Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jeff Koons, The Curator

Over the last several months Mr. Koons, who has always been a polarizing artist, has been at work in a role he has never assumed during his three-decade career, that of curator of other people’s art. Last summer he accepted an invitation by the New Museum of Contemporary Art to organize an exhibition of works from the important collection of the Greek billionaire Dakis Joannou, a collection in which Mr. Koons’s own work plays a pivotal part. That fact — along with Mr. Joannou’s close friendship with Mr. Koons and Mr. Joannou’s role as a trustee at the New Museum, though he is not underwriting the show or providing input — has caused some people, even in the insular contemporary-art world, to worry that the arrangement is too clubby.
Read the NYT article here.

Math to the rescue

Every few years, we're wowed by news of some jaw-dropping sum paid for a previously unknown painting or drawing by a famous artist. But how can a buyer truly be sure that a piece is a legitimate creation of, say, Leonardo or Gauguin? Mathematicians at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N.H., may have the answer. They recently presented a computer-based statistical analysis technique which they say will help art historians and conservators discover even the most skilled forgery.

Their method, called sparse coding, learns what characterizes the artist's style at a level of detail that is practically imperceptible to the eye of even the most experienced appraiser. It works by examining small patches of a picture and breaking them down to a set of essential elements.

"The aim is to establish for each artist a vocabulary of brush strokes or pencil marks that defines his or her style," says James M. Hughes, a doctoral candidate at Dartmouth who coauthored the research reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Read the report in IEEE Spectrum here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cream of the Curators' Talk

Katzen Museum of American UniversityWhen I drove into the underground parking lot underneath American University's Katzen Arts Center last Thursday for the Curators' Talk for the WPA's much anticipated Cream exhibition and art auction, I knew that the joint was going to be packed to the gills: I was half an hour early and parking on the first level was already full.

I went up to the main floor, and immediately ran into Professor Chawky Frenn from GMU's Art School, who was taking one of his classes through the museum and to the lecture. Frenn, who is perhaps the DMV's most politically controversial painter, is also recognized by GMU as one of its best. Earlier this year he was one of the recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award at George Mason University.

Frenn is without a doubt one of the toughest political painters of his generation, and his beautiful classical paintings use the brush and style of the masters to bring forth devastating political and social commentary on paintings often too controversial (as Dartmouth found out a while back) for galleries and museums to offer in a conventional way.

The Katzen was packed to the gills. This is the 29th iteration of the WPA's annual fundraising auction. I've attended most of them since 1993 or so, and this instance was easily the most people, by far, that I've seen come to the Curators' talk.

With all due respect to the terrific curator team assembled this year by Lisa Gold, the hardworking director of the WPA, in my humble but brilliant opinion, the main reason that 67.2% of the people were there, was to see the work picked by and listen to the comments of one of the curators: ubercollector Mera Rubell. There were art dealers from as far as Philadelphia and Richmond who came to the talk and perhaps a chance to meet Rubell and slip her a business card.

The details of how Rubell became involved in the WPA auction this year and the gigantic effect that her presence has caused on the DC area art scene are somewhat chronicled here in my account of her epic "36 studios in 36 hours" marathon. They are also chronicled in her usual brooding style by Jessica Dawson for the Washington Post here.

As you constant readers know, Rubell had selected 16 artists for this exhibition, including one of my drawings. The Lenster was one of the "Sweet 16." By the way, great idea to a DC area photographer to do for DC Magazine or one of those glossies: remember the famous "Irascible 18" photograph?

Mera Rubell selecting a Lenny Campello drawing

Mera Rubell during her visit to my studio shows the drawing that she selected for the "Cream" exhibition (Photo by Jenny Yang)

I somewhat rushed through the exhibition, already worried that the auditorium was going to run out of seats. I noticed that a lot of unexpected but familiar DC area art scene A-listers were there, including not one but two Washington Post art critics (perhaps the first time in history that this has happened).

Can you begin to sense the impact that this woman is having upon our area's visual art scene? Look up ennui in your dictionary and feel it beginning to disintegrate.

I said hi to Mera, "how's the baby?" she asked. I told her that Little Junes is doing great. In fact, Anderson (Little Junes) has made me realize that his two sisters Vanessa and Elise were the babies from hell. The little fellow sleeps about 12 hours a night and he has been doing that most of his six months.

His older sisters are both in their twenties now and soon coming to DC to meet their little brother. They're both experienced models and thus if you know anyone who needs a model during the first week of March, let me know.

Vanessa Anne Campello

Vanessa Anne Campello de Kraus

Elise Lena Campello

Elise Lena Campello y Strasser

But I meander... I love that word "meander." It's the only thing that I remember from Greek architectural elements from art school and maybe the only architectural element that has an associated word meaning as well.

And so Chawky and I went into the auditorium and found a great sit in the middle, about three rows from the stage and right behind Alberto and Victoria F. Gaitan, both superbly talented DC area artists. Victoria is also one of the "Sweet 16."

The evening started with the presentation of the Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art to James F. Fitzpatrick, who is not only a wonderful asset to the DMV art scene, but also quite a funny guy. While Fitzpatrick was talking he kept accidentally fiddling with the computer keyboard on the podium, never realizing that he was giving us all a preview of the work about to be discussed, as the gigantic images rotated behind his back.

The curators (in alphabetical order) then started discussing their selected work. It started with Ken Ashton, a well-known DC area photographer and also a Museum Technician for Works on Paper at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Predictably, Ashton selected photographers for his picks, nearly all Corcoran alumni or staff. My favorite piece amongst his picks (and the potential steal of the auction) is Marissa Long's enigmatic photograph. I want to see more works by this artist.

Marissa Long

Marissa Long. Untitled (legs), 2006. Gelatin silver print. 8" x 10". Courtesy of the Artist. Retail Price: $300. Reserve Price: $150

I also have to admit that I was disappointed by the Matthew Girard photo that Ashton picked. I love Girard's fringe images and would have picked one of those edgy and super cool fringe people photos (Matt ferchristsakes get a website!).

My good friend Kristen Hileman, the new Curator of Contemporary Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art followed. She discussed her selection by smartly reading from her notes (and thus finishing within her allotted 10 minutes), and some cool museum wall-text jargon added a little curatorial speak to her selections, some of which "respond to idealism and order" and art that "conceal information as much as it reveals information." My favorite piece amongst her pieces, by far, was Erik Sandberg's gorgeous drawing "Consternation."

Carol K. Huh (who has a really sexy voice), the Assistant Curator of Contemporary Asian Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution and Joanna Marsh, the James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, followed.

From Huh's selections, my favorite was this interesting drawing on vellum by Jon Bobby Benjamin titled "The Burning of the Empire Absalom", which in spite of its cool title has nothing to do with Darth Vader or Star Trek.

From the very fair ("fair" as Lord Byron would have used the word) Joanna Marsh's selections, I liked Joseph Smolinski's purposefully illustrative graphite on paper titled "Stump", which according to Marsh is a "wry critique on cell phone towers."

Joseph Smolinski. Stump, 2006. Graphite on paper. 9" x 12". Courtesy of the Artist and Mixed Greens Gallery. Retail Price: $950 Reserve Price: $500

Next was Jock Reynolds, an effervescent past head of the WPA and now the Director of the Yale Art Gallery and an accomplished artist on his own right. Jock said that he had "worked with all the artists that he selected" and his selections certainly offered a "walk down memory lane" of DC's artistic foundations from the 70s and 80s. My favorite amongst his selections, however, is still quite a key figure in our area's art scene and easily one of its best-known and most creative sculptors. I'm talking about Jeff Spaulding's very sexy piece titled "Delirium."

Jeff Spaulding

Jeff Spaulding Delirium, 2006. Wood, polystyrene, rubber, plaster, and hydrocal. 6" x 7" x 18". Courtesy of the Artist and G Fine Art. Retail Price: $7,000. Reserve Price: $3,500.

Next was Charles Ritchie, who is an artist and the Associate Curator of Department of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art. His breathtaking Astrid Bowlby selection was my favorite amongst his picks. I'm sending him mental commands for a studio visit to come visit me and see my drawings.

Mera Rubell was next.

This unassuming firecracker of a woman started by saying that she was "totally astonished at what I've found in this community."

She described her 36 hour studio-visiting adventure and observed that "the studio is the holiest of places, the inner sanctum", and admitted her challenges of selecting work by herself after 45 years of doing it as a team with her husband and then her children.

As she began to discuss her 16 selections (16 artists that is), Rubell started with m.gert barkovic (whom you may recall was one of my top picks at the last Artomatic). Her work, Rubell said, "Has the ability to capture power" and "managed to capture {Einstein's} theory."

Of Holly Bass's works, she noted that it is influenced by "the moment that she discovers her blackness [in the white neighborhood where she was raised]" and her piece "deals with change."

Judy Byron "is like a therapist; a talking healer!" She added humor by noting that Byron should "be involved in the Middle East negotiations because she can get people to kiss on the lips!"

My work then popped onto the screen behind her. A gigantic image of my Age of Obama - The Nobel Peace Prize, a million feet tall by a gazillion meters wide, was on the screen. She turned to it.

"This guy is out of control!" she exclaimed into the microphone.

She then described the events that I discussed here, noting that I was the last studio on their grueling 36 hour tour, and that I was also in the same delirious state as them, because I had also been up almost 36 hours creating artwork for them to see (because I had none to show them when I was notified of their visit - all my art was in Miami for the art fairs).

Mera Rubell, Lenny Campello and Lisa Gold

Lisa Gold and Mera Rubell with me during their visit to my studio (Photo by Jenny Yang)

"We were all so delirious that we laughed the whole time that we were there," she added.

She then described the drawing as "gorgeous" and "fantastic", recalling its association with my interest in Pictish culture and describing how the "beautiful nude figure" has the historical Obama acceptance speech tattooed onto her body echoing the ancient rites of carrying history on your body.

Age of Obama - Nobel Peace Prize

F. Lennox Campello. Age of Obama - The Nobel Peace Prize, 2009. Charcoal on paper. 14" x 7 ½". Courtesy of the Artist and Alida Anderson Art Projects. Retail Price: $500. Reserve Price: $250


She ended by asking the audience: "Do you know him? - I can't go to sleep without first reading his blog."

Holy shit, Mera Rubell, one of the planet's top art collectors, reads my blog... Good God Almighty, Great Balls of Fire...

Breathe deep Campello... more Rubell's picks to come and one more curator to report on; be fair.

Next Mera talked about Rafael J. Cañizares-Yunez, who is a new DMV artist, at least new to me. She said that his work was akin to Giacometti, but "more sexual" and "amazing."

Adam de Boer is a painter, a really good one, and Mera noted that "it takes lots of courage to take on painting in this time in history."

Of the tiny Mary Early she described her works as "amazing... monumental sculptures."

When Victoria F. Gaitán's striking images filled the screen behind her, Rubell went back into story-telling mode.

"We had to go through a brawl when we visited her apartment building," she said. "And yet, she is the most tender human being you've ever met!"

"An extraordinary performance," she noted. "Very, very exciting," she continued, "haunting images... it's like: Cindy Sherman, eat your heart out!"

Carol Brown Goldberg is "compelled" and "amazing" with "magical sculptures."

Pat Goslee is described as "sensitive." She then goes on to describe Goslee's work as "beautiful and extraordinary."

Jason Horowitz's studio is "wild." The work is described as "larger than life" and "amazing." That last adjective keeps coming back to describe the work that she has selected.

At Barbara Liotta's studio Rubell recalls an "intense conversation" dealing with the sense of the District's artistic relationship to New York's presence in the art world. And Liotta's does "magical things."

Patrick McDonough was "really mesmerizing" and Brandon Morse "does amazing things."

Dan Steinhilber's work was next. Rubell described him as "amazing and totally fantastic"; his work "creates a mystery and asks questions that then surprise you."

Dan Steinhilber

Dan Steinhilber
Untitled, 2009. Electric floor fan, bottomless trash can and bag. 120" x 30" x 30" (kinetic work, dimensions variable). Courtesy of the Artist and G Fine Art. Retail Price: $10,000. Reserve Price: $6,000

Lisa Marie Thalhammer was the last Rubell pick discussed. "Turns out," said Rubell, "that [Thalhammer's art], painted on a building, has caused crime in that area to come down."

And she was finished.

The last curator was N. Elizabeth Schlatter, the Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums. She went back to curatorial museum jargon a little bit, discussing "human sustenance" and "environmental sustainability" and "ornamentation versus structure." Schlatter also did a good job of searching through the WPA Artfile to "discover" some new artists.

Her best pick?

Easy... the DMV's master performance artist who also happens to be a monster of a painter: Andrew Wodzianski.

Andrew Wodzianski

Andrew Wodzianski
House III version 2, 2009. White titanium oil on tinted canvas. 30" x 48". Courtesy of the Artist and Fraser Gallery. Retail Price: $3,000. Reserve Price: $900

And it was all over. And I mulled the fact that Mera Rubell's curatorial picks had such a distinct and unique flavor from all the other curators, that in my biased opinion they clearly reflected the huge differences between the way that a world-class collector sees artwork and the way that an academic museum curator sees artwork.

They are worlds apart; the museum curator's eye often drifts too far to the side of the mind's conceptualism, ideas and the way that ideas can be expressed in art jargon. It's not wrong or bad, just a part of the way that different people in different life-experiences or positions, see and react to art.

The collector's trained eyes (in this case with 45 years of training) are adept at picking the subtle marriage of creativity, conceptual ideas, technical skill and presentation. It is anchored on a longer lasting reality than the ethereal reality of the revolving museum door.

Both perspectives are needed to stitch together a good visual art tapestry. Both sensibilities make a terrific visual exhibition, and I will agree with the general consensus that I heard buzzed about on Thursday night, that this 29th iteration of the WPA's annual auction is by far one of the best group shows in recent years and easily the strongest WPA auction ever.

But if I was an up and coming young contemporary curator, I'd also use this exhibition to learn a little from a set of eyes with 45 years of collecting experience and see what I could "pick up from her picks."

Anyone can pick a pickle, but only an Englishman can Piccadilly.

Check out the selected artwork here and go bid for some of it.

Thank you Mera, and if you're reading this post, this is how we "misfit toys" now feel about our area's art scene because of your new presence:


Friday, February 26, 2010

I have a question

I'm always amazed by the size, the huge size, of thighs in the ice speed skating world. The size on Apolo Ohno and those Koreans and northern European men and women is something to behold.

It is clear to me that those monster thighs can't fit your standard "off the rack" pants when the skaters go mufti and discard those alien sex suits that they skate with.

And nu... so my question is: what do they wear when they're out and about in civilian clothes?

Stretchy stuff (like Haggars)? Big baggy pants? Jodhpurs?

Speaking of thighs... chickens have some really huge thighs too, don't they? I have always wondered about "boneless chicken thighs."

My interest is that I am curious about the process of how they get rid of the bone. Work with me here... a boneless breast is easy to visualize the process of removing the bone.

But the bone in the chicken's thigh is in the middle of the thigh (I think). So how come I can walk into my supermarket and buy plump, full, boneless chicken thighs?

Man I'd love to see the machine that does that bone-removing process...

I don't even want to think about "boneless chicken wings."

That would make my head hurt.


The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), in partnership with the DC Office of Cable Television (OCT), announces the premiere of Art (202) TV, an innovative one-hour television segment that showcases the diverse talents of the District’s art scene. Art (202) TV will be featured on TV-16 of the District’s cable system on Fridays at 9 pm and Saturdays at 11 pm.
Details here.

Hotel Art Intervention Project

A few years ago I told you about my "hotel art intervention project" where, starting in the late 70's and through the early 2000's, it was my usual practice, as sort of a personal artistic jihad, to take down the framed "art" in hotel rooms, take the frame apart, and remove the usual poster or reproduction that was the art, turn it around, and draw (and once in a while actually paint) a "new" original work on the verso of the poster.

It was usually a simple, figurative line drawing, more often than not done while watching TV, and often inspired by the TV show itself. Some were more elaborate than others, and every once in a while a really involved drawing would emerge.

Once finished, I would re-frame the new work, and re-hang it on the wall.

Sometimes I would add touches to an existing piece. I especially loved those mass produced oil paintings of beaches and huts and glorious sunsets. To the beaches I would "add" other elements, such as footprints spelling out messages, discarded syringes, a dead octopus, etc. To the glorious sunsets perhaps an UFO or the odd-looking airplane, or even Superman flying around.

Between the late 1970s and up to maybe 2002-3 I did this probably around 200 times in hotel rooms in Europe, Canada, Mexico and all over the United States.

A few weeks ago I visited the Left Coast and stayed in a hotel that I had previously been in many times. It has been refurbished recently and all the rooms were nice and clean. My room was decorated with some acceptable "wall decor" of flower prints (see the images below).

hotel flower print

And then, to my utter surprise I discovered a piece of artwork hanging in this room which was one of the works that I had "improved" upon a few years ago! I recognized it instantly!

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's the "improved" print hanging on the hotel room wall today

What are the chances that from all the rooms in that hotel I would end up in the one where my intervention was hanging? Or better put re-hung.

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002
Here's another shot of the piece in the corner of the room

I documented most of the earlier hotel work via slides (remember slides?) - the vast majority of which were lost in the mid 90s when the storage facility where I had a lot of books, tons of art slides and other stuff was flooded.

But this latter "intervention" documentation survives thanks to digital cameras, as it is one of the later ones, from around 2002. So I went back through a couple of old PCs that I need to throw away as soon as I copy everything that's in the C drive, and found some vintage digital images of the original process.

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

This is the original flower poster, image taken in 2002 before I "improved" the wall decor

What I did in this particular case, was to create a furious battle scene going on the flower itself. From a distance it looks like the flower is being invaded by bugs, but once we get close, we see a barbaric battle going on, as Cimmerians attack the flower, being defended well by armed guards. What movie was I watching at the time in that hotel room in 2002? A TV re-run of Conan The Barbarian!

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's the piece back in 2002, unframed on my hotel bed and ready to be improved

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's a close up of the "improved" flower poster

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's a close up of one of the bulbs showing the furious action going on

Then, I re-discovered that in this particular instance I had done a second drawing on the back of the frame. I used the nice masonite backing to do a quick charcoal and conte drawing: two for the price of one!

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's the "extra" piece of art done on the back of the frame

I never did check when I was in the room to see if that drawing is still on the back of the frame. It is probably impossible to do so anyway, as the wall decor in most hotels these days are anchored to the wall in such a way that it takes a concentrated effort to get them off the wall (as if anyone would steal it?).

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

Here's a close up of the drawing on the back of the frame

I'm not saying anything, but I feel the jihad rekindling!

Hotel Art Intervention Project 2002

And here's the room, in case you ever happen to be out West

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tonight at the Katzen

Cream's on at the Katzen and there's a talk by the curators tonight, Thursday, February 25, 2010, 6:30-9:30pm at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC.

Check out the selected artwork here.

Mary Early

Mary Early
Untitled, 2006
Wood, putty, beeswax
48" diameter x 6"
Courtesy of the Artist and Hemphill Fine Arts
Retail Price: $6,000
Reserve Price: $3,600

See ya there tonight!

How to make the luge more exciting

Nothing can help curling, but I've got this great idea for the Olympic committee to make the luge event more exciting: rebuild the courses to be wider so that all of those little cars can come down at once and thus they're really racing against each other instead of individually against the clock.

Then it would be like NASCAR on ice and the event would get huge ratings from NASCARites.

Ideas to help curling be more exciting welcomed.

Artist Interview: Frank Warren

In my opinion, Frank Warren is the best-known DC-based artist in the world. And to add evidence to that opinion, Warren's worldwide art project PostSecret is not only one of the Internet's most popular and visited websites, but also has spawned a whole series of best-selling books and launched an interesting career for Frank as a speaker on the university and museum circuit. DC Art News asked Warren a few questions:

DC: Who or what has been your biggest influence as an artist?

Artomatic was my gateway to the artistic work I do now. At my first Artomatic I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the work. Some works fired me with inspiration, others I found mediocre. But ultimately, it was the mediocre works that gave me belief that: “hey, I could do that”.

DC: What are some of the challenges or mistakes that you have experienced as an artist and what did you learn from it?

My three biggest mistakes as the founder of PostSecret

1. Not being able to delegate.
2. Not colleting email addresses from the first day of the Blog.
3. Having a bad interview with one of the producers of Oprah.
4. (Actually, not being able to delegate might be just the opposite of a mistake.)

DC: What key event, or person, if any, has attributed the most to your success or progress as an artist so far?

My literary agent, Brian DeFiore helped me create the kind of PostSecret book series I had imagined. Theo Moll, helps me set up speaking events at schools, performing arts centers, and museums. I am enjoying that part of the project -- sharing the stories and listening to secrets -- more than anything else now.

DC: What advise would you give to emerging artists?

Create art that one of your parents likes but the other hates.

DC: Who is your favorite DC area artist?

I have work hanging in my home from my favorite artists. Most of them I met through Artomatic. Mark Jenkins, John Adams, Scott Brooks and Tim Tate.

DC: Anything coming up in the near future for you?

I have been working on short PostSecret films here are two I’m proud of: click here.

line waiting to see Frank Warren's PostSecret exhibition
Above are the hour-long lines to get into one of Warren's shows in Georgetown a few years ago. And everywhere that he takes his PostSecret show to, the lines are just as long.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fellowships for Artists

The Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for their 2010-2012 Term.

Deadline: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hamiltonian Artists, a 501(c)3, has announced its third annual open call to new, emerging artists to apply to their two-year Fellowship Program, aimed to aid in the professional development of visual artists.

Please refer to their website for application requirements, restrictions and forms. The application process will close at 5:00 pm on on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, and any applications received after that date will not be considered.


"What was the best thing before sliced bread?"
- George Carlin

Cream at the Katzen

An opening reception for the much anticipated Cream exhibition and art auction was held on Saturday, January 30. There's a talk by the curators on Thursday, February 25, 2010, 6:30-9:30pm, both at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC.

Check out the selected artwork here.

Mary Early

Mary Early
Untitled, 2006
Wood, putty, beeswax
48" diameter x 6"
Courtesy of the Artist and Hemphill Fine Arts
Retail Price: $6,000
Reserve Price: $3,600

See ya there tomorrow! Come by and say hello.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

T-Shirt of the Day

A dark sense of humor for planet Earth's longest reigning dictator.

Buy it online here.


To my good friend Alec Simpson, who has just been appointed as the new (and the first) director of the MNCPPC Main gallery and programming space at the Gateway Art Center in Brentwood, MD just outside the District line on Rhode Island Avenue.

That is one beautiful new visual arts space for the DC region.

Virginians: Get involved!

In view of the huge deficits, the state legislatures in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia are devastating their funding for the arts and for education. Here's something that you can do to help in Virginia (via Virginians for the Arts):

"The greatest threat to public support for arts and cultural institutions in Virginia in the past two decades is pending before the House of Delegates and will be voted on this Thursday, February 25.

On Sunday, the House Appropriations Committee recommended elimination of the Virginia Commission for Arts and all arts grants funding as part of the House's proposed 2011-2012 budget. The full House will vote on this budget on Thursday. We believe that legislative supporters of the arts will mount an effort to delete this provision from the House budget package and thus to restore funding for the Commission and its grants to arts and cultural institutions across Virginia, large and small.

Please call your legislators immediately and ask them to take action to eliminate this provision from the House budget. And please forward this E-mail to your board members, donors, artistic staffs and all other friends of the arts and ask them to join this urgent effort. Information regarding how to determine who is your legislator and how to contact him or her is set out at the end of this E-mail.

If this devastating proposal is to be reversed, we need nothing less than an unprecedented outpouring of public outcry over this action. Only you can make that happen. Please don't assume that "somebody else" will make these calls. We need every supporter of the arts to stand up and be counted in the next two days.

What exactly are we asking for? We ask the House to delete, from the proposed House amendments to the Budget Bill (House Bill 30), the elimination of all funding for arts grants through the Virginia Commission for the Arts. The proposal to eliminate this funding is part of Item 0.9 #2h, paragraph L., reductions to Items 233 and 234. This item begins on page 7 of the House Amendments and the actual elimination of arts grants appears on page 10)."
Legislator contact info here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What is fair use on the Internet?

Maryland Art Place will be presenting an "Internet Copyright Workshop" and it will be presented with the Maryland Lawyers for the Arts.

When: Saturday, March 6, 2-5PM

Who: Artist Stacia Yeapanis shares her experience and Attorney Cynthia Blake Sanders offers advice: "Internet Fair Use Do’s and Don’ts + Problem-Solving Work Session"

The Internet is a vast networking system for artists to deliver images of their work to the public. Internet regulations are meant to protect everyone. However, the law can be an obstacle to contemporary art production. Join us to find out why. Artists welcome to bring examples of your digital appropriations!

Free and Open to the Public - Space Limited
Registration is required and can be done by sending an email to:

This week: Cream at the Katzen

The Washington Project for the Arts' (WPA) Cream exhibition is now at (through March 6, 2010) at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

This annual exhibition features works by more than 110 local and national artists selected by an esteemed group of eight top curators including scholars, museum directors, practitioners and collectors. All works are on view until the WPA Annual Art Auction Gala, which will take place March 6, 2010, during which the exhibited works are available to the highest bidders.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 6-9pm, along with a talk by the curators on Thursday, February 25, 2010, 6:30-9:30pm, both at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC.

The 29th iteration of this exhibition highlights some of the region's most talented artists, presenting a broad range of media and styles of both new and emerging artists as well as more established career artists. As an annual WPA presentation, the auction exhibition has gained new stature and recognition, evolving from a brief 'showing' of artists' works as a preview for the WPA's auction event, to one of the most prestigious and recognizable art showcases of its kind, with a high caliber of notable curators selecting the works. Cream is a notable survey of contemporary art in the region and beyond, with selected works representing the cream of the crop and the talent of the artists included that rose above thousands of others viewed during the curatorial process.

"We are tremendously pleased with the participating curators and their art selections - the work is fresh and exciting, and there are artists with long-standing ties to WPA as well as new names that the curators are introducing to the public," said Lisa Gold, WPA's Executive Director. "It was particularly rewarding to have a window into the curatorial process this year," she added, referring to 36 Studios- Part I, a 36-hour tour with collector Mera Rubell, during which she visited with 36 artists to inform her exhibition artwork selections.

Curator View and Presentation of Alice Denney Award
Thursday, February 25, 2010, 6:30-9pm

Curator and former WPA Executive Director Jock Reynolds will present the Alice Denney Award for Support of Contemporary Art to James F. Fitzpatrick, followed by a slide show and short talk by Cream curators about their exhibition selections and a preview of the exhibition.

Admission to the exhibition and curator talk is free and open to the public. Seating for the curator talk is limited; attendees are encouraged to RSVP by February 19 to

Cream exhibition curators and their selected artists include:

KEN ASHTON, Visual Artist and Museum Technician for Works on Paper, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Margaret Adams, Chan Chao, Natalie W. Cheung, Billy Colbert, Frank Hallam Day, Matthew Girard, Avi Gupta, James Huckenpahler, Michael Dax Iacovone, Hatnim Lee, Marissa Long, Kate MacDonnell, Beatrice Valdes Paz, Ding Ren, E. Brady Robinson

KRISTEN HILEMAN, Curator of Contemporary Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
Ken Ashton, Clarke Bedford, iona brown, Renee Butler, David Carlson, Zoë Charlton, Mary Coble, Jennifer Dorsey, Susan Eder & Craig Dennis, Bernhard Hildebrandt, Ryan Hill, Brece Honeycutt, Dean Kessmann, Cara Ober, Erik Sandberg, Joe White

CAROL K. HUH, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Jon Bobby Benjamin, Howard Carr, Neil Greentree, Max Hirshfeld, Tim Hyde, Franz Jantzen, Courtney Jordan, Martin J. Kotler, Jeffrey Smith, Stanley Staniski, Oliver Vernon

JOANNA MARSH, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Mark Dion, Michelle Elzay, Kota Ezawa, Devon Johnson, Mark Newport, James Prosek, Jean Shin, Joseph Smolinski, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, René Treviño

JOCK REYNOLDS, The Henry J. Heinz II Director and Visual Artist, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
William Christenberry, Tom Green, Jacob Kainen, Betsy Packard, Lisa Scheer, Jeff Spaulding, Alan Stone, William Willis, Yuriko Yamaguchi

CHARLES RITCHIE, Visual Artist and Associate Curator of Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art
Jay Bolotin, Astrid Bowlby, Georgia Deal, Douglas Florian, Cassandra Kabler, Mark E. Karnes, Karey Ellen Kessler, Sangram Majumdar, Rob Matthews, Beverly Ress, James Stroud, Lynn Sures, Bill Thompson, Alice Whealin, John Wilson, Janine Wong

MERA RUBELL, Co-founder, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL
m. gert barkovic, Holly Bass, Judy Byron, F. Lennox Campello, Rafael Cañizares-Yunez, Adam de Boer, Mary Early, Victoria F. Gaitán, Carol Brown Goldberg, Pat Goslee, Jason Horowitz, Barbara Liotta, Patrick McDonough, Brandon Morse, Dan Steinhilber, Lisa Marie Thalhammer

N. ELIZABETH SCHLATTER, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA
Hsin-Hsi Chen, Irene Clouthier, Joelle Meredith Francht, Ron Johnson, Sue Johnson, Kirsten Kindler, Martin McFadden, Susan Noyes, Erling Sjovold, Jessica Van Brakle, Barbara Weissberger, Andrew Wodzianski, Amy Glengary Yang, Shannon Young
Additional works on view in the exhibition this year include a new series of glass sculptures created by Joe Corcoran, David D'Orio, Steve Jones, and Megan Van Wagoner, members of DC GlassWorks, a public access glass blowing and sculpture facility located in Hyattsville, MD. These pieces will be featured in the museum exhibition and on the dining tables during the auction event, also available for bid.

The Cream exhibition is open for viewing, Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 4pm at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Admission is Free. More information on the exhibition is available at Preview the works at

About the Art Auction Gala
Now in its 29th year, the WPA Art Auction Gala will be held at the Katzen Arts Center on the campus of American University and is the organization's most important fund raising event. Guests include more than 400 artists, collectors, and business leaders vying to bid on the works included in the Cream exhibition, as included above. The event supports WPA mission's to promote emerging and established artists in the greater DC metropolitan region. The gala dinner is sold out but information on purchasing party tickets will be available at
Best deal in the auction block (in my clearly biased opinion)? This gorgeous piece.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Artist Interview: Victoria F. Gaitán

Victoria Gaitan
I must admit that I've only come across the really intelligent and impressive work of Victoria F. Gaitán in the last year or so, but in that short period of time I've seen this talented artist mature and quickly ascend in the DC area art scene, including being one of the "Sweet 16" artists picked by ubercollector Mera Rubell for the upcoming WPA "Cream" auction at the Katzen Museum. DC Art News asked Victoria a few questions:

DC: Who or what has been your biggest influence as an artist?

I tend to draw a lot from my own head, so I guess just trusting my own process. That said, I still swoon over 16th-18th Century painting and am an avid movie watcher and book reader. For some reason I tend to get hit with a lot of images and ideas while watching crappy TV shows late at night with the cats or while I'm in the shower.

DC: What are some of the challenges or mistakes that you have experienced as an artist and what did you learn from it?

The biggest mistake that I've made was allowing myself to be shamed and swayed into producing work that just wasn't 'me' in the interests of 'commercial viability'. Never again. From this I learned that your soul doesn't have a price, and if someone is telling you that what you make is total shit and that you and it are worthless, it may be time for you and your inner Elvis to leave the building.

My biggest challenge is the ever present old chestnut that everyone has to deal with, of not having enough money to produce the work from concept through completion (e.g. exhibition). From this I've learned that being an artist ain't for sissies.

What key event, or person, if any, has attributed the most to your success or progress as an artist so far?

I'd like to thank a fucked up past and a willful neglect of reason. I had an incredibly supportive art theory lecturer (hi Jim!) at art school whose friendship and faith in me were invaluable, and for which I am eternally appreciative. My husband Alberto is my marrow, and a saint, allowing me to bring a seemingly endless stream of people along with all manner of crap and evisera into the apartment and regularly turning it into a blackened-out hell hole with hot lights. But, my biggest touchstone will always be my Father.

DC: Do you use a method for pricing your artwork?

This is something that I have a lot of trouble with. I think I've got a shaky skeleton guide; a certain pricing system for gallery work and another for commissions.

DC: Have you done any of the art fairs? If so, does your work do better at the fairs or at the gallery shows?


DC: What advise would you give to emerging artists?

Listen to yourself first and foremost, your gut won't lie.

Who is your favorite DC area artist?

Alberto, of course! I also really love the work of James Rieck, Brandon Morse, Sarah Knobel and Mary Coble.

Anything coming up in the near future for you?

I have two photographs, (Hole No.1 and Hole No.2 from my Hole series) that were selected by Mera Rubell for the WPA's auction "Cream" at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center that runs until March 7th.

I also have a photograph (Untitled) in the show 'Empty Time' curated by Trevor Young at the Fridge DC gallery that runs until March 3rd. As well as about 5-6 photographs (from my series Sweet Meat) in the show 'Beautiful: Virginia Women Artists and the Body' curated by Joanne Bauer at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) that opens on May 1st. Also at Jeffry Cudlin's show By Request at Flashpoint in June 2010.

There are plenty artists still to photograph, and the ceaseless boat load of filthy-dirty, grubby-grimey and oozy shoots.

Anaïs Nin

Anais NinToday is the birthday of Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, the Cuban sex virago who is perhaps best remembered as a diarist and as a writer of erotic tales and seducer of nearly everyone who came across her incandescent life.

Other than her famous diaries, Little Birds and Delta of Venus are my favorite books of erotica.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Visiting Artist Program at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Deadline: February 28, 2010.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria Virginia has opportunities for
one, two, or three-month residencies between June 1 and August 31, 201.

Visiting Artists will be provided with studio workspace, and will be able to
display and sell original work to the public.

Download the prospectus and application form from this website.

There is no application fee. The deadline for application is February 28,

Juror: Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University
Museum at the Katzen Art Center.

Send questions to: No telephone calls please.

Little Junes has a tooth!

Anderson Campello

Anderson Lennox Franklin Lars Timothy Angus Pict Eric Florencio Brude James Tiberius Campello Anderson Cruzata Jaspersen Alonso Zaar Marrero Karling Comba Noren Dalke Hartsell y Lennox. Circa February 19, 2009. Flesh and Blood and one tiny tooth. 28.5 inches by 21.5 lbs. NFS.

American Art Collector

The Lenster has a nice mention in the March issue of American Art Collector magazine. Thank you Sheila!

Artists' Websites: Alexa Meade

Alexa Meade
Wait until you discover the really cool paintings on flesh by DC area installation artist Alexa Meade.

Alexa Meade's innovative use of paint on the three dimensional surfaces of found objects, live models, and architectural spaces has been incorporated into a series of installations that create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships.
Visit her website here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: March 31, 2010.

The Greater Reston Arts Center, in collaboration with Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) and the Washington Sculptors Group (WSG), is pleased to present a juried exhibition of three-dimensional sculpture, installation, video and new media from June 25 through August 14, 2010.

Juror Vesela Sretenovic, Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at The Phillips Collection, will select indoor and outdoor works that explore the theme of "gaps" as in-between states, stops, or pauses.

Click here for a full prospectus. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2010.

Yesterday's Jury Duty

Yesterday I juried the Gateway Arts Center grand opening exhibition of artists who live or work in the Gateway Arts District.

The Gateway Arts Center at Brentwood looks great after its refurbishing - it used to be the former Brentwood Arts Center.

It's located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD. The art shows will be at the 2500 s/f gallery space on the ground floor and there is 900 s/f classroom on the first floor as well. The remaining 1700 s/f of space on the first floor is available studio space. The second floor has 5500 s/f of studio space for rent with a 450 s/f gallery that will be managed by the Gateway CDC. There are already several artists working there and there are two studio spaces currently available. Contact them for details.

I was amazed by the large number of blue chip artists from the District who actually live or have a studio in the area. Wait until you see this grand opening show! The grand opening is next April 10.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jury Duty

I'm jurying the Gateway Arts Center grand opening exhibition of artists who live or work in the Gateway Arts District.

The Gateway Arts Center at Brentwood is a gorgeous new visual arts center located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD. There is a 2500 s/f gallery space and a 900 s/f classroom on the first floor. The remaining 1700 s/f of space on the first floor is available studio space. The second floor has 5500 s/f of studio space for rent with a 450 s/f gallery that will be managed by the Gateway CDC.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rubells buy Randall School Building

A press release from the Corcoran College of Art and Design has announced the sale of the former Randall School (which used to be the Millennium Arts Center), which sold for $6.5 million to Telesis Corporation and CACB Holdins LLC. The Corcoran bought the school for $6.2 million in 2006.

The Corcoran had bought the space four years ago to use the 80,000 square feet of space for studio, exhibition and classroom space. Back then the Corcoran's Paul Greenhalgh said that "Part of our strategic plan is to grow the student base and make the college more competitive." And then there was this idea that:

Once the municipal reviews are completed, Greenhalgh said, the Corcoran will sell the property for $8.2 million to Monument, which will manage the building. The profit, said Gentry, will go to the city's public-school modernization fund.
I don't know what happened to that plan, but Don and Mera Rubell, owners of CACB, will apparently convert the school (located at 65 I Street, SW) into a new contemporary art museum for the DC area, a hotel and perhaps even a private residence?

More evidence of the Rubells' deep and growing interest in the DC area visual arts scene. This is more great news for DC artists and our cultural tapestry.

I'm personally glad that the Rubells have taken over this building, as I think that it may be better for the DC art scene.

400+ Underground Artists from Around the World Coming to DC area

An unprecedented gathering of underground artists convenes in the Washington, DC metro area (in Crystal City) this spring. In an artistic interpretation of the G-20 political summit, G-40:The Summit will occupy 75,000 square feet of exhibit space on four floors of an empty office building in Crystal City.

Each region-themed floor will have 10-30 featured artists who will activate the space with murals and installations. G-40: The Summit is curated by Art Whino.

The mission of G-40: The Summit is to bring the leaders of the New Brow genre of contemporary underground art together in an effort to explore, discuss and grow this movement, which features influences like comics, graffiti, skate and surf culture and punk art to push the edges of artistic expression and appreciation. Different hubs of the New Brow movement will be showcased at G-40 including DC, New York, and California, in addition to international work.

Throughout the month of the exhibit, G-40 will host musical and visual performances, lectures, and more. From live mural painting to resident DJ’s, G-40:The Summit presents a dynamic new gallery experience bringing visionary artists from across the world together.

G-40: The Summit – a dynamic, contemporary, art exhibit featuring curated works from artists around the world. There will also be visual and musical performances.

Five floors of exhibition space, including a lobby lounge, New York gallery, Washington, DC gallery, California gallery and an international gallery.

Who: Over 400 contemporary artists from across the country and around the world.
Where: 223 23rd St. Arlington, VA 22202

Metro Accessible – Crystal City
Distance from Washington, DC: 2 miles
When: March 3 – 27, 2010
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 5-10 p.m.
Fridays: 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Saturdays: 12 p.m. -12 a.m.
Sundays: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Mondays & Tuesdays: Closed

Public Preview with Live Painting: Wednesday, March 3rd 5-10 p.m.
First Friday: Friday, March 5th 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Grand Opening: Saturday March 6th 8 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Tickets: No ticket is necessary - the event is free and open to the public

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Many Friends of Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, two of the most powerful art critics in New York, spent Valentine’s Day together seeing a few art shows—nothing out of the ordinary for the couple, married 18 years, who visit dozens of museums and galleries every week in service of their respective columns—hers in The New York Times, his in New York magazine. Among their stops on Sunday afternoon was the Guggenheim, where they spent three hours wandering about before going to the museum’s new cafe. Mr. Saltz got some cinnamon-ginger cookies and sat down across from his wife.

Then he made a confession. In a moment of passion and uncontrollable excitement, he said nervously, he had posted a link to her latest article for the Sunday Times on his Facebook wall.
Cool article in the NYT by Leon Neyfakh describing the Facebook following that art critic Jerry Salz has built via Facebook.
Mr. Saltz, whose Facebook picture shows him standing next to Bill Clinton, has a lot of “friends”—4,970, to be exact—and he’d have even more if Facebook didn’t impose a limit on how many one user can have. The 58-year-old has been accumulating them steadily since November 2008, when a former student of his registered an account on his behalf, even though Mr. Saltz, a self-described technophobe, didn’t really know or care what it was.

In the year or so since, Mr. Saltz’s Facebook page has become a phenomenon, having undergone an unlikely, organic transformation that turned it from an inconsequential personal profile into a highly trafficked, widely read discussion board about the art world. Populated by dedicated and predominantly serious-minded artists, curators, gallerists and assorted art-world denizens—many of whom check the page compulsively and post their thoughts multiple times a day—the page has become home to a vibrant community and an essential extension of Mr. Saltz’s practice as an art critic.
Read the article here.

At NYC: Artist Talk this Thursday

I've been hearing good things about the Adrienne Moumin photography exhibit that opened this past Sunday in NYC. Read an excellent profile on Moumin by Amber Parcher in the Gazette here and check out some photos here.

The DC area's artist's talk will be held this Thursday, 2/18, from 6:30-8:30 pm, all details are here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Corcoran Photography Thesis Exhibitions

All of you know that I am a big supporter of student artwork and that good photography collectors also know that a good eye is developed (pun intended) by discovering good photography at shows like these:

Reception: Thursday February 18th 6-8 pm
Feb.17-21, 2010
Fine Art Photography Thesis Exhibition I:

Carrie Greenwood
Charey Jackson
Kelly Teeling
Justine Tobiasz

Reception: Thursday February 25th 6-8 pm
Feb. 24-28, 2010
Fine Art Photography Thesis Exhibition II:

Vivienne Foster
Julie Granger
Renée Regan
Howard Solomon
All of the above at:
Gallery 31
Corcoran Gallery of Art / Corcoran College of Art + Design
500 17th St. NW
Entrance at NY Avenue
Receptions in the North Atrium

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: May 1, 2010

This is an international open call for artwork to be exhibited in the upcoming summer group show in the Adam Lister Gallery. This exhibition will run from June 4 through July 18, 2010. This open call will be juried by the gallery board of directors and gallery staff. All artists that are selected will be featured in a six week show in the gallery.

The Adam Lister Gallery is located in the center of Fairfax City, and offers a high level of visibility for artists to display their work. We've been recognized as the premier contemporary art gallery in the Northern Virginia area. Working closely with collectors and curators, our goal is to provide an art exhibition space for both established and emerging artists. For this open call we are looking for art done in any medium. Drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, photography, installation, and anything else you work with is acceptable. There are no restrictions regarding subject matter or size (though it must be able to fit through our door 70"x82"). Artists of any age and background are encouraged to submit their work. We're looking for unique and interesting approaches to the idea of art making.
Visit their website here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Maryland Symposium

Online Registration is now open for the upcoming symposium co-sponsored by the David C. Driskell Center and the University of Maryland University College

Autobiography/Performance/Identity: A Symposium on African American and African Diasporan Women in the Visual Arts - March 5 and 6, 20010

Featuring a keynote address by Lorraine O'Grady, and a performance by my good friend and Boston Cuban-American artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and more.

See the program online here and register for the symposium online here.

For more information contact
David C. Driskell Center
1214 Cole Student Activities Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
TEL 301-314-2615
FAX 301-314-0679

Warhol at the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery

This has all the characteristics of a terrific re-exhibition:

In 1980, iconic American artist Andy Warhol created a series of silkscreen prints titled “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century,” which depicted such luminaries as Albert Einstein, George Gershwin and Golda Meir. Warhol was on hand when an exhibition of the works debuted in the Washington area at that time. According to The New York Times, “Critics were appalled and denounced the series as crassly exploitative.” Audiences across the country, however, responded far more favorably.

Thirty years later, the exhibition returns to the nation’s capital along with a new one-man show, Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? based on the series.

The exhibit, “Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century in Retrospect,” will be on view in the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery from February 25 through May 2. An opening reception will be held February 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The production, written and directed by DC favorite Josh Kornbluth, will be presented by Theater J March 6-21 in the Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater at the Washington DCJCC. A humorous and penetrating take on Warhol’s Jewish portraits, Kornbluth’s show wrestles with the artist’s motives and techniques as well as the spiritual dimensions of his work while, at the same time, revealing Kornbluth’s own suppressed religious identity. A comedic autobiographical monologist based in the San Francisco area, Kornbluth performed his hit show Citizen Josh at Arena Stage in 2008. Tickets to Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? are available at or 800-494-TIXS.

Looking back from a 30-year vantage point, Susan W. Morgenstein (who curated both the original and current exhibitions) says “‘Ten Portraits’ addresses several important questions: Why is Warhol and his work still popular today, and why do these 10 portraits continue to intrigue viewers?”

History of Exhibition

The 1980 exhibition grew out of discussions among New York and Israeli art dealers and Washington area curators who narrowed down lists of dozens if not hundreds of Jewish figures representing great achievements in the arts, sciences, philosophy, law and politics. Ultimately, they encouraged Warhol to portray:

* Sarah Bernhardt, celebrated French actress
* Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice of the United States Supreme Court
* Martin Buber, renowned philosopher and educator
* Albert Einstein, the great theoretical physicist
* Sigmund Freud, founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology
* Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo, vaudeville, stage and film comedians
* Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth Prime Minister and one of the founders of the State of Israel
* George Gershwin, distinguished American composer
* Franz Kafka, eminent novelist
* Gertrude Stein, avant-garde American writer, poet and playwright

The suite of ten prints represented a departure for the famous artist. For instance, it was the first time he had done a series that included portraits of different people (rather than multiple images of the same person). It was also the first time he depicted historical figures.

In addition to the 40 x 32 inch prints, the current exhibition features reproductions of the photographs on which Warhol based his artworks, media coverage of the original exhibition, and copies of the lists from which the final figures were selected.


On April 7 at 7 p.m., the Gallery hosts Richard Meyer, author of the catalog, “Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered,” in conversation with Susan W. Morgenstein. An associate professor of art history at the University of Southern California, Meyer examines the exhibition’s controversial premiere, whether or not our views of it have changed since its first showing and why the images continue to provoke books, films, plays and museum exhibitions. Visit for more information.


“Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered,” a 64-page book featuring color and black-and-white illustrations, is available in the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery and Abramson Family Foundation Judaica Gift and Bookstore; it sells for $15.


The Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, a program of Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Note that the gallery will be closed on March 30 and 31 and April 5 and 6 for Jewish holidays.) Admission is free.

Theater J is a professional theater company founded to present works that “celebrate the distinctive urban voice and social vision that are part of the Jewish cultural legacy.” A program of the Washington DCJCC, Theater J has been hailed by The New York Times as “The Premier Theater for Premieres.”

The Washington DCJCC, located in the nation’s capital and serving residents of the metropolitan area, is located at 16th and Q Streets, NW, four blocks east of the Dupont North Metro station. For information, contact (202) 518-9400 or

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The my good bud and one of the District's uberartists, Tim Tate, who just got picked up by London's Cynthia Corbett Gallery.

The whole thing started in one of the art fairs in Miami last December. Corbett was showing in Miami, walked through several of the fairs in the city, chatted with Philadelphia's Projects Gallery (which also represents Tate), and that gallery's hardworking owner Helen Meyrick introduced Corbett to Tate's work.

Meyrick then took Corbett over to by Norfolk's Mayer Fine Arts, which also represents Tate's work, and there Meyrick and MFA's also hard-working owner Sheila Giolitti showed Corbett more of Tate's video work and she liked them a lot.

And just recently they closed the deal and now Corbett will represent Tate internationally (she does most of the American and European power art fairs). This is a huge step forward for Tim Tate.

Lesson here? This is why it is important for galleries to do some art fairs, and why it is important for artists to support their galleries' as much as they can. The art fairs are a huge financial risk for the art galleries, but the pay off opportunities, both for the galleries and for the artists whom they take there are huge.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Murmur DC on Antognoli

In today’s digital world, we lose touch of the basic elements of every day life. Photographers like Erin Antognoli bring back us back to earth, with a craft that focuses on the simple life. Her work is formed with a cheap Holga camera, and a heightened sense of her surrounding environments. Instead of choosing to become engulfed with the many features carried with today’s digital cameras, she chooses to become engulfed with the many features in her subjects.
Beautiful post on DC area photographer Erin Antognoli in Murmur DC here.

Dawson on Conner

Freelancer Jessica Dawson has a gorgeous article in the WaPo on the District's powerhouse and uber hardworking dealer Leigh Conner.

Word of advice: Art dealer Leigh Conner is many things -- well-connected, a powerhouse, the District's top gallerist -- but one thing she isn't is laid-back. Never, ever cross her. Trust me, I know.
Read Dawson's really good piece here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mellema on new DC gallery?

We've been sitting on an interesting D.C. art scene story, waiting for the situation to develop enough that the telling of it won't ruin it. The situation is still in a state of flux, and still a few weeks shy of full disclosure, but solidifies by the day. We can tell you some of it now.

Speculation at the Daily Campello Art News ( has been that someone was looking to sign a short term lease for the much lauded, but still vacant old Numark Gallery space downtown. The educated conclusion being drawn was that a temporary gallery might be going into that space. We can confirm the rumors as being true, as far as they go. The lease was, in fact, signed on Tuesday of this week, so now it's full speed ahead.
Read the very interesting story by Kevin Mellema in the Falls Church News-Press here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Missing Andy Warhol Link?

Check it out here.

For Tomorrow

February 12, 2010


To DC area uberglassmeister Michael Janis who just found out that the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) awarded him the prestigious Saxe Fellowship Award - yea!

I've been telling you for years now: Buy Michael Janis now!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Congrats to Matt and Dana

They are Washington painters through and through. He watches al-Jazeera and "Democracy Now." She exults in living next to the Portrait Gallery. They rendezvous and shop at Whole Foods because it's halfway between their places. Every July they make a painting a day based on the news. She studied art. He's self-taught. They get drunk in Adams Morgan, or in their studios as they paint. They're vegetarians.

Everyone says they're perfect for each other, but no one thought they'd get married. They decided to do it when they realized they could craft a show called "Till Death Do Us Part." They'd paint about their impending nuptials, hang the art in a gallery, have a ceremony at the opening, invite the public, maybe cast themselves as a power couple in the D.C. art world -- hopefully modeled on the harmonious De Koonings rather than tempestuous Frida and Diego.
Read a terrific article by the WaPo's Dan Zak on the marriage of Matt Sesow and Dana Ellyn here.

Update: If you missed the event, Matt and Dana will be back at Long View Gallery this coming Friday Feb. 12 for a happy hour from 5-6pm. Come by to check out the show and ask them questions about the paintings, marriage, etc.

Snowcalypse Stories (Part III)

Earlier I described the series of events associated with the DC Snowcalypse of 2010 and left you at the point where we had spent a chilly night without electricity.

Soon after waking up on Sunday morning I lit another fire, and a few minutes later I heard the hum of electricity return to the house. It lasted for 30 seconds or so before it died again.

Thinking that maybe the fuses had blown, I checked them and they were good. Soon my Blackberry was buzzing with neighbors sending notes about the short burst of electricity. It seems like it happened to all of us.

By now it had stopped snowing, and WTOP was saying that the snow was over and done with (and another one coming), so I went outside to face the white world of my neighborhood. In the back of my mind I kept trying to ignore the fact that it was Super Bowl Sunday and that it was beginning to look like I was going to miss it.

Several neighbors more arduous than me had already begun shoveling their driveways, but the most immediate issue was the fact that when the snow plows went through the neighborhood, they left in their snow wake a six foot tall wall of snow in front of everyone's driveway. That alone looked like several hours worth of shoveling by itself, never mind the driveway.

But, as my neighbor across the street warned me, by tomorrow the snow would be rock hard, so today was the only window of opportunity to remove it. He also proved that you reap what you sow.

You see, the day before I had come over to his house and offered him firewood. He had thanked me but declined, since he had his own stash.

And today, he came over and offered me his snow blower. "I've had it for 30 years," he claimed. He then explained that a few decades ago, he and another neighbor had proposed to all the neighbors in the cul de sac to chip in $100 each and they'd all contribute to buying a professional snow remover for all to share. Only one neighbor agreed to do so, and thus he and the other guy ended up buying a small snow Toro snow blower which they used for years between them. And today he was offering it to me, provided that I somehow cleared the snow mountain in front of my driveway.

Help came via a truckload of Central Americans who showed up at another neighbor's house to clear their driveway. I asked their jefe how much they would charge me to clear my driveway. He told me that they were already booked all day through the neighborhood. I switched to Spanish and he told me that maybe he could squeeze me in after 4PM and that it would be $160.

Being the lazy snow remover that I am, I was willing to shell out the exorbitant sum - after all, there was a lot a snow in that driveway - but the more stingy half of the family shot it down as she strapped Little Junes on her baby carrier and began attacking the wall. A six foot wall of snow just doesn't scare those hardworking Swedes.

"See how much they charge you just to remove the wall," suggested the kind neighbor whose offer of his snow blowing machine dangled before my eyes like a carrot on a stick. He must have seen the horror in my eyes as I contemplated spending the entire day shoveling snow.

Sixty bucks later the wall was gone and now the entire neighborhood was after the work crew to have them clear their walls. Somehow the crew managed to escape with a bunch of snow shovel wielding neighbors chasing them down.

Using the ancient Toro snow blower, I attacked the driveway, and even with mechanical help it took me about four hours to cut a path wide enough for one car to get through.

And I forgot to mention that electricity had come back in the interim and the real problem of Snowcalypse 2010 had been solved: the Super Bowl was back on!