What is the latest news with Pamela Sukhum

Pamela Sukhum continue to grow and produce exquisite and unique works or art inspired by personal experience.  Collectors are usually drawn to her paintings on a personal level and resonant with the expressions put forth in the paintings.

Dissolution

Dissolution by Pamela Sukhum

Lately Pamela is excited to unveil & release her new series of original paintings titled “Bamboo Amongst Oaks.” These highly vibrant and detailed pieces are very textural, with several impasto layers creating depth and luminosity. There are pieces of varying sizes & palettes in this series. Many of them have already been placed with collectors.

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 25 - original by Pamela Sukhum

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 25 - original by Pamela Sukhum

Pamela shared with us her inspiration for these wonderful new works:

“These pieces are about finding a sense of home and belonging. Growing up in a small Midwest town as one of the only non-white students, I often felt as if I didn’t fit in with the others…..like a Bamboo Amongst Oaks. As the years went on, I left the confines of my small town and began to explore the world. In my travels I came across many different people, ideologies, and customs, and I began to realize that nearly everyone, regardless of race, origin, or background experiences this same longing for a sense of home and belonging in their lives. It is this shared experience that connects us all.

I believe we can come to love and appreciate all the differences that make each of us truly unique “that make each of us stand and grow towards the light” like a Bamboo Amongst Oaks.”

New Bamboo Amongst Oaks
Limited Edition Released

The series is well received and in order to share more of her works with everyone, Pamela has released two limited editions with hand-embellishment.

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 3 limited edition

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 3 limited edition Hand-Embellished Print on Canvas, Image Size: 36" x 24"

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 7 limited edition

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 7 limited edition Hand-Embellished Print on Canvas, Image Size: 36" x 48"

These are printed on canvas and only in small edition sizes.  This is a great way to start collecting Pamela’s work since the prices are very affordable as well.

We have these beautiful originals at the gallery:

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 27, original on canvas by Pamela Sukhum

Bamboo Amongst Oaks 27, original on canvas by Pamela Sukhum

and

Filial Expansion, original by Pamela Sukhum

Filial Expansion, original by Pamela Sukhum

We hope you enjoy Pamela’s work.  There are still a few original paintings in this series available, contact the gallery for more information.

Sculptor Stephen Hansen to Receive New Mexico’s Highest Award

Hallmark Gallery is proud to announce, the state of New Mexico has decided Stephen Hansen is to receive their highest arts award. We are sure our collector of his work and the future collectors, will agree in our congratulations of his achievement.

Ascent Of Man by Stephen Hansen

Ascent Of Man by Stephen Hansen

Below is the Press Release from New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

18 May 2009     GOVERNOR’S ARTS AWARDS

PLEASE RELEASE IMMEDIATELY
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact:
Doug Svetnicka, 827-4378
Department of Cultural Affairs

2009 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts

Eight artists and arts supporters will receive
New Mexico’s highest artistic honor

SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson and First Lady Barbara Richardson, along with the New Mexico Arts Commission, have announced the eight artists and arts supporters who will be recipients of the 2009 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

“Arts and cultural activities define New Mexico as they do few other places in the world,” said Governor Richardson. “I am very proud of these exceptional artists and contributors, and I applaud the important work they do in our communities each and every day.”

First Lady Barbara Richardson said, “The Governor and I urge all New Mexicans to join us in applauding this year’s Arts Awards winners.  Their works contribute significantly to the cultural life of our state and remind us why this is the Land of Enchantment.”

The 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are:  Stephen Hansen of Las Cruces for Sculpture; Tom Joyce of Santa Fe for Blacksmithing and Sculpture; Joseph Lonewolf of Santa Clara Pueblo for Pottery; Carmella Padilla of Santa Fe for Literary Arts; Edward Vega of Albuquerque for Sculpture; Elaine Wiggins Howe of Roswell – Major Contributor to the Arts; William A. Miller of Santa Fe – Major Contributor to the Arts; and Pasatiempo, the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Arts and Entertainment Magazine – Major Contributor to the Arts.

The 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremonies will be held on Friday evening, September 25, 5:15 to 7:00 pm at the St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.  The ceremony is preceded by an afternoon reception and exhibition opening, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, in the Governor’s Gallery, 4th Floor, State Capitol.  Both the awards ceremony and gallery reception are free and open to the public.

The Governor’s Arts Awards were established in 1974 by Governor Bruce King and First Lady Alice King to celebrate the enormous roles – both economic and cultural – that artists, craftspeople and arts supporters play in the life of New Mexico.  During its 36-year existence, a diverse and prestigious list of painters, weavers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, storytellers, poets, actors, playwrights and potters have been honored.  Past awardees include Georgia O’Keeffe, Laura Gilpin, Max Evans, Wilson Hurley, Joy Harjo, Bill Mauldin, John Nichols, Pablita Velarde and Cipriano Vigil.

Nominations for the awards are invited each year from arts groups and interested New Mexicans.  All nominations are reviewed by a committee of the New Mexico Arts Commission, which sends its recommendations to the full Commission and to the Governor.  The 2009 Awards Selection Committee consisted of Charmay Allred of Santa Fe as Chairperson, Bob Cooper of Albuquerque, Glenn Cutter of Mesilla, John Rohovec of Silver City, Janice Spence of Hobbs, who chairs the New Mexico Arts Commission, and Chuck Zimmer, manager of the state public art program for New Mexico Arts.   Loie Fecteau, executive director of New Mexico Arts, and program manager Virginia Castellano served on the committee in a nonvoting capacity.

The following are brief profiles of the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awardees:

Most artists would not want their work described as a “laugh-out-loud experience.”  But for Las Cruces papier-maché sculptor Stephen Hansen, those who laugh hard at his clever and humorous characters are paying him high respect.

Balanced Diet by Stephen Hansen

Balanced Diet by Stephen Hansen

“As an artist, I’m not an explorer of the human condition so much as a hapless tourist,” says Hansen, who grew up in Seattle, lived most of his life in Kalamazoo and moved with his family to the Las Cruces area in 1989.

Hansen’s meticulous papier-maché – please note that these are not your typical childhood wet newspaper creations – cartoon-like creatures are known all over the world and spice up many a museum and corporate collection from the Capitol Art Foundation Collection in Santa Fe to the Jyukano Research Institute in Tokyo, from United States Embassies in Italy and Venezuela to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

High Maintenance by Stephen Hansen

High Maintenance by Stephen Hansen

Inspirations for Hansen’s work often emerge from a play on words, a common phrase or a bit of conversation.  His sculpture “High Maintenance” is typical of his humor and features a woman surrounded by a gang of workers atop a ladder and scaffolding busily painting her nails, applying her makeup and combing her hair.

Playwright Mark Medoff, who received a Governor’s Arts Award in 1980, says about Hansen, “He is one of the unique artists working not only in New Mexico but in the world today.  I marvel at his mind, at where his ironic punning concepts come from, and I marvel at the execution.”

To read the rest of the full press release, click here.

What has Wildlife Artist Linda Herzog been up to lately?

Linda R. Herzog creates paintings from her dreams with a focus on wildlife and surrealism.

Linda Herzog original painting - Morning Lift

Morning Lift

Waking from her dreams in the night, Linda grabs her pencil and sketchbook then makes thumbnail sketches of what her visions manifest, with vivid color, sound, movement and often titles appearing with the visual event.  She is sure she wakes up because she is so excited about what she encounters.  After she draws out the image she often goes back into her dream and adds on to the painting.

Upper Deck Dodo

Upper Deck Dodo

Linda’s paintings are a combination of animals and nature with fantasy, surrealism and often with a touch of a whimsical mood. While doing a formal sketch in the desired size of the canvas, Linda often adds fun little objects that formed fond memories in her past. These added little objects make the paintings very personal and dear to her heart. Her favorite item that often shows up in her work are brass bells.

Humming Bosch by Linda Herzog

In childhood she and her sister collected little brass bells from a downtown store that was a treat to visit. Linda also likes to add objects of symbolism to create more depth in the meaning behind her paintings.  But she often admits that she just painted what she saw in her dream because she liked the visual though it has no sense behind it.

The technique of her paintings is a self taught method of layering and glazes. Some of her objects have up to 7 layers and drying time in between them.  Linda usually has up to 5 paintings going at a time.

So there you have it.  What has Linda Herzog been up to lately?  Capturing dreams, of course!

The World of Hu Jundi – Chinese Contemporary Artist

Hallmark Gallery has proudly presented the masterful works of contemporary Chinese artist Hu Jundi.  The female oil portraits painted by Hu Jundi possess the mystery of the beauty of the women of Sichuan province in China and the lingering romance of his uniquely and somewhat borderless style of painting.

For many years, we have guided collectors in their purchase of Hu Jundi’s master works and seen the many benefits of their decision.  We have decided to start a series of interviews and articles on Hu Jundi to help our future collectors of his work get a better understanding of the artist and his works.

For our first article of the series is a forward by renowned art critic from China, Zhong Biao.

Late Spring of March - original oil diptych by Hu Jundi

Late Spring of March - original oil diptych by Hu Jundi

Hu Jundi Profile

Birth date: 1962 in Jilin province.

1984 graduated from Sichan Fine Arts College, Chongqing

Forward by Zhong Biao, Artist, Director, Chonqing Art Museum

I first saw Hu Jundi’s work in the magazine ‘China Oil Painting’. It made a deep impression on me. After a little while, an art exhibition was held in Beijing. I hoped to find this artist in the exhibition, so I went. I was so pleased to see Hu Jun Di’s originals there. Because the published images I had previously seen were small, the originals were a revelation! His work had an incredible impact on the people. He proved the most talented master. His work is full of dense Chinese colors, the lush atmosphere and Sichuan’s warm moisture is floating in the paintings. I was hooked instantly to his canvas melodies.

Nature, original oil by Hu Jundi (胡峻涤油画)

Nature, original oil by Hu Jundi (胡峻涤油画)

To find out more about him, I decided to go to his hometown, LeShan, in the Sichuan Province. Hu Jundi’s studio was not big, about 12 square meters. In order to concentrate on his art, he gave up his business and sold his house in Beijing, and left the disturbingly noisy place. He came back to his hometown and kept himself quiet to focus on the art. Jundi decided to paint a series subject about the famous novel Liaozhai. It reflects that the Chinese are not satisfied with the social circumstance at that time. He painted the elegant appearance of the Sichuan woman. His brilliance is in the harmonious blend of traditional Chinese brush with the unmatched depth of oils. His paintings are completely Chinese, with colors of the Sichuan environment, harmonious, incomplete borders. They reflect the shadow of the most famous Chinese artist XU BEI HONG. But the oils give it a more universal, lasting appeal. The women are serene and beautiful, the attire is classical Sichuan Chinese, but there seems to be an appeal that goes beyond just Chinese. He does not use models. He paints the character in his mind, searching from a person in his life. He chooses the most wonderful moment in his mind and paints it. Catching a moment, this is the Chinese painting skill. To do it with oil painting, it is the most difficult. It took years of patient trial and error, along with his immense talent to master.

Two Women in Snow, original oil by Hu Jundi (胡峻涤油画)

Two Women in Snow, original oil by Hu Jundi (胡峻涤油画)

The works are as much a reflection of his spirit as his cool strength under pressure. As I know in China and probably the world, few artists can do that. In western artists I have seen, only Renoir could capture that style.

China has a very special artist ——- Hu Jun Di.

Fine Art Collecting as an Investment Vehicle

Many of you responded to our most recent email update about purchasing art in this economy and wanted more information.  Again, our clients are often savvy art collectors and we are really privileged to be of service.  So I have put together the following information for you, hopefully this would answer most of your concerns.

Fine Art Collecting – A New Form of Investment?

Fine art, continues to be a favorite son of today’s investment market and it is becoming more main stream than ever.  I was a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) in the private sector.  My company managed over 100 million dollars on a cash basis in the financial market for hundreds of clients.  The first thing that we always tell our clients is “past performance is not Indicative of future results”.   Yes, historically investment in fine art has yield better returns than the financial market and yes we see that potential continue to exist.  However, nothing is fool proof, anyone who tells you that there is no risk associated with purchasing fine art as an investment, frankly, does not have your best interests in mind.

As with any investment, there are always risks involved, be that of depreciation of assets or liquidity of the market.  What defines a good investment is one that has reasonable “calculated risk” with good upside potential.  For a short term investment you are also looking at good liquidity, meaning, how easy it is to get out of your investment position.  But a “suitable” investment for one client is not necessarily suitable for another.  During the time that I was a money manager, it was not uncommon that we would turn down a client who was willing to pay for our service. This occurred when we felt the investment profile did not match our client’s risk profile and needs or, that the risk exposure was outside of their means (which I will address later).

Jack Storms Cut Glass Art Sculptures has high value at beginning prices that are very affordable.

Jack Storms Cut Glass Art Sculptures has high value at beginning prices that are very affordable.

We can all see that fine art has traditionally out-performed the S&P 500 as a long term investment and many auction houses continue to make record sales.  However, fine art investing is not typically appropriate for the short term. When compared to traditional investment vehicles such as stocks, options, mutual funds, and commodity and futures market, it is definitely not as liquid.  This is true because the masses have not yet realized collecting art is lucrative.

This incredible black and white fine art photograph by Phil Borges has doubled in price since it was sold out...

This incredible black and white fine art photograph by Phil Borges has doubled in price since it was sold out...

With these things said, is fine art a good investment?  Yes.  It has out-performed the financial market historically and we have seen the trend of its continuing appreciation.  An original work of fine art is not something that can be duplicated.  Therefore, there is a value associated with that.  This is particularly true when the artist is being recognized collectively by a broad audience.

Fine Art is the only investment vehicle that I know of that can, through aesthetics changes people’s life, increase the quality of life and even improve productivity.  Many companies have found that by providing their employee with a harmonious and beautifully inspired environment, the productivity of the employees go way up and, if the investment is smart, the value of their art collection also goes up.  Sometimes the art collection in a company is worth more than the value of the company as a business.  It’s kind of like a restaurant’s wine collection is worth many times the value of just the business.  Did you know that the world renowned San Diego Wild Animal Park’s botanical asset is actually worth more than the value of the animal collection that they had?  Further, there are more fine art works in corporate collections than private collections.  Many companies use it as a means to diversify their investment portfolio. If you have a business, consult your accountant about the possibility of writing off or depreciating the cost of the purchase as well for additional tax benefit.  There may also be other tax benefits to owning and investing in art.

Serge Marshennikovs Original Female Oil Portraits have been sold through important art auctions, including famous Christie’s of London and Bonhams in Knightsbridge. His work is in much demand and his prices are constantly rising.

Serge Marshennikov's Original Female Oil Portraits have been sold through important art auctions, including famous Christie’s of London and Bonham's in Knightsbridge. His work is in much demand and his prices are constantly rising.

Does fine art investment have risk associated with it?  Absolutely.  You can experience depreciation at times especially if you are trying to sell it quickly. There are a number of factors that come into play, and understanding those component factors are key to success.

Is fine art a suitable investment for me?  Well, this depends on many factors: 1. What is the source of funds that you are using to make this investment?  2. What is your investment time frame? 3.  How liquid are your other assets? 4. Would it devastate you financially if you are not able to liquidate your position?  These factors are actually all inter-related.

Fine art investment is a intermediate to long term investment so please do not use money that you need to pay your bills to make an investment.  Also, in order to liquidate your position (sell your artwork), you would likely go to an auction house or the original dealer, and sometimes even through private sales.  It can sometimes it can take months or even longer to sell the work.   If any of these things would put you at great risk, then it is probably not for you.

So if you are ready to include some fine art in your life to increase the quality of your life and to enjoy the potential benefit of the appreciation, don’t forget to contact your art consultant so that they can guide you through the process of establish your collection that is best suited for your needs and style, be it glass art, original paintings, whether contemporary or traditional, or even sculptures.  We have seen quite a few artists whose works have appreciated consistently over the last few years, if you love art, why shouldn’t you benefit from the appreciation?

Contemporary Chinese artist Hu Jundis paintings have also been successfully auctioned in China.

Contemporary Chinese artist Hu Jundi's paintings have also been successfully auctioned in China.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

But make sure it is your eye

It never ceases to amaze me how some people will buy art because of what others around them think. One day a lady came in the gallery looking at some Michael Godard art and told me, “I am here to see what all the buzz is about.” She then proceeded to tell me she wanted to get one of Michael’s pieces we had there at the gallery. I detected she didn’t really like the art, because she kept saying, “I don’t get it.”, so, I asked her straight out if she liked the art. She told me she did not. When I asked her why she was asking about buying it then, she told me because her friends like it.

Nursing a Martini 2 by Pop Artist Michael Godard

Nursing a Martini 2 by Pop Artist Michael Godard

It occurred to me she was buying the art because of what she thought her friends would think if she bought it. Now I can imagine a lot of good reasons why someone buys a piece of art, but for most people, it should always start with the heart; and the heart can work from many perspectives.

One client we have is an avid art collector. Quite savvy as well. He knows what he is buying and very often buys from us sight unseen. These are big purchases, often in the $50,000 dollar range. We crate them up and send them to him half way across the country and he doesn’t even open the crates. Yes, I’ll say it again; he buys stunningly beautiful paintings such as those by Hu Jun Di, an absolutely amazing contemporary Chinese Oil painter and doesn’t even open the crates. Why? Because he is a collector. He is interested in the future value of the paintings he buys. He is an investor. Many of our clients have bought Michael Godard as an investment as well, and they have had stunning rises in value from the early years. The point is, for a collector, the heart is in a little different place than the majority of people.

Nature, original oil on Linen, by Chinese Artist Hu Jundi (Hu Jun-di) 胡峻涤

Nature, original oil on Linen, by Chinese Artist Hu Jundi (Hu Jun-di) 胡峻涤

When people come to the gallery to buy art, it is often our first concern to identify where their heart is, so we can assist them to achieve their goal in buying art. Buying art can be one of the most rewarding things you can do, and combined with some savvy art buying, you can get great potential for future value too. Should that be a first priority? In my opinion, no. You should always buy something that touches you in a special way.

One of the artists we have in the gallery that is a top seller is the stunning black and white photography of Phil Borges. Phil is widely collected. Each piece has a special story associated with it. Phil meets all of his subjects personally and learns about them before doing the photo work. Personally I believe this is his way of connecting with his subject on a deeper level, and is at the core of what make his works so luring to so many people.

Kinesi by Photographer Phil Borges.                            Kinesi often helps his older brother take care of the family goats. He is the only one of seven children who was selected by his parents to attend school. Since his Samburu family is semi-nomadic, sometimes he must walk alone nearly four hours -- over terrain populated by baboons and leopards -- to get to the only school in his district. His mother says that Kenesi runs most of the way -- not from fear of predators, but from the excitement of school. Samburu Tribe

Kinesi by Photographer Phil Borges. Kinesi often helps his older brother take care of the family goats. He is the only one of seven children who was selected by his parents to attend school. Since his Samburu family is semi-nomadic, sometimes he must walk alone nearly four hours -- over terrain populated by baboons and leopards -- to get to the only school in his district. His mother says that Kenesi runs most of the way -- not from fear of predators, but from the excitement of school. Samburu Tribe

Phil Borges’ works have a built in future value, because as they sell out, they automatically increase in value. Phil’s photography has sold in our gallery for as much as $17,000. But his pieces originally start in the $1,200 to $1,500 price level. Very affordable. I love his work so much, I got carried away and bought more of it for my home than I can fit on the walls. Go over to the website and take a closer look. For that matter, go over and take a look at it all ;-)

Many galleries carry one certain kind of art, but our philosophy is to carry art and artists that are doing amazing and stunningly beautiful things. Because of this we carry fine art black and white photography, sculpture, fine art glass (both cold cut, blown and sculptural glass), oil painting, mosaics made of glass on copper, abstract and contemporary art as well as contemporary Chinese oil painting (as already mentioned), and contemporary metal work and furniture, in addition to many other types of art.

There are many reasons to buy art, but, as I covered in the beginning of this article, unless you are buying purely for investment value, make absolutely sure you are buying from your heart. When you do this, you will certainly connect with the art for many years to come. If you buy for the wrong reasons, you will not get your best value because for full enjoyment will diminish in short order.

Good art is timeless and calls us to a place within ourselves that defines who we are and the world we live in. To make the most of it, make sure you buy smart.

Meeting Phil Borges’ Fine Art Black and White Photography

Black and white fine art photography is one of my favorite art forms and Phil Borges is no doubt one of the greats.  When he came to town, I first met him at the gallery in La Jolla cove.  Phil is a very easy going man.  His personality puts up no fronts and so you feel you know him instantly.  As we walked down Prospect Street on our way for dinner at one of my favorite La Jolla restaurants (Roppongi), we spoke as we had known each other for years.  We spoke about his books, Tibetan Portrait, Enduring Spirit and Women Empowered and the powerful images in each of them.  Phil Borges works are about much more than just the images though, as is the case with most photography.  Behind each photographic image is an amazing story.

Roket by Phil Borges.  Roket was guarding the only well in the area to make sure no one took more than their share of water. He had just completed his circumcision ceremony and been initiated as a moran (warrior). The beadwork was handed down to him from an older moran who was getting married. I was told that if the initiate makes any sound or even slightly moves during the circumcision, he will be considered an outcast. In the past, he would be killed on the spot. Samburu Tribe

Roket by Phil Borges. Roket was guarding the only well in the area to make sure no one took more than their share of water. He had just completed his circumcision ceremony and been initiated as a moran (warrior). The beadwork was handed down to him from an older moran who was getting married. I was told that if the initiate makes any sound or even slightly moves during the circumcision, he will be considered an outcast. In the past, he would be killed on the spot. Samburu Tribe

For anyone who has ever seen Phil’s art works, you know that each and every shot he does captures an amazing essence and energy from its subject.  I am not just saying this either.  In the gallery, there are more man ours spend gazing at the works on his wall than any other wall in the gallery.  Some people will stand there and marvel at the works for hours (and we have only a handful of the amazing shots from his complete collection.

It is rare for me to see a person come through the gallery that is not drawn to his art work in a profound and personal way; his work touches you. As I got to know Phil better, I realized the magic he draws from his subjects is really a part of the way he is personally able to break through any kind of barriers with anyone. This is true regardless of language (or other) barriers that might exist.  A deep compassion bubbles up from him that is felt right off.

Asgeli by Phil Borges.   As a leader of the circumcision ceremony, Asgeli had performed hundreds of female circumcisions. Now, like others in the village, she is supportive of the change in custom that Abay had advocated. She said, “We did the circumcisions because that is what had always been done.We were in the dark house and did not know.”

Asgeli by Phil Borges. As a leader of the circumcision ceremony, Asgeli had performed hundreds of female circumcisions. Now, like others in the village, she is supportive of the change in custom that Abay had advocated. She said, “We did the circumcisions because that is what had always been done.We were in the dark house and did not know.”

The modern black and white photography landscape has been shaped largely by the greats early in the last century who used large format view cameras to capture their amazing images of the American West.  Phil Borges uses a variety of cameras, but most commonly he uses a 2.25 inch format camera such as the Hasselblad.

Phil Borges area of focus is modern black and white portrait photography. Up until very recently, he has been very purist about using only film and special Kodak papers.  However, as the availability of these materials has diminished to the point he can no longer reliably get them, he has been forced to start doing some of his work in black and white digital photography.

Rufo by Phil Borges.  I first noticed Rufo as she was walking to school with her sister. The elegant wardrobe that she had created with remnants and scraps of cloth fasinated me. Like most Boran girls in southern Ethiopia, she spends her days collecting water and firewood, herding the goats and helping her mother cook. Her labor plays a vital role in her family’s survival.

Rufo by Phil Borges. I first noticed Rufo as she was walking to school with her sister. The elegant wardrobe that she had created with remnants and scraps of cloth fasinated me. Like most Boran girls in southern Ethiopia, she spends her days collecting water and firewood, herding the goats and helping her mother cook. Her labor plays a vital role in her family’s survival.

Another amazing dimension of Phil Borges work his involvement in the support of indigenous cultures around the world.  In fact, Phil is an altruist, humanitarian and is devoted to spreading the message of cultural diversity.  It just so happens he uses his fine art black and white photography as his medium for spreading this message.  Phil has worked in conjunction with a number of charities such as Amnesty International, CARE and others in order to send some much needed revenues back into the areas where he has acquired his incredible black and white figure photography images.

The message of Phil’s work therefore, comes together at a variety of levels to be what it is. Whether it be the story telling, the art, a humanitarian cause and any number of other ways his message weaves together into a cohesive fine art form and cultural message.  It is very rare to meet an artist who’s work and message is so driven at so many deeply connected ways.

Palden by Phil Borges.  Palden was arrested at his monastery in 1959 and spent 24 years in prison, where he was tortured frequently --actually loosing 20 teeth in one beating. He managed to flee Tibet in 1987 and came to Dharamsala. He told me “I no longer have anger for my captors. However, I feel it is my responsibility to let the outside world know what is happening in Tibet.”

Palden by Phil Borges. Palden was arrested at his monastery in 1959 and spent 24 years in prison, where he was tortured frequently --actually loosing 20 teeth in one beating. He managed to flee Tibet in 1987 and came to Dharamsala. He told me “I no longer have anger for my captors. However, I feel it is my responsibility to let the outside world know what is happening in Tibet.”

There is another part of Phil Borges work that deserves mention.  On top of all the other factors, Phil’s work has tremendous value for the fine art collector.  I have personally watched his any number of his works escalate from a low level starting price of less than $1500 or so, to escalate to as high as $17,000 in value.

At the gallery, we serve more black and white photography collectors in pursuit of Phils work than any other gallery in the world. Our black and white photography website offers the full collection of Phil Borges works and our staff is the most knowledgeable in the world on his amazing black and white fine art photography.

Abi Guls father spent eleven years fighting in the Pakistan courts to keep the Kalash valleys from being logged. For the Kalash, who have animist cosmology, trees are very sacred. Three years ago Abi Guls father was killed by a bomb that was thrown into their little two-room home. Her uncle continued the court case and finally won the judgement. Abi Gul was very serious and quiet. Very dillegent, she stayed by my side and assisted me as I photographed her friends and relatives in her small village.

Abi Gul's father spent eleven years fighting in the Pakistan courts to keep the Kalash valleys from being logged. For the Kalash, who have animist cosmology, trees are very sacred. Three years ago Abi Gul's father was killed by a bomb that was thrown into their little two-room home. Her uncle continued the court case and finally won the judgement. Abi Gul was very serious and quiet. Very dillegent, she stayed by my side and assisted me as I photographed her friends and relatives in her small village.

As we finished our meal and headed back to the art show at the gallery featuring Phil Borges work (in conjunction with CARE) where a huge crowd awaited him, I marveled at the stories he shared with me and the experiences he had in traveling to exotic uncharted corners of the world to meet special people of indigenous cultures around the world.

Phil Borges is a magnet personality with a huge message about where and what and who we are in the world.  His works have value that touches your heart and invests well.  But you don’t have to meet and have dinner with this precious man as I was privledged to do in order for his amazing works to touch your heart.  You can experience this heartfelt essence in every one of his black and white photograpic works of art.

Written by Rob Mitchell

Fire Under The Snow

Fire Under Snow,  is a documentary of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Palden Gyatso, held prisoner for 33 years by the Chinese, during the Chinese occupation of Tibet during the 1950’s.

In 1992, Palden Gyatso finally escaped his environment after being starved and tortured for nearly his entire adult life. When he escaped, he fled across the Himalayas to India to seek refuge. Fire Under The Snow is his story. The World Premiere film was released at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2008. It will soon be released to audiences world wide. Fire Under The Snow is also a book.

Fire Under The Snow, was first published in Great Britan in 1997 by the Harvill Press. The book has been translated into several languages.

Fire Under The Snow is neither a historical story nor a mystical one. It is simply a story of one man, faced with the inhumanity of a system perpetrated in the name of progress and ideology. It is his testimony to the suffering of the Tibetan nation during the Cultural Revolution.

The forward of Fire Under The Snow, was written by the Dalai Lama.  It reads in part:  “Palden Gyatso evokes the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution with deep compassion for others who suffered with him. It was not the threat of execution that most terrified him, but the inhumanity and cruelty he was forced to witness.”

I had the distinct honor and privledge of meeting Palden Gyatso in September 2008, during his visit to Hallmark Gallery in La Jolla, California.  Hallmark Gallery, located in the center of the Village of La Jolla, on Prospect Street, has for sale the captivating photography of Phil Borges, a world renowned photographer.

Palden Gyatso, a Buddhist monk since childhood, was arrested by the Chinese Communist Army in 1959. He spent the next 33 years in prison for the "crimes" of peaceful demonstration and refusal to denounce his apolitical teacher as an Indian spy. He was tortured, starved and sentenced to hard labor. He watched his nation and culture destroyed, his teachers, friends and family displaced, jailed or killed under Chinese occupation.

Mr. Borges worked with the Dalai Lama on a collection of photographs for his book Tibetan Portrait.  Palden Gyatso is one of the portraits found in Tibetan Portrait .  Hallmark Gallery in La Jolla, also has the photograph of Palden Gyatso for sale, it hangs on our Phil Borges wall.

Palden, black and white fine art photography by photographer Phil Borges

Palden, black and white fine art photography by photographer Phil Borges

One day, a client of Hallmark Gallery, La Jolla, happened to recognize the black and white photograph taken by Phil Borges, hanging on the wall of the gallery.  He told me, ”hey, that’s Palden Gyatso, he’s a friend of mine”.

That’s how I found out about Fire Under The Snow, the book, and Fire Under The Sun, the film released by the Tribeca Film Festival.  That’s also how I came to meet Palden Gyatso.  Hallmark Gallery’s client told me that next time Palden Gyatso comes to La Jolla, he’ll bring him by Hallmark Gallery for a visit.  And so he did.  Although Palden Gyatso did not have his translator with him during his visit, this simple Tibetan Monk whose smile lights up a room, was able to communicate simply by his presence. There was a lot of sign language and gestures, but little verbal interaction since we did not speak the other’s language.

Wow. What a terrific experience. Thanks to Rob Mitchell, Hallmark Gallery’s owner, for his generosity and being the awesome person he is, and also for being present for Palden Gyatso’s gallery visit.

Original Mixed Media Paintings by William DeBilzan

Recently, Hallmark Gallery, located on Prospect Street in La Jolla California, had a show featuring seven outstanding artists. The setting could not have been more beautiful. Hallmark Gallery sits in the center of the quaint village of La Jolla, on La Jolla cove; a real jewel.

As I watched the guests arrive, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky I am to live and work in one of the most beautiful cities in the United States.  La Jolla is a “Jewel” in San Diego county.

But this post is not about San Diego, nor is it about La Jolla, California.  It’s about a quiet unassuming gentleman, the artist, William Debilzan. The June show was my first opportunity to meet Mr. DeBilzan, or rather “Bill” (he prefers Bill to Mr. DeBilzan).  I was thrilled. It was sort of like meeting a Rock Star for me. From the day I began as a consultant for Hallmark Gallery, William DeBilzan’s paintings just captivated me.  Perhaps it is for this reason so many people have approached me to learn more about Bill’s paintings and to purchase it.

Reason Why - original mixed media by William DeBilzan

Reason Why - original mixed media by William DeBilzan

I was immediately taken by his bold colors and the anonymous figures he paints which seem to speak through their posture as clearly as if through an audible voice. William DeBilzan uses a variety of recycled material which he incorporates onto his multimedia canvas. The simplicity of his composition is made complex by texture and the color palette he uses so perfectly.  His work is bold and challenging but with a playful nature.  The wood frames he custom makes for each individual piece are typically as interesting as his paintings.

Inclined To Do So - original mixed media by William DeBilzan

Inclined To Do So - original mixed media by William DeBilzan

William DeBilzan’s paintings have been featured in Film and Television.  “Frasier”; “Just Shoot Me”; “Spin City”; “L.A. Doctors”; and, “Housewives of Orange County” are some shows where one can find his paintings. His paintings also liven the walls of quite a few of La Jolla’s most prized designer homes.

William DeBilzan was also commissioned by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra to create a huge visual interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Concertos to accompany the symphony’s performance of this classic.

I invite everybody to visit us in La Jolla and stop by Hallmark Gallery to check out William’s DeBilzan’s newest paintings.  If you are not in the area, then stop by the website to experience Bill’s work on your own, of give us a call to find a piece that is perfect for you.  Art continues to be an excellent investment in these tumultuous financial times.

Christine Molina is Hallmark Gallery’s #1 art consultant.

Marshennikov Female Nude Figures

The San Diego art market has seen many beautiful Female Nude Oils. But an artist that has captured my attention, as a director of an art gallery, in San Diego, has been Serge Marshennikov. His use of the canvas and his realist touch are proof of his excellence.  Finding an artist that can tastefully balance the line between sensuality and femininity is rare to find.  Pino and Hu Jundi are other artists that we carry in the gallery that fit into this category as well.

Serge Marshennikovs Original Female Oil Portraits - Light Dream At Noon

Serge Marshennikov's Original Female Oil Portraits - Light Dream At Noon

In the Serge Marshennikov painting “Light Dream At Noon”, the artist’s female nude model lies with her exposed right breast and arms vulnerably placed over her head. But the viewer becomes captivated by the artist’s detail work on the canvas. Serge’s ability to delicately paint the fabrics and the detail work of the lace texture becomes the viewer’s focus.  But afterward, your eye will study the softness of the subject and her simple beauty. When looking at the her hand, the viewer will recognize the true ability of this artist’s talent.  Serge Marshennikov has become one of San Diego’s finest artists and we are looking forward to newly arriving future master works.

Serge Marshennikov paintings are widely recognized and regarded.  His works also have been auctioned at high prices at such esteemed auction houses as Christies as well as others worldwide.  This is quite an accomplishment for a living artist and the currently escalating valuations reflect this desirability of his work.  In the recent decade where traditional investments have returned little with substantial volatility and risk, such works as those of Serge’s have appreciated nicely.  As a result, if Serge’s work grabs you, a purchase is smart for all the very best reasons;-)

Michael Hajdaj is the gallery director at Hallmark Galleries in La Jolla where he can most frequently be reached.  La Jolla and the surrounding La Jolla cove are a destination of many world travelers each year.  This area is part of San Diego and is a highly regarded art community there.

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