LA art gallery VSF owner Esther Kim Varet is on fire

June 10, 2015
Esther Kim Varet (Wall Street Journal)

Esther Kim Varet (Wall Street Journal screen capture)

Esther Kim Varet, owner of Hollywood’s Various Small Fires art gallery, is out to transform Los Angeles’ art scene.

Varet, 33, is a daughter of South Korean immigrants who settled in Dallas. She went on to study at Yale and Columbia before pursuing a doctorate in art history, all the while doing art dealing part-time.

According to Art in America magazine, she entered the art world by working under Paula Cooper and Friedrich Petzel, two noted New York art gallery owners, in 2011.

It was after marriage that she moved to Los Angeles, setting up her first gallery in Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney. It was later moved in 2014 to a 5,000-square foot space in Hollywood, which she remodeled with Johnston Marklee, a local architect.

VSF, opened in 2012, takes its name from artist Ed Ruscha’s 1964 book, “Various Small Fires and Milk.”

It’s been home to buzzed-about exhibitions, including Liz Magic Laser and Samara Golden and Davida Nemeroff’s “Midnight Cowboy.”

Varet told Glasstire last year that she hopes her gallery stands for “a spirit dedicated to pushing the boundaries of visual art production, representation and conception, thinking of art in expanded fields, not just things that hang on a wall.”

Among its most recent shows were Jim Drain’s “Seems/Seams,” Mernet Larsen’s “Chainsawer, Bicyclist, and Reading in bed” and Anna Sew Hoy’s “FACE NO FACE.”

The gallery was included in Los Angeles Magazine’s list of New and Future Museums “shaking things up” last month, described as a “hip edgy gallery.”

Varet told W Magazine that she “[wants] the gallery to become a sculptural object.”

“I want to it to feel alive,” she said.

One Comment

  1. Joe R

    June 10, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    She looks super hot