It’s an account that most gallery owners dream of – a sold-out show.
Ashley Voss, owner and curator of the Voss Gallery at the corner of 24th and Bartlett had her premiere with Khari Turner’s current exhibition “Hella Water”.
All 12 paintings sold out in 6 hours – and the show had yet to open. You can still see them until this Saturday. (The gallery is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
“This show is insane because there were 100 people on the list” to buy all 12 works, Voss said, recalling the incessant emails and the phone ringing on May 21 when it opened.
How do you choose who gets the job? Voss struck a balance between prioritizing local collectors and those who had supported her in the past, while encouraging new buyers.
Under usual circumstances, Voss publishes the works online and creates an impression for sale alongside the art. Under normal circumstances when the gallery opens, she is busy talking with people and encouraging them to buy works of art. But it was not a normal circumstance. At the opening, she joked with the artist about not knowing what to do. For the first time, she was able to just relax and talk to art people, without worrying about sales.
Turner, a 29-year-old artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently an MFA graduate student at Columbia University, said the exhibit was influenced by his connection to hip-hop and rap.
He likes works to be ambiguous so that many different people can relate to his work.
The paintings, with titles such as “Ballin Outta Control”, “Can’t F ** k With Me” and “Never Talk Down”, come from songs by E-40 and Too Short, the two Bay Area rappers. Turner grew up listening.
Her work “celebrates black beauty,” says Voss, and prices range from $ 1,800 to $ 13.50.
“Work is a lot about emotion and just being able to feel it… people will see the work and won’t know exactly what I want to do, but they will feel it somehow”, a- he declared.
Voss believes people resonate with Turner’s work because of the nature of what has happened socially and politically over the past year.
Turner told Voss that in creating these paints, his job “is to put the paint in certain spots and then the paints paint according to the minerals in the water, salt and sand.” The artist incorporated water collected from places such as the Pacific Ocean, Manhattan Harbor, and Lake Michigan. It mixes water with paint to create cracks and movement in the artwork.
Tajae Brown, 22, stopped by the gallery on Friday to view the paintings. For Brown, the use of sand and water has a “pleasant healing element and makes it seem almost real and very present.”
Brown said she was surprised to walk into the gallery and see pictures celebrating the black beauty. “It’s very new,” she said.
Mazin Jamal, who walked into the gallery with Brown, said he believed black noses and lips had historically been demonized and considered inferior, so “the fact that they are highlighted in this beautiful way makes healing art, especially with what has been an event. ”
In August, Turner had a small piece in a group show at the Voss Gallery, which sold out quickly. Noting his popularity, Voss decided to book a solo exhibition of his work, moving away from his tendency to focus on local artists in the Bay Area.
The attention “Hella Water” has received has drawn attention to the gallery and uplifted the artists she works with. On Friday, she was working on shipping a large painting from a previous exhibition she had just sold to China.
All twelve of Turner’s works will be shipped to countries such as the UK, New York, China and Maryland. Others will stay here.
“It will definitely be difficult to top this show,” Voss said.
Gallery opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
Address: 3344 24e Rue
San Francisco, CA 94110