Don't be afraid of the words, contemporary art.
The grand opening of Greg Bennett Contemporary Art March 20 on El Paseo in Palm Desert gives art afficionados a chance to embrace abstract pieces.
"I try to make the gallery warm and inviting," Bennett says. "I know contemporary scares a lot of people, and I get people daily who look at a painting and say, 'It has pretty colors but I just don't understand it'. The beauty of abstract art is that it's open to interpretation, and you can make it whatever you want."
It's not always that cut and dry.
"Some of the artists are happy to talk about their art and tell you what they were thinking or the name of it gives an indication," Bennett says. "Some others don't like to do that. They want to interpret it the way you do."
Bennett has brought several artists who are either new to the El Paseo art scene or are making a comeback, like Bill Schenck, who started with Andy Warhol and developed a paint-by-number design, Bennett says. Many are from connections Bennett made in Santa Fe while working for LewAllen Contemporary and hail from New Mexico, Arizona and his native Montana.
"All of my artists show their work in museums," Bennett says. "In the main gallery, everyone is someone I know and represent."
Bennett also has works from Native American artists, including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, who completed a collaborative floor design at the new Denver Airport.
In addition, Bennett is showcasing the Steven de Christopher collection of Western Bronzes. "Steven has had a big influence on interior design in the desert," Bennett says.
For more on the gallery, visit www.gregbennettcontemporaryart.com