Ramon’s Tailor

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Christmas at Gump’s

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Dates: March 1-30, 2018
Open Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, 12:00-4:00pm
Opening Reception: First Thursday Art Walk, March 1, 6:00-10:00pm
At Ramon’s Tailor

Christmas at Gump’s This installation of photo-collages has as it’s source pictures taken at Gump’s Department Store in San Francisco in November 2017.

On a trip to California, artist Leala Hewak happened upon this venerable emporium of jewels, crystal, perfumes and other treasures, and was immediately seduced. With a magpie’s desperation to own all that is sparkly, she began ravenously photographing the store and its merchandise, in particular the small forest of Christmas trees laden with delicate, costly and sometimes bizarre Bohemian glass ornaments. She returned to the store several times and remained for hours— much to the consternation and amusements of staff and patrons.

Using the resulting images, the artist experiments with montages starring the captured objects in darkly comical productions. The resulting works, presented in heavy gilt frames, strive for the rich dignity of Dutch old master’s still-life paintings. The works in Christmas at Gump’s explore the psychological world of the luxury economy and the artist’s own relationship to consumerism. Like the Dutch Republic during it’s golden age, San Francisco is tremendously prosperous. An old city by North American standards, a combination of “old” and “new” money permits Gump’s to survive and thrive.

 

About the Artist
Leala Hewak is a photographer and digital artist, based in Toronto and Los Angeles. Her work has been shown in Toronto and Winnipeg, and is held in several private collections. Christmas at Gump’s is her first solo show in the US.

The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.