Name: Rhett Baruch
Rhett Baruch Art + Design
GLB: Please tell us about Rhett Baruch Design!
Rhett: What started as a personal hobby/obsession with hunting for unique objects and art in thrift stores, and internet classifieds, has resulted in a near full service art and design focused operation. The apartment gallery offers a wide variety of mediums and price points for designers, collectors and personal decorating. It’s located in Little Bangladesh and just hugs Hancock Park. The new gallery on Melrose serves as contemporary project space that we are still sorting out and strategizing for the best format. And most recently the business is responsible for a full residential renovation and redesign in Highland Park. So, I am sort of imagining that Patty and I will be able to assist in procurement, advisement, consultation and design services. Eventually the brand will have a full scale creative agency alongside the showroom and gallery.
GLB: How long have you been collecting/curating?
Rhett: Essentially my whole life. I’ve never really stuck with a hobby/passion for more than a decade. Whether it was comic books, skateboarding, automotive and now interior related, which feels like the most fitting passion. The rest can make a return once I’ve really grown the other businesses.
GLB: Where do you find inspiration?
Rhett: It’s literally everywhere most the time. I notice a big difference in my enthusiasm and creativity when I’m out and about and interacting with other creatives and entrepreneurs. It only takes one conversation to spark a ton of new ideas and it motivates me to put some focus and intention on what could be. It’s good to dream.
GLB: How would you describe your gallery in 3 words?
Rhett: Unconventional. Neoteric. Outsider.
GLB: Tell us about your current show!
Rhett: Doug Meyer’s Enchantment Emporium: Objects for Pixies and Tricksters is our first solo show and with a strong focus on objects over paintings. All of the works are really architectural and space craft like. Although many serve specific purposes related to peace, healing and a watchful eye. They also display as extremely playful new age outsider, pop art with references to Dali and Corbusier. Meyer’s practice centers around his surreal lens of storytelling, intertwining real and fictional people, places and events that weave his world-building tales into a suspended reality. The show is open until March 18th.
GLB: What is your favorite piece?
Rhett: I think the Love Box is a favorite, it has this amazing pink mirror plexiglass, pink fur lined interior and the lid stands on its own so the piece is essentially two works. Very Dali-esque, tall and architectural with a mirror that resembles something between a rear view mirror and futuristic control panel.
GLB: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming shows/artists/openings?
Rhett: Well, we’ve been quite proud of all four of our shows and believe in every one of those artists. We have exhibitions coming up that include more design based and sculptural works, maybe more aligned with the ethos of my founding interests. Metalsmith and furniture maker James Naish is showing a collection of stools, candelabras and other objects, mixed media Dutch artist Boris de Beijer is making large resin goblets and painter Brandon Bernath with a series of spacey future abstracts referencing Goya. Next month we are showing the work of LA based Susan Maddux with her labor and planning intensive hybrid sculptural paintings with molded and painted canvas, Australian Saxon Quinn has six new paintings referenced from his childhood sketchbooks and New York based Japanese glaze goddess Shino Takeda is providing ten new works.
GLB: Anything else you would like to share?
Rhett: Just that we are looking forward to further connecting with our new Melrose Hill neighborhood and clients like yours who have understanding and admiration for the quality of the past and present. I am very hopeful for a renaissance type revival of all things creative and authentic, with LA setting the stage for that this year. We are happy to play a small roll in that.