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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Thursday, July 24, 2014

Galler-ama: Pop, Charles Azbell, Ventana & Karan Ruhlen

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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 5:00 am

Pop Gallery, 125 Lincoln Ave., 505-820-0788

At Pop Gallery, you’re as likely to encounter a Great Dane and a butterfly sculpted in bronze as you are paintings of melancholy, big-eyed, cartoonish characters inhabiting realms reminiscent of Tim Burton’s. Owner Sharla Throckmorton-McDowell describes her gallery’s offerings as New Brow Contemporary, though there are nods to modernism as well as (naturally) Pop Art. “Our artists are influenced by the lowbrow — comics, graffiti, tattoos, trends,” Throckmorton-McDowell said. Pop-culture icons like Chuck Jones and Charles Schulz also make an occasional appearance; currently, cels from the 1966 Jones-directed animated short How the Grinch  Stole Christmas! are for sale. The gallery’s best-selling artist, Lynden St. Victor, paints surreal scenes (medieval saints paired with life-size toy trucks or a waifish, auburn-haired personification of Mother Earth) with dramatic titles. St. Victor was one of the reasons Throckmorton-McDowell decided to establish Pop Gallery in 2007; until recently, he lived in New Mexico. Throckmorton-McDowell estimated that about 10 percent of her gallery’s artists reside in the state. Throckmorton-McDowell said that 80 percent of her sales are to established clients and take place over the phone, but noted that walk-in traffic has increased since the gallery moved to its current location. She said that Pop’s client base varies widely, “from 18 to 80,” and that she particularly enjoys cultivating young collectors. 

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