Fette’s Gallery On the Move

imageTwo years in, and she’s not feeling the itch at all. French émigré Fette became a permanent resident in the City of Angels in 2005 and initially spearheaded the Flog, a site dedicated to art, photography, books, and reviews. She sustained herself on freelance illustration gigs (and thankfully has lived to see her own artistic intents outlast those of erstwhile employer, Playgirl). She’s also worked in many L.A. galleries, and finally in November of 2006, she launched her own — Fette’s Gallery.

“I worked in larger galleries to answer more creative questions — and [that experience] gave me a better sense of the art world,” Fette says. But she says that her experience in those galleries fueled her desire to open her own space. “I needed to do something more personal that inspired me.” But the space that would become the Culver City-based Fette’s Gallery was not simply a venue where personal favorites of the owner would hang from the walls; rather, it was a means of communicating with this new city that Fette now found herself in. “I needed a medium to get a better sense of the city and to get a better sense of LA.”

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“It was a long process,” she says about launching the gallery. Some of that could be attributed to starting from scratch. “My range of connections was close to none. From the moment I decided to open the space to when I actually opened it, meeting artists and people I was interested in working with, building up a vision” were part of a larger list of concerns. Of the art that Fette wanted to show, there was a premium placed on work that aimed to add something new to the discussion of art, as well as art that subconsciously demanded an audience. “It’s something that I feel is compelling,” she says. “The way I see the world around me and how I see this piece of art — I need to have more people seeing this and talking about this.”

Once the specifics of the gallery had been laid out, the next logistical concern was finding the proper space. Fette had to think practically, and renting a separate commercial establishment to house artwork wasn’t an option. She decided to go house-hunting for a space that would double as living accommodations and as a suitable venue. “When I was visiting houses, I wasn’t thinking of them as one- or two-bedrooms, I was looking at them as spaces.” And then finally in October, “I had my space — a place I was in love with.”

Though Fette tends to feature European artists “who aren’t normally shown [in the States],” she strives to create an international dialogue among the artists she presents. “You really get a sense of that person, where they come from — just by looking at their work. People can try to say, ‘Art from Germany looks the same,’ but this is kind of breaking the stereotypes.” Fette further muses, “I’m not thinking about a special aesthetic.”

With the continued success of her gallery, Fette is now finally exploring moving the gallery into its own space, but has found the process cumbersome: “The parties involved are a bit difficult. I guess it’s for the best if it wasn’t the best place for me, but I’m definitely looking to move into a new space.” The gallery will boast solo exhibitions by Sandrine Pelletier and Bas Louter before year’s end. And with artists like Pelletier, Louter, Frédéric, and others, Fette’s Gallery has established itself as a very unique attraction in its current Culver City home. If and when Fette finds herself moving to another address, she’ll have plenty of gifted artists willing to lend a hand in luring a new audience to the space’s next incarnation.

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