By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“The dog had a stroke before I had time to do the painting, so I figured I’d better hurry up. I poured a bunch of paint on a board, then I rolled through and he walked through it. That’s how I did my first two paintings.” He realized he could take this further.
In 2005, Tommy Hollenstein had his first gallery show, selling nine paintings, two of them to actor (er, rapper) Joaquin Phoenix. Since then he has sold works to rocker Slash and musician Nick Hexum of the group 311, and writer Dean Koontz has a work on order. Lisette Ackerberg owns abstract works by the likes of Franz Kline, Frank Stella, David Hockney, de Kooning and Picasso. But on her bedroom wall there is a Hollenstein piece called “Unseen.”
Now with his new companion, Hiley, a female yellow lab/golden retriever, Hollenstein no longer has to sell medical supplies; he is a fulltime professional painter. And as a tribute to his late companion, Weaver, Hollenstein sends 10 percent of every sale to Canine Companions.
As Hollenstein and Hiley moved through ART LA at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica a few months back, he was warmly greeted by one well-wishing scenester after another. Hollenstein had rolled into the cloistered L.A. art world and carved out a place for himself.
When he suffered his accident back in 1985, Hollenstein recalls, “I remember thinking that I was not yet ready to die. I asked God to give me another chance.”
Next month, Tommy Hollenstein shows his work in Paris.
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