Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year's

From the snowy Poconos: I hope that 2008 bring all of you loads of good and positive things.

2008 will be a super busy and interesting year for me. In addition to several art fairs where I will be participating, I will be also curating four exhibitions for four separate art venues in the Greater Washington, DC area, as well as potentially working a seminal project with a major gallery in London, plus having at least one solo show of my own work in Virginia later this year, plus several speaking engagements throughout the Mid Atlantic.

For me 2008 starts with "Color Invitations" at the new R Street Gallery in Washington, DC.

A while back the gallery's owner approached me, interested in exhibiting my newly revived interest in painting with a series of works based on my military decorations - a series that I started back in 1999-2000 as detailed here.

Because of the fact that these works have been selling quite briskly, and due to the timeline of the proposed exhibition, I declined the opportunity for the solo, as I didn't have enough works for it, and instead proposed to I curate a show for the gallery centered around a concept of artists working issues of color, texture, and some diverging from the type of work which they had been doing in order to explore color.

And thus on January 10, with an opening reception for the artists on January 16, 2008 from 6-8PM, the exhibition "Color Invitations" opens at the R Street Gallery with new work by Maggie Michael, Jeffry Cudlin, Amy Lin, Andrew Wodzianski (who also has a solo show opening at the Rodger Lapelle Gallery in Philadelphia this coming Friday, January 4, 2008), John Blee, Steve Lapin and myself.

On exhibition I will have some preparatory watercolors that I did in 1999-2000 in preparation for this this show at the McLean Project for the Arts, as well as a brand new painting from the series.

Expeditionary Service Medal by F. Lennox Campello
Expeditionary Service Medal, Watercolor on Paper, c. 1999
2.25 x 7.5 inches by F. Lennox Campello

The paintings themselves have shifted slightly in focus and technique. While the first few ones were essentially exploded pixillated huge oils of my Navy ribbons and medals, the new works "invent" new decorations and medals for imaginary, or predicted new military campaigns, perhaps as dreamed about, or envisioned by our political leaders in our nation's future, and as shaped by a visionary perspective on world events.

And thus at R Street Gallery, in addition to the prep work for the earlier pieces done circa 1999-2000, there will be a new oil painting depicting the "Iranian Campaign Medal," which will be awarded to American sailors, Marines, soldiers, airmen and Coast Guard personnel for participation in the future military campaign in Iran.

A second new oil painting on gessoed paper titled "Multinational Peacekeeping Force Medal for Service in Cuba," depicts the ribbon for the United Nations medal to be awarded to military and naval personnel who will be taking part in the peacekeeping occupation of Cuba as directed by the United Nations as that Caribbean island descends into chaos in a post Fidel Castro era.

The latter is part of my proposal package for a Cintas Foundation grant package that I submitted a few months ago, in which I propose to create a dozen new paintings, all depicting future campaign medals and ribbons associated with the imminent arising issue of the mess that is certainly to drag the US and the UN into Cuba once the brutal Galician dictator finally dies and his alcoholic brother fails to institutionalize a familial dictatorship in the style of Haiti's Papa Doc Duvalier or North Korea's Kim Il-Sung.

So pencil in January 16, from 6-8PM and come by the R Street Gallery, located at 2108 R Street (second floor), NW Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle gallery cluster.