Images courtesy of Hely Omar Gonzalez.
Retro Row’s Social List will launch their first-ever art show on Saturday night, August 8 from 7:00PM to 11:00PM, featuring work by local artist Hely Omar Gonzalez, the first of several shows to be held in the near future.
Known well for his “Proof of Existence” project, where he painted a portrait of a different person each day for a year, Gonzalez will show his latest body of work entitled “Cosmic Abstractions,” an ethereal series of paintings, during the European-style tavern’s first exhibit.
Luis Navarro, speaking on behalf of himself and his sister, Erica Norton, co-owners of the The Social List, told the Post, “We wanted to have an event, but it had to be special. It had to have soul per se.”
The two began exploring the possibility of teaming up with Hely, who is a long-time friend, neighbor and Long Beach local and once they sat down to chat about the prospect of showing his work, they knew it would turn out to be a unique event.
“Cosmic Abstractions” was inspired by Gonzalez’ fascination with space, nature and psychology. It’s a series of paintings that aim to create a dialogue for the viewer, inviting them to activate the work and resolve the presented open-ended narrative with their own imagination and life-experience. And whether or not the viewer connects with the concept, the paintings are simply pleasing to the eye.
Port LB, just around the corner, will also be involved by hand-screening a limited run of Port t-shirts using an image of Gonzalez’ artwork, while guest DJs “el Camino” and “Beatnik” will be spinning vinyl and Costa Mesa-based microbrewery Barley Forge Brewing Co. will host a tap takeover for the night.
“This event represents the street culture of 4th Street, and the local support movement,” said Navarro. “We are glad to be able to support local art and craft.”