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Art Review: Mosaic Gallery at Mosaic Wine Bar ~ North Park

There are few art galleries in San Diego that impress me; however, there is one recently opened art gallery that excites me!  Case in point was last night’s grand opening of the Mosaic Gallery in the Mosaic Wine Bar in North Park. It is certain to become an excellent source for art collectors to discover emerging artists.

This two level art gallery - tucked away in the back of the wine bar - is deceptively charming and large enough to exhibit the works of five of San Diego’s emerging artists, all on hand to answer questions and meet with collectors. Original paintings by Jesinoski, Rich Walker, David Gough, Mee Shim and Shay Davis are on exhibit and each artist's passion was clear when I met with them individually (I met all but Mee Shim).  When I met with each artist and asked, “what am I looking at?” each artist openly explained their work with fervor and feeling. 
The works themselves are difficult to understand if just seeing them for what they are, therefore meeting with the artist was very beneficial.  The works by David Gough might be seen as ghostly, dark, and even morbid.  Rich Walker's paintings, made of recycled doors and panels, allow the surface to be random in texture and his use of color is quite exceptional - abstract, yet controlled by his drip technique that ends with swirls and circles. 

The imaginary surreal world of Shay Davis is quite remarkable – a canvas that is detailed throughout, creating a vivid painting where superheroes, women, and sexuality are strong. In his largest piece, “Greed,” a painting that is six feet by seven, you can spend half an hour just discovering ants and owls, along with the bold associations with life and death.

Artist Jesinoski, the major player in putting Mosaic Art Gallery together, also exhibited his whimsical paintings on a panel of playful figures in motion, taken from San Diego’s own Street Scene.

I was most impressed by the paintings of Mee Shim.  Her work is intense and filled with emotional narrative.  Three face paintings leading to the upstairs salon of the gallery, allow the viewer to peek into the imagination of the artist, in a simple, philosophical portrait - that is perfectly executed on the canvas. I will definitely consider her work for my next art acquisition. 

This is an excellent space and a great collection of works by local artists.  I encourage everyone to visit the Mosaic Gallery and take part in the grand opening of what will be an excellent source for emerging artists.  Most importantly, if you can, buy a painting and celebrate the arts.  Above all else, this art gallery and wine bistro model proves that there is still room for fine art in San Diego..even if it is in the back of the bar. 
Alex Salazar has been an Art Critic for over 20 years, writing for various art journals in Boston, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Alex holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies and Art History from Harvard University, a Master's Degree in Sociology of Art from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts from The Colorado College. Additionally, he lived in Florence, Italy, where he studied Baroque and Renaissance Art and Sculpture. He later moved to London to complete his thematic studies in Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture. Alex was also the recipient of the Nicky Award in 2009 as Executive Director of The Madison Gallery in La Jolla.