Byline: Jessica Kerwin
A dam Silverman and Eli Bonerz, the young entrepreneurs behind hip havens X-Girl and X-Large and the clothing lines of the same names, have forayed into the art world. Their new gallery, George’s, opened recently to a stampede of cool young things, who came to check out work by 26 artists in the opening show and, as at other art openings, sample the free drinks.
The two hope George’s, opened just a few doors down from their X-Large shop on Vermont Avenue, will keep the increasingly trendy Los Feliz neighborhood interesting — after all, they both live there.
“It puts something in the space other than clothes,” said Silverman. And as the show notes explain, “If we stand by and watch, we will wake up living on Melrose Place.”
By limiting the highest price for the gallery’s wares to $500, Silverman and Bonerz also hope to attract the young customers who frequent their other shops.
“We’ll probably sell to people who haven’t bought art before,” said Silverman. “We want to ease people into the idea of buying art.”
The gallery’s second show will attempt to exhibit 30 artists in 30 days, though Bonerz is quick to note that it is “in no way an arts festival.”
“There’s no camaraderie,” Bonerz said. “It’s just quick shows.”
“We come from a retail background, so we’re putting the stuff on sale,” laughed Silverman. “We know you can’t sell art the way you sell T-shirts, but we want there to be different things in the gallery every time someone comes in.”
There won’t be a big opening party every night either, since the neighbors had their fill when gallery patrons partied on down the block at the first one.
Though Silverman and Bonerz have other expansions in the works, for now the secrecy of such plans is guarded under pain of death. Silverman will admit that the idea of opening up Fantasy Island as a real resort, or an electric car dealership, seem intriguing. For now, the pair, along with curator Ann Faison, will work on getting the gallery up and running, planning the next shows and viewing the works of the five to 10 local artists who have been dropping by each day.
“We didn’t know there were so many local artists,” said Bonerz, “and some of their work is even good — but we’ve probably overlooked the next Van Gogh.”