Thursday, September 10, 2015

Don Bachardy's Hollywood at Southwestern College Art Gallery

Don Bachardy's Hollywood Thurs. Sept 10 to Sept 29 at Southwestern College Art Gallery (900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, 91910) More info: More info: Vallo Riberto 619.421.6700 ext.53

The following very informative press release information was sent to us earlier this month, but it does not even touch the excitement created by the opening reception for Don Bachardy during his talk at the Southwestern College Art Gallery. 

"The Gallery @ Southwestern College, Chula Vista, in cooperation with the Craig Krull Gallery. Santa Monica, California, presented HOLLYWOOD, Paintings and Drawings, portraits of some of Hollywood’s greatest screen stars and personalities. This exhibition is  Mr. Bachardy’s debut show into the greater San Diego Community. The portraits in this exhibition represent an excellent cross section of the hundreds of portraits the artist has completed over his long and celebrated career in Los Angeles. Mr, Bachardy has also published a number of books, including Chris and Me, an intimate Portrait of his love affair with his life long partner, writer, Christopher Isherwood, Another volume, a book of published love letters and a heart felt, no holds bared book of drawings titled, The Last Drawings of Christopher Isherwood, His latest offering, Hollywood, from which the exhibition borrows it’s title, is a compendium of hundreds of screen star luminaries."

Don Bachardy is a man whose disarming charm was as important to his success as his connection with Christopher Isherwood.  Just take a look at his silver sandals, just a small touch of glamour which matches the twinkle in his eye. Bachardy spoke for about an hour where he answered questions from the packed crowd.  Here are some of my favorite sound bites:

When I first met Christopher I looked like I was 12 and so lots of his friends wanted to meet me.
I wanted to be an actor, but Christopher gently guided me away from that idea.
I always drew pictures of movie star from pictures, but when Christopher let me draw him from life it was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. He looked 10 years older than he actually was because I lovingly recorded every line on his face. 
When I first took figure drawing classes, I was amazed to be able to see bit of the body.
I knew I had to be somebody because I wanted Christopher to stay interested in me. 
Deborah Kerr was so kind and sat so still for three hours. 
I do portrait because I get to dive into people faces. I become that person and get out of myself. 
Christopher taught me three way to make people laugh so I would not be so intimidated when speaking publicly.  I  can't remember what they are. (Then the audience laughed) I must remember how to do it cause you all laughed. 
I never know if I will have one hour or three hours, so I always try to capture the most important things first. Over the years, I have gotten good at that. Sometimes if I have one hour, that portrait is better than the first one of the three I could do in three hours. 

The man was so sweet and so straight forward and by sheer force of his subtle personality he made you want to paint a portrait yourself and he certainly made you appreciate this ancient desire to record the human countenance.

The lovely gallery at Southwestern College. It is beautiful lit, clean space which honors the work on display

Don Bachardy in mid-sentence

Barcardy signing books and posters

Vallo Riberto - the force behind this show and gallery director

Lots of photos being shot during the talk
 I like the variety of fine line drawing and more loose watercolor images. It was fun to identify the famous people from Hollywood in this show.
Henry Fonda

Terry Gere

Warren Betty

Jane Russel

Tilda Swinton

Ellen Burstyn

I wanted to include this photo of Lynnette Tessitore-Lopez who I met at this opening. She is the brand new head of the Cultural Ats Division for the City of  Chula Vista.  Over 60 art teachers have been hired for  $15 million in Chula Vista which shows an incredible support for the value of the arts. Hopefully we will see the results of this push with the young people in south county as well as Lynnette's organization of the cultural resources of the area. She will be working on the Chula Vista master art plan.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Patricia, Excellent!! Very much appreciated.