Las Vegas Sun

February 1, 2015

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Art for locals only


Shawn Hummel, “crimsonflarepath”

Centerpiece Gallery, at CityCenter's Mandarin Oriental, which specializes in high-end design and art, is now launching "Locals Only," a quarterly rotating exhibition featuring the work of Las Vegas artists. First up is Shawn Hummel, whose blurred and abstracted photographic images of cars and luminous cities — reduced to light, saturated color and form — are juxtaposed with monochromatic panels of automotive paint.

The exhibit, opening April 8, connects the finish-fetish style of Hummel, who grew up in Southern California, with the postwar contemporary artists — Oldenburg, Ruscha, Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly — in Centerpiece's front gallery.

Hummel uses photography to abstract images of buildings and car surfaces, shooting them with long exposures that grab color shifts and create an extreme intensity of light. He extracts small visual details from cars to reach a certain mingling of color, surface and form, creating works that appear more like paintings than photography. Influenced by architecture, Hummel is drawn to bright cities for his art, including Miami and Las Vegas. But the city becomes irrelevant in the finished product, which is most often paired with monochromatic panels that play off a subtle or dominant color in the photograph. His taste for the results of long exposure and color saturation creates an erotic, wet-candy sensibility in "martiangumballVSperidot," one of six works featured in "Locals Only."

Hummel is one of two Las Vegas artists featured at CityCenter — he and Tim Bavington have works hanging in Aria's VIP slot area. Centerpiece Gallery features art, furniture and objects d'art — mostly works by CityCenter's artists and architects. Gallery director Nicole Moffatt, formerly of Michele C. Quinn Fine Art Advisory, says she wanted to show Las Vegas artists, partly because of the recent closures of art venues.

"Slowly, everyone kind of left, and we wanted to get back to that," she says. "We want to keep the community apprised of who's here and what's going on." Moffatt is looking at artist Sush Machida Gaikotsu for the next "Locals Only" show.


  • What: Locals Only art exhibit
  • Where: Centerpiece Gallery in Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter; 739-3314
  • When: Opens April 8, 6-8 p.m.

— Originally published in Las Vegas Weekly

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