Friday, March 14, 2008

Five Senses

Yesterday I was down at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria; first I spent about half an hour checking out a couple of very good Art League shows juried by Jack Boul and Sarah Tanguy; review coming later.

Then I went to Target Gallery to see "Five Senses," which I had juried from digital files, and was really pleased with the show; you gotta go see this really cool exhibition - it's not what you'd expect and let me give you a hint: it makes the entire building smell of mouthwash!

I awarded Best in Show to an amazing piece by Illinois artist Pamela Paulsud. Titled "Touchstones," the work is comprised of 50 altered books and some real stones, and it is an imaginative and smart work that fools the visual senses, and then demands tactile interaction.

touchstones by pamela paulsud
"Touchstones" by Pamela Paulsud

Those are mostly books, not stones in the above image of the winning piece.

See the short video of the show below and you'll see why I am so excited about this show - I hope that some of the area's art critics and art bloggers get a chance to see it, and I also think that some of my fellow art dealers should pop in - there are a couple of really, really good pieces in this show, and those artists definitely need some further exploration.

Judy and the Boys

The above photograph by Lida Moser is known as "Mimicry" or more commonly "Judy and the Boys." It his perhaps her best-known image, and for a while it was the most popularly requested photograph from the Library of Congress archives.

I've seen this photo described as "dancing in the streets."

Here's the real story.

Circa 1961, the model (named Judy) hired Lida Moser to shoot a publicity portfolio, and Moser convinced Judy that the streets of the Bowery in NYC would be an ideal location.

So they began posing and shooting, and soon a small band of New York City urchins approached them.

"Hey Lady," says Lida the oldest one said to her, "take my pichurr."

"Get lost,"
answered Moser, "We're working here."

"C'mon lady," the kids now insisted, "take our pichurr."

Soon, to the irritation of Judy, the eldest boy started to mimic her poses. "See lady," he said, "I can pose too."

Moser is not a photographic genius for nuthin' and she recognized the photographic opportunity and started backing up slowly to include the boys in the frame. Judy was now really pissed, and look at her dainty gloved hand, as she gives the street ruffians the finger.

Eventually Moser included the boys in other photographs (all part of a series loosely called "Judy and the Boys") and the images became part of the portfolio. The first photo (imaged above) captures the beginning of a brilliant photo that has little to do with dancing in the streets but loads to do with the eye of a savvy street photographer.

Lida Moser opens tonight at 6PM at Fraser Gallery in Bethesda.

Bethesda Art Walk Tonight

Tonight 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.

My pick: Lida Moser at Fraser Gallery. Also, I learned from DCist that Moser will discuss her work on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by a screening of two documentaries about her work.

Lida Moser photo
"Along a Road in Tennessee," c. 1965 by Lida Moser

Weston and Modotti

Two tiny recent drawings, each about 2.25 square inches representing Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, who for a while were lovers while in Mexico City. Modotti was eventually executed by the Nazis in Germany died in Mexico under suspicious circumstances in 1942.

Edward Weston by F. Lennox Campello

Tina Modotti by F. lennox campello

I like this

WaPo Chief Art Critic Blake Gopnik interviews Charles Cohan, a 47-year-old printmaker and art professor based in Hawaii, and currently exhibiting in DC's micro-gallery with a huge presence, Curator's Office.

Cohan installation at Curator's Office
Cohan's installation at Curator's Office

Read the interview here. The gallery reception for Cohan is Saturday, March 15 6:30 - 8:30 pm.