There is the anatomy of art in business. There are the metaphysics of science in the deal.
These are some of the thoughts crossing my mind when I enter and leave Aaron Chang’s world-renowned gallery in Solana Beach’s Cedros Avenue Design District. It feels different here.
Chang’s second meditation gallery is perched in Monterrey’s Carmel Valley where Clint Eastwood is still de facto king (he purchased the water rights — earth’s most valuable resource — years ago) and Pebble Beach draws the best from the world of golf annually.
Chang’s work has generated tens of millions in revenues working with premiere national brands as Apple, Google, Mercedes Benz and North County’s own ViaSat Satellite.
Both Aaron Chang galleries are designed for meditation experiences upon planet earth, healing transformation and are located at premium oceanfront locales — gateways into Chang’s kaleidoscope-realism of this world, a swirl of neon and primary color compositions revealing the beach and shore culture on planet earth… as well as Aaron Chang’s spiritually transformative business values.
As the composition of stannous chloride, his business and art mirror one another. Chang’s studios are designed to help others see the frequencies he sees in the world around all of us. Matter of fact, his vision statement is, “Through art, we will contribute, in a positive way, to the betterment of our culture and inspire our ocean-minded community to appreciate the gift of life.”
Many of his corporate clientele understand: People remember only 10% of information after reading it, but associating an experience with a photograph, art or other visual aid, increases recollection by 65%.
This is the business of art.
When we begin our discussion, however, we talk about how his exhibit at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront property was a healing moment for a young child on New Year’s Eve in 2018.
My family vacationed at the property and at the turn of New Year’s eve midnight, I took a young SharkHeart (my son, a top swimmer with North Coast Aquatics swim club, and track and field record holder) to check out the festivities. He was upset and visibly shaken from the commotion.
Chang’s ocean artwork’s strong composition, vibrant color palette of primaries and signature set of perfect waves in abstract were a moment of soothing and healing for my son.
Chang was also a swimmer, a standout breaststroker, and when I tell him the story, he smiles and says sanguinely, “That one account from my few years at the Hilton Bayfront, is the pinnacle for that experience for me now and made every effort worthwhile.”
Chang punches the last phrase, emphasizing the last prepositional phrase, “and made every effort worthwhile.”
Rather than punch the revenues from the exhibition from the high traffic locale, he pauses at the story of humanity, demonstrative of the art of business and the science of the deal.
Chang’s art, as well as business methodology, are seemingly designed to inspire and heal, often approached from an analytical mindset that quantifies angles, composition, colors and depth of perception to heal and reach us at our highest frequency. That’s the Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery’s deal.
In fact, his business mission statement (he has a value and vision statement as well) states, “Whether teaching students about photography or championing the needy, the gallery will become a leader in the business community by adopting a servant’s heart and using the simple act of giving as a strategy for success. We want everyone who comes into the gallery to leave inspired by their experience.”
Chang’s story is one of many in which his work and an approach of giving is the only form of promotion, engagement and interaction with the audience — he notes the pretense, hype and posturing of the art gallery business. He differentiates his clients as collectors who he has helped rather than one-time purchasers.
His work is priced and sold from $125 for his Everyday Art Collection to one of his most expensive pieces “Black Pearls AP” which sold for $75,000 and Titanium Sea AP paired with NFT (non-fungible token) $50,000. The artist’s proof is the most exclusive part of an edition. The NFT is the same work digitally but the transaction is recorded on the blockchain.
This sentiment of giving back is echoed in his volunteer experience at Sage Executive Group where 12 impresarios of their industry, including Andrew Feghali, CEO of AMF Foods, and Tom Deverell, share and mentor other executives.
Aaron Chang Ocean Art Gallery has successfully bid for healing rooms and hospital exhibits of his work at Sharp Hospital, UC San Diego Health System and Tri-City Hospital where he focuses on enhancing the patient experience with state-of-the-art designed photography that heals.
Chang’s photography is nature-based art, specifically, water imagery, has been curated to refresh the morale of hospital staff, the heart and soul of healthcare facilities.
The gallery’s website value statement intimates that the gallery will “create art that instills a sense of wonder in the beauty of creation, presented in a gallery that conveys an atmosphere of excellence and staffed by happy, motivated art consultants who focus on an excellent client experience.”
Chang arrives at the bottom line by focusing on the human heart and creative ways to explore, uplift and take us all higher between the effervescent meniscus of heaven, earth and ocean. We call it — life. It’s his business. His art.