Feb. 16-19.

Shockley is just one of a handful of local artists whose works will be shown at the fair. He’s represented by Myers-Kovich Gallery.

“It’s a contemporary gallery based in Laguna Beach, and they are showing some of the most innovative and inspiring artists working today, and I am very excited to be showing with them,” he said.

His new Taming the Wild West series will be featured at the fair.

“It consists of large tumbleweeds fabricated from barbed wire and coated in 24-karat gold,” he said. “This work is not a departure, but a step forward in my endeavor to create art that withstands the test of time. It is a statement series having to do with our species and our constant attempt to control the environment around us.”

Another newer series by Shockley, Loose Ends, takes everyday objects—neckties—and transforms them into works that are beyond unique.

Loose Ties has the quality of tweaking the general perspective of an ordinary object into interesting subject matter,” Shockley said. “With this work, I’ve taken a stagnant necktie and cast it in metal in the very fluid shape of a serpent. I use vibrant patinas on some to create striking patterns, while others are dipped in 24-karat gold or silver.”

Shockley said he thinks the works in the Loose Ties series give off a strong feeling of corruption or scandal.

“It all makes sense when you realize I started this series during this country’s financial meltdown,” he said.


Barbara Gothard is another local artist whose works will be shown at Art Palm Springs. The gallery representing Gothard is also local—Palm Springs’ Jorge Mendez Gallery.

Gothard’s paintings often show a dreamy vision—interrupted by linear lines or window frames. Gothard considers her work more abstract than realistic, and in fact, the paintings in her recent Hurdles series may be even more abstract than her previous works.

“My new hurdles or obstacles dissipate or break up,” Gothard said. “… The hurdle is to represent symbolic obstacles, as opposed to a realistic window. In recent years, rather than a window frame, the shape (in my art) has a free form, not a rigid rectangle.”

In these Hurdles series works, shapes are broken apart. A viewer may very well see pain and disruption.

“The Hurdles are symbolic and represent the obstacles we face in life—and in my case, may be autobiographical in terms of recent traumatic experiences,” Gothard said. “When the Hurdles first appeared in my work, they appeared as dark, very rigid, industrial forms that tended to dominate the picture plane but contrasted with architectural elements and … landscape elements. More recently, the Hurdles are breaking apart, exposing life behind them. The use of windows or other openings between the Hurdles represents options that everyone possesses.”

Each series done by Gothard has a strong theme, and Hurdles is no exception.

“The focus of my artwork is the concept of expansion: Expansion of the visual space within the canvas, and expansion of the principles that guide my creative process—moving from a more surrealism-influenced approach, and expanding my color palette from a minimalist color scheme to colors that are more reflective of my current environment—the desert,” Gothard said. “(I am) placing the organic with the abstract to result in a contrasting effect.”

Art Palm Springs takes place at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, from Thursday, Feb. 16, through Sunday, Feb. 19. One-day passes start at $20; weekend passes start at $75. For tickets or more information, visit www.art-palmsprings.com. Above right: “Exposed,” from the Loose Ties series by Tim Shockley; cast bronze with patina (2015). Below: A work from the Hurdles series by Barbara Gothard.

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