Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I was looking through Osvaldo and Roberto Salas' brilliant photography book "Fidel's Cuba: A Revolution in Pictures" the other day, when a conversation that I had a few years ago with Irv Toefsky, a very well-known DC photography collector, who is unfortunately no longer with us, came to mind.

Camilo Cienfuegos in front of Lincoln Monument by Salas

I don't know which Salas took the above photo, which depicts Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos on the left, and an unidentified guerrilla, both posing in front of the Lincoln Monument in DC during a visit to DC in 1959.

Popular history anchors the growing of long hair by American youths in the early 60s, and eventually a symbol of rebellion, mainly to the Beatles and their longish haircuts.

But according to this savvy Washingtonian, when the Cubans showed up in DC in 1959 with their long hair, ponytails and huge beards, it caused a sensation in crew-cut America, and especially in Washington, DC.
Camilo Cienfuegos by Salas
"We had never seen young people with such long hair," he said to me. "And there was something romantic about the Cubans; their youth, their Revolution and their hair. So we started growing our hair."

Soon afterwards the Cuban Revolution started to go sour and like all revolutions, began devouring its own heroes. Cienfuegos was one of the heroes of the Revolution, and he disappeared at sea in the early 60s. Many claim that he was killed under the direct orders of Raul Castro.

But Salas' beautiful photo remains, as evidence of another revolution, a hair revolution, possibly started by these valiant young men.

2007 Lucelia Artist Award Nominees Announced

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced yesterday the nominees for the museum's 2007 Lucelia Artist Award.

The 13 nominees are Cory Arcangel, Bernadette Corporation, Tom Friedman, Gajin Fujita, Rachel Harrison, Glenn Ligon, Fabian Marcaccio, Josiah McElheny, Dave Muller, Laura Owens, Jessica Stockholder, Catherine Sullivan and Sarah Sze.

The Lucelia Artist Award is part of the museum's ongoing commitment to contemporary art and artists through annual exhibitions, acquisitions and public programs.

"The artists nominated this year for the museum's Lucelia Artist Award show a sustained commitment to distinctive work that challenges conventional thinking and expectations about the nature of art," said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Lucelia Artist Award, established in 2001, annually recognizes an American artist under the age of 50 who has produced a significant body of work and consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity.

SiteProjects DC on TV

I am told that SiteProjectsDC artist Tom Greaves was on the NBC Today show this morning at 8 AM. Tom was interviewed about his piece The Compliment Machine.

It's a good thing that this accomplished artist and the WPA/C project is getting national attention. See it here.

By the way, am I the only one that sees a very strong similarity between "The Compliment Machine" and Thomas Edwards' "Sycophant"?

I don't know which machine came first, but they essentially do the same thing based on the same idea, although Edwards' robot head, once its motion sensor detects you, actually follows you down a rail as it showers you with compliments.

It looks like another case of what I have called in the past "Remarkable Confluence." This is when two people, completely independent of each other, toil away and produce remarkably similar products.

Here's another example of "Remarkable Confluence."

Anyway, read the AP story on Greaves' machine here, it has been picked up worldwide! Also read the WaPo story by Joshua Zumbrun here.

Job in the Arts

Deadline: May 7, 2008

An established international art gallery located on New York's Upper East Side, specializing in museum quality Impressionist and Modern art, is seeking a director.

Starting salary is $50, - 60,000 (plus private healthcare), depending on qualifications and salary history.

The candidate must be able to work closely with the owner and will be responsible in overseeing all gallery activities including sales, administration and exhibition preparation.

He / she should have at least five years solid experience in the international art business. The ability to appropriately handle a high level clientele and knowledge of 19th and 20th century art are essential. We are looking for someone with excellent communication and organizational skills. Foreign languages abilities are favorable. An interest in long-term commitment would be favored.

Send C.V. with short covering letter to:

Caitlin Miller
The Art Newspaper
594 Broadway, Suite 406
New York, NY 10012

Or email:

Opportunity for Oz Freaks

Deadline: September 21, 2007

Ozspiration: New Work Inspired by 100 Years of the Wizard of Oz. Call for artists for an Art Show for Nov-Dec 2007 at Gallery 28 in Boston at the New England School of Art & Design, Suffolk University (NESAD/SU).

Please contact with questions. All info on this website.