A good collector does not relegate their selections to actions of a solely prolific attitude, thus rendering their selections somewhat hasty. There is also a great deal of patience and deliberation involved, coupled with the educational aspect needed in order for one to build their affinities.
The eclectic array of art in its form and medium at the CB1 Gallery is evident with a glance and some quick exploration. Sculptures, paintings and weaves round out just a few of the media, ranging from abstract and surreal to more traditional depictions, while also evoking multiple viewpoints.
Clyde Beswick, director of the gallery, does not subscribe to any particular type of art when choosing his pieces. Industrious and resolute — as is evident in his demeanor, whether stationary or in motion — Beswick works with a degree of purpose and tenacity seldom gleaned from others in his position.
While previously working in a high ranking marketing position, Clyde sought a spark of passion, a note of reverence that would fill a void not previously full. “I collected in art in the 80s or late 70s probably. I was in the advertising marketing world for 40 years until I got out of that 5 or 6 years ago and moved downtown, the space was actually going to do pop up shows here and then I decided that I really liked the space and decided I would open up a gallery here. We opened in February 2010.”
The CB1 Gallery showcases a cornucopia of talents, employing works that evoke raw streaks of emotional and angst-filled expressions, or if not, then strongly conveyed messages, either aesthetic, political, or other. One thing is common in all of the works displayed: they are unabated and unfiltered in their artistic expression, always revealing something original in its execution and feelings evoked in pondering. The reason for these exciting pieces is the way Beswick chooses his artists.
“My partner and I — Jason Chang and I — own the gallery. I wanted to open the gallery and be able to show both younger and emerging artists whose work I like and some established artists who I thought needed a venue to show their work, whether they were from here or New York or wherever they were from.” This approach to organizing a gallery is not completely alien, but the way it is executed shows the owners’ integrity quite nicely — there is no compromise here. Beswick has shown that he is a champion of new and exciting artistic ideas, as well as work which exudes a great degree of craftsmanship.
This honest and stalwart, but disarmingly friendly, man is serious about his business and art appreciation. There were only a handful of galleries in LA when Beswick started collecting 30 years ago. Now, if one walks 3 blocks in the current downtown area they will encounter a bevy of choices.
“When I was living in New York in the 70s I had a very good friend who was, at the time, dating a guy who went to art school. I was making a decent amount of money for somebody who was young at the time and she said, ‘Clyde, why don’t you start buying art?’ And I said, ‘I don’t think I know enough about it to make intelligent decisions.’ Then she said, ‘Just look.’” As simple as it may sound, this is what has been driving the CB1 Gallery director ever since. The CB1 Gallery serves as a model — a sort of guide for the prospective collector — and everything they represent conveys a proactive search for new expressions, boundaries, and intellectual artistic expression.
But a good collector does not relegate their selections to actions of a solely prolific attitude, thus rendering their selections somewhat hasty. There is also a great deal of patience and deliberation involved, coupled with the educational aspect needed in order for one to build their affinities.
“Don’t buy the first thing you see. Get out there, look, read — there’s lots of things written — go to museums, and after awhile you will appreciate what is seen,” Beswick says. From there, one begins to acquire an affinity for certain media and statements made with the art, and the movements associated with them, and thus create an artistic identity needed to create a consistent catalog of provoking works.
Beswick is a busy man — even during the interview I found him swamped with preparations for an art fair in New York entitled “Pinta”, and another show shortly thereafter in Miami, which calls itself “The Miami Project”.
Some of the artists featured include CB1’s Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia and Lisa Adams.
Segovia’s works include weaves of paper that intertwine to create thoughtful and insightful abstract pieces, while Adams’s paintings are surreal and involve disparate symbols to create vivid imagery and unlikely pairings in its composition, expressing raw and overflowing emotions of the darker, painful varient. Also, an artist with frequent shows at his gallery, Mira Schor, who is established and well respected, using cubist and abstract influences to express common themes such as time, but contrasts them between older and more contemporary perceptions.
Clyde’s artists are thought provoking and serve to further the dialogue of contemporary art that the CB1 Gallery is trying to propagate.
Novice collectors looking to start a meaningful collection and veterans looking to find the next best thing are both welcome to survey the works displayed within the gallery. The culture at CB1 Gallery is progressive and forward-thinking, and art is not a product so much as it is a process. Life as a collector is much more fulfilling to oneself and to others if the art itself is appreciated, and the profit is secondary.