Monday, January 21, 2008

This Saturday in DC

On Saturday January 26, from 4-6PM, Irvine Contemporary in DC will have the first Washington, DC projection screening of Paul D. Miller's acclaimed video, New York is Now, selected for the 2007 Venice Biennale.

NY is Now still by Paul D. Miller
Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky), Film still from New York is Now, 2007, C-print

Frida Kahlo's coming to Philly

A while back I commented on the coup scored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in getting on the Frida Kahlo bandwagon, and noted my amazement that no DC area museum was included in the tour - and yes, I know that Philly is only two hours from DC.

As most of you know, I am and have been a Fridaphile since I first came across Kahlo's work when I was 18 or 19 years old... read this essay about that particular obsession.

Seven Fridas by F. Lennox Campello - click for a larger version
"Las Siete Fridas (The Seven Fridas)"
Pen and Ink Wash, F. Lennox Campello
Univ. of Washington Art School assignment circa 1980-1981
Collection of Seeds for Peace.

And thus my warranted excitement about the coming Kahlo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Organized in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the her birth, this will be the first major Kahlo exhibition in the United States in nearly fifteen years. It includes over 40 of the artist's most important self-portraits, still lifes, and portraits from the beginning of her career in 1926 until her early death in 1954. The exhibition also features a selection of nearly 100 photographs of Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera, by such well-known photographers of the period, such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gisele Freund, Tina Modotti, and Nickolas Muray. It opens February 20, and runs through May 18, 2008.

Also in the Kahlo spirit, Philadelphia's Projects Gallery will have an exhibition titled Frida and Me, Common Threads, which is of course inspired and aligned to the centennial exhibition of Frida Kahlo at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In this show, four contemporary Latina/Hispanic artists, Doris Nogueira-Rogers, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Marilyn Rodriguez-Behrle, and Marta Sanchez present works that "reflect on the intertwining relationships between various identities and cultures of Latin American female artists."

I'm really looking forward to visiting both of these shows and will report on them later.

Frida and Me at projects Gallery

Frida and Me, Common Threads will be open from February 1- 23, 2008. The Opening Reception will take place on First Friday, February 1st, 2008 5-8 pm with a special reading from Las Gallas Artist Collective.

Blog Heat

Seattle's blogging art critic Regina Hackett is taking some undeserved blog heat after publicly asking a couple of blogging peers "if they wouldn't mind getting to the point faster."

Artists usually learn really quickly to develop a thick skin and must learn to graciously accept malicious criticism, constructive criticism and negative criticism.

Bloggers learn really quickly to dish out all three versions of the criticism; they/we certainly also need to develop thick skins in order to accept (as in Hackett's online criticism of two fellow bloggers) constructive criticism.

And constructive criticism is definitely not an "attack" as has already been written about Hackett.

In 1997 the Washington Post's art critic Ferdinand Protzman wrote a small review about a solo show that I had in Georgetown and wrote:

Fraser Gallery is showing charcoal drawings of nudes by F. Lennox Campello. The subjects are mostly women Campello found on X-rated Web sites. He then arranged to meet and draw them. The drawings are very dark and the artist's abundant use of shadow effects can be heavy-handed and irritating. But in a few of the works he manages to find a delicate balance between the black charcoal and cream-colored paper resulting in a grainy, film-noir effect, making his subjects, traffickers in mass-consumption prurience, seem tough but vulnerable, like a flowering plant in a sexual wasteland.
I was delighted that the review-poor WaPo had chosen to review my show (and unfortunately since then the Post has further reduced gallery reviews from weekly to twice a month) and sent Ferd a thank you note, and as most of you know, proudly wear the fact that my drawings can be irritating!

Another Nude Bush Update

Another update and a call for you to remember when the below painting by Kayti Didriksen caused all that uproar at Artomatic and became the Internet's most downloaded image?

It became the most popular contemporary political art of all time.

George Bush by Kayti Didriksen

Kayti tells me that her world famous painting has been chosen to be illustrated in an American college textbook: Art Appreciation by Debra J. Dewitte, Ralph M. Larmann & M. Kathryn Shields.