Monday, June 28, 2004

Bethesda Art Market

The Bethesda Artist Market is currently accepting applications for the Bethesda Artist Markets scheduled for September 12 and October 10, 2004. Click here for am application and details. I have done two of the three markets staged so far and have sold quite a few pieces. On the average I would say about four to five thousand people have been coming to the Artist Market and that number is growing!

Affordable Housing for Artists...

The Mount Rainier Artist Lofts will open in January 2005!

The Mount Rainier Artist Lofts will provide 44-units of affordable housing for artists and their families adding to the growing revitalization efforts of the Route One Corridor in the Prince George's County Gateway Arts District.

For details, contact:

Angela Blocker
Program Officer, Property Development
Gateway CDC
P.O. Box 306
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
301-864-3860 x 3
301-779-6747 fax

Bad things galleries do to art collectors...

Our area, like most major metropolitan areas, is peppered with stores that have the word "gallery" in their business name, but are very much far removed from what one would consider a true art gallery.

You will always find them in high traffic areas; main thoroughfare streets where "real" galleries could never afford the rent. You also often find them in malls.

I am speaking of the places that sell mass produced decorative works, either by Kinkade wannabes, Spanish-surnamed painters and worse still, the following scam:

Some of Picasso's children inherited many of the plates used by Picasso to create his etchings. Since them, some of those plates have been printed ad nauseum by the current owners and are sold around the world as Picasso prints.

And then, to make matters worse, some of the plates are signed "Picasso" by his offspring owner, who is (of course) technically also surnamed Picasso.

The sales pitch, which is not technically illegal, but certainly unethical, goes something like this:

"This is a real Picasso etching, printed from the original plate and it is signed."

Note that they never state who signed the print.

Hapless buyer purchases the print for a pretty good chunk of change, takes it home and brags to his friends about his signed Picasso.

This will be a hell of a mess for the Antiques Road Show experts to detangle in a couple of hundred years.

And don't even get me started on the great Dali art fraud.

The Washington Post's online site has created a pretty good web portal to access the writing and video reports of Blake Gopnik, its eloquent and opinionated Chief Art Critic. The portal is here.

Why does the Post force Gopnik to use "Washington Post Staff Writer" in his byline? Why not Chief Art Critic, since that is his title?

In fact, it seems all Post writers use/have to use the same "Washington Post Staff Writer" byline description. Bet'cha it's some sort of union thing.


The Elizabeth Roberts Gallery hosts three photographers through July 17: David Smith, Dan Schwartz and Colin Montgomery. The exhibition of these three different photographers really works together, as they all seem to be interested in color and form, principally Schwartz, who photographs Washington scenes and then manipulates them in the computer.

Montgomery, who is originally from the DC area but lives in New York and will soon attend Yale to get his MFA, focuses on several new planned communities in Hong Kong. These vast centers are enormous megalopolises designed to absorb the city’s vast population. Their size and the brutal Chinese variation of Corbusian high modernism, combined with Montgomery’s keen eye and elegant composition, combine to deliver strangely attractive photographs, which somehow cease to be about buildings and people, and move onto the realm of color and form.

David Smith uses a small portable camera to take spontaneous images of New York City public spaces, where he lives. In this sense, Smith joins the ranks of artists who have been described as “urban realists.” However, Smith does differ from the “typical” urban realists’ emphasis on delivering a modern Ashcan view of New York, with information-filled images, by doing exactly the opposite!

He focuses on blank brick walls, windowless buildings, reflective surfaces and patterns of color and texture that Gotham offers to his perceptive eyes in countless variations. In doing so, this urban realist has pushed the definition of that genre, by bringing to our attention objects of seeming inconsequence in a way that makes them into strange surfaces of beauty and color.