Saturday, May 31, 2008

Talk to me

Today, starting at 4PM at the Cabaret Stage in Artomatic, I will be having a discussion with artists about anything that you want to talk about: how to get affordable framing, how to get a review, how to price your art, how to expand your resume, the who's and what's of DC and Philly art galleries, website design, press, museums, copyright, contracts, artists' success stories and how they did it... anything and everything that you want to ask or talk about. Just ask questions... no fluff.

Time permitting, afterwards I will also be available to personally criticize and give you feedback on your work (bring thick skin). This is all free and open to anyone,not just AOM artists.

A lot of panels spend a lot of time talking and then at the end people have tons of questions, so this time we will start with questions and move on.

Remember, my stuff will take place at the Artomatic Cabaret Stage, 1st Floor instead of the Education Room. AOM is doing this in order to accommodate more people, so come early; it starts at 4PM.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: July 1, 2008

Virginia's Arlington Arts Center seeks contemporary fine artists working in all media for solo exhibitions in their 2009 season. Ten to fifteen artists will be chosen to show in our seven separate galleries — or on our grounds, in the case of outdoor sculpture.

Jurors include: Anne Ellegood, Curator for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Philip Barlow, the tall and notable Washington, D.C., art collector.

Deadline for applications is July 1st; notifications will go out no later than September 30th, 2008. For more information and a prospectus, visit their website at Or send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to:

Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201

Modern Love

Opening on June 27 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Modern Love celebrates "the stellar group of contemporary works of art donated to NMWA by prominent Washington-based collectors Heather and Tony Podesta."

The exhibition features more than 50 works by internationally-renowned artists such as Cathy de Monchaux, Candida Höfer, Elizabeth Turk, and Jane and Louise Wilson as well as others.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Early Look Peek

Here's another early peek at another student whose work I've selected for the "Early Look" student exhibition at the Long View Gallery in DC next month.

Her name is Catherine Badger and she's a graduating senior at Moore College of Art & Design in Philly.

Psychedelic Sausage Factory

Psychedelic Sausage Factory, mixed media on Yupo by Catherine Badger

The show opens at Long View Gallery DC on June 7 with an opening reception from 5-8PM. Come and meet the undergrads and recent BFA grads and me...

A question for AOMers

See this and then respond.


To DC area artist and art critic John Blee, whose paintings open in a solo show in Paris, France's Jane Roberts Fine Arts on June 11, 2008. The show runs through 11 July 2008.

Gallery owner arrested

An East Hampton art gallery owner was led away in handcuffs Saturday after she refused to stop serving drinks at an opening bash for a celebrity photo exhibit.
Read the story here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Opportunity for Artists and Curators

The Arts Center of the Capital Region has a call for curatorial proposals and artists’s slides. Often there are specific thematic exhibitions called for in addition to an open call. The open call is used to support a slide registry for future curators, possible residency projects and one-person exhibitions for regional artists in the President’s Gallery. Artwork is called for in any and all media including installation and video. Selections are made by a committee.

Details here.

Artomatic 2008

The real reason that most art critics hate Artomatic is that they get visual overload very quickly. After all, how does a writer cover an arts extravaganza of the size of Artomatic once the eyes and mind become numb after the 200th artist, or the 400th or the 600th?

Artomatic has returned to the Greater Washington, DC region. It opened in May and runs through mid June.

By freeling accepting anywhere from 600 - 1,000 painters, sculptors, printmakers, actors, musicians and bartenders and then finding an empty building and filling it with artwork, stages, theatres, parties, lectures and controversy, the AOM model has managed to incite the dislike of most art critics and the love and passion of thousands of artists and art lovers.

They also create the Greater Washington DC’s uber arts event of the year – it happens irregularly every couple of years or so. About 40,000 people will visit the event.

As an art critic, I once started a review of a past AOM by complaining how much my feet hurt after my 5th or 6th visit to the show, in what at the time was a futile attempt to gather as much visual information as possible in order to write a fair review of the artwork and artists.

No one can do that.

Over the years that I have visited past Artomatics (and I have seen them all) I have discovered that it is impossible to see everything and to be fair about anyone; the sheer size and evolving nature of the show itself makes sure of the impossibility of this task. In fact, I think that I may have missed a whole floor so far.

We know that art critics tend to savage Artomatic; they demand a curatorial hand; they want order; they want “bad” art out and only “high art” in; and year after year, they all miss the point!

AOM is not just about the artwork, it is about the artistic energy that it radiates, it is about community, it is about a free for all, it is about controversy, it is above all, about art of all ranges and tastes and quality.

The current AOM is at a gorgeous location at the Capitol Plaza I building at 1200 First Street, NE in DC. There are seven, maybe eight, floors of artwork all the way up to the 11th floor, in many mini galleries with spectacular views of the city. The main impression at this year's AOM: space.

Plenty of space yields a really decent opportunity to display your work well, and one interesting maturity factor in this AOM is how well many artists are displaying their work. On the other side, all the space also yields a significant number of really bad "installations" with all sorts of furniture and stuff.

Each AOM has produced amazing artistic discoveries for art lovers, art collectors and dealers. People like Tim Tate, Frank Warren, Kathryn Cornelius, the Dumbacher Brothers, etc., all showed at AOM; some still do.

And so part of the fun is “discovering” who will be the 2008 AOM emerging art star. In that spirit I will ignore all the well-known names who are exhibiting this year at AOM and try to find artists whose work is new or little known to me. In this review I will create a sort of short list based on two trips; on my third trip I will finalize my initial picks for emerging art stardom.

On the 4th floor I quite liked the work of Amanda Engels, who is showing a series of portraits that work well in capturing a sense of time and presence about the subject. I also liked Genna Gurvich’s painterly and almost surreal work, especially her innovative and intelligent take on the often visited Campbell’s soup can. My key artist on that floor is Cristina Montejo, whose quirky and sexy drawings stand to draw attention from collectors. Keep an eye on Montejo, and buy some of this artwork now.

Ink drawings by Holly Burns
On the 5th floor I liked the severe abstract paintings of Matthew Langley and on the 6th floor Holly Burns’ pen and ink drawings on napkins are a treasure trove for beginning art collectors. They are fresh and young but also superbly done and I bet that we’ll hear about this artist again and again; she seems perfect for Curator's Office in DC.

I also like Michelle Chin’s over simplified bug cut-outs and Nancy Donnelly’s glass dresses. The latter are elegant, simple pieces that should attract a gallerist or two to them.

Shannon McCarty’s inventive set of burned iron marks reveal the surprising achievement of minimalism when employed smartly. Also minimalist are the hi tech (looking) works by Paul So. Also visit Keith Thomas on that floor.

The 7th floor is a treasure trove of good artists amongst the masses. Nana Bagdavadze is somewhat channeling Amy Lin to the third dimension as she takes the small circle to an illusion of three-D. Teague Clare’s small but very cool pieces are also quite good as are Juan del Alamo photographic test strips. Both these artists also know how important presentation is and have done well in maximizing their space while giving it a clean look. Also visit Damien Gill’s elegant digital works.

I know Rania Hassan’s works, but in this AOM she re-invents herself in a very elegant installation that goes from 2D to 3D right before our eyes. It is sophisticated and elegant, and a clear indication of the level of maturity that AOM has achieved over the years.

Dale Hunt’s monster art is also fresh and reflects a clear AOM trend for young, hip, simple art that is deceptively complex beneath the first visual impression. There is a lot of this "young art" in AOM this year, as well as a lot of tattoo art. Also visit Brad Taylor and see what an artist can do with those tabs in beer and soda cans.

The 8th floor brings us Michael Auger’s day glow mini paintings – like Dale Hunt, this artist fits into that young, smart art that is both attractive, simple and yet appealing to the visual senses; at $35 for an original, they’re also a helluva good deal.

The DC area is a Mecca for world class glass and its leader in bringing glass to a higher place and away from the craft world. David D’Orio’s works join that new emerging movement and are very good. I also liked the fresh skill in Todd Gardner’s portraits. This floor also brings you Matt Sesow and Alison Sigethy.

The 9th opens with the very cool mini photos by Erin Antognoli, really good work by Jeanette Herrera and Barbara Johnson-Grener.

Also Kim Reyes’ ceramic wall figures caught my eyes as a good find for sculpture lovers. On this floor you’ll also find Andrew Wodzianski and Kirk Waldroff (OK, OK… so I know them).

The 10th floor has the key find for AOM. And it is not a single artist but a highly sophisticated multi-artist exhibition titled “Coincide.” This is the AOM find of the year.

If you are a harsh critic of AOM’s free for all art approach, and don’t want to look at the work of 800 artists, just drive up to AOM, go to the 10th floor and look at the work of the 17 artists in “Coincide.”

Using Star Trek technology, we can teleport this entire massive contemporary ceramic art installation to any gallery or museum in the world and no one would blink an eye. It is a triumph of severe presentation and talented artists, and it is also a giant leap forward in the maturation process of AOM itself.

These are skilled, innovative, ordained ceramic artists, whose work is as far from “amateur” – the usual adjective applied wholesale to AOM – as Warp 9 is far from 55 MPH.

Big names like Laurel Lukaszewski, who shows locally at Project 4 Gallery (one of the best, fresh new galleries in DC) and nationally at other various venues are complemented by (new to me) artists like Leila Holtsman (whose piece I hereby select as the best single work of art in AOM and should be immediately picked up by Habatat Gallery), Novie Trump, Ani Kasten, Kate Hardy (gorgeously displayed) and others in this spectacular group.

Leila Holtsman

Leila Holtsman at AOM

Also on that floor I quite liked the brilliantly yellow installation work by Bryan Rojsuontikul, who joins the tradition of artists working with common materials (in this case yellow and silver Duck tape) to deliver breathtaking minimalist works of art. Also check out Alexandra Zealand.

On the 11th floor visit Krissy Downing and Gregory Ferrand and marvel at Veronica Szalus floor sculpture of painted ball objects. Also on this floor be prepared to be quite taken by Tracy Lee’s familial installation of family memorabilia (and I just broke my rule again, since I know Lee’s work well, but this installation doesn’t fit with her previous set of photographs). Since I broke that rule, also on this floor, super sexy abstract work by Pat Goslee and representational by Candace Keegan.

If you want a quick video walkthrough AOM, check out the video below. The music has been married to this video on purpose from the perspective of AOM dealing with art critics. The art that pops up when Lennon first sings "they're going to crucify me" is bordering on being one of the art world's oddest coincidences, since I didn't time the music to video to pre-arrange for that art to pop up at that time... it is worth viewing the video just for that!

AOM is free and open to the public and runs through June 15. All the info that you need is online at

Early Look

Mark your calendars for this opening:

Click for details

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Artomatic reviewed

Read my first review here. Video is below.

Collectin 101: Inspiration and Passion

AOM Panels

The Pink Line Project has been presenting a series of panel discussions to educate the emerging and experienced art collector at Art-O-Matic. Click on the image below for details.

On Saturday, May 31 at 2 pm Phillipa will be moderating Collectin 101: Inspiration and Passion with collectors Minna Nathanson, Veronica Jackson, Mel & Juanita Hardy and Brian Aitken & Andrea Evers.

After that's over and starting at 4PM at the Cabaret Stage in AOM, I will be having a discussion with artists about anything that you want to talk about: how to get affordable framing, how to get a review, how to price your art, how to expand your resume, the who's and what's of DC and Philly art galleries, website design, press, museums, copyright, contracts, artists' success stories and how they did it... anything and everything that you want to ask or talk about.

Afterwards I will also be available to personally criticize and give you feedback on your work (bring thick skin). This is all free and open to anyone,not just AOM artists.

A lot of panels spend a lot of time talking and then at the end people have tons of questions, so this time we will start with questions and move on.

Remember, my stuff will take place at the Artomatic Cabaret Stage, 1st Floor instead of the Education Room. AOM is doing this in order to accommodate more people, so come early; it starts at 4PM.

DeBerardinis on Malone

Once Lost, But Now Found at Zenith Gallery!

By Rosetta DeBerardinis

Once in awhile, Margery Goldberg from Zenith Gallery, a major gallerist in Washington, D.C., a dynamic woman who has far exceeded the historical curve for art galleries nationwide by celebrating its thirtieth year; exhibits work that blows your socks off. Several years ago, while working as the DC art tour guide, I recall Ms. Goldberg disclosing her criteria for selecting artists. “The work has to give me an orgasm,” I recall her declaring. Figuratively of course!
Soft Sculpture by Chris Malone
Chris Malone, a mixed media artist in the current two-person exhibit “Drama Queens” with Shelly Laffel, obviously did just that. My response was not as personal as Ms. Goldberg’s; however, it compelled me to view the work twice.

Malone, a self-taught D.C. artist with exceptional talent creates large-scale soft sculptures influenced by the different tribes of Africa and New Guinea. Work that is too sophisticated to be classified as "dolls." He uses soft materials, e.g. fabric, kapok rope, canvas to define his shapes from a genre made popular in the 60’s by artists such as the Claus Oldenburg (Sweden) and Robert Morris (American).

Malone, reared in the Midwest, was once a zookeeper at the National Zoo, caring for the giant pandas Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling. He now sits and sews together pieces of fabric from Pakistan, Africa and other nations.

Colorful feathers, beads, yarns, mirrors adorn the textile surface and the extremities of the clay figures, with twinkling prosthetic eyes; twist, turn, sway, shout and even some pray with hands outstretched to the heavens.
For years, I have been in search of my ethnic past and looking to different tribes of Africa and New Guinea has brought a peace in me. - Chris Malone, from Zenith press release
This exhibit marks Chris Malone’s introduction at Zenith Gallery. And, I doubt now that he’s been discovered by Margery Goldberg, that he will ever be lost again.
Drama Queens through June 1st
Zenith Gallery
413 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 2004
Information: 202-783-2963

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Have a grand Memorial Day!

Jasper Johns Flag in MOMA

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rik Freeman at GRACE

If you a collector or lover of good, solid narrative painting with a focus on African American or blues themes, then you gotta go see Rik Freeman's current show at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, Virginia. Meanwhile, below is a quick video walkthrough of the show:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Richard Misrach at the NGA

Richard Misrach, one of today’s most prolific photographers, will be giving an artist talk at the National Gallery of Art on the work featured in his exhibition opening on May 25. Accompanying the traveling exhibition is the one-of-a-kind Aperture monograph, Richard Misrach: On the Beach.

Misrach will discuss the spirit of his images and sign copies of his book.

Talk & Book Signing: Sunday, June 8; 2:00 p.m.

Exhibition on view: Sunday, May 25 — Monday, September 01, 2008.


I will be discussing my Artomatic finds later on - I visited twice and still managed (I think) to miss a whole floor - but meanwhile I have a little Artomatic history here. I would love if you would add in the comments section there your own anecdotes and stories about past Artomatics.

Also next Saturday, May 31, starting at 4PM at the Cabaret Stage in AOM, I will be having a discussion with artists about anything that you want to talk about: how to get affordable framing, how to get a review, how to price your art, how to expand your resume, the who's and what's of DC and Philly art galleries, website design, press, museums, copyright, contracts, artists' success stories and how they did it... anything and everything that you want to ask or talk about.

Afterwards I will also be available to personally criticize and give you feedback on your work (bring thick skin). This is all free and open to anyone,not just AOM artists.

A lot of panels spend a lot of time talking and then at the end people have tons of questions, so this time we will start with questions and move on.

Remember, this will take place at the Artomatic Cabaret Stage, 1st Floor instead of the Education Room. AOM is doing this in order to accommodate more people, so come early; it starts at 4PM.

See ya there!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Affordable Art Fair

Organized by the same outfit that presents the Pulse Art Fairs, in my opinion the Affordable Art Fairs are one of the prime international art fairs to explore... if you are a new or beginning collector, or a collector on a limited budget.

From my past experience loads of experienced collectors also attend and buy, since the artwork ranges from $100 to $10,000 for original artwork from around 80 galleries from around the world are invited to exhibit. Click on the image below for details or visit this website. The fair will be in NYC on June 12-15, 2008.

If you want a free pass to the fair, send me an email and I will send you one.

See ya there!


A while back I teased you with some big news to come... OK so it is big news for me.

I'm going national!

Not "Daily Campello Art News" - we're staying here and we're gonna be here for a long time, but I have joined a three person team of visual art bloggers over at ARTtistics to begin something new and interesting in the visual arts blogsphere.

Together with Annette Monier from Philly's Fallon & Rosof artblog and Connecticut's Bill Gusky, we've been fotunate enough to have been invited by Mind's Eye to begin a new blog that will allow us to be funded to travel around to see exhibitions and artists around the nation, review them, interview them, discuss them, etc.

I will be posting there often, so make sure that part of your daily ritual, after you check in here, is to visit Arttistics every day.

Goin' Nat!

Another art scam revealed

Email received this morning (no editing, displayed as received):

From: jack tom (

How are you doing? my name is Jack tom i live and based in australia i am interested in ordering some of your artwork and ship them to me here in australia my method of payment is via my credit card details kindly let me know if you can assist me with the order ,kindly get back to me with your website address or photos of some of your works you have instock so that we can proceed with this transaction I will await your prompt response as soon as you receive this mail,i will be be very glad if you treat this email with good concern
Thanks with Regards
Jack tom.
My response:
Dear Jack,

Thank you for your interest. I am honored by your interest in my work.

I must advise you that I am very choosy as to whom I allow to own my work, and will need to know a little about you and your family and also where you intend to display and hang my art. I also need to know how you intend to frame it.

My prices range from $1,000 to $100,000 - what price range are you interested in?

Before I decide to allow you to own one of my pieces, and you can only buy one per family, I'd like to know a little more about you and what you do in Australia.

Have a G'day!

The Lenster
Let's see if he bites.

Penis Guy

Amanda Hess of the Washington City Paper has an interesting article about an even more interesting controversy at the current Artomatic.

Seems like Eduardo Rodriguez, a DC area artist who has been known as Artomatic’s "Penis Guy," had a rules issue in nearly rule-less AOM. Hess writes:

Why did Penis Guy take down his penis pictures? The controversy originated in the spot adjacent to Rodriguez’s now-abandoned space (at NW B1 on the 9th floor) where Moore Photography, a mother-daughter team, exhibit their work. Photos of flowers, butterflies, and fireworks are carefully matted and labeled with titles like “Reflections,” “Delectable,” and “Simply Elegant.” Rodriguez’s Cocksure Series was a bit different: neck-down nudes, mostly male, with message-inscribed torsos — easy to swallow reads one. Another: i am not hung.

The visual irony of a 15-year-old’s flora mounted alongside Rodriguez’s phallic extravaganza wasn’t part of Artomatic’s vision and juxtaposition sets up a vintage Artomatic drama. This one plays out in the following sequence:

• On Wednesday, May 7, the last day of Artomatic’s two-week installation period, Rodriguez enters the Artomatic building at 1200 First St. NE and begins hanging his Cocksure Series.

• The next day, Rodriguez reenters the building, officially closed to artists, to apply some finishing touches.

• In the meantime, another artist notices Rodriguez’s last-minute installation and notifies Moore Photography of the content. The Moore family, unimpressed by Penis Guy’s pedigree, complains to Artomatic without having seen Rodriguez’s work.

• Artomatic officials confront Rodriguez at his space. On the night before Artomatic’s opening, two hours before the building’s close, Rodriguez is asked to remount his penis pictures in another spot, away from a minor.
Read the whole article here.

Even a free for all extravaganza like AOM has a few rules and sounds like Rodriguez may have had his share of ignoring some of them, but I also think that artists should be able to work out things like this between themselves... and by artists I include the hardworking volunteers who run AOM, Rodriguez and the Mom & Daughter team.

So... someone in this mini drama is an asshole. A lot of the commenting masses in the CP think that Rodriguez is the asshole as do a lot of comments at the ArtDC forum... maybe they're right, maybe 80% right... maybe 50%.

The power of representational visual art to offend is immense; it is one of its key ingredients and an easy way to your 15 minutes of fame for a lot of artists. Over the years AOM has had what a lot of people may consider offensive art. I'm familiar with Rodriguez's imagery from past AOMs and it doesn't offend me at all.

But I have seen a lot of visual art imagery of erect and flaccid penises in my lifetime.

But I can also see a mother's desire in delaying her daughter's discovery of penis imagery and thus not desiring to be next to the "Penis Guy." And then again, she should also have known that AOM features all kinds of imagery - in my first visit I saw a lot of penises, a lot of vaginas, and a lot of tits. So her minor daughter is probably going to be exposed to them anyway.

But I can see that mom doesn't want to be "next" to a constant visual barrage of a male's reproductive organ in various states of excitement.

This should have been an easy thing to solve; the two neighboring artists should have worked this out and one of them should have moved. This year's AOM is in an amazing, huge, spacious environment and there are hundreds of great spots open.

If Mom & Daughter didn't want to be next to Rodriguez, then if Rodriguez is the "non confrontational" guy that he says he is, then for penis' sakes, take the fucking high road and move your penis photos to another spot. Rodriguez already screwed up by not following the set-up time rules to start with, so clearly set-up was not an issue for him.

If Mom & Daughter didn't want to be next to Rodriguez, then for daughter's sake take the fucking high road and move your nice photos to another spot.

Problem solved.

An event of the size of AOM always has mini dramas and controversy... some of us recall Kathryn Cornelius' closing her installation at an AOM a few years ago because of water issues and someone destroying JW Mahoney's swastikas on the wall.

Go see AOM and buy some art.


I will be judging the Lorton Arts Foundation exhibition at the University of Phoenix, Reston, VA (11730 Plaza American Drive, Suite 200, Reston, Virginia 20190).

The opening for the show is tonight, Friday, May 23rd from 7 - 9pm. Come and say hi...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


To my good buddy Jeffry Cudlin who once again has been nominated as a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for Arts Criticism.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: July 1, 2008

VisArts - the Metropolitan Center for Visual Arts in Rockville, MD has a call for glass artists to exhibit in an upcoming show: “Glass: Evolving” Sept. 14-Nov. 16, 2008.

Open to Mid-Atlantic artists, this content-driven glass exhibit will investigate new ideas, narratives, concepts and directions in regional contemporary glass. Entry fee.

For more information, contact: Harriet Lesser, Director of Exhibitions and Programming, 301-315-8200 or
Call for entries deadline: July 1, 2008.

The jurors include Lindsey Scott and Jay Scott of Habatat Gallery, VA and the directors of Washington Glass School.


Thinking of changing my "official" Internet photo from this (taken in 2004 or so):

F. Lennox Campello 2004

To this, taken a few weeks ago:

F. Lennox Campello 2008

Crooked nose courtesy of a bar fight at the Texas bar in Naples, Italy a long time ago... any comments???

Read This

DCist reports on the draconian measures of the District's closing of an art show. Read it here and the follow up here.

AOM Visit One

On the way to my AOM panel I did a whirlwind tour through the 700 artists at Artomatic and my very first impressions is that this is the best AOM ever.

I know that this comes from an AOM supporter without objectivity on the subject, but it also comes from someone who has examined and visited every single AOM in details, explored every gallery and every artist since it all started a decade ago.

The work that the ceramicists have self-curated and installed is worthy of being in a museum show, both in quality and presentation.

I will be back with a more detailed visit, my top picks from the show, my "new discoveries" and a review and videos.

Below is a photo from last night's panel, which was very well attended and could have gone for hours! There is soooooo much thirst out there for information!

Memo to Philippa: Let's do this again soon with a 2-3 hour window for questions and discussions - I'm game!

Philippa Hughes
Above: Philippa Hughes introduces the panel: Dr. Fred Ognibene, (me missing and taking photo), Martin Irvine, JW Mahoney and Sharon Burton.

Update: Ann Marchand has a great report and pics here.


To DC area artist Dana Ellyn whose solo show in Wilmington, NC is doing really well!

Dana's show at the ERA Gallery is titled "Up For Discussion" and prior to the show, she received two write-ups in two local papers and today a review of the show was published.

Check out all the interviews, articles and review here. The show is up through June 28, 2008.
Dana Ellyn

Silly Rabbit, Myths are for Kids. 22"x28" Acrlylic on Canvas by Dana Ellyn

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Millennium Arts Salon: Scholars Speak

Against the backdrop of the Jacob Lawrence Migration Series (he's one of my former professors and now on view at The Phillips Collection through October 26), three leading scholars on African American art speak:

- Dr. Beth Turner, University Professor at the UVA and curator of two major national traveling exhibitions on Jacob Lawrence, Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence (2001-03) and The Migration Series (1993-1995) for The Philips Collection, former senior Phillips curator and vice-provost for the arts at the University of Virginia.

- Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Art History, at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Chair of the Board of The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.

- Dr. David Driskell, an emeritus professor at the University of Maryland, College Park where the David C. Driskell Center of African American and African Diaspora Visual Arts and Culture was founded in his honor, artist, collector, and cited as one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American Art.

One scholar asks, the others respond. All reflect on artists of the 20th century and look ahead to artists in the new millennia.

Millennium Arts Salon and The Phillips Collection are jointly sponsoring this event, to be held in the Sant Auditorium at The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, Thursday, May 29th starting at 6:30pm. The cost is free with museum admission.

Early Look Peek

Here's another early peek at another student whose work I've selected for the "Early Look" student exhibition at the Long View Gallery in DC next month.

Her name is Deborah Shapiro and she's a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Virginia. See more of her work here.

The show opens at Long View Gallery DC on June 7 from 5-8PM.

AOM Panel on "how to price art"

On Thursday May 22, 2008 at 7:30PM at AOM. The panel includes Arthur Mason, lawyer and art collector with his wife Jane Mason, Lee Eagle, Eagle Associates, Collector and Specialist in the DC secondary art market, Zenith Gallery owner, Margery Goldberg, Gallery Directors Amy Cavanaugh and Briony Evans from Honfluer Gallery, and artists Joyce McCarten and Matt Sesow.

They will each offer their own unique perspective on the subject of pricing art. Free and Open to the Public. For more information contact Adah Rose Bitterbaum, Studio Gallery, 202-232-8734. Sponsored by the Washington Project for the Arts.

Tonight is the "Information Overload: Finding Reliable and Useful Information About Art Collecting" panel at 7PM.

It will be moderated by DC ubercollector Dr. Fred Ognibene and will include JW Mahoney, Sharon Burton, Martin Irvine and yours truly.

See ya there!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rik Freeman at GRACE

Last weekend when I was in Reston I had an opportunity to look at the current GRACE exhibition, the Chittlin' Circuit Review which features the gorgeous paintings of DC area artist Rik Freeman at the Greater Reston Arts Center.

They are powerfully painted, sensual imagery of dancing, singing, sweating, moving, shouting... in a sort of visual musical African American experience.

Rik Freeman
And on Wednesday May 21 from 7:30 - 9pm (Free and no reservations required) you can join artist Rik Freeman for an insightful and very personal evening of discussion about his work, the Chittlin' Circuit Review.

Participants will be taken on an imaginative journey of blues history and treated to a recitation of his original spoken-word poem The Ballad of the Grit Gal.

I like this course

The course "Gallery and Museum Resources for Contemporary Art" is being offered on both a credit and non-credit basis in the School of Art + Design at Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus in MD. It will be taught by Dr. Claudia Rousseau.

It will meet on Wednesdays, 7/9/08 - 8/06/08, all day. Mornings will meet in the new Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street (just off Georgia Ave) for a lecture, followed by field trips to galleries in the afternoon.

Here's the course description in the non-credit tab:

Gallery and Museum Resources for Contemporary Art

Field trips to Washington DC and Montgomery County galleries, museums and art centers will provide a working laboratory for this course which will expose students to contemporary art in the area and to the extraordinary range of resources available for viewing contemporary art. The course will focus on developing a critical approach to modern and contemporary art through understanding of its recent history and current trends. The goal is to make students more confident about individual encounters with contemporary art, especially in gallery settings. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.

Course: ART041, 5 sessions, Wed., 7/9-8/6.

For credit the course is listed under ART, School of Art + Design
AR285L Individual Workshop Art History, 3 credits.

Early Look Peek

Here's another early peek at another student whose work I've selected for the "Early Look" student exhibition at the Long View Gallery in DC next month.

His name is Aaron Miller and he's a student at George Mason University in Virginia. Below is "Banana," which will be in the show:

Banana by Aaron Miller
Banana, oil on canvas by Aaron Miller

The show opens at Long View Gallery DC on June 7 from 5-8PM.

2008 International Peace Corps Show

Deadline: May 29, 2008

A national juried exhibition of photographs created by current and former Peace Corps Volunteers. No entry fee. Submission is completed online. For more information, contact:

The Center for Fine Art Photography
400 N. College Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Phone: (970) 224-1010; or check website:

Grants for Artists

The George Sugarman Foundation makes grants available for artists in need of financial assistance. Award amounts are open, but the artist must provide a budget for the amount requested. For information, contact:

George Sugarman Foundation
448 Ignacio Blvd.
Novato, CA 94949

Phone: 415/713-8167

Fulbright grants are available for artists for 2-6 week lecturing and research abroad. No application fee, stipends are available. Contact:

Fulbright Senior Specialist Program
Council for International Exchange of Scholars
3007 Tilden St NW, Suite 5L
Washington, DC 20008-3009

phone: 202/686-7877; email:; website:

The Charles A. Lindbergh Fund - Deadline: June 12, 08. Offers grants for research and educational projects in various subjects, including the arts and humanities. Grant amounts up to $10,580 awarded. Application deadline: June 12, 2008. For more information, contact:

The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation
2150 Third Ave. North, Ste. 310
Anoka, MN 55303-2200

Phone: (763) 576-1596; email:; or website:

Artists' Websites: Ana Maria Cortesão

Three of a Kind by Ana Maria Cortesão
Three of a Kind by Ana Maria Cortesão

Ana Maria Cortesão is a Portuguese street photographer and her work captures a really cool portrait of that European nation. Visit her website here.

Jennifer Lea Hall in Alexandria

I get a trillion gallery opening postcards every week, and every once in a while one catches my eye above the rest.

So is the case with Jennifer Lea Hall's Thesis exhibition (from VCU) at the Del Ray Artisans' Nicholas A. Colosanto Center in Alexandria, VA.

The opening is Friday, May 23 from 7-10PM.

Lorton Artists

This week I will judging the Lorton Arts Foundation exhibition at the University of Phoenix, Reston, VA (11730 Plaza American Drive, Suite 200, Reston, Virginia 20190).

The opening for the show will be on Friday, May 23rd from 7 - 9pm.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Opportunity for Sculptors

Deadline: June 30, 2008

The Polk Museum of Art is now accepting submissions from North American sculptors for their annual public art exhibition, Sept 2008 - Aug 2009. Three artists will be selected to exhibit 4-5 works each (depending on size). Each artist will receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Only completed, maintenance-free works will be considered. Work must be able to be anchored to concrete. Submit slides or digital images of 5-10 available works, 1-3 views each, resume, and artist statement to:

Polk Museum of Art
Lakeland Sculpture Invitational
800 E Palmetto St
Lakeland FL 33801

Or call 863-688-7743x241 or email

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: August 1, 2008

The Art Renewal Center's International 2008 ARC Salon 5th Annual Competition. Over $44,000 in cash awards with $10,000 Best in Show. Jury of Awards: Nelson Shanks, Gabriel P. Weisberg, Paul W. McCormack and Fred Ross.

Have your work seen by 5.5 million yearly visitors. Visit: for a prospectus, or send a #10 SASE to:

Art Renewal Center
Box 837
Glenham NY 12527

Or inquiries may be addressed to Katie O'Hagan at

Food & Friends

On Monday, June 16th Food & Friends will be hosting its 18th Annual Chef’s Best charity auction and dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC.

Throughout the evening, more than 1,500 guests will enjoy culinary tastings from local chefs, as well as participate in live and silent auctions, which help raise thousands of dollars to help support Food & Friends clients.

Please consider becoming a vital part of this year’s event through donation of an item to their auction (I will). For more information on auction donations, or to contribute to either the live or silent auction, please contact Dorota Porawska, Development Coordinator, at (202) 269-2277 or

Along with nutrition counseling, Food & Friends prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 1,400 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout Washington, DC, seven counties of Maryland and seven counties and six independent cities in Virginia. Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided food and companionship to their clients, their loved ones and caregivers.

Please donate.

Santa Fe

As the official Tim Tate cheerleading site, it would be remiss of me not to mention that Tate received this really good review in Santa Fe during his gallery debut there.

Read the review by Hollis Walker here.

James Marshall (Dalek) at Irvine

I've been hearing good things about Irvine Contemporary's current exhibition of James Marshall (Dalek) in his only 2008 solo exhibition, Overweight. The show opened last weekend in DC and sold out on opening night!

A new limited edition print published by Irvine Contemporary accompanies the exhibition, but it also sold out on opening night!

It’s the biggest hit by an international-level artist in a solo DC show in a long time, and I can't think of a recent DC gallery show that has done this well in recent memory. This is James Marshall’s only 2008 solo show, and a terrific coup for a DC gallery to host it. Congrats to Martin and the Irvine staff.


James Marshall (Dalek), Untitled (2008.4). Acrylic on panel, 30 x 30 in.

This Wednesday night at AOM

The Pink Line Project will be presenting a series of panel discussions to educate the emerging and experienced art collector at the soon to open a Art-O-Matic. Click on the image below for details.

I will part of a panel which will be held this coming Wednesday, May 21 at 7 pm in the 7th Floor Education Room. It is the "Information Overload: Finding Reliable and Useful Information About Art Collecting."

It will be moderated by DC ubercollector Dr. Fred Ognibene and will include JW Mahoney, Sharon Burton, Martin Irvine and yours truly.

See ya there!


I was at an art fair all weekend long... 300 plus emails to deal with, so loads to post soon. More later...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today: Glass party and open house

The Washington Glass School is having their big annual open house and 7th Anniversary Party today. Tons of glass sculpture and bowls for sale.

This annual event is always a load of fun and a great way to grab some real bargains! Over two dozen artists from the DC area will be participating... so you don't want to miss this one!

Saturday, May 17th from 12noon to 5pm! Details here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Early Look Peek

Here's another early peek at another student whose work I've selected for the "Early Look" student exhibition at the Long View Gallery in DC next month.

Her name is Lauren Albert and she's a senior at Moore College of Art & Design in Philly. Below is an animated video which will be in the show. See some of her 2D artwork here.

The show opens at Long View Gallery DC on June 7 from 5-8PM.

Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow?

Corpus by Jason Horowitz at Curator's Office (through June 21, 2008). Gallery Reception: Saturday, May 17th, 6 - 8 pm (in conjunction with the gallery receptions at 1515 14th Street NW, Washington, DC).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Artists' Talk: DC

Christine Gray's "Spring Thaw" exhibition ends on May 4, but there's a closing reception at Project 4 in DC and an artist's talk this coming Saturday, May 17 at 3:00pm.

DCist on Janis

DCist's pops in with a really good profile of DC area sculptor Michael Janis.

Because of Janis’ strong architectural background, he works with industrial glass, giving it new meaning, context and function. Much of Janis’ work deals with self identification, and how luck and chance have influenced his life, work, and how one views oneself. Drawing with crushed glass powder, he uses static electricity to take away the powder and reveal the desired image

Read it here. Michael Janis (whom I now represent in my new art venture) has been on my "Buy Now" list for a long while and he's in my own collection; buy Michael Janis now.

Mark Power on AOM

Mark Power has a really good review of AOM here.

Pat Monk

The WaPo's Christina Ianzito checks in with a really cool profile on DC area artist Pat Monk.

As a young physicist, Pat Monk helped build the atomic bomb. Now, at 87, it's his creativity as an artist that's exploding.
Read it here.

Friday in DC: Artomatic Meet The Artists Night

Mix, mingle and meet the artists at Artomatic on Friday, May 16, 7 p.m.–10 p.m

Many Artomatic artists will be throwing mini-gallery openings in their spaces tomorrow night and will be on hand to answer questions about their work.

This year’s Artomatic has more to see than ever before. Ten floors of work, including ceramics, sculptures, installations, paintings, fiber works, murals and photography are on display, and in many cases, the work is for sale.

Visitors on Meet the Artists Night will be able to sample the fun, creative energy that is Artomatic. A full schedule of free events is planned for Friday, including films, dance, poetry, music and even fire dancing. Live music will kick off at 6 p.m. and run through 1 a.m., with performances by James Stephen Terrell, Movimiento, Collider, DJ Sequoia and others.

New Wilmington Gallery

Tonight is the grand opening (between 6-8pm) of a new art gallery in Wilmington, Delaware.

Come celebrate the opening of the new Montage Gallery at WHQR.

RSVP by calling 910-343-1640.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), in collaboration with District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and surrounding communities, is seeking an artist or artist team to work with urban designers, transportation and trail planners, landscape architects, civil engineers and District government employees to create a comprehensive and cohesive plan that visually unifies the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) with artistic enhancements.

This artistic driven identity created by the selected artist(s) will be included in a variety of signage and amenities along the trail as well as maps and materials about the trail. This call is open to Mid-Atlantic artists and the Design Budget is $7,550.

To download the Call to Artists please visit the Commission's website.

For more information please email Deirdre Ehlen at or call 202-724-5613.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NYT on Hirshhorn

The New York Times takes an interesting look at DC's Hirshhorn Museum.

Gorgeous image of the hangers installation is by DC's own Dan Steinhilber, one of the precious few DC area artists whom the museum has glanced at in recent memory; let's hope that the museum's new refocusing on its identity expands on that area and begins looking more into its own backyard.


Those of you who attended my bootcamp for artists' seminars in the past know well that I think that the worst place for art is hidden away in your closet or studio or basement: art should be displayed as much as possible so that an artistic dialogue - and maybe a few sales if that's the aim - can take place.

And I am a big fan of alternative spaces to show artwork. DC is loaded with those and I wanted to alert you that I am hearing good things about such a to a place for DC area artists to get some exposure for their work.

There is a very cool restaurant in the Shaw area of DC called Vegetate. I am told that the food is artful and that they show good local art on the walls.

Currently Judith Peck is showing fifteen of her paintings alongside with Ken Ashton's photographs and they look great. Check it out.


Big announcement coming up soon... stay tuned!

Tomorrow in DC: Int'l Art Affairs

On Thursday the fair opens at 2:00PM with a 4:00PM wine reception at 1209 10th Street (rear). This will be followed by art and video at 903 N Street – The Space-DC.

The following days will be filled with Art talks, social gatherings in the evenings and art browsing time from place to place.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This weekend in Reston

17th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival at the Reston Town Center — Reston, Virginia. May 17 & 18, 2008 - 10am — 6pm daily.

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Come see 185 juried artists from all over the nation; about 30,000 art lovers will be there as well. Details here and see ya there!

Early Look

As if you didn't know... I've been visiting schools up and down the Mid Atlantic and getting submissions in the mail for "Early Look" which is a show curated by me offering to the DC area some really good undergraduate artwork. The show will be in DC's Long View Gallery and then some work will travel to Norfolk's Mayer Fine Art.

I've looked at work by around 1,000 students and I am now in the process of inviting students. More details later, but as a teaser look at this gorgeous, dark, macabre pastel drawing by GMU's own Tanya Wilson (click on the drawing for a larger image).

Untitled by Tanya Wilson

Untitled #1 by Tanya Wilson. 106”x 42” 2008. Pastel on Paper

This is a huge work, as are most of her other work that I have seen. And I predict that this young artist will be getting some very focused attention by DC gallerists and collectors.

If you want to see some more of her pieces, drop me an email or come to the opening at Long View Gallery on 7 June from 5-8PM.

Artists' Websites: Andrea Haffner

Andrea Haffner's elegantly composed wall sculptures and jewelry have to be examined closely in order to have then give you a most intelligent treat for your senses. See her work here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What the $#%& Happened at the Corcoran?

By Rosetta DeBerardinis

Participating artists and ticket-holders to the Corcoran’s “Art Anonymous” exhibit and fund-raiser were asking that last week when the museum sent out an e-blast canceling the fundraising gala. But, the questions didn’t stop there; the preview for the artists and the sale were just as confusing.

Some events in the art world are more priceless than the art. And, this event had all the ingredients of an art reality show. The high-point of the evening was standing behind Martin Irvine, owner of Irvine Contemporary, whose layered blonde hair swung across the collar of his black jacket as he banged on the massive black Beaux-Arts doors of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Priceless, I tell you! Mr. Irvine had volunteered to assist with the event but like the bewildered artists and ticket-holders but found himself locked out.

The Corcoran’s second email to the artists who had donated work for its fundraiser to benefit the College of Art consisted of another apology and a second bite at spin-control. That email invited artists to attend a reception and sneak-preview two hours prior on the day of the sale from 4-5 p.m. on Saturday.

And, I was told that the spin on the other-side was that tickets had suddenly become available for purchase a few hours prior to the sale. Rumor has it that it sold 175 tickets within that time so things were back on track again.

Well, not exactly.

The ticket holders were now entitled to one free painting, instead of paying $100 for it, in lieu of the advertised gala with food and dancing. Should they wish an additional work of art it was available for $100 each.

Upon entering the small gallery adjacent to the school across from the Hammer auditorium one quickly realized that it would have been impossible to hold any gala in there with dancing even if the guests were intimate. The small works with a size limitation of 5” x 7” or 7” x 5” were hung in three tiers around the walls of the white- cube. Since the artists were not identified one could only speculate on its creator. Some were easier to identify than others; although I couldn’t tell Tim Tates’ from Michael Janis, however, I felt certain it was one of them. Many of Washington’s top artists donated their work to be sold for $100. But, they expected to attend a gala and mingle with the patrons and sip wine with each other too. Not happening!

At 5 p.m. artists were politely asked to leave the gallery in preparation for the sale an hour later and not allowed be attend the sale. Outside there was lots of speculation about what happened, but no answers offered. Attendees soon began to arrive forming a line down the marble staircase on New York Avenue and along the sidewalk. Martin Irvine rightfully was at the head of the line continuing to bang on the doors and taking breaks to dial his assistant Laura on his cell phone who was inside the gallery, hoping she would grant him entry.

“The cell phone is in her purse and the purse is not with her,” he repeated several times. Local collector, Veronica Jackson, dashed up the stairs with the hope that Mr. Irvine had some answers. But, he responded by shrugging his shoulders and citing his personal dilemma then started to dial and bang again.

The doors parted at exactly six o’clock. We all insisted that poor Mr. Irvine be the first to enter. A woman stood at the entrance with a printed list of names to avoid the chance of “walk-ins.” Inside there were velvet theatre ropes along the walls.

This must be what they needed time to do. And, they had added Pellegrino to
a clothed table which only had wine an hour ago. Entry was only granted to about ten people at time and they had the confused look of the day. Corcoran staff sat at a table in the center of the floor with forms and Laura stood next to it holding a cordless microphone. Runners were stationed in all four corners holding pages of red dots.

This is what happened. At the start of the exhibit there was a pedestal with a form and pencils. One was to run between the ropes as quickly as possible hastily jotting down their picks. Then you hurried to submit your picks at the table and if it was still available Laura belted out the number and a red dot landed next to it. The room soon began to fill because some people’s choice were scooped-up and they had to quickly run to make another decision then run back to the table for submission. The patrons who were not accustomed to running and rushing around created a bottle-neck at the door spinning around bewildered.

All in all it was a good night. Where else could you get a piece of original art at those prices?

Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists

The 2008 Bethesda Painting Awards finalists have been announced and they are:

Amy Chan, Richmond, VA
Suzanna Fields, Richmond, VA
Janis Goodman, Washington, D.C.
Tom Green, Cabin John, MD
Lillian Bayley Hoover, Baltimore, MD
Sangram Majumdar, Baltimore, MD
Katherine Mann, Baltimore, MD
B.G. Muhn, North Potomac, MD
Bill Schmidt, Baltimore, MD
The jurors are Timothy App, who teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA); Dr. Anne Collins Goodyear who is assistant curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Portrait Gallery and serves on the Board of Directors of the College Art Association; and Reni Gower, who is a Professor in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The exhibition will be at the Fraser Gallery in Bethesda from June 4 - July 5, 2008 and the award winners will be announced on the opening night Friday, June 13 from 6pm - 9pm.

Art Talk: DC

On Tuesday, May 20, the Jackson Art Center will host ART/TALK, a free community event with noted DC art collector and arts activist Philip Barlow. Doors open at 6:15PM, talk/discussion at 6:30PM. Refreshments served. 3048 1/2 R Street, NW (across from Montrose Park in Georgetown, in DC).

Investing in art

There's no question that the upside of art investing can be way, way up. An untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat painting — purchased by New York collectors Barbara and Eugene Schwartz in 1981 for $3,150 — sold at Sotheby's last year for $14.6 million to benefit a museum. If that original amount had instead appreciated in step with the S&P 500, its value would have been about $36,000 in 2007. But for every Basquiat with breathtaking returns, there are thousands—millions?—of paintings sitting bashfully in attics or boastfully on walls, worth even less than some admiring buyer paid for them years earlier. So is it foolishness for the average boomer with some savings and a little spare time to try to buy beauty with the parallel goal of building wealth for retirement?

Not if you ask Walter Manninen, a 53-year-old collector and former executive who now is a senior business adviser in the small-business-development center at Salem State College in Massachusetts. Manninen grew up in the nearby artists' magnet of Cape Ann and began buying art with his grocery money in his early 20s. "I grew up with art in my backyard, but I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth," he says. His purchases—each, in the beginning, no more than $2,000 to $3,000 — now are one of his most valuable assets. As investments, his collection has "really outperformed everything," he says, stocks, bonds, and real estate included.
Read the USNWR article here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

WGS Open Studios

The Washington Glass School is having their big annual open house and 7th Anniversary Party this coming Saturday. Tons of glass sculptures and bowls for sale as well as music, food, and class specials. This annual event is always a load of fun and a great way to grab some real fine art as well as some decorative bargains! Over two dozen artists in the area will be participating... so you don't want to miss this one - pencil it in now.

Saturday, May 17th from 12noon to 5pm. Details here.


Heather over at DCist has a terrific overview of Artomatic and one that gets it: it's not just about the art. Read it here.

It will take several visits to digest this massive show, but I am already hearing the usual mix of kudos and complaints about the show.

It is also easy to predict what the press and writers think: if you never liked AOM because it was free, open, unjuried and democratic, then you won't like it this time or 100 times from now, regardless of what the actual art or artists do. This is called being "close minded" and it is an integral part of being a human being. Some people prefer controlled, juried or curated exhibitions only, and that's OK, even though sometimes -- often times -- they can yield silly shows like the most recent Whitney Biennials. Others are OK with both environments.

Having been to and seen every single AOM since it started, for me the fun part -- other that breathing in all the artistic good karma and energy that it releases upon the Greater DC area -- is trying to figure out who the emerging new art stars will be.

The past AOMs have yielded artistic finds such as the Dumbacher brothers, Tim Tate, Frank Warren, Kelly Towles, Kathryn Cornelius, Laurel Lukaszewski and many others.

I look forward to visiting AOM and this year I will focus strictly on artists who are new to me.

More later...

On the other side of the coin

The Washington Post's chief art critic is dead on when he bashes the whole issue of:

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the few undoubtedly, undilutedly great figures of the 20th century. Here's a radical idea for truly doing justice to the greatness of his memory: Give him a monument that might go down in history as an equally great work of art.

According to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the 28-foot-tall statue of King now being prepared on a work site in China, for eventual placement in a memorial on the Mall, doesn't fill that bill. As reported yesterday, the commission, which has final say in all such projects, recently concluded that the latest model for the sculpture evokes the socialist realist art of Stalin's Russia and Mao's China -- "a genre of political sculpture that has recently been pulled down in other countries," as the commission's chairman put it in a letter to the foundation raising funds for the memorial.
Of course giving King, or anyone for that matter "a monument that might go down in history as an equally great work of art" is not an easy assignment, as the only judge and jury there is time, not contemporary artists, critics or intelligentsia.
Photo Credit Courtesy Lei Yixin

Gopnik makes it clear that "for the record, I'm not on board with those who complain that the King monument is being made by a foreigner. Americans have a great tradition of bringing in the best art from abroad and (eventually) making it their own: The Statue of Liberty was designed, engineered and financed by Frenchmen."

That is 98% correct, although a little research into how his example's seminal idea, construction and delivery was initially received by the American press and public does yield a few similarities with the King issue. With the passage of time, though, Gopnik's example eventually becomes a good one. But it's also not a good example in the sense that Liberty was a gift from the people of France, designed, built and paid by the French.

He's also disregarding the huge controversies and arguments raised at the time over his second example, the Viet Nam War Memorial.

In fact, it seems like the first thing that happens when a public memorial, any memorial, gets planned and discussed, is that huge chasms erupt as the various agendas, ideologies and issues arise.

Historically, huge differences of opinion and artistic controversy seems to be part of the process. It was for Lady Liberty, it was for Maya Lin's elegant wall, it was for the recent WWII Memorial, and it will be for Dr. King's statue.

Gopnik takes a stab at what would work and then backs out before making a striking observation:
What would a monument to King look like that was as forward-looking, as change-inspired as the man himself? I've no clear idea. It would probably be figurative, like most of today's best art. Abstraction has lost the power it once had to make us think in terms of big ideas; it's mostly come to have the feel of lobby decoration.
Insight into Gopnik: "figurative, like most of today's best art" - that was news to me, somewhat of a Gopnikphile... although I already knew that he thought that "Abstraction has lost the power it once had to make us think in terms of big ideas."

It will be a difficult process to select a statue for Dr. King; that much we already know, but the current Maoist-Stalinist piece of merde being constructed inside the Chinese BORG is not the answer.

Bravo Gopnik! Read the article here.

PS - What's with that "look" in King's face in the Lei Yixin statue anyway? And what's with the arms crossed and one hand holding a pen? (is it a pen?) - it's like Lei Yixin took Bob Dole's body and put a King head on it, where MLK is staring at the sun and squinting in discomfort?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tonite in DC: Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks' "Under the Skin" - opens tonight at the Long View Gallery in DC. For a sneak peek of the work click here. Opening is 5-8PM. Buy Scott Brooks now.

Scott Brooks

Bilbao Guggenheim fires CFO in embezzlement case

Spain's Guggenheim Museum says it has fired its chief financial officer for allegedly embezzling some €500,000 (US$800,000).

The Bilbao museum says it began legal proceedings Wednesday after firing Roberto Cearsolo Barrenetxea. Cearsolo has been financial director since 1997.

The museum opened an internal
Read the article here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tonite: Artomatic

Artomatic opens tonight. This is the place to be in DC tonight. Bethesdeans should do their 6-9PM art walk and then head on to AOM.

From past experience, there will be dozens of parties going on throughout the spaces. This is the DC art event tonight.

Highlights of Artomatic’s opening weekend include:

• Unveiling of nine floors of 2-D and 3-D visual arts presentations by more than 700 local and regional artists.

• Flights of Fire – a fire dancing performance to be held outside at 9 p.m., Friday, May 9.

• “Electro-acoustic psychedelic world dance music” by Baltimore’s Telesma at 9 p.m., Friday, May 9.

• A Latin dance workshop with professional dance instructor Ibis Villegas, featuring salsa, merengue, samba, and other styles at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 10.

• Progressive rock by Guardians of Iridescence at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 10.

• “The Road to Success,” performance art by Carolina Mayorga in the form of a new TV game show at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 10.

• New wave/indie rock by Plastiq Passion, an all-girl band from Union City, New Jersey at 11 p.m., Saturday, May 10.

• An expressive drawing workshop with Giliah Litwack at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 11.

• "In-your-face" jazz/jam music "with a touch of funk" by Bethesda, JD-based Bassment Breaks at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 11.

A full schedule of events is available at

Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic transforms an unfinished indoor space into an exciting and diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays and sales by hundreds of artists, the event features free films, educational presentations and children’s activities, as well as musical, dance, poetry, theater and other performances.

Who will be this year's AOM emerging star? Let's get those "Top 10" lists going!

May 9–June 15 at Capitol Plaza 1
1200 First Street, N.E., (Corner of First and M Streets)
Washington, D.C. 20002
(New York Avenue Metro station: Red line)
Free, but donations accepted

Directions- here.

Senior Art Show at Moore

Because I am currently curating an undergraduate student show, which I have titled "Early Look," I have been visiting a ton of art schools along the mid Atlantic.

I recently visited Moore College of Art & Design in Philly and will soon review their "Senior Art Exhibition" here.

Meanwhile, see a quick walkthrough of the show below...

International Art Affair in DC

The International Art Affair will take place in Washington, DC May 15-18!

Details, agenda, party dates, artwork and stuff here.

Expect Multimedia, Traditional Media, Video, Art Clips, Skate Board Art, Skating Demonstration, Parties, More Video, Brazilian Art, Indian Art, Chinese Art, Slovakian Art, Austrian Photography, Australian Sculpture, Washington DC Graffiti, People with People, and more parties.

This weekend: 5th Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District will present the 5th annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, a two-day fine arts event highlighting 140 contemporary artists who will sell their original fine art and fine craft on the streets of Bethesda, Maryland. The festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 10 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 11, 2008 from 10am-5pm.

The festival will take place in downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle along Norfolk and Auburn Avenues, located six blocks from the Bethesda Metro Station. Free parking is available adjacent to the event in the parking garage located on Auburn Avenue.

With over 20,000 attendees over the two day period, the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival has become one of the top art events in the Greater DC region and a must see for those who think that good art is only available in gallery or museum walls.

Directions here and a list of details here.

Go buy some artwork!

Baltimore screen painting

Kitsch or folk art, screen painting is undeniably Baltimore...

A dwindling breed tries to preserve a quintessential Baltimore art form, which will be celebrated this weekend
Details here.

Viva Regina

Seattle's Regina Hackett is my new art critic heroine.

She tackles the WaPo's Blake Gopnik jaw-dropping Takashi Murakami review and his WTF? comparison of Murakami's cartoony artwork to Goya.

Unless the Blakester actually comes from the planet Quintumnia, I think that the seed for this asinine comparison is deeply rooted in Blake's Anglocentric education in Britain, and a harmonic echo as a way of dealing with England's arch enemy through the centuries: the Kingdom of Spain.

My pop psychology thinks that the Gopnikmeister is simply channelling the British desire to diminish all things not English -- note that I said "not English" and not "not British."

What better way to bring the great Goya a notch or two than a silly comparison to a cartoony contemporary artist?

And if Gopnik wants to see "caustic" I second Hackett's call for the WaPo to send Blake to Madrid and have Gopnik take one look at Goya's painting of the Spanish Royal Family and take a close look at the Queen's face and then smell the scent of "caustic" in the air.

From the archives: Blake blows it with El Greco as well.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bethesda Art Walk tomorrow

Friday is the Bethesda Art Walk with openings and late hours and a free walking tour to over a dozen Bethesda art galleries and art venues in artsy Bethesda, Maryland, part of the Sovier Socialist Republic of Montgomery.

My picks?

Beauty and the Beast, Ceramic Vessels and Sculpture by Liz Lescault and new work by gallery artists at Waverly Street Gallery. The Reception is Friday, May 9, 6-9PM.

And Lisa Montag Brotman at Neptune!

Go buy some artwork.

Wanna go to a DC opening tonight?

Make at trip to the Pepco Edison Gallery at 9th and G in DC for the Illustrators Club of DC: 14th Juried Exhibition.

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 8, 6:00 to 8:30 pm. The Exhibition goes through June 27. The gallery is at 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC Phone: 202.872.3396 (between G and H Streets at Gallery Place Metro).

Corcoran cancels party

Dear Art Anonymous Participants,

Thank you so much for helping the Corcoran College of Art + Design with Art Anonymous. Each of your amazing pieces has been installed in Gallery 31 and the space looks absolutely fantastic. If you haven’t had the opportunity to come by and see the Gallery, please make certain you do. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your donations and your generosity.

As you know, we had planned to hold a party after the Art Anonymous sale on May 10. Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances mean we have had to cancel the party and are now holding the sale only. The event has been switched and will be open to current ticket holders only from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday night. Proceeds from the sale will still be dedicated to the College’s BFA Scholarship Fund.

Again, please know how grateful we are for your support of Art Anonymous. As a token of our thanks, we do hope that you will join us for the Exhibition Preview Evening for Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power, to be held on Wednesday, September 10. Please accept our apologies for canceling the party at the last moment. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at (202) 639-1753.

Thank you again for your support of the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Best regards,

Corcoran Membership
Update: The Corcoran follows up with this email:
Dear Art Anonymous Participants,

We would like to take this chance to explain the situation further and extend a special invitation to all of you (in addition to the Avedon preview) for all of your dedication and support of the Corcoran during Art Anonymous.

Please understand that since the party after the Art Anonymous sale has now been canceled, we no longer have the space to hold participants other than the already registered ticket holders. We do understand that we offered all participating artists complimentary entry into this event. However, we had an overwhelming response to this offer, and without the extra room, Gallery 31 is too small to hold all potential attendees.

What we would like to offer all artists however, is the chance to join us from 4pm – 5pm sharp in Gallery 31 to mingle with each other, share some wine, and get a preview of the show before the works go on sale (these works are also up now, and can be viewed in our Gallery 31 until 9pm tonight, and from 10am – 5pm tomorrow and Saturday).

We look forward to hosting all of you at 4pm this Saturday in our Gallery 31 (please remember to use the New York Avenue entrance). If you had a guest accompanying you to the 6pm sale, they may still come to the sale, or we can refund their ticket and they may join you from 4pm – 5pm this Saturday. Just have them call (202) 639-1753 to get their refund. Please also note that the registration for the sale from 6pm – 8pm is now closed, and no walk-ins will be allowed.

Thank you again for your support of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and please accept our invitation for the artist-only sneak preview.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at (202) 639-1753.

With much appreciation,

Corcoran Membership

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Step two

A while back I told you about my new commercial ventures in the Philly area and my ideas about how to proceed.

That "venture" was nothing but a website back then... but thanks to a great 2007 as far as sales of my own artwork, step two is now ready for implementation and I will now participate in some art fairs and try to sell some of the art by the artists whose work I believe in and try to really promote here...

Wondrous people like Tim Tate, Marienela de la Hoz, Sandra Ramos (and a huge assortment of other Cubans) and all the good folks here.

Using the "war chest" of Samolians from sales of my own work, I have saved enough work to pay for the exhorbitant fees for three major art fairs, plus insurance, plus shipping, plus hotels, etc.

Plus pushing them to collectors on this blog! Thank God that my instincts have been dead on! Not just focused on "my" artists but all others on my "buy now list," most of which I don't represent.

But... I should have bought more Tim Tate and more Marienela, and more Amy Lin, and more Scott Brooks!

Anyway... here's my next art venture in its present form.

Step three: Enough $$$ to pay rent for a year in advance and open a new Philly space!

Comments invited!