Thursday, February 07, 2013

F. Lennox Campello and Artomatic Artists

Over the last couple of decades or so, I’ve curated or organized well over a couple of hundred art shows for galleries, museums, art centers, art fairs, etc. One of things that all of those events always seem to have in common is the always-surprising degree of difficulty in assembling a curated or juried group show.

This is always made difficult because (in my experience) the number of artists available to select from, and the amount of work able to be selected is always in conflict by a gargantuan exponential factor: there are always many, many more good artists than there’s space to hang a show.

And thus, one of the true constants of the curatorial task is the harsh reality of eliminating good work from an exhibition; reducing the amount of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc. simply because of the finite amount of space to display it.

Competitions and “Call for Artists” are even worse, because artists are actively “competing” against each other for the selective nod from the juror or curator.

In selecting “F. Lennox Campello and Artomatic Artists” that degree of difficulty achieved lunar orbit almost from the very inception of the idea!

Let me tell you why: the brilliance of Artomatic (and what nearly every art critic and scribe seems to miss) is the mind-numbing diversity of what happens when 1,000 or so visually-dominant earthlings gather together to exhibit tens of thousands of work of art.

From the vast resources of the last Artomatic I could have easily organized a curated show with a strict focus on flowers, or nudes, or politics, or sex, or robots, or chickens, or music, or green art, or extra-terrestrials, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (Note to self: do some of these shows in the future).

Instead, and drawing from my spectacularly enviable experience in assembling ass-kicking art shows, I used what I call “The Campello Group Show Success Formula.”

The formula is brilliant in its simplicity: start with a core number of well-established, well-known artists that will draw the savvy artsy crowds in; add some mid-level emerging artists hungry for the rung to the next level, and stir in some hungry, seldom seen newcomers to the art scene of the DMV. Because of the sheer size of Artomatic, the competitive factor – and thus the difficulty of the job at hand – was very high.

And so, the formula brings a tried and true approach to group show organization – these are not a selection of the “Best Artomatic Artists According to Campello”; that show would have been easy to organize. This is instead a show selected to offer you one man’s view of what Artomatic is all about, but in a manageable space guaranteed not to burn out your sensory nerves. You will see blue chip DMV artists that you and I know well, you'll see artists that I've never met, you'll see artists whom I represent or have represented, you'll see artists that will raise your eyebrow, and you'll see artists whose work you'll like, and artists whose work will leave you unimpressed.

The results in this show will surprise you, entertain you, capture your imagination and perhaps even disappoint you here and there, but overall they will give you this ardent Artomatic lover’s caressing curatorial opinions and evidence to support my theory that Artomatic is the greatest art group show on planet Earth.


Pepco Edison Place Gallery

702 8th Street, NW

Washington DC 20068

Reception Date:

Wednesday, February 13th, 6 - 8 pm

Exhibition Dates:

Friday, February 8 - Friday, February 22.

Gallery Hours:

Tuesday-Friday, Noon to 4 p.m.

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