Beverly Hills in 2019: Colin Burn's Contemporary Art in Limbo
Explicit contemporary art is no stranger to this public treatment and many iconic artists once shunned are now revered as “Bold.” says ACCA Gallery’s Director, Carlos Benitez.
Beverly Hills, CA (PRUnderground) August 19th, 2019
The opening night last Saturday for “Treasure the Erotic” went on without a hitch. Entering a dimmed blue elevator, led only by security personnel, one’s interest is immediately piqued.
“Treasure the Erotic” is described as an homage to intimate pleasure, honoring the erotic. It features over forty limited edition contemporary artworks including The Pearl Royale, a platinum and diamond set, a sensually sculptured phallic form, valued at a cool $1.8 million dollars, as well as the world’s most opulent chess set, hand-crafted in solid white gold and encrusted with flawless diamonds, at $4 million dollars.
Guests anxiously lined up to behold the erotic contemporary works encased within museum glass, even if for a few minutes with some pieces, and left with a sense of complete satisfaction.
“Colin’s diamond-encrusted chess set is made for princes. The series of crystal or diamond female forms ‘in status orgasmus’ are simply mesmerizing. One after the other, fabulously sculpted gold phallic forms, imagined from Far East fertility rituals, invited us with lotus blossoms to hold, touching a handful of the brightest diamond gems. The exhibition was well curated by Carlos Benitez, where photographer, Aaron McPolin, paired an evoked creation for each sculpture by Colin Burn. Each image was a perfectly imagined and executed life-size ‘eroticism’ in its own right. The pictures were breathtaking with refreshingly open untarnished and innocent beauty, delivered in perfect craft and set in remarkable composition with natural textures,” said Asher Kelman, Curator of OPF Gallery One and Editor-in-Chief of Open Photography Forums, since 2016. “Having toured many of the significant museums in the USA and Europe, I’m impressed that McPolin’s photographic work earns its place with the most original and beautiful photography of our time.”
Then came Monday.
As dawn broke, the packed vibrant and successful Saturday opening seemed to have been worse than the Watergate Break-in. The denizens of the building perhaps saw Aaron McPolin’s nudes still in the common areas on the second floor… and it was now as if those malevolent residents of Dante’s Inferno lower levels of hell had moved in to the building, as their half-way house! Within minutes, the show was cancelled. Due to the nature of how the public consumes eroticism vs. how eroticism is actually portrayed in contemporary art, as a courtesy ACCA Gallery reluctantly reduced its exhibition “Treasure the Erotic” from the Global Business Center’s common areas to its private enclave on the second floor. But why?
Colin Burn and Aaron McPolin, it seemed, had brought, perhaps, the greatest quake to temblor-prone Beverly hills in a century. Never before, has an eagerly awaited exhibition, in 90210, been so savaged as “Far too erotic!” But this was the reflex reaction of the staid denizens of our bespoke city, arguably, one of the most open-minded communities anywhere.
Unfortunately for art lovers, Beverly Hills accountants and lawyers, sharing the same building elevators and hallways, wouldn’t be easy neighbors even to Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.
Today’s hypersensitivity to any hint of work place discomfort, sets off shrieking alarm bells! That is justified. Fears of lawsuits are based on really bad experience with true and imagined harm. In hindsight, this was to be expected and the other companies in the building are not wrong in their protests. Those are the realities of today’s workplace ethics and expectations.
Likely to be the most controversial and provocative bodies of work in both Burn and McPolin’s respective careers, the blurred lines between shame and pleasure is first seen from afar. It is only when you look closer at the fine details and nuances that a respect for the artistry becomes present.
This is art. Explicit contemporary art is no stranger to this public treatment and many iconic artists once shunned such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons (i.e., “Made in Heaven” series) are now revered as “Bold.” says ACCA Gallery’s Director, Carlos Benitez.
“ACCA Gallery’s Director Carlos Benitez defiantly stands behind its Beverly Hills’ inaugural exhibition, Colin and Aaron’s works continue a conversation of the new contemporary art movement: engaging, reflective and a reminder of who we are.”
ACCA Gallery has been resilient in making a selection of the works from the exhibition available for viewing by appointment only and is still set to run until August 31st. Sponsors are also currently being approached and welcomed to participate for an upcoming Rodeo Drive pop-up with the intention to showcase “Treasure the Erotic” on a grandeur scale.
About ACCA Gallery
With over 50 art exhibitions and consecutive art fair appearances, ACCA Gallery is celebrated as the premier showcase for established and emerging artists in Beverly Hills. ACCA Gallery consistently curates high quality art exhibitions and receptions nationwide with the mission to provide exhibition opportunities, professional development, residency programs, and educational initiatives for both emerging and career artists. Additionally, the company also sells related art services such as professional framing, fine art printing, and book publishing.
ACCA Gallery was founded in 2012 and now headquartered in Beverly Hills, California a block from the prestigious Rodeo Drive.