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A Message from Bondo

Welcome aboard


In March of this year, which now seems like a long time ago, “Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?” was set to open at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates. No one doubted the festivities would be grand, and afterwards the exhibition would take up residence for two weeks in the Malaga Cove Library art gallery. There was no derailing this speeding train.


Except that everything around it derailed, as we well know. However, the committee behind this postponed art show has kept busy, and this website is one small proof of that.


In 2019, in my capacity as an arts writer for Easy Reader and Peninsula magazine, I looked over a group of paintings that were on display and noted that the majority of them had fairly standard subject matter rendered in fairly standard style—pets, piers, tidepools and sunsets—and then made the suggestion that perhaps we could pull on the tails of these and other artists by urging them to try something different, something out of their wheelhouse or comfort zone.


But to do that, one needs to bait the hook. Turns out, I’d written down several dozen titles over the preceding decades, and eventually these were whittled down, put into fortune cookies, and the fortune cookies were placed on a Wheel of Fortune. A number of artists were invited to participate. Spinning the wheel to find out which fortune cookie was theirs was like combining chance and fate, or free will and determinism, on the same dance card.


The title in each cookie was, of course, to be the title of the work to be created by the artist who received it. But that was really just the beginning. The “galvanizing challenge” was not only to “illustrate” the title, but to do so in a manner unlike one’s usual style or perhaps using a different medium. If someone previously familiar with their work would be unable to say with confidence that this was also by the same artist, then the piece would be deemed a success. The artists weren’t out to necessarily trick anyone, but to show us, their colleagues and themselves, that they could step away from their usual “brand” and come up with something new and eye-opening.


By and large, I think they were successful.


On these pages, and in the gallery, are images of the completed works by all 45 artists, along with their statements, biographies, and websites.


“Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?” is tentatively scheduled to go on view in December at the Malaga Cove Library in Palos Verdes Estates, with perhaps an additional venue (or two) to follow. Check back with us, or let us have your contact information and we will provide you with updates as we get closer to the opening and its reception.


The speeding train is about to resume its journey, and we want you aboard with us.


Thank you, and now enjoy,


Bondo Wyszpolski

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