Former New Yorker Lisa Aslanian spent 20 years in academia, studying, lecturing on and admiring contemporary art by women until deciding to embark on a new journey by opening The George Gallery in Laguna Beach.
The gallery — the only one in the city devoted solely to the work of female artists — held its grand opening last week.
Aslanian does not think that women are under-represented in galleries; nor is her gallery filled with strident feminist "message" art. The gallery's women-only concept is simple but also subtle: What makes art by women different from that of men?
One of the seven artists in the opening show, "Accomplished," uses a childlike motif of braids in her work. What Talin Megherian is expressing, according to Aslanian, is a distinct feminine identity, particularly in the artist's Armenian culture, where women commonly wear braids.
"I am not a first-generation feminist," Aslanian said, referring to the early women's movement and its emphasis on boldly confronting gender issues. "Women can want equality but not want to be men."