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Porsche Spoilers, Models in Black Cat Burglar Costumes and Word of a New Bryan Caswell Restaurant — Inside a Chic Houston Night

Christopher Martin Gallery Defies Houston's Usual June Blues

BY // 06.09.22
photography Daniel Ortiz

One might not expect this kind of night in June when so many of the swans have flitted off to cooler climes. So what a pleasant surprise it was to arrive at Christopher Martin Gallery to find a flock of fast cars, including a to-die-for Bentley Continental convertible, parked in front and a rocking scene inside the sleek art space on Colquitt. And to get the hint of a new Houston restaurant in the works.

Diamonds and watches from Valobra Master Jewelers, mounted Porsche tail fins (spoilers) transformed into stunning artwork by Johans Lamic, and vignettes of chic men’s fashion from Lucho vied for attention from the clutch that grew more chic as the night wore on.

And then there was 22-year-old Collin Lawrence who had ladies of a certain age swooning over his resemblance to a very, very young Robert Redford. Collin is the cousin of gallery associate director Abigail Henningsen, a beauty in her own right, who dazzled along with gallery director Ally Ondaza. And we might as well mention here the stunning models in black cat burglar costumes accessorized with oodles of sparkling jewels from Valobra. Eye candy everywhere.

Lamic was equally easy on the eyes as the 6-foot-6 commercial airline pilot cum artist visited with collectors interested in his intriguing Whale Tail Project, works which are created in his studio in Majorca. “Whale tail” is the nickname given to tail fins/spoilers on mid-century Porsches — and those are the basis of the collection.

“It’s a Porsche related art project. It’s a tribute to the Porsche racing history,” Lamic explains in his charming French accent. “We’re using real 930 turbo spoilers, which are significantly important in the Porsche history, to turn it into a piece of art.

“It’s an emotional bridge between past and present.”

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Valobra Cat Burglars (2) (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Valobra Cat Burglar models in Valobra jewels posing atop Franco Valobra’s cherry red Ferrari (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

The colorful spoiler artworks are handmade in a process that takes six weeks and are comprised of authentic Porsche elements. In keeping with the theme, there are nine Whale Tail series with 11 models for each. As in the Porsche 911. The limited editions are expected to become coveted collectors items.

In between discussing Dr. Roland Maldonado‘s recent trip to Jordan (yes, he saw Petra), event planner Deborah Elias‘ big Porsche bash in August and Kristen Cannon allowing that Valobra’s new enamel collection has been a major hit, we learned that chef Bryan Caswell and restaurant interiors designer Erin Hicks (who are also partners in life) are teaming up on a new restaurant in the Upper Kirby District.

Amanda Mills, Roland Maldonado (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Amanda Mills, Dr. Roland Maldonado at the Valobra, Christopher Martin Gallery and Lucho summer soirée. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)

Libations from Gentle Ben, sounds from DJ Chris Zane with smart battery from pioneering solar entrepreneur Michael Scherer of CraftStrom powering the turntables. Bites from Steak 48 and dreams of driving off in the Post Oak Motorcars’ Bentley convertible added to the early summer commotion.

PC Seen: Lucho’s Hector Villarreal, Amanda Mills, Jennifer and John Warren, Roz and Alan Pactor, Stuart Rosenberg, Alicia Bakowski, Roz and Alan Pactor, David Victor, Bryce Bell, Richard Piazza, Michelle Alvarado, and Peggy and Darrell Delahoussaye.

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