Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wanna go to an artsy wine tasting this Friday?

Touchstone Gallery will be having a closing reception for their 90 artist juried group show "My Space on 7th" together with a wine tasting offered by the Washington Wine Academy.

It's all free. Art & Wine starts at 6pm and goes through 8pm this Friday, Sept. 4th.

Labor Drawings

And nu?... you all knew that if I was having a new son at my early middle age, than in addition to a million photos I'd be doing some drawings, right?

Click on the drawings for a larger version of them... now to do some baby paintings for the boy's room...

Alida in labor, a birthing drawing by F. Lennox Campello

Alida in Labor (Birthing Drawing Series).
August 27, 2009. Ink on paper by F. Lennox Campello

Alida after her epidural, birthing drawings by F. Lennox CampelloAlida after her Epidural (Birthing Drawing Series).
August 27, 2009. Ink on paper by F. Lennox Campello

Anderson Campello after he was cleaned up, Birthing Drawing Series by F. Lennox CampelloAnderson Campello after he was cleaned up (Birthing Drawing Series).
August 28, 2009. Ink on paper by F. Lennox Campello

Hiltonian Lawsuit

Socialite and member of the prominent Hilton family Ann Hilton is the target of a lawsuit brought against her by artist Alexander Presniakov alleging she stiffed the artist out of $10 million in original artwork.
Read the Reuters story here.

Bird Brain

Is art criticism so easy that a pigeon can do it?

... Here's what happened. Shigeru Watanabe (a psychologist at Keio University in Tokyo and possibly a man in league with the birds) set up a nefarious experiment. Watanabe showed children's paintings to pigeons; a panel of adults had deemed each work either good or bad. He trained the pigeons to distinguish between them with a system of tasty rewards. When the pigeons pecked correctly, he gave them some seed. Later, he presented 10 paintings to the birds they had never seen. Five of these paintings had been deemed good by humans, five bad. The pigeons recognized the good paintings as “good” twice as often as they recognized the “bad” paintings. In short, they came off as pretty good critics.
Read Morgan Meis at Drexel University's The Smart Set here.

New Maryland gallery reviewing portfolios

Red Studio is reviewing portfolios for their upcoming gallery space which will be in Antique Row, Old Town Kensington, Maryland. Open to all artists and genres such as interdisciplinary, traditional, experimental, and functional art are welcome.

For art submissions:
Shara Banisadr
Red Studio Gallery
Antique Village
3758 Howard Ave
Kensington MD 20895

Or email

From the LAPD Wanted List

Do you recognize this man?

art dealer Matthew TaylorThe Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Art Theft Detail is searching for art dealer Matthew Taylor, 41, who lives in Vero Beach, Florida. An arrest warrant has been issued for Taylor for grand theft and receiving stolen property in connection with the theft of a Granville Redmond painting. Bail has been set at $500,000.

Taylor has worked as an art dealer who would visit various art galleries, obtaining art on consignment. In October of 2006, Taylor visited the L.A. Fine Art Gallery in Los Angeles where he was known to the owner and staff. Detectives believe that Taylor took advantage of this trust to remove [an] available painting out of a storage room that is not accessible to the public. He then borrowed a car and went to an art show in Santa Monica where he offered the painting for sale to William Karges who owns art galleries in Beverly Hills and Carmel. Taylor offered the painting for sale out of the trunk of his car in the parking lot, stating he was selling it for his mother.

Karges bought the painting for $85,000 and sold it to a client for over $236,000. The painting was not discovered missing and reported to the police until after Karges sold it to a client. Detectives posted a crime alert on the LAPD website. Karges gallery personnel stumbled upon the alert in 2007 and contacted police.

In 2009, detectives finished their investigation and obtained an arrest warrant for Taylor. However, before Florida police could respond to Taylor’s residence to take him into custody, detectives learned that Karges’ attorney had inexplicably tipped off Taylor of the criminal charges filed against him. As a result, police have thus far been unable to locate Taylor. Taylor’s attorney, Harlan Braun, has tried to arrange for Taylor’s surrender on several occasions but Taylor has repeatedly failed to appear.

During the investigation, L.A. Fine Art Gallery recalled several other thefts of art that coincided with visits to the gallery by Taylor. In 2004, paintings by Johann Mertz and William Malherbe, valued at $40,000, were stolen from the front showroom. A $20,000 Lucien Frank painting similarly disappeared from the showroom in 2006. Taylor had visited the gallery during both time periods.

Detectives would like to speak to anyone who may have been victimized by Matthew Taylor, who has also used the name Matthew Taylor Nelson. Detectives are also searching for Taylor’s mother, Patricia Taylor, 76 years old, to determine if she is being exploited by her son. Patricia is believed to be in poor mental and physical condition.
Read the LAPD report here and see images of the stolen paintings here.

One Sunday when I was sitting the desk at my old gallery in Bethesda, I got a phone call from a lawyer who explained that he was looking for Mr. ___________, whose name I recognized as a former well-known former DC art dealer, whose tendrils still have offspring in the DC art world.

The lawyer wanted to know if I knew that dealer. I told him that I knew of him, but that he predated me by at least a decade, and that I had never met the man. He then explained that he was trying to track the art dealer in question, as he had been hired by a former client of said dealer, who had been burned in a somewhat interesting scheme.

I asked him for details.

Apparently the DC art dealer had sold a small Picasso watercolor (or was it a set of prints?) to a collector for (all $ figures are for example purposes) $100,000. A couple of years later, the dealer called the collector and said that he had someone interested in purchasing the Picasso for $200,000.

The collector declined, and the art dealer called a few days later and stated that the interested party was now offering $300,000.

And so the Picasso was returned to the DC gallery, where the dealer told the collector to wait for the sale to take place.

Apparently the sale did take place, but for around $75,000 to a second buyer; a damned good deal for a Picasso piece. The DC art dealer then closed up shop.

So essentially, at least according to this lawyer's telephone story, the Picasso painting was sold twice to two separate collectors and the dealer kept both payments.

The police recovered the painting from the second poor buyer and returned it to the original owner.

The second buyer was the one burned in this deal and the one who hired the lawyer to track down the art dealer; I'm not sure if/why the police were not the ones doing the tracking down.

Keep your eyes on your fries.