Friday, December 14, 2007

No one asked me...

Nobody asked me, but Michael O'Sullivan's "Conversation Pieces" in today's WaPo lists some A-list folks' favorite art in the Greater DC area.

My favorite?

Watson and the shark
Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley at the National Gallery of Art. It seeks to depict an event that took place in Havana, Cuba, in 1749.

The naked guy in the water is fourteen-year-old Brook Watson, who was attacked by a shark while swimming alone in Havana harbor. Lucky for Watson, some of his mates were already at sea waiting to escort their captain ashore, and were able to fight the shark and rescue Watson, although the shark bit one of his legs off. On his return to England, he got his fifteen minutes of fame and Copley painted this work.

If you study the painting carefully, you will realize that Copley probably had never seen a shark in his life, and his depiction of the great white in Havana harbour yields one of the most ungainly and ugliest non-sharks fish things ever painted.

I love to sit in front of this painting and watch people as they walk by and get mesmerized by the brutal event taking place and kids making fun of the shark.

What is your favorite work of art? Not just DC, but from wherever you [reader] hail from? Email me your favorite and I'll post it!

Wanna go to an Alexandria opening this Saturday?

At the beautiful Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria, VA: "Wild Imagination - Works of Six Self-Taught Artists from the American South," curated by Ginger Young and featuring work by Howard Finster, James Harold Jennings, Nellie Mae Rowe, James Arthur Snipes, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Mose Tolliver.

The show goes through January 27, 2008 and the Opening Reception is Saturday, December 15th, from 6 - 8 pm with a gallery talk by Ginger Young at 7pm.

The Shape of Things to Come

The WaPo's art critic Michael O'Sullivan shows and tells us not only about a few of his favorite art objects and places in the Greater DC area, but also the shape of things to come in art reporting and writing with this beautiful multimedia piece in the

A well done to whoever came up with this idea!