Sunday, July 31, 2005

Talking Done

Just back from the curator's talk at Seven. A nicely sized crowd showed up, which was a little surprising to me, since usually it has been my experience that these curator talks only attract the artists involved. Thanks to all the DC Art News readers who came by and said howdy.

Bailey has a nice photo storyline of the talk here.

He also managed to fall in love in the subway on the way to Seven and on the way back! The two photos below are courtesy of Bailey:

Campello outside Seven - photo by J.W. Bailey


Me outside Warehouse discussing Seven

Campello discussing Tim Tate's glass sculptures - photo by JW Bailey

Me discussing Tim Tate's work

And the below photo courtesy of Mark Cameron Boyd:

Campello and Alessandra Torres by M. Cameron Boyd

Alessandra Torres discusses her installation

After the talk Alessandra and her family took me out to dinner to Lauriol, where I had some excellent Cuban food.

And Bailey also managed to whip out a monster letter to the Washington Post editors taking Jessica Dawson on for her dismissal of Seven.

It's OK; it's her right as a critic.

And yet, a bad review is better than no review at all. Jessica's expected dismissal of the show has nonetheless resulted in one major sale to an important DC collector.

In addition to Jessica's and John Blee's review, there are three separate other reviews being written right now, and hopefully they will be published soon; let's see what some other observers think.

Curator's Talk

What: Curator's Talk on Seven, an exhibition of 67 WPA/C artists.

When: Today at 2PM.

Where: The seven spaces that make up the Warehouse Theatre and Galleries complex. Located at 1021 7th Street, NW, across from the new Washington Convention Center. We'll start at the top gallery on the third floor.

See ya there!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mid Year Report

As much as I bitch about lack of dedicated art buyers and collectors in the DC area (especially considering the huge amount of wealth in our region), I was surprised to find out when the fair Catriona recently told me that so far this is our best year ever, and that we've already sold more artwork by the end of July than all of last year.

But I am still amazed at the large percentage of non-Washingtonians buying art from us: New York, LA, Floridians, Irish and Brits!

Why?

Waste newsprint space on this?

Directory Assistance

Let me start by saying that the first thing that I usually read when I open my copy of the City Paper is Chris Shott's most excellent "Show & Tell" column. It is usually witty and interesting, and in fact I have contributed to some of them in the past.

But at the risk of pissing off Chris, I think that this week's Directory Assistance (scroll down) piece in "Show & Tell" is much ado about nothing.

Taking one artist's complaint about the WPA/C's Artist's Directory creating a "tiered membership", with more "services going to those who pay for them," is giving an audience to a complaint that is simply economically ridiculous!

It costs $70 to get into the Artist's Directory. In my opinion, that is an excellent adverstising and marketing opportunity for the buck. To expect that your $45 annual WPA/C membership will also cover the cost of printing and distributing the book is immensely naive.

And those directories move!

We sell them (they also get stolen quite often) at our galleries (we turn all proceeds over to the WPA/C) and they sell well, and in the past visiting Sotheby's personnel have acquired them as reference materials. And I know of several artists who have had their exposure in the book create further opportunities (including myself).

Chris writes that "members who failed to come up with the extra cash for the forthcoming 2006 edition of the WPA\C artist directory are missing out on more than just seeing their names, contact info, and sample works in print," referencing the fact that the WPA/C’s latest exhibition, titled "Turning the Page: Artists Selected From the 2006 WPA\C Artist Directory," only looked at those artists who had purchased a page in the book.

So?

The WPA/C also maintains a slide registry. Many of the WPA/C past exhibitions have have their birth in this registry. And yet a lot of member artists do not have any slides in it.

My point is that inclusion in the slide registry and inclusion in the Artist's Directory is open to all artist members; it costs an additional $70 to get into the directory, but that's an economic non-debatable issue.

The alternative would be to raise the annual fee to $115 a year and open the directory to everyone. Were this to happen I suspect that a wail of complaints (more than one solitary voice) would be raised, from artists who do not wish to add the additional expense just to be in the book.

And on a final point, Chris writes:

Yet paying for a page in the directory doesn’t exactly grant you a great shot at showing your work at "Turning the Page." The series, presently curated by WPA\C Project Manager Ingrid Nuss and summer intern Ding Ren, will showcase only nine artists out of about 375 who paid for a listing, or 2.4 percent.
Well, that's what happens when one has a curated show - it is after all a "selection process."

All inclusive shows abound in our area, such as Wall Mountables and Artomatic.

And guess what? A lonely artist voice here and there also routinely complain about those shows, usually the small financial cost associated with them, or requirement to help with gallery sitting, etc.

The WPA/C has had some valid hiccups in the past, but in this case though, this squeaky wheel shouldn't have received any WCP grease.

Wall Mountables at DCAC

Around this town, anytime that you have an open show (meaning a show without a juror or curator), the critics tend to immediately savage it. This seems to be a predictable critical analysis somewhat unique to our area's visual arts and artists as viewed by most of our area critics.

Once a year, the District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC), through a show called "Wall Mountables," allows any and all artists to hang anything they want, so long as it fits within a two square foot space. That exhibition opened last night to a huge crowd, and hangs at DCAC until September 4, 2005.

And in my opinion, after having seen several years' worth of "Wall Mountables," and after having participated in several of them myself, and after having purchased art in some of them, this is the best "Wall Mountables" so far.

The show is hung salon-style, as every precious inch of wall space has been claimed by artists. A prize, for best use of the space, was awarded on opening night by DCAC Executive Director B. Stanley as selected by several "Best Use of Space" jurors: Michael O'Sullivan, one of the the WaPo's art critics, DCAC Board members Philip Barlow and Marc Cohen and someone else whose name I cannot recall.

The winner was the fair Kathryn Cornelius, who's riding a hot streak recently, including receiving lots of attention for her video piece in the Warehouse's "Seven" show. Cornelius intelligently employed her two foot square by installing a glass-encased swing gate, inside which she created an installation of written words on a collection of matchbooks.

The buzz artist of the night was Ben Tolman, whose superbly weird little paintings and drawings were selling like hot cakes (I bought three of them). Tolman, who recently graduated from the Corcoran, and who has an impressive piece included in the Warehouse's "Seven" show, is represented by a dozen or so small paintings and drawings, which although showing a tremendous influence by the works of the equally odd Robert Crumb, nonetheless show young Mr. Tolman's own unique views and creative hand at work in his weird world of three breasted women, space aliens and sad girls.

Clown by Todd GardnerI also quite liked Todd Gardner's series of works focused on clowns; really odd and somewhat scary clowns - more like a Stephen King version (such as in his masterpiece It) than a Red Skelton kind of clown.

Gardner's works are frenetic and full of information, and in his own clown infested world, almost make sense in some oddly familiar way, cleverly dragging us into these intimate-sized works that then bring the viewer into Gardner's Stephenkinguesque macabre clownland.

I also liked Natalie Marcy's resin and plaster wall sculptures.

They are (I assume) dipped images of Natalie's face; there are three of them in the exhibition.Natalie Marcy's artwork

In the sculptures in the show, Marcy has employed the same multiple portrait approach, to deliver interesting, if slightly surreal, imagery, as if we're looking at the artist's face from an underwater perspective.

Kristin Freeman, who is DCAC's departing gallery manager, also has several handsome mixed media drawings in the show. And the fair Candace Keegan has several of her sexy portraits on exhibit, drawing the usual attention from everyone.

Peter Gordon has a singularly brilliant painting in the exhibition titled "Easy Does It." It is one of those clear paintings with an unexpectedly mundane subject (a salt and pepper shaker) that delivers a good lesson in what a good painter can do to keep the "ancient medium" alive and fresh.

Study this painting and you'll soon discover, in the elegant way in which Gordon has handled the paint, what a dab of white can do to create the illusion of light and a third dimension on the confines of a two dimensional canvas. No matter how many times I see this painting trick effectively accomplished, it still takes my breath away. That is why a thousand years from now, art galleries all over the universe will still sell paintings.

There's also one of those beautifully fragile laminated plywood wall sculptures by Nancy Samson Reynolds that are sensual and minimalist. It stands out both visually and figuratively.

Work by Anna Edholm DavisOn the same wall as Nancy's sculpture there are four mixed media pieces by Anna V. Davis, whose recent show at Gallery Neptune was quite good.

The works are colorful and visually attractive and also demand closer attention, as one discovers the craft of Davis' hands at work.

Initially giving the appearance of a very complex mosaic, we are fooled by Davis into thinking that her work is just sort of a square pointillist genre of painting.

Bring your nose closer to the work, and discover that in addition to painting, Davis has secured thousands of tiny paper pieces, to in effect create a mixed media of collaged paper and paint, to in reality created a paper mosaic of her unusually contemporary figurative work.

It is colorful and intelligent (and obviously enormously time consuming), and marries the ancient tradition of inlaid mosaic work, with a new fresh interpretation and look.

My final mention goes to a really nice photograph by Jennifer Dorsey, titled "Diversity in Monotony." It is one of those photographs that stands out by its clarity and starkness, although I wondered how it would look about ten times larger than the two foot space given to it.

Go see this show and buy some artwork.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Wanna go to an Opening?

Loads of openings tonite... see some of them here.

I'll drop by for a little while to see DCAC's Wall Mountables show.

See ya there!

La Llorona for Sale

After receiving a few emails asking for this particular drawing, I'm putting "La Llorona" (or the "Weeping Woman" -- one of the drawings that I recently did while visiting San Diego), for sale. You can bid for it here.

La Llorona is 12.25 x 3.375 inches on 300 weight paper. Matted in a pH-balanced, acid free white mat to 20x8 inches. It is inspired by my interest in the legend of La Llorona as well as by a photograph by the great Danny Conant.
La Llorona, click on drawing for a larger image
Bid for La Llorona here.

The 2005 MFA Graduates Exhibition

When the Arlington Arts Center re-opened after extensive renovation a few months ago, I predicted that it would become one of the key art venues in our area.

Two concurrent and current exhibitions at the Center -- The 2005 MFA Graduates Exhibition and Art from Arlington – prove me right.

The MFA exhibition is described in the Center’s news release as delivering "fresh ideas and exciting works by 13 dynamic new artists who have just received the Master of Fine Arts Degree from universities in Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland, some of whom have already exhibited in New York galleries."

And for once, the news release is pretty close to the target. The works in this show truly do exemplify the high quality, innovation and intelligence of the artwork currently emerging from some of our area’s universities; especially the Richmond area. The show includes all genres of the contemporary arts: installation, sculpture, photography, digital prints and mixed media drawing and painting.

The participating MFA graduate artists are: Diana Al-Hadid, Sarah Bednarek, Megan Biddle, Jan Filsinger, Natalie Guerrieri, Shawn James, Chris Metzger, Timothy Michael Martin, Nick Moses, Cara Ober, Lee Vaughan, Valentine Wolly and Andrew Yff.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has one of the best graduate programs in the nation, with budding baby stars like Alessandra Torres (currently exhibiting in DC at my "Seven" exhibition at the Warehouse Gallery) and Claire Watkins (whose spectacular work I reviewed when she was included in the Arlington Art Center’s re-opening show). So it is no surprise that the best piece in this show is by VCU graduate Megan Biddle.

And Biddle steals this show early and easily. She weaves her artistic magic in the least expected of places; that one genre of art slowly but surely being dragged away from craft into fine art by a few brave souls: glass.

Biddle has a piece titled "Plumage." At first sight, you are deceived by it (in a sensory sort of way, especially if you read the title of the piece before you see it).

Then you get closer and you discover that Biddle has created a plumage-like effect by putting together a diverse set of broken glass pieces (did you collect them or did you make them Megan?) and has cleverly glued them together to give the appearance of plumage.

But they are not glued. In fact, if you press your face against the wall and study the work from a sharp perspective, you see that Biddle has drilled a tiny hole into each piece of glass, which then hangs suspended from an invisible (made invisible by the glass in front of it) structure of chicken wire.

Can materials, technique and creativity get any cleverer? Brilliant piece and a perfect title Megan! Bravo!

Now... I want to see a dozen of these; all in different colors and shapes.

Art from Arlington

In a concurrent exhibition, the Center had a call for Arlington artists to submit slides, and the resulting exhibition now offers us a view of what 30 plus Arlington artists are focusing their creative talents upon.

Who steals this show? Mmm... tough call.

Group shows are hard to review without sounding like a member of the all-negative critic team. The weak member(s) of the show drag everyone else down, but also make the stand-outs really... Uh... stand out!

Unfortunately, this is a rather middle of the road show – not in the sense that it is a bad show, but in the sense that this show tends to "blend in" into an amalgamation of what is happening in every art community in America today.

I’ve curated shows twice as large as this and have come up with exactly the same results; so I’ve lived inside this monster and know of what I am writing about.

So, first let me applaud the Arlington Arts Center for doing the right thing with this show (do it every year!)… I like shows that show the pulse of an arts community… and the Arlington Arts Center should make it part of its mission to continue to show us the caliber of the artwork being produced in Arlington; my kudos to its talented curator Carol Lukitsch – Bravo Carol!

So who stands out in my walkthrough of the show (opening very well attended by the way)?

There’s Bobbi Baumann Vischi... I am not sure if Bobbi is standing out for the right or wrong reasons though.

Baumann Vischi’s piece is titled "Boy Child – Rite of Passage," and it is technically a brilliant piece. But at first I thought that I was looking at a piece by Tim Tate or Michael Janis from the Washington Glass School.

Baumann Vischi’s piece is one of those deep relief cast glass pieces that were first done and perfected around here at the Washington Glass School by Tim Tate (represented by us) and Erwin Timmers (represented by Studio Gallery); since Tate and Timmers offer classes, it was but a matter of time before one of their students (and I don't know if Baumann Vischi is a former student) would channel their teachers and come up with a replica of the sort of work that has made Tate, Janis and other Washington Glass School people stand out on a class of their own when it comes to "narrative" glass.

And Baumann Vischi’s piece certainly shows tremendous technical skill, but lacks originality – a harsh, but honest thing for me to express. My advise: Push your own vision rather than channeling your inspirators.

So who stands out?

Let’s start with Josephine Haden, who continues to baffle me with her paintings; which I’ve seen many times over the last few years – most recently at Strictly Painting V.

Haden’s work is one of those that must be described: In the two pieces in this show ("Rescue II" and "Crossing"), Haden uses broad strokes to describe an ocean... not a meticulous sea painting here, but broad, plain blue strokes that describe an almost naïve ocean.

And that just where Haden’s work stops being naïve.

She then adds landscape features, children on rafts, dogs, helicopters – you name it, and Haden can paint it! This is an artist who can visualize a collage (which is what her work initially appears to be) and use a talented brush to translate it into canvas.

And then there’s J.T. Kirkland.

Kirkland is an online buddy of mine. Just like me, he’s a blogger (his Blog is Thinking About Art) and an artist (his website is www.jtkirkland.com) ; And his work – inspired by minimalism and consisting of elegant planks of wood with patterns of holes drilled into it – simply are SO different from everything else on this exhibition, that they stand out!

And damned the consequences, but Kirkland’s – for better or for worse (for better in my opinion) – stands out in an otherwise blurry cast of characters… and being "different" is a big component of being "good"… right?

And he received a Doris Day sweet spot in the lower level galleries... center of the room, good lighting; his two entries – just look minimalist and different!

And after walking the galleries a few times, and enjoying the power of an Arts Center rapidly becoming the key art link in its community, I was pleased to absorb the fact that Arlington, its artists and this Center are going to offer a lot of great shows and great artists for many years to come!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Georgetowner review

You can read the John Blee review of Seven in the Georgetowner newspaper here.

Nekkid Museum goers

This will never, ever, happen in an American museum.

Venus for Sale

In the spirit of Duane Kaiser, and of J.T. Kirkland, and of Bailey, and of Alexandra Silverthorne, and after a few readers suggested it, I've decided to start posting some original artwork here for sale.

As there's no way I can do one of these a day (I applaud Duane Kaiser's incredible art work ethic!), it will probably be once a week or so.

The first piece being offered is an orginal charcoal drawing, circa 2004, titled "Venus Standing at the Edge of the World." The piece is approximately 5 inches high by 4 inches wide and it is matted and framed to 14x11 inches in a black, matte wood frame under glass. Signed, titled and dated on the front in pencil recto on lower margin, and also on verso. Starting bid is $99. Bid on this drawing here.
Venus Standing at the Edge of the World
Starting bid is $99. Bid on this drawing here.

Artwork stolen

When anything and everything is art, things like this happen!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Gallery Openings and Talks

dot Friday, July 29, 7-9PM. DCAC has Wall Mountables, one of the best open shows on the planet! (Disclaimer: I've been part of it in the past, and will probably be part of it in the future). The entire DCAC upstairs space will be covered by original artwork from DC area artists. Details here.

dot Friday, July 29, 6-8PM. The Kathleen Ewing Gallery is having an exhibit of creative three-dimensional birdhouses to benefit the cats at the Washington Animal Rescue League. Exhibition runs through Sept. 3, 2005.

dotFriday, July 29, 6-9PM. Bringing It All Together: The Art of Joyce Lomax. Join Ramee Art Gallery as they host their last show on 14th Street. They are featuring the art of Atlanta-based artist Joyce Lomax. Ramee Art Gallery will relocate to 606C Rhode Island Avenue, NE on August 20, 2005 after 13+ years on 14th street.

dot Sunday, July 31, 1-7PM. The Dupont Society will host its first community-wide art exhibition on July 31st, 2005! The opening will be held from 1pm - 7pm at 2105 S Street, NW.

dot Sunday, July 31, 3-5PM. Images of Life, an exhibition featuring the works of Afrika Midnight Asha Abney at Phish Tea, 1335 H St NE Washington, DC from July 31, 2005 - September 3, 2005. An artist's talk will take place on August 13, 2005 from 5-9pm.

come listenSunday, July 31, starting at 2PM. I'll be giving a Curator's Talk discussing Seven currently on exhibit at the great Warehouse complex on 7th Street. Come and say hello.

Blee on Seven

There's a major review of Seven in the Georgetowner today written by their art critic John Blee.

I'll have a link up as soon as Georgetowner puts it online.

Update: The review is online; it's page 30 here.

The Power of the Web

So there's a heavy metal punk rock band from Illinois called Beneath the Hollow, who apparently read DC Art News and found Bailey's photography as a result.

And now those righteous young boys have approached Bailey and asked him about permission that would grant them a limited license to use one of his images from the "Cemetery Saviour" series for band promotional materials: T-shirts, etc.

And they've struck a deal! Bailey has more details and the whole story here.

Openings

There are a lot of openings this coming Friday... come back later for a list, and also a review of a couple of the shows currently on exhibit at the new Arlington Arts Center.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Opportunity for Artists

Warehouse will be hosting their 4th Annual Where is the Peace? show.

This 4th annual show at Warehouse is devoted to the Peace effort. The show opens September 16 (a week before the March for Peace in Washington and other cities around the country, September 24th) and will stay up through October 2nd.

Send digital images of your entries to Molly Ruppert at ruppertm@erols.com by August 17th to be considered for inclusion in the show.

New Arts Organization

The Dupont Society is a new arts organization. They are named after the Dupont Circle area, where is organization is based.

Their first exhibition opens next Sunday, July 31st at 1PM. Details here.

Welcome to our area's cultural tapestry!

Studio Space Available

The Arlington Arts Center has a vacancy in its large 600 square foot, 4-artist studio. Available for 2-year lease, with second and third two-year period renewable upon review and approval. Artists in group studio are eligible to apply for individual studios when available, but maximum residency for all AAC resident artists is six years. In addition to the studio, artists will have access to shared facilities, including lounge area, mini-kitchen, and bath with shower.

Deadline for applications is September 15. Space is available October 1, 2005. Selection criteria will include artistic merit, potential for collaborative outreach approach to art and to the community, and diversity of artist representation.

For more information and to download an application, visit the website at www.arlingtonartscenter.org or contact them at 703.248.6800 or via email at info@arlingtonartscenter.org.

The Arlington Arts Center is located at 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA, 22201, one block from the Virginia Square Metro station on the Orange Line.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Nekkid pics

In a brilliant attempt to drive traffic to his new art Blog, Bailey is posting nekkid pictures of his ex-girlfriends.

See them here.

CNN on Seven

I am told that the CNN spots on Seven will be running this week; I'm on the road again this morning, so if anyone sees them, please let me know.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

New BLOG

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Blogsphere, Bailey has a new daily art Blog.

And he's already stirring the art pot by jumping into the MFA Boston debate.

Visit Black Cat Bone often.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Fair

Away all day today at an art fair, and again tomorrow; more later.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Bailey on BORF

Bailey, Bailey, Bailey...

The following article was intended for publication in the Washington Post upon the arrest of its anonymous writer, James W. Bailey, on charges of aiding and abetting the graffiti artist known as Borf. The article was leaked by a confidential source within the White House (Karl Rove) to DC Art News and is being published in advance of the arrest of Mr. Bailey. DC Art News does not have a confidentiality agreement with Mr. Bailey to preserve his anonymity as the writer of this special contribution to the Washington Post and is therefore publishing it in its entirety.
"For Those Too Young to Die (Yet Too Old to Tag), We Salute You!"
by James W. Bailey

(Washington, D.C.) Minutes after the once-elusive graffiti artist known as Borf was transferred from Metropolitan D.C. police to the U. S. Marshall’s Service for extradition to Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo, Cuba, several hundred of his young angry disgruntled disciples had a message for those outraged by Borf’s graffiti.

"This is just the beginning!" chanted the mob as it hurled empty spray paint cans toward a frightened Mayor Anthony Williams who was standing linked arm-in-arm with shell-shocked federal officials outside the Municipal Courts Building. "Now even more rich suburban kids from Northern Virginia are going to invade your city and come out in protest, so this isn't the end!”

If the mob’s intent was to intimidate the nattily dressed mayor by raising the specter of in his words "spoiled prep school elitist Starbucks latte-sipping adolescent anarchist jackasses from across the Potomac" descending on every blank wall in the city until Borf, aka Michael Tsmobikos, is freed, it didn't work.

"You wanna-be punk artists are going down the wrong path," Williams frantically screamed while dogging cardboard stencils tossed like Frisbees his way. "Don’t you disrespectful jerks realize you're destroying private property?! Don’t any of you aesthetically lacking idiots understand the value of the free enterprise capitalist system and its importance to furthering a graffiti-free environment that is safe for tourists?! Is there even one suburban brat among you who has ever read any Ayn Rand?! Don’t any of you untalented fools realize that your so-called ‘tags’ aren’t really art in the first place?!"

As laughter erupted from the swarming gang of aggressive graffiti artists, a rancorous collective response of “Free Borf! Free Borf! Free Borf!” was also rudely hurled along with other accoutrements of the street graffiti trade at Williams and Vice-President Dick Cheney, who had agreed at the last minute to appear at the press conference announcing the federalization of Borf’s criminal case.

The gang of boys assembled from Great Falls, McLean, Reston and other high income zip codes in Virginia, met Williams's and Cheney’s paternal gaze with hard, unblinking stares of their own. Either it was the boldest of bluffs or the boys who confronted the representative powers of Washington, D.C. truly believed they could summon an army of graffiti artists/taggers who would swarm over the city's unprotected walls like rats in "Willard."

Recounting the confrontation 30 minutes later in the anteroom of his office at City Hall, Williams was still angrily shaking his head about the boys' "misplaced hero worship of this punk crap artist Borf."

"Borf and those rich white boys from Virginia who helped him and who support him declared war on the city," said Williams nervously shaking his fist. Asked what he was going to do about a possible resurgence of wide-spread anti-capitalist graffiti in the city, Williams angrily waved a copy of an ordinance he first proposed to Washington, D.C. City Council two years ago, only to see it narrowly defeated.

"We're reintroducing this emergency legislation next week that will make it a felony crime for white minors who are non-residents of the City of Washington, D.C. to buy or possess spray paint, indelible markers or etching acids, as well as all the other tools these graffiti terrorists use, including cardboard for their stencils," he said. "This thing, whether it's a fad or an art form, which every sane person knows it’s not art by the way, or just plain vandalism created to incite terrorist insurrection, as I believe it is, has got to stop. And this Mayor is damned determined to stop people like Bork dead in their tracks."

Vice-President Cheney, who joined Williams in his hurriedly relocated press conference, echoed Williams sentiments and explained the federal government’s role in the Borf case: "The outstanding investigative work of the joint city and federal task force that tracked down and arrested this so-called graffiti artist has at last put an end to the terroristic actions of Borf and has effectively ended the deluded notion that Borf’s tags were a respectable form of art. Borf’s tags were clearly not art. They were coded terrorist messages that were designed to encourage intellectually gullible and emotionally susceptible children to murder their parents while asleep in their beds. Tags like “Grown Ups Are Obsolete”. Any rational American knows what that message is attempting to communicate to the youth of America. It’s also quite clear to the government that Borf’s campaign of terror against the people of Washington, D.C. was being financed by Al Qaeda. Borf himself has confessed to traveling to Europe to protest the G-8 conference. As is quite clear from recent CIA reports, Al Qaeda financed most of those protestors. Borf has therefore been declared an enemy combatant and has been transferred to Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo, Cuba, for further torture, uh, a torturous, that is a very thorough interrogation."

When asked if he had agreed to the federalization of Borf’s crimes in order to placate White House demands that were tied to an impending announcement of Presidential support of the Mayor’s efforts to secure statehood for the district, Williams bristled: "That is pure B.S.! The Mayor of Washington, D.C. does not do the quid pro quo biding of the White House when it comes to protecting the citizens of this city from terrorists like Borf. This Mayor does the right thing. And the right thing was to allow the federal government to handle Borf."

Cheney offered a similarly stern response: "Look, Mayor Williams is a hero in the effort to defeat terrorism and to secure the apprehension of this terrorist thug Borf. As we all know, federal legislation has long allowed the RICO statue to be used to federalize the cases of young African-American gang members who engage in acts of graffiti terrorism. There was a loophole in the law. No one ever really saw the day when rich white kids would be bold enough to leave their comfortable suburban stomping ground to wage a terrorizing campaign against the City of Washington, D.C. with their Al Qaeda funded messages of anarchy and anti-consumerism. Obviously, we need to have Congress immediately beef-up the current anti-gang laws that are on the books. But the allegation that President Bush somehow suggested to the Mayor that if he didn’t support the government’s position on Borf that that action would threaten future support of DC statehood is ridiculous and is blog generated propaganda being spread by Borf’s anti-American supporters to increase the mythology of Borf among extremists."

Though Williams remains an implacable foe of anti-capitalistic graffiti, he isn't without a small degree of sympathy for young men like Borf. He insists that he understands their alienation, but he's more offended that people feel they have the right to assert their identity at the expense of property owners and taxpayers who'd rather not provide their walls for someone's therapy.

"Look, I’m a human being and understand the pain of other people. Borf’s mother came to me after his arrest to say her son was innocent," Williams said. "I told her that I felt sorry for her, but that she shouldn't hold her son in awe because there's nothing exciting about that punk. Let’s get real. Borf’s not even that charismatic. And worse, he doesn't even have a single original idea he can call his own. ‘For God sakes’, I told her, ‘he reads stupid French books on B.S. philosophy by some dead guy who committed suicide named Guy Debord!’"

In a highly emotional state, with his lips quivering as he spoke, Williams continued: "Look, it’s not like Borf's protesting the War in Iraq with his graffiti. He's not doing anything to advance society or politics. And he’s especially not doing anything to advance the concept of art! Sure, some graffiti is at least interesting to look at, but not Borf’s. His stuff is all crap! And it’s certainly not real art. To Borf’s supporting art critics, I ask this: what’s Borf’s original aesthetic message? What the lasting impact of his art? Where do you really feel Borf’s place will be in the future pantheon of great artists? Borf is a gutter punk wannabe artist and that’s where he’ll always be."

When questioned about the critical legitimacy of street graffiti as a respected art form, Williams nervously continued his defensive tirade: "Look, we have all kinds of real galleries and museums in the city where you can go and see some real art. Real art has no place out on the streets anyway. Real art ought not to be out in the real world where it’s exposed to the elements and can be rained on. Any person with half a brain that knows anything about real art knows that. The Washington Post’s chief art critic Blake Gopnik doesn’t like street art. He didn’t think those Party Animals were real art, did he? So I’m in respectable company with this opinion because I don’t either. Street art is for untalented artists who don’t merit gallery representation. My advice to people like Borf is to keep your so-called art off outdoor public property and spend more time in your studio learning how to paint pictures of the Washington Monument that you can sell to tourists at the Torpedo Factory."

In an extraordinary related development, President Bush deviated from the script of his weekly press conference on Iraq, also held on the same day, to comment on the Borf situation. The following is a transcript of Bush’s remarks:
"I’m reminded that today that this young fella Borf who’s been painting these evil statements about kids killing their parents, has finally been arrested.

Terrible kid. And make no mistake here, he's a terrorist. This kid Borf.

It’s a sad day in some ways this day that’s today, with Borf being arrested. This Culture of Death thing that I’m always talking about has infected Borf and his supporters.

And some of these elitist academic art idiots... uh intellectuals call Borf’s bagging [sic tagging] art! Well, that’s just plain dumb. Bagging [sic tagging] death slogans around town is not art! Every real American knows that! You can’t spray paint a sign that says 'Kill Me Mommy' and call that art!

What’s wrong with the youth of today?

And what about that big Borf head painted over there on the bridge by the river? That was an act of terrorism. Somebody could have been killed looking at that awful thing. Could have gotten distracted and driven their car into the Potomac. We can’t have stuff like that going on in the nation’s capital.

The federal government, this President of the United States of America, has a solemn obligation to protect the people of this country from evil merchants of death like Borf.

Your President knows what good art is. I think good thoughts about good art all the time.

And good American people of good conscience know what really good art is all about too.

Borf, well, that’s not really good real art. We all know that.

It really hurts me at a very personal level that some have suggested that this President doesn’t like art. George W. Bush loves art. Laura and I have more Thomas Kindkade paintings at home in Crawford than we’ve got heads of cattle.

Your President loves art. Let me repeat it: George W. Bush Loves art. Real art that is. But Borf’s not a real artist.

Look, this President ordered his State Department to approve the selection of that great American artist Eduardo Rusario [sic Ed Ruscha] to appear at the Venice Benfoldsfive Finale [sic Venice Biennale] over there in Italy. This exhibition features some really good rock solid thought provoking contemporaneous art [sic contemporary art].

Eduardo now is a real American artist. Works with a style called Mini-anti-female-materialism [sic minimalism]. Real cutting edge stuff, man! I don’t pretend to understand it, but I just know this: Eduardo’s art ain’t telling people to go out and burn an American flag like Borf’s so-called art is doing. Eduardo’s art is not encouraging children to kill their parents.

And Eduardo’s art, well, I just think that his art is the kind of condom-draineous art [sic contemporary art] this country needs more of. We need more artists like Eduardo making more of that mini-van-ballistic [sic minimalist] stuff. That stuff makes you think, man! But it don’t make you think about things Americans ought not to be thinking too much about. You understand what I’m saying?

The American people need to know that their President loves really good contempt-for-paineous art [sic contemporary art] like the minimum-wage-unrealism [sic minimalism] stuff that Eduardo makes.

But let me also emphasize that really good American art, know matter what style it is, even good graffiti art if there is such a thing, also needs to be confined to what I call the 'WWW – white-walled world.'
A legacy of presumed guilt levied by the President of the United States of America is certainly too heavy a public burden for anyone with common sense to bear willingly. Since his arrest in Washington, D.C., many of Borf’s friends, and even some of his most outspoken critics, have raised the possibility that Borf may be the unluckiest of patsies – a Lee Harvey Oswald, if you will, of the contemporary art world. Some wonder whether the true culprits are, indeed, the growing legion of disaffected educated suburban white kids now threatening to scrawl their defiance of the law on walls in the hearts of metropolitan cities all over America in Borf's name.
James W. Bailey

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

Art from Arlington opens at the new Arlington Art Center tonight with an opening reception from 6-9PM.

See ya there!

Artrain USA

Artrain USA, an art museum housed on a train, addresses the shortage of and lack of value placed on cultural programming in American communities by introducing the arts to individual residents while helping communities build their capacity to grow and sustain cultural programs.

Artrain USA provides quality art exhibitions complemented by strong art education programs and community outreach activities. For 34 years, Artrain USA has traveled to as many as 35 communities and reached 100,000 people annually. Since 1971, approximately 3 million people in 750 communities across 44 states have visited Artrain USA.

Artrain USA hosts the contemporary Native American art exhibition, Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture.

This exhibit will stop in Manassas, Virginia from July 28-31, 2005. Artrain USA is looking for artists to make art work on site during its stop in Manassas and they are looking for volunteers. If anyone is interested, they can send contact Philip Barlow at philipbarlow@msn.com and he will pass it along to the appropriate people. Artists do not have to be Native American to participate, just willing to help support this worthy project.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More work

I'll be curating a show for a small Virginia museum in the near future; details later.

WaPo on Seven

Jessica Dawson has a mini review of Seven in today's Washington Post's Galleries column. Read it here.

Scotty is dead

James Doohan, the Canadian chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and movies who responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died Wednesday. He was 85.

Fair winds and following seas, Scotty.

Airport run-in

It's an odd application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but I am always amazed at how chaos and order seem to cease to exist at airports.

I've had some interesting airport experiences in my life (none weirder than this one), such as sitting next to Darth Vader and selling him a drawing, or meeting Ana Mendieta when she was a graduate student (and getting a drawing from her).

But tonight, when I arrived at Dulles, I ran into Vance.

Vance is an American of Chinese ancestry, who happens to be an ex-Army Ranger, and one of the most lethal people on this planet. This is the kind of a guy who can kill you in a dozen different ways before you even know he's killing you.

Me: "Vance! What are you doing here?"

Vance [stares until he recognizes me]: "Lenny! I didn't recognize you... you're wearing a suit!" [Vance's imagery of me is in other style clothing].

Vance: "What's with the hair?" [I've been growing my hair]

Me: "What have you been up to?" [actually sounded like "What'cha bin up ta?"]

Vance: "Been training for a big fight in Argentina." [Vance is part of an "under-the-noise" circuit that fights for big money in freestyle fighting all over the world - a few years ago he actually lost an eye in a fight].

Me: "Mmmm.."

Vance: "I think a broke my clavicle in training though..."

Me: "Ahh..."

Vance: "I've been on travel though... so I haven't had time to see a doctor."

Me: "You should before you enter that tournament..."

Vance: [looking at me like that "here's your sign" comedian from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour] "yeah..."

Me: "see ya Vance..."

Vance: "Take care Lenny..."

Airports...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

BORF vs The WaPo

We all know that street artist/graffitist/vandal BORF was arrested recently and that WaPo reporter Libby Copeland wrote this piece on the subject.

And then, several of the below have turned up on the sidewalks near the WaPo building...

street graffiti near Wash Post building

and...

second set of street graffitti

A little trivia for you (don't ever play Trivia Pursuit against me)... Vandalism is from the word Vandal. The Vandals were a German tribe that, at the fall of the Roman Empire, swept across Europe leaving behind a trail of destruction, wreckage and... uh... vandalism.

They eventually settled in southern Spain as a people. The land that they settled in is today known as Andalusia... the word Andalusia is a derivative of the Arabic Var Andalus which borrows from the Latin Vandalus... or The Land of the Vandals.

Fierce!

Airborne today...........

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: July 28, 2005

New York Hall of Science Juried Exhibition - DIGITAL'05: "EXQUISITE" is the 7th Annual International Digital Print Competition & Exhibition organized by Art & Science Collaborations; Oct. 1, 2005 - Jan. 15, 2006 at The New York Hall of Science, NYC. Digital'05 invites an examination of the nature of "exquisite" in all of its ramifications. This year's juror is Lynn Gamwell, Director of the Binghamton University Art Museum, Binghamton, New York, and Curator of the Gallery of Art and Science at the New York Academy of Sciences, New York City. $5/per image submission. See Prospectus for full details & Online Entry Form here



Deadline: July 31, 2005

Thousands of photographers compete in the annual International Photography Awards (IPA) competition. Fifteen finalists (eight professionals and seven non-professionals) are nominated for IPA's top award: The International Photographer of the Year Award, and invited to the Lucie Awards (October 17 at the American Airlines Theatre), where one winner will be announced, earning the coveted Lucie and $10,000. Visit their Web site for a competition entry form: www.photoawards.com.


Deadline: August 12, 2005

Texas Erotic Art Show - An erotic art theme exhibition open to all interpretation of erotic art, on all forms of medium. This is a commission free exibit. Deadline for entry is September 5, 2005. Handling fee of $20 per piece on all work sold The Exhibition will be held Oct. 21-22, 2005 in Austin, Texas. Early Submission Fee $30 for 1-4 slides, prints or images on CD. Please include $5 for each additional slide, print or image on CD. Late Submission Fee $40 for 1-4 slides, prints, or images on CD. Please include $10 for each additional slide, print or image on CD, deadline Sept. 16th. Online entry form at this website or e-mail: info@mavericksunarts.com or send SASE to:
Maverick Sun Arts,
2900 W Anderson LN C-200-#351
Austin TX 78757


Deadline: Feb 28, 2006

Yavapai College is seeking contemporary
work in all media for 4-5 week display, 2006-07 school year. Insurance. Please send 15 slides, list, resume, statement, SASE, etc to:
Edie Dillon
Yavapai College
Visual & Performing Arts
1100 E Sheldon St
Box 6850
Prescott AZ 86301 or call 928-776-2031 or email edie_dillon@yc.edu

Mark Jenkins Strikes Again



This time in Baltimore. See the small plastic tape bird atop the sign?

Opportunity for Artists

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is requesting proposals for exhibitions for its main gallery space for periods of approximately 4-6 weeks. Proposals will be accepted from artists, independent curators, or arts organizations.

Visit this website for more details.

Frank's Back!

Frank Van Riper's award-winning photography column in the Washington Post has been re-launched!

Frank Van Riper on Photography has appeared in the WaPo since 1992, first in the Friday Weekend section and for the past five years in the Camera Works section of Washingtonpost.com.

However, Van Riper has been absent from CameraWorks for more than a year. Principally, this hiatus allowed Frank and his wife and partner Judith Goodman to complete work on their six-year book project on Venice: Serenissima: Venice in Winter.

With that book now done, Van Riper has resumed his regular space in CameraWorks -- in a new incarnation that will allow even greater display of photography, as well as give Frank a chance to offer more timely reviews and recommendations of what is new and notable in the visual arts world, both in Washington and elsewhere.

This is a good thing for our area's cultural tapestry. Welcome back Frank!

Two Billion Dollars

Is what's needed urgently by the Smithsonian Institution in order to "maintain its 660 buildings and care for the millions of objects, documents, and photographs in its collections over the next decade."

Read it all here.

Monday, July 18, 2005

All day

I'll be lecturing and yapping all day here in San Diego... more later.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Drawings

Since yesterday I didn't spend all day at the International Comic Book Convention - because of the huge lines - I instead decided to go do some artwork.

Because I work in charcoal, I always bring some supplies with me while I travel: pencils, sticks, paper and erasers, plus a fixative spray can.

So I bought a six pack, packed it inside a plastic garbage can from my hotel room and covered it with ice and drove to Spanish Landing to do some drawings. And I found an empty bench, and set up to draw some small drawings...
My San Diego Drawing Bench

This is my drawing bench - facing the water at Spanish Landing


I ended up doing a few small drawings overe the next few hours.
San Diego Bench in Spanish Landing

And below are some of the pieces that I did while enjoying the sun and a few beers:

Two nuns
Two Nuns

Two nuns in window
Two Nuns in a Window

A Pictish Face
A Pictish Witch

And I had done these two the night before in my hotel room; they are inspired by my interest in the legend of La Llorona:

La Llorona
La Llorona (from a photograph by the great Danny Conant.)


La Llorona Laughs
La Llorona Laughs

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Characters

This morning I took the trolley to the San Diego Convention Center to go and spend the day at the International Comic Book Convention. When I got there, around 11AM... there was already a huge line to get in - at least three or four thousand people, if not more, and the streets were just packed.

So instead I decided to take some fun snaps (I hate waiting for anything; especially waiting in line).

Scissorhands in San Diego


This young kid made this entire outfit himself and it's a pretty good Edward Scissorhands... down to the the plastic kid-safe scissors

And then these Manga-costumed kids see me taking Edward's picture and yell out: "Take our picture too!" And so I do...
Manga kids at Comic Book Convention

The girl on the left seems to be saying to the one putting her sunglasses and bags away: "C'mon! Hurry Uuuuup!"
Manga Lives!
Manga!!!
Stormtrooper with glasses
Did you guys know that Imperial Storm Troopers could wear glasses under that white helmet?


Robocop in San Diego
Robocop
Storm Trooper in Japanese Flip Flops
Then I spotted this Imperial Stormtrooper (short guy) and his blue-haired wife (or partner). He was wearing those cool, Japanese Samurai wooden sandals that add [like] four inches to your height.

Dark Sith Lord in San Diego
And a dark Sith Lord posed for me...

Robocop works the crowdAnd Robocop is still attracting attention...

and so I spot security
And then I spot Security...

Troopers at ComicCon
And so I asked them to pose for me

Green Lantern and The Hawkman
And then I spot The Green Lantern and The Hawkman

Mrs. Hawk coming out of the bathroom
And then I catch Mrs. Hawkman coming out of the little girls' room

Justice LeagueThe Justice League poses for me... including a sullen-looking, knock-kneed Batman

two girls at comic con
Two hotties posing...

clark kent forgot to take off his watch
Clark Kent obviously forgot to take his watch off while changing into Superman inside the phone booth. And by the way... now we all know where Clark Kent's clothes go once Superman rips them off: in a duffel bag!

Jedi with troopers
Two color-coordinated Storm Troopers with a vision-corrected Jedi Knight

the girls
And the girls say goodbye...


Opportunity for Artists

Maryland Art Place (MAP) is putting out a call for artists interested in exhibiting their work as part of a curated exhibition that will take place in MAP’s galleries during the final weeks of 2005. Artists are being asked to submit a maximum of ten images of recent or new works on a CD or in slide form, including a one page image index outlining details of each submitted artwork, listing title, date, medium, dimensions and any other pertinent information. (No original works or master slides should be submitted for review.) Artists are given free reign to create works: inspired by; limited to; or resistant of; sensibilities normally related to kitsch.

If selected to participate in this exhibition, the artist’s chosen work will be exhibited along with their brief statement and bio. Many works for this exhibition will be selected during a studio visit by MAP’s Director of Programs, Lisa Lewenz or a guest curator. Artists are encouraged to consider submitting work ranging from small objects to large room-sized installations. This exhibition will celebrate irony, style and a full array of responses to kitsch as an important genre.

This call for entry requires that artists desiring consideration must complete an application form (found online at www.mdartplace.org) and submit a CD with proposed images as a maximum of ten 300dpi 5x7” medium sized jpg copies (or a sheet of ten slides) with a corresponding image index, and a recent copy of your resume. After review, unless previously arranged, application materials will be forwarded to the Maryland State Arts Council Visual Artist Registry—a free resource housed and maintained by MAP that promotes Maryland artists. Artists without a Visual Artist Registry file will be asked to open one if it has not been previously created. Thus, please do not submit a self-addressed stamped envelope, as application materials will not be returned. IF a self-addressed envelope is enclosed, please use stamps only (not dated postal strip.)

Artists will be responsible to coordinate delivery, installation, and removal of their work. Please send all application materials in one envelope to:

KITSCH!
MAP
8 Market Place
Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

There is no entry fee or cost to participate. Questions? Call 410-962-8565 or email llewenz@mdartplace.org (put KITSCH in the subject line.)

Art-O-Matic 2006

There will be an Art-O-Matic next year. Stay tuned for news.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Public Bailey

Bailey has an interesting public art project going on that is drawing some local attention.

See it here.

Comics

OK, OK... I know this is geeky, but tomorrow I'm spending all day at the International Comic Book Convention.

Openings tonite

The five Canal Square galleries in Georgetown will have their usual 3rd Friday openings tonite from 6-9PM. New shows or extended hours (6-9PM) by Anne C. Fisher, MOCA, Parish, Alla Rogers and Fraser.

We will host the artists selected by juror Jack Rasmussen for the 9th Annual Georgetown International. Jack will be awarding the cash awards around 7PM tonight.

The galleries are all inside the Canal Square at 31st Street, NW and M Street. Since I am in San Diego, I'll miss the opening, but go and see some art!

CNN on Seven

CNN videotaped a segment with Kim Ward, the Acting Executive Director of the WPA/C. The interview covered the history and mission of the WPA/C, a bit about Warehouse, a few shots of the show, and a plug for the Artist's Directory.

I do not have the schedule for the air times; hopefully next week. It will be on for the last five minutes at the top of the hour on CNN Headline News in certain markets. I do know that they will show the spot 8 times a day for one week before the show closes.

Blogspheric Grid

Anna L. Conti has a Blogospheric Grid of what some of the mugs in the Art Blogsphere look like.

See them here.

Borf arrested

Street artist Borf has been arrested. Read WaPo story here.

In San Diego

A while back, when I was trying to make reservations for this trip, I couldn't figure out why all the hotels were booked.

I have arrived in San Diego (tired and Joneseying), and discovered that the reason for the lack of hotels is the fact that this weekened is the world famous San Diego Comic Book Convention.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Airborne again

Flying to San Diego.

Exhausted

After a really long day, marred by delays everywhere, finally arrived in Denver in the wee hours of the morning. I even accidentally checked the book that I was supposed to read on the flights.

More later...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Airborne today

Flying to Denver.

On the way there I will be reading Zorro by Isabel Allende.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Wanna go to an opening?

As part of the rekindling of the WPA/C, they have started an exhibition series called "Turning the Pages," which will exhibit artists from the WPA/C Artists' Directory.

The first installment features Edda Jakab, Christopher Saah and Nicolas F. Shi.

Curated by Ingrid Nuss and Ding Ren, The Turning the Page series will provide an opportunity to examine and explore more closely the work of select artists represented in the 2006 WPA\C Artist Directory.

When: Thursday, July 14, 7-9 PM

Where: Coldwell Banker - Dupont
1606 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Exhibition hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm or by appointment (202) 387-6183

Wanna do a mural?

Deadline: September 1, 2005.

In fact the largest mural in Maryland!

The Baltimore Mural Program and Maryland General Hospital is seeking an artist or group of artists to design and execute the Maryland General Hospital mural: a 20,000 square-foot project, which will be the largest mural in Maryland.

Full RFP is posted here (click on "Arts" and then "Baltimore Mural Program").

For additional information, contact Ms. Randi Vega, BOPA Director of Cultural Affairs, at 410-752-8632 or rvega@promotionandarts.com.

Art Walk in Silver Spring

The fair Candy Keegan has a nice listing of today's Art Walk in Silver Spring.

Details here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

New England

Today was a spectacular New England day; the kind of day that makes one realize why they called this part of the nation New England. It looked, felt and smelled like the Home Counties, but prettier! (And I know, as I spent six weeks in Harrogate, England a few years ago).

Lectures and presentations and conferences went well; and I heard a question from a billionaire that I'd have thought would never be asked by someone in her tax bracket; she actually asked: "How much is that?"

Live and learn.

Next: Airborne from New Hampshire to Philly and Joneseying something fierce.

Gallery Round-up

Kirkland has a set of new gallery reviews here.

Chalk 4 Peace

"Chalk 4 Peace" - Chalk Painting Competition

The Mayor's Office on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the Museum of Modern ARF are co-sponsoring a chalk painting competition at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Promenade in Washington, DC on Friday, July 15, 2005 11:30 am - 4 pm.

More info here.

Wood

The "gun" fired by the punk in California that was heard around the art world and caused Chris Burden to freak out turns out to have been made of wood!

Read it here.

Burden, the shot and the whole event did inspire Bailey's I Shot Chris Burden online project.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline July 31, 2005.

Afrika Midnight Asha Abney passes that there will be a community wide Art Exhibition at 21st & S St NW Washington, DC on 31 July. Free and Open to the public. Interested artists should contact Todd Smith at smitty11@gwu.edu.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

In New England

After an incredible start this morning that ended up in me having to buy a new ticket... that story later.

But I am here after a brief stop in New York City.
NYC from the air

New York from the air

New England is absolutely gorgeous! My friend Rich (who's from Boston) picked me up at the airport, and even he was commenting how gorgeous New Hampshire looks.

Airborne today

Heading north to New England. Re-reading Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions on the flight there.

Don't forget, today is the is the Bethesda Artists Market, inside Bethesda Plaza and around our gallery. From 10 - 5PM. Details here.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Heading off

Tomorrow, Sunday July 10 is the Bethesda Artists Market, swing by and see 35 or 40 fine artists and craftsmen selling their work inside Bethesda Plaza and around our gallery. From 10 - 5PM. Details here.

I won't be there, as I am flying up North to New England for a while, and then to Colorado and finally to the Left Coast; I'll be back home by the end of July.

I'll continue to try to post from the road.

The Gallery

Last night we had a very large opening, although somehow all the sales took place today, although Saturdays are usually pretty quiet in Bethesda.

Seven

A couple of artists featured in Seven have emailed me and have found galleries interested in them! An unexpected benefit for them, but something that I knew was a possibility and thus why I asked my fellow gallerists to come and see the show, and why I dug deep into the WPA/C files for new names.

CNN will be doing a segment on Seven next week. I'll miss it as I will be somewhere out West, but Kim Ward from the WPA/C will represent! As soon as I have a viewing schedule, I'll pass it along.

Donations Needed

Artwork is needed to be donated for an online art auction to benefit the Whitman-Walker Clinic in DC, the leading provider of HIV/AIDS services in the DC metro area.

It's being forced to drastically reduce its services due to a shortage of funds. The Washington Blade's June 10th article has more details.

Artists who participate in the benefit to gain attention and promotion of their work through the auction and are listed in link to artists' own web pages. Email or call Basla Andolsun if you are interested or with questions. I intend to donate work and hope that some of you will do as well.

Mammaries

I've already heard good things about "Angst for the Mammaries," which opened yesterday at Touchstone Gallery, and where artists Candace Keegan, Adrienne Mills, Raymonde Van Santen, Amy Glengary Yang and Joyce Zipperer confront "growing angst over the artistic depiction of bare breasts in an era of diminishing personal freedom. Viewers are invited to explore and document their opinions on bare breasts in contemporary art and culture."

A discussion with the artists, moderated by Judy Jashinsky, will take place at 7 pm, on Friday, July 15, 2005.

Opportunity for Artists

1460 Wall Mountables

1460 Wall Mountables: DCAC's Annual Open Exhibit: July 29 - September 4, 2005.

DCAC Membership Benefit Opening: Friday, July 29th from 7-9 PM

Don't miss DCAC's annual fundraising event where you can show your art, sell your art, and compete with other artists to win $100! Buy your own 2' x 2' space or just come to the opening reception on July 29th. This is one of the best artists' opportunities in our city. Everytime that that I've done this show, I've sold all the work and had a great time in the process! Here's how it works:

· Each 2 ft. x 2 ft. space is only $10.
· DCAC members receive one free space.
· Become a DCAC member at the event and receive three free spaces for a total of four free spaces.
· Art must be 2 feet x 2 feet or smaller (spaces may not be combined.)
· All art must be wall mountable.
· $100 prize for the most interesting and innovative use of a 2' x 2' square.
· Artist may hang anytime Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, July 27, 28 between 2-7:00 PM and July 29 between 2 and 6.
· Spaces are available on a first come basis.
· Bring your own hanging tools.

Call 202/462-7833 for more information.

Friday, July 08, 2005

OPTIONS artists announced

Dr. Libby Lumpkin has selected the artists for the OPTIONS 2005 exhibition. Read the news release here.

The selected artists are listed below; I am familiar with a name or two, but do not know the work of any of them, except for Field's paintings in Strictly Painting V:

Bayo Abiodun
Judy Baumann
Jorge Benitez
Anne Benolken
Sheila Blake
Chad Caldwell
Kimberly Caputo
Tim DeVoe
Suzanna Fields
Lynn Galuzzo
Emily Hall
Lori Larusso
Ryan Mulligan
Mark Robarge
Lindsay Rogers
Amanda Sauer
Gary Thompson
George Tkbladze
Randy Toy
Susan Vaughan

Gallery Tales

A while back, at a very crowded opening in our Bethesda gallery, one of the persons in attendance was this huge man, dressed like Neo from the Matrix movies (all in black in some kind of Father Sarducci leather outfit). Long hair and a huge Satanic ornament around his neck-chain completed the costume, although with this dude, you could tell that he dressed like that normally.

Anyhoooo... As this Neo-wannabe is swishing around his huge six foot five frame in his leather skirts; drinking our Sangria from one end of the gallery to the other, he knocks down a small framed piece under glass.

It hits the floor, and because it's fairly small, the glass doesn't shatter. Neo-wannabe attempts to re-hang it as I approach him.

"That's OK," I say, "I'll take care of it," and as I re-hang it, I notice that the glass is chipped in one corner. No big deal, the art is OK, and after all, it was an accident. I wave off to the alarmed artist, who is on the other side of the gallery, but has noticed that her work was in harm's way.

Neo sees me notice the broken glass and says: "The glass was already broken."

I turn around, look up to his face, and say: "No sir, I framed these myself yesterday, and the glass was not broken, it just broke when it fell; that's OK we'll replace the glass."

Neo says: "No man, the glass was already broken."

I breathe deeply, trying to control the Brooklyn streets side of me. "The glass was not broken... all you had to say was 'I am sorry.'"

"No way!" says Neo, "the glass was already broken," and he starts to walk away.

I grab his leathered arm, and say to him: "Get out of my gallery."

He turns and looks at me a bit confused. "Get out of my gallery," I say again.

"Look man, OK, I am sorry," he mutters.

"Get out of my gallery," I say a little louder, and people are now nervously noticing the confrontation. He starts to walk away towards the door, as he gets by the front desk, he actually turns around and offers me his hand. "No hard feelings," he says.

Brooklyn is barely under control now, raging in my chest and scratching and itching to get out. Catriona Fraser, behind the desk, looks incredibly alarmed. "Please get out," I growl to Neo, "you don't know how close you are to an ass kicking."

He swishes out. I turn around to face our opening crowd of white-faced, silent art lovers, and try to find the place inside me to again try to sell some art.

Another day in the life of an art dealer.

Artists' Talk

Movies based on books -- not to mention plays, TV shows and even other movies -- are pretty common. Contemporary art exhibitions with literary roots are harder to find. Taking their inspiration from Jonathan Swift's 1726 satirical allegory "Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World" (aka "Gulliver's Travels"), the artists' collaborative known as KIOSKdc is presenting "Traveling With Gulliver" at the D.C. Arts Center through July 24. The four artists, whose work involves installation, drawing, video and cartoon "chapters," will discuss the show and its themes on Sunday [July 10]at 3. Call 202-462-7833.

-- Michael O'Sullivan
For more info on District of Columbia Arts Center, visit their website.

Seven Pictures

The WPA/C website has loads of photos from Seven's opening.

See them here.