Chris Anthony's "Venice" Opening at L.A.'s Corey Helford Gallery

Joy Yoon

At the Corey Helford Gallery on Saturday night, body heat was in full force. The gallery was filled with celebrities, artists and the weekend art crowd as they came out to support award-winning photographer Chris Anthony’s Venice, a solo exhibition of his new works.

Anthony’s palette of dreary greys and icy blues created the illusion of an arctic climate for his first major outdoor project. His photographs taken on only dismally overcast days rendered Venice Beach almost unrecognizable to this L.A. native and avid surfer.

According to the artist, “Venice is a metaphor for a sinking city, deserving of nature’s wrath, leaving its citizens to tread water and explore new ways to sustain life on aquatic earth.”

His exhibit revealed a mysterious sinking civilization inhabited by aquatic survivors and lost souls brought about by global warming and rising ocean levels. Unfortunately, Anthony’s desire to raise awareness about climate change ran into a slight snafu -- his show went head to head against Earth Hour (where everyone in the world was asked to turn off their lights for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m.). As the clock struck 8:30, several attendees grumbled about the lack of consideration and wondered why candles couldn’t be lit instead. But those who didn’t notice the time or the date continued to stroll through the gallery and admire the mystery of Anthony’s tidal masterpieces.

Jacinda Barrett strolled through the space with baby on hip as her husband Gabriel Macht chatted with friends. Zooey Deschanel and her fiancée, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard talked with Anthony before they departed. Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg (Roseanne, Big Bang Theory), Emily Deschanel, Vanessa Prager, Jimmi Simpson (Late Show with David Letterman), and more, came through to admire his photographs in all their brightly lit glory.

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