‘Extraordinary in the ordinary’: Artist Jeffrey Galinson returns to his native La Jolla for new exhibit

Artist Jeffrey Galinson is returning to his native La Jolla for a new exhibition at BFree Studio.
(Courtesy of Jeffrey Galinson)

In painting “humble objects,” artist Jeffrey Galinson says he attempts “to convey the kind of beauty and strangeness of what’s in front of our collective noses.”

Galinson’s works will be shown at BFree Studio during the La Jolla gallery’s exhibit “Come Together” from Friday, April 22, through Wednesday, May 4.

The exhibit also will feature pieces by multimedia artist Barbara Rabkin.

Galinson, who grew up in La Jolla and now lives in San Francisco, will show paintings from 25 years ago through as recently as the first week of April, he said.

Jeffrey Galinson says his paintings are "fairly realistic."
(Courtesy of Jeffrey Galinson)

“My paintings are representational,” Galinson said, meaning they depict objects “in a fairly realistic way, as opposed to abstract painting.”

He said the show will include a recently completed self-portrait so viewers “can see what I see in the mirror,” though most of the works will be still lifes and landscapes.

“I would call my work ‘classical’ in that it’s not looking to break any boundaries,” he said. “I’m aiming less to provoke than to praise, to awaken the senses of the viewer to what’s extraordinary in the ordinary.”

“I’m carrying on a 30,000-year-old activity that goes back to the cave,” Galinson added. “I use traditional techniques [and] materials that really haven’t changed.”

Galinson was trained at the New York Academy of Art, “which is really modeled on the classical atelier, a system of the French Academy in the 19th century, Paris,” he said.

One of his personal challenges is to “make a painting that I would like to look at. That’s what keeps me going — you can do better.”

This will be Galinson’s second show in La Jolla; the first was in the late 1990s at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.

Returning for “Come Together” feels like a homecoming, Galinson said. He added that what he chooses to paint and where he chooses to live “all goes back to visual impressions you get growing up.”

The elements of Galinson’s paintings, such as water, sky, flowers and fruit, are influenced by La Jolla, he said, which “has a lot of color.”

His artistic style also has been affected by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s flagship La Jolla location, which he often visited as a child.

Having his art shown in La Jolla “means something to me,” Galinson said. “[La Jolla] is a big part of who I am, even though I haven’t lived there in 20 years. It’s always with me.”

Jeffrey Galinson's art is influenced by growing up in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Jeffrey Galinson)

He said “my first published piece may have been in the La Jolla Light,” illustrating an op-ed that his father, Murray, wrote for the newspaper when Galinson was 12 or 13.

Galinson said the exhibit also will enable him to see friends and others he hasn’t seen in decades.

“It will be a lot of good things all together,” he said.

Galinson said he’s eager to share his paintings with people who might find it “gratifying to see someone who grew up in La Jolla and has chosen this path.”

He added that he hopes his mother, philanthropist Elaine Galinson, who lives within blocks of the gallery, will be pleased with the show.

“My parents [Murray died in 2013] were very supportive of my art growing up and becoming an artist,” he said. They often traveled to museums around the world.

“That made a big impression on me,” he said.

‘Come Together’

When: Friday, April 22, through Wednesday, May 4. An artist reception with Jeffrey Galinson will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23; a conversation with Barbara Rabkin will be from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 24.

Where: BFree Studio, 7857 Girard Ave., La Jolla

Cost: Free