Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fine Art Adoptions

NYC Artist Adam Simon has come up with a brilliant idea in the Fine Art Adoption Network (FAAN). This idea, and this effort, is precisely what we need more of!

Per the site's main page:

FAAN is an online network, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors. All of the artworks on view are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. Our goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience.
So far, Transformer is the only DC area arts venue "collaborator" that I recognize (and the site is a little fuzzy as to exactly how a collaborator participates, or is made a collaborator, etc.), but I see great things in the future for this effort and idea, and even some potential collaborators in our area!

The artists in the project are so far mostly New York artists, with one notable local exception.


Today's WP has a really good piece by Jessica Dawson on the Ledelle Moe's heads installed at the 14th and Church streets NW empty storefront. Dawson writes:

This street-level exhibition is the blessing of a sluggish economy. Metropolis Development Corp., owner of the storefront and the condo building encasing it, awaits a retail tenant for the space. Until then, Moe's installation, certainly one of her most effective to date, serves the Metropolis brand.

A signal of aspiration and good taste, art provides Metropolis -- the firm behind a handful of brand-new, loft-style condominium buildings around the intersection of 14th and P streets NW -- with a strategic dose of cachet. John Grimberg, a consultant to Metropolis and the man who suggested installing art in the storefront, says the impromptu exhibition helps Metropolis remain on the neighborhood radar. Grimberg says the company's aim was "to use the space to create a presence" for the firm's brand. As Grimberg phrased it, showing art is "in keeping with the Metropolis aesthetic."
More than just a review, this piece is more like a really good art column on this installation, the artist and the landlord.

Read the column here.

P.S. to Dawson: What "sluggish economy?" Read the financial section once in a while.

Elsewhere in Style, Lavanya Ramanathan, who likes to use the imperial "we" in writing (and I sorta, kinda like that)... ah, writes:
The sentiment behind all the exhibitions of recent grads' work this summer is not lost on us: Forward-looking, progressive galleries that recognize fresh viewpoints and encourage local artists make up the bedrock of the arts.

But we have to admit, we've been nearly glassy-eyed trying to make sense of the wide range of voices -- and talent -- represented.

From some shows, including Irvine Contemporary's "Introductions 2" (bachelor's and master's grads), we've been able to embrace only a piece or two. Is it that the rest weren't any good? Not at all. It's just that few were able to rise above the yard-sale curation.
Lavanya Ramanathan!

Yard-sale curation! Harsh words to use in describing a show by one of our top area galleries.

At first I was a little shocked at the description (and I haven't seen this show yet, but I will next week), and then I realized that we should applaud Lavanya Ramanathan for using tough, passionate opinion in writing about art instead of the usual wishy-washy art writing that we've all become used to. I do however, also hope that Lavanya Ramanathan will use equally strong positive adjectives and passion when the artwork or show in question deserves it from Lavanya Ramanathan's perspective and opinion.

Lavanya Ramanathan also reviews "15 Minutes" at Project 4 in the column. For a different perspective on "Introductions 2," read Jeffry Cudlin's review in the CP here.

And it is a good thing to see a different WaPo writer writing about our galleries once in a while.

PS #2 - The other current show of students and recent grads, Academy 2006 at Conner Contemporary, also gets pommeled by Kriston Capps in the CP. Read that review here.