Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time for DC to be shamed

"Managers of a downtown office building yanked a sculpture called "Unmentionables . . . then and now" from an exhibition last week after tenants complained that the art was inappropriate.

The offending art, by Joyce Zipperer, was installed with other artwork in the lobby of the Washington Square building at 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW. "Unmentionables" consists of 10 styles of women's underwear -- from old-fashioned bloomers to a skimpy thong -- all made out of metal and strung along a clothesline."
So begins the story by Rachel Beckman in the Washington Post.

The complainers?
"Shortly after the installation went up on Aug. 3, a group of tenants complained to the building's manager, Cynthia Muller. Muller wouldn't say which tenants objected to the art, but the artist and curator say they were lawyers from two of the building's resident law firms."
As Beckman points out: "Of all the office buildings downtown, Washington Square is perhaps the oddest place for an underwear-art controversy: One of its tenants is Victoria's Secret."

Censored artwork by Joyce ZippererZipperer
Read the story here. Shame on you DC!

Job in the Arts

The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), a nonprofit performing and visual arts center located in Boston's South End, is seeking a new Executive Director. The Search Committee intends to identify the successful candidate by fall 2008 with full-time employment beginning shortly thereafter.

Compensation will be competitive with similar positions throughout the country and will be negotiable. The range of benefits includes medical insurance, vacation pay, paid sick leave, and a 403(b)-retirement program.

The consulting firm retained to assist in the search will welcome qualified applications:

Stephen J. Albert and Thomas Hall
Albert Hall & Associates
942 Main Street #300
Hartford, CT 06103
Tel: (860) 808-3000 #321
Fax: (860) 808-3009

Artists Websites: Chawky Frenn

My good friend Lebanese-American painter Professor Chawky Frenn is a DC area painter who needs little introduction.

Having proved several times to be one of the the most controversial figurative artists in the United States, Frenn was born in Zahle, Lebanon and migrated to the United States in the 1980s. He is a currently a professor on the Art faculty at George Mason University in Virginia.

Art critic Donald Kuspit, one of the most visible art voices of the 21st century, has written that Frenn "constructs a spiritual space in which the contemporary public can feel emotionally at home, however troubling the emotions his imagery evoke in them."

The New York Times wrote that "Chawky Frenn is a painter who has nailed down the figurative mode, and this accomplishment gives him the license to convey anything he wants, including the grand theme: the elusive meaning of human existence."

The Washington Post wrote: "From a classical nude contemplating a human skull to his latest series of still lifes of slaughtered animal carcasses, Frenn is an artist's artist (as opposed to a critic's artist)."
Nothing Personal by Chawky Frenn
Frenn's works are used to controversy. In 2001, his Boston gallery decided to cancel a Frenn solo show at the last minute as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2004, his exhibition at Dartmouth caused an uproar on campus. Frenn, who was exhibiting at the same time at Damien Hirst, managed to outshock Hirst.

Visit his website here.