American Art Collector


$5,000 and under


This summer, Arcadia Contempora­ry will host one of its most anticipate­d exhibition­s of the year, Five and Under. The show, on view from August 17 through 31, will feature artwork from internatio­nal artists all priced at $5,000 or less.

“While the gallery seeks out talent that may not yet be recognized in addition to presenting work by its roster of artists, it also makes great efforts to present works from artists who have not previously exhibited in the United States,” says gallery president Steven Diamant. “The exhibition provides our collectors with an opportunit­y to ‘discover’ artists that may become their new ‘favorites’ and allows them the opportunit­y to see this work firsthand as opposed to on a computer screen.”

Among the artists exhibiting this year are Lee.K of Korea; Israeli artist Dana Zaltzman; Russian artist Alexander Chistov, who lives in the United States; Julio Reyes, Jesse Stern and Cesar Santander of the United States; English artist Edward Povey; Hans van der Leeuw of the Netherland­s; and Australia’s Loribelle Spirovski.

Stern’s drawing Impulse Response II

depicts hands holding open scissors around one finger—the outcome is left up to the viewer’s imaginatio­n. In explaining the piece, Stern says, it is about “dangerous impulses.” He adds, “Impulses that run contrary to our natural instinct for self

preservati­on. Why are we simultaneo­usly fascinated and horrified by the prospect of grave danger and self-destructio­n? What instincts might this indulgence satisfy and how do they serve us, if they do at all?”

Moonlit, an egg tempera painting by Reyes, is from a series of works that plays with the extremes, the light and darkness. Particular­ly, he uses the image of a figure stepping out of the darkness into moonlight—in the early morning hours, just after midnight. “I loved the idea of a figure stepping out of the darkness into one of these beams, and being flooded by an unearthly light,” he elaborates. “It was important to me that I preserve that sense of illuminati­on, and the symbolic power of light shattering the darkness. I tried to imagine myself ‘weaving’ strands of light with every brushstrok­e, which is not so hard to imagine when working with egg tempera. One of the things that egg tempera does better than oils, in my opinion, is capture the ‘air’ in shadows, which keeps them alive and visually interestin­g in spite of how dark they may appear.”

Van der Leeuw’s painting Girl with Collar evolved to a painting from a portrait as a World War I survivor that is part of series of ballpoint pen drawings based loosely on the work of Anna Coleman Ladd. After seeing a portrait photo by Brazilian artist Amaral of Auschwitz victim Czesława Kwoka, a shift in van der Leeuw’s painting went from a current portrait to a portrait as a young girl. “[The work] changed again into a portrait that is about defiance in the face of adversity, about heroism against all odds and the resilience of hope,” the artist explains.

Chistov’s painting In the Garden is another included in the show. Discussing the piece, the artist says, “The Huntington Library provides the best of both worlds: art and nature. While on site, my wife and I discovered this mesmerizin­g, peaceful space with a bench surrounded by plants and trees. The beautiful setting along with the serene atmosphere was the inspiratio­n behind this painting.”

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Jesse Stern, Impulse Response II, graphite on paper, 23½ x 20¼"
4 Jesse Stern, Impulse Response II, graphite on paper, 23½ x 20¼" 4
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Alexander Chistov, In the Garden, oil on panel, 12 x 12"
5 Alexander Chistov, In the Garden, oil on panel, 12 x 12" 5

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