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Sat12152018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

“Pixels to bricks” is the tag line for Fusion Art, a gallery that opened in May in Palm Springs’ Backstreet Art District, at 2658 S. Cherokee Way.

At that point, Fusion Art had already developed a presence online; today, the gallery seamlessly melds both its online and physical forms. For example, the winners of an online juried competition will be featured in an upcoming group show at the Palm Springs gallery.

Chris and Valerie Hoffman, owners of Fusion Art, chose Backstreet for its brick-and-mortar home for good reason: Chris Hoffman, an artist himself, had previously shown in other galleries in the hidden-away arts district.

Fusion Art currently represents five artists: Evie Zimmer, a neo-op artist with energetic psychedelic patterns; Michael Goldzweig, a surreal/galactic abstractionist; Jeanie Gebhart, a palette-knife painter who specializes in coalescing abstract, still-life and landscape genres; Alicia Savio, an Argentinian classical and ballet dancer who paints and sculpts dancers who express a lot of movement; and Chris Hoffman himself, who paints texture abstractions as well as a watercolor celebrity series.

“There are so many different styles that are similar in energy and movement,” Chris Hoffman says about the represented artists. “They complement each other.”

The abstract paintings by Hoffman have a thick texture—the surface appears rocky, like our desert mountains.

“I use medium with acrylic layers to texture different colors. There could be 25 different layers before 25 coats of paint,” Hoffman says.

His Legends and Landmarks watercolor series features humorous satires of Golden Age stars taking iPhone “selfies” in front of a modern Palm Springs monument—like Marilyn Monroe in front of the Marilyn sculpture. More of these watercolors will be up for Modernism Week celebrations in October and February. Also in February, Michael Goldzweig’s art will be shown in the prominent front area; the “energy and mood” in Goldzweig’s art appeals to Chris Hoffman, while Valerie Hoffman notes that Goldzweig’s paintings remind her of the expressive works by Mexican artist Leonardo Nierman.

Valerie Hoffman works as a producer in Hollywood, for major films including Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Even while running the gallery, she is currently one of the producers of a documentary film on the making of the song “We Shall Overcome.” That means she’s doing some commuting: Chris and Valerie moved to the desert six years ago, and they say the transition to running a brick-and-mortar gallery has made for an exciting time.

“The most fun is being able to see all the talent out there,” Valerie says. “This is our first season, and we are well prepared with all the artists. We have an Art for Animals charity event in December with five animal organizations.”

The charity show also has an online component. Submission fees will be donated to the animal organizations, as will proceeds from the gallery’s portion of the sales.

The Hoffmans say they like to mix and match things, like art and charity, at the appropriately named gallery.

“We’re fusing different styles—like classical realistic and different abstract styles … (so they) complement each other,” says Valerie Hoffman.

As an example, witness the movement-infused works of Alicia Savio and Michael Goldzweig. The realistic sculptures of dancers by Savio have elongated limbs, making them appear to move and dance off the base, while the galactic abstractions of Goldzweig—like stars meeting in a black hole—send us off into his surreal space.

Fusion Art is located at 2658 S. Cherokee Way, in Palm Springs. For more information, call 760-832-7568, or visit fusionartps.com.

Published in Visual Arts