KEVIN BERLIN


The Desert Sun © 2014
Palm Springs Fine Art Fair opens with fairy tale wedding
by Xochitl Peña

PALM SPRINGS - Artist Kevin Berlin had his bachelor party in Brussels last month and on Thursday during the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair opening reception married his longtime love - Snow White.

The wedding and reception was just one of several over-the-top art installations that helped kick off the three-day event at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. It runs Friday through Sunday.

The opening night reception also honored Harold Matzner as the Arts Patron of the Year.

Matzner, owner of Spencer's restaurant, also serves as chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and McCallum Theatre and vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Councilwoman Ginny Foat presented him with a special proclamation for his support of the arts and community philanthropy efforts that includes work for Desert AIDS Project, Stroke Recovery Center, Temple Isaiah, Animal Samaritans and the Palm Springs Animal Shelter.

"Harold Matzner is an extraordinary community leader and patron of the arts in Palm Springs, the Coachella Valley and beyond, " said Mayor Steve Pougnet in a news release announcing the honor.

"On behalf of the residents of Palm Springs, we thank him for his tremendous contributions to our community and for his incredible support of the arts in our city. He truly is a part of the magic that makes Palm Springs like no place else. "

As for the wedding of Berlin to Snow White - Berlin's actual fiancée, Valerija Plotnikova, whom he met in Mexico several years ago - it was a fairy tale dream of artistic proportions.

It got the attention of many art-goers.

The violinist played "Here Comes the Bride " as Berlin and Snow White made their way down an aisle of the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Sleeping Beauty was the maid of honor and Happy, one of the seven dwarfs, was the best man.

They couple used ring pops as wedding rings. They met when Berlin served as a judge for an international bikini contest. Snow White was Miss Bikini Ireland.

"In your childhood you always have an admiration for fairy tale. His dream was always to get married to Snow White, " said Gregoire Vogelsang, owner of Vogelsang Gallery in Brussels who represents Berlin.

Vogelsang Gallery has a booth at the art fair that feature Berlin's oil-on-canvas paintings.

The opening night festivities also included the world debut of Ride-em Copter by Steve Maloney.

The Rancho Santa Fe artist pimped out a Bell Jet Ranger Helicopter in colored gemstones and a Wild West look that includes a cowhide interior and strategically placed saddle.

Represented by Heather James Fine Art Gallery, Maloney will have the copter on display in the center of the convention hall all weekend. The fair ends Sunday.

Also entertaining the opening night crowd, or at least spurring contemplation, was Tiffany Trenda, a Los Angeles-based performance artist represented by The McLoughlin Gallery. She performed Proximity Cinéma, her newest piece. She performs on Friday, as well.

The fair features post-war and contemporary art and will showcase about 2,500 works of art by more than 60 galleries from around the world. Not only will people be allowed to peruse the artwork but can also attend various panel discussions and meet and greets with the artists