Saturday, July 03, 2004

'Man in Plastic Bag #6' (1996) by Manon Cleary The current issue of the Washington City Paper has one of the best articles about an artist that I have ever read in the Washington press.

The article is by John Metcalfe and it is about Manon Cleary, in my opinion, not only the best artist in the Washington area, but perhaps the most powerful realist brush in the nation.

Manon is represented locally by Addison/Ripley Fine Art and in Baltimore by Light Street Gallery and her life and work read like an artist's life should read - including all the suffering and destruction that goes along with being a creative genius.

John Metcalfe has done a terrific job in re-creating the lifestyle and the life led by Cleary, although I wish the article had included some images of Cleary's artwork.

Let this be the first call for a Manon Cleary retrospective at either the Hirshhorn Museum or the Corcoran.

It is long overdue for one of those two Washington museums to give a well-deserved show to Washington's best-known and most talented artist.

Jeff Bloom has a great new online resource for Greater Washington area photographers. It is DC Photo Scene and it is a really great resource for what's going on our area about or for photography.

I've just been told some great news. There is a committee which is planning an Art-O-Matic for 2004! The official Art-O-Matic website has some info about it.

The Art-O-Matic 2004 Steering Committee has a BLOG here.

Art-O-Matic is without a doubt the single greatest art event that happens in Washington, DC. Nothing comes close to it in visual power and impact.

For information about future Art-O-Matic events, artists should sign up here.

The 2004 Steering Committe has some very talented and well-versed-in-the-DC art scene names.

People such as artists Richard Dana, Judy Jashinsky, Rima Schulkind, Andres Tremols and others as well as collector Philip Barlow and art activist George Koch.

I cannot say enough good things about Art-O-Matic. My review of Art-O-Matic 2002 can be read online here and a second review of that same show can be read here.

If you'd like to be a part of Art-O-Matic 2004, as an artist, performer, or volunteer, check out the information on the Art-O-Matic 2004 Get Involved page.

Hagens sculptureThe long awaited and often-protested against, Gunther von Hagens exhibition “Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" finally makes its U.S. debut in Los Angeles as part of a notorious world tour that started in 1996. The exhibition is at the California Science Center.

Initially intended to teach people about the human skeletal, cardiovascular and other systems, the exhibit includes 25 bodies that have undergone a process called “plastination” in which body fluids are replaced with clear, pliable plastic. It has become an art show, rather than just a science show and somehow pushed aside the YBAs less horrific attempts to do the same with animals.

According to the article, during exhibit stops in Asia and Europe, about 6,000 people have signed papers donating their bodies to von Hagens' institute for possible plastination.

Pushing figurative art even further. Just when one thinks that representational art cannot be coaxed into producing anything "new." And as we all know, "new" is what seduces art critics into auto-thinking "good."