The Ted Casablanca Gallery Represents a Wide Array of Artists With an Emphasis on Transformative Vision
Locals have started to become very familiar with the name Bruce Bibby. But most visitors might still only recognize him as his alter-ego, Ted Casablana, who had a hugely successful run as a gossip columnist for E! Online with his column, “The Awful Truth.”
Now a full-time resident of Palm Springs, Bibby opened the Ted Casablancagallery in November 2015, returning to what he’s called his “first love” — art. (He earned an undergraduate degree at CalArts while concurrently studying writing at UCLA.) His gallery represents a diverse range of living contemporary artists, as well as the work of the late abstract expressionist Zanne Hochberg. Bibby says he’s drawn to an artist’s work by, “Commitment. Investment, vision, precision, pathos and humor.”
And as befits a man who has always spoken his mind, the thoughts he shared with me about his current collection of artists are razor-sharp, clever, and very amusing:
“Bret Philpot--local desert renegade painter-sculptor whose soul is raw, vulnerable and constantly delving. Possibly the most curious artist I represent.
Monica Orozco--LA Latina self-portrait photographer who grew up in the Valley, just north of LA, and who still has the bitchiness to prove it. She's a technical and narrative genius. A one-woman tableau vivant. The gallery's currently highest-selling artist. Enormously prolific, does at least a photo a day and has for years.
Johnny Nicoloro--LA double-exposure photographer who often works in soft-focus, florals and religious icons. His large-scale pieces have been extremely successful for the gallery.
Roger Groth--local legend. Astute collage artist originally from San Francisco. Elegantly gets the Palm Springs retro-chic culture spot-on. Big-seller, too.
Jim Cox--local nude-photographer who gives the prissy Palm Springs queens who don't like penises in their photographs plenty to talk about (and nevertheless buy).
Tod Bailey--Neo-expressionist painter from Houston. Large-scale, messy and beautifully chaotic interpretations of sexuality, conflict and self-knowledge.
Gilles Compain--Paris-based architectural photographer, very influenced by midcentury design. Cool, aloof and exquisitely pretty.
Lew Harris--Guerilla street-photographer, LA based. In your face. No permission asked. Rude. Insightful. Surprisingly poignant.
Zanne Hochberg--New York Abstract Expressionist painter who moved to Texas in the late ’50s and thrived in spite of it. Responsible (along with others such as Joan Mitchell) for helping bring feminism to a male-dominated culture, and certainly helping it move west.”
Captions, top to bottom:
Artist Tod Bailey, left, with Bruce Bibby, owner of Ted Casablanca. The gallery’s current exhibition features Bailey’s work.
From left to right: Joe Baker, Director at the Palos Verdes Art Center; Bruce Bibby; artists Monica Orozco and Johnny Nicoloro.
Bruce Bibby with artist Monica Orozco.
Photos Courtesy Ted Casablanca