Gay-Bashed Artist Shows Work at Site of Hate Crime Against Him

Santa Ana artist Skeith De Wine was victimized by gay bashing on Sept., 18, 2008, in front of what is now Belsito Roche Fine Art Gallery on East Broadway in Long Beach.

Exactly a year to the day after the hate crime that left De Wine with severe dental damage, a nose broken in two places and a fractured skull and jaw, a show featuring some of his works opens in the new art space.

"The location of this show or night of the event were not planned," De Wine says in an email to friends and art supporters. "This is a strange coincidence and I don't know what to think of this quite yet."
Skeith De Wine shadow sculptures will be displayed at Belsito and Roche Fine Art Gallery in Long Beach.
Nor does the show have anything to do with hate crimes, far from it. Titled "The Dark Room,"  it deals with the "decadent side of sensuality." Other featured artists include Andre DeLoach, Roberta Nieto, Skobar and Steven H. Garcia. De Wine will be presenting some of his shadow sculptures, glitter paintings and a new piece that is a "sneak peek" into his next art series dealing with ephemera and cigar boxes.

While recovering from his injuries, De Wine could have been expected to channel the crime against him into his art. But, as previously blogged here, he decided instead to "move beyond the negativity and bitterness of the incident" and focus on the friends and local artists who inspired him to overcome his ordeal.

The result was "Pop Dot Art Shop Show-Heroes," his first show since the hate crime, presented in May at his Dancing Dog Art Gallery in the Santiago Train Depot Arts District in Santa Ana.

"I want to thank all of you that made it to my last art show 'Heroes' a couple months back," De Wine writes in his "Dark Room" announcement. "The show was an amazing success and I am thankful to see many of my amazing pieces end up in either collectors or friends hands."

He ends by reminding those same collectors and friends not to forget their checkbooks before coming to the new show, which opens with a reception from 7-10 p.m. Friday at Belsito Roche Fine Art Gallery, 1734 E. Broadway, Long Beach. It remains up through the end of October.

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