Shall I look at your Juan Bastos portrait? Or, should I look directly at you? That was the question at yesterday’s sneak peak of “Juan Bastos: California Portraits,” a rich exhibition of 40 portraits of prominent Californians painted by the Bolivian-American artist, a longtime resident of Los Angeles. The exhibit is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (Latin American & Latino Art in LA.)
Attending a private lunch on November 2 hosted by gallerist Stuart Denenberg were several of Bastos’s ‘sitters’ — many clad in the very-same clothing worn on canvas. Bastos’s x-ray vision, the gift of any superb portraitist, captures details of outer appearance brought alive by each subjects’ unique inner essence.
Accompanying the lucky dogs to sit for Bastos were actual dogs! An uncanny artist of the four-legged set, Bastos toured the gallery with a true animal lover, HRH Princess Michael of Kent, visiting from London. HRH admired the portraits art collectors, families with children, dogs, and even a rabbit.
(Synne Miller, who brought her poodle, Baloo, to the lunch, clarified that Bastos added her poodle into the painting later.)
Those in attendance along with Princess Michael and her lady-in-waiting Lyn Rothman were the honorable Consul General of Bolivia Marco Valverde, actress Carla Ortiz, actor Renaldo Pacheco, Holly Palance, and Prince Veriand Windisch-Graetz. Guests with portraits in the show were: Audrey Bahr, Maryl Georgi, Nehama Jacobs, Synne Miller, Baloo, Lawrence Platt, Valerie Sobel, Carol Shapiro, and Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson.
photo credit: Curt Fissel.
Juan Bastos: California Portraits | Denenberg Fine Arts | opens Nov 5