Friday, May 19, 2006

Missed it!

Weekend section writers had their Friday online chat this morning, but I missed it as I hadn't seen them on the schedule.

Lots of beach questions, but someone asked:

Washington, D.C.: While I understand that there is concern for cultivating the "new" reader (i.e., the under-35 demographic) it seems the Weekend section believes that the cult of celebrity is what is of chief concern.

Why else has the erudite O'Sullivan been assigned to waste his talents interviewing Hollywood celebrities when the Metro area under-35 crowd really HUNGERS to read more in-depth analysis of why the young artist Laurel Nakadate creates artwork that is "almost sickening in its soul-deadness" yet this very "soul-deadness" has "undeniable power" WHY IS THAT this reader wants to know?

This 32-year-old reader finds the celebrity interview sickening in its soul-deadness. It is noteworthy, that today's thought provoking piece on artwork featured in a local commercial gallery occurs when O'Sullivan has not split his focus with Hollywood.

I want more of The Weekend section HERE, not in Hollywood.

Michael O'Sullivan: I think there's a question buried in there somewhere, and I'll try to address it, along with another point only implicitly raised by my erudite questioner. Laurel Nakadate's work is powerful for exactly the paradox you've put your finger on -- not despite, but because of its sickening soul-deadness. There's a kind of power in art that makes us angry, or scared, or even nauseated. Not everyone may like that feeling. I kind of welcome it. I think this would have been clearer if I had written more extensively about Nakadate's work, instead of including her with four other artists showing in three different galleries housed under the same roof. I wanted to get them all in though, even if only briefly, since they're all worthwhile shows in my opinion. Other questioners (and perhaps even this one) in previous chats have wanted more coverage of local art. That's what I'm trying to do, with occasional "round-ups" of multiple shows like this, which are, of necessity, less in-depth than if I had devoted all my attention to a single artist.
The questioner is referring to O'Sullivan's review of Nakadate in today's Weekend. Read that here.

Submit your questions (for next week) to the Weekend staffers here.

Here Comes the Judge

I'll be jurying a couple of art related events this weekend:

First of all, I'm one of three jurors selecting the prizewinners for the 15th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia. About 150 artists from all over the country, a few thousand dollars in prizes, tons of bucks in sales, and between 60,000 - 80,000 people attend, look at and buy art at the festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday. Details here.

Today is the deadline for the 10th Annual Greater Washington, DC International Fine Arts Competition, which I juried back in 1997 and which I will jury again this year. Drop off entries by the gallery today!