Monday, May 31, 2010

Trescott on the Corcoran's director

"Greenhalgh said the Corcoran, under his tenure, not only had to repair its physical plant but also relationships with Washington's donor and arts communities, which began to look at it as troubled rather than innovative.

"The Washington public is not the shyest in the world. One received advice from all over about what should happen," he said. "This place had to be systematically fixed. We had to think about the roof. The college numbers had been flat for a generation. So many galleries had been turned over to storage." The cost of needed repairs was estimated to be $40 million at one time.

By August, Greenhalgh said, all of the galleries will be reopened, the permanent collection reinstalled, a suite for contemporary art established and a new initiative, called NOW, created to showcase emerging contemporary artists."
Read the Washington Post story here.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibition program for the new NOW initiative. I hope that it surprises me in a good way. My past experience with what current museum curators' consider "emerging artists" and what the rest of the art world considers "emerging artists" are way different.

It didn't use to be that way. In the past, museum curators used to take chances.

Way back in the 80s, when the Whitney Museum gave some American artists their first ever museum exhibition, that was a great definition (for me) of what a museum can do for a true emerging artist. I won't even mention the names.

So for Sarah Newman or whoever at the Corcoran is putting together (or has already put together) the NOW exhibition schedule: if the artists who are being selected for NOW have already had a museum exhibition, then you're too late and they have already emerged.

Work harder and seek out the truly emerging artists that are making a name for themselves all over the place and not just New York and haven't yet had a single museum show, like someone did for Gerhardt Richter in the 80s.

I can think of a few names right off the top of my head and it's not even my job.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just plug the damned hole!

BP oil spill cartoon by Lenny Campello

Friday, May 28, 2010

Corcoran looking for a new director (again)

The director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Paul Greenhalgh, has announced that he will resign on June 1 to become director of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia. His move is the latest in a series of major changes that have taken place in the D.C. art scene in recent months.
Details here.

Nine Months Old!

Anderson Lennox Campello
Anderson Lennox Campello, better known around here as "Little Junes" (for "Little Junior") is nine months old today. He is everything but little though... already tight in 12 month old clothes.

Relentless Continuity 2010 to be destroyed

This is the last weekend to see Relentless Continuity 2010, a site specific Drawing by John M. Adams at the Adam Lister Gallery in Fairfax, VA. The drawing will be destroyed late afternoon, May 30, 2010 by the artist.

A site specific drawing is created on location, for that specific location. Typically, they only last for the duration of the exhibition, and are destroyed when the exhibition is over.

Adam Lister Gallery
Old Town Fairfax Village Plaza
3950 University Drive
Fairfax VA 22030
*gallery entrance on North St. between University Dr. and Chain Bridge Rd.
(across from Panera and next door to Asian Bistro)

Artists' Websites: Heather Evans Smith

Check out the gorgeous photographs of North Carolina photographer Heather Evans Smith.

Ken Salazar and BP

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art & Soul Auction

The 8th Annual Art & Soul Charity Auction 2010 is Friday, June 25, 2010 6:00 PM at The Music Center at Strathmore in Rockville, MD just past Bethesda. This is an important charity auction for the National Center for Children & Families (NCCF).

Join Honorary Co-Chairs Fox 5 News Anchor Allison Seymour and renowned jazz keyboardist, composer and producer Marcus Johnson, on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 6 p.m., for NCCF's 8th Annual Art & Soul Charity Auction at The Music Center at Strathmore.

The live auction will feature artwork created by youth from the Greentree Adolescent Program (GAP). The silent auction will feature Gifts from the Soul (non-art items) and juried artwork pieces from regional artists. In addition, guests will enjoy music by Sony recording artist Julia Nixon, the premiere of NCCF's new image, and the presentation of this year's Spirit of Humanitarian Awards.

Art & Soul Charity Auction tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by contacting Heidi Coons, Director of Development and Institutional Advancement, at (301) 365-4480, extension 114 or click here to purchase online.

Proceeds from the evening benefit the completion of the Freddie Mac Foundation Youth Activities Center (YAC), NCCF’s sole cultural arts and recreational facility located on the Bethesda Campus.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pornography or Art?

Police have visited an exhibition of works by the late Irish photographer Bob Carlos Clarke at London’s Little Black Galleryafter the explicit sexual images on display provoked complaints from local residents. Police inspector Sean Flynn visited the gallery on Chelsea’s Park Walk after resident lodged a formal complaint to Kensington and Chelsea council, claiming that the images in the gallery’s windows were pornographic. The works will be on show until 5 June.

After inspecting the two works in question, Flynn said: “My assessment is that Whip Girl [2000] is acceptable, but I have some concerns about Tite Street [1990]. [It] appears to show a man having rear entry sex with a woman who is bent double and not wearing any knickers. Of course, this is not the appropriate place to have a debate about art versus pornography. It is my assessment that Tite Street should not be able to be clearly viewed from the street.”

Staying up: Bob Carlos Clarke's Tite Street, 1990 (c) The Estate of Bob Carlos Clarke

Staying up: Bob Carlos Clarke's Tite Street, 1990 (c) The Estate of Bob Carlos Clarke

The Little Black Gallery is not the only establishment currently displaying Carlos Clarke’s work. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White owns the largest single collection of the controversial photographer’s work, and more than 30 of his large-scale images are prominently displayed in the chef’s restaurant Wheeler’s of St James’s. The explicit subject matter of the works has received a far more welcome reception here than in formerly bohemian Chelsea. Hostess Bea Jarrett told The Art Newspaper that not a single complaint about the photographs has been received in the two years since they have been on display. “I guess that says a lot about our clientele too,” she added.
Read the article in the Art Newspaper here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When Museums say no

Art-museum officials love to talk of the important works they are given by donors—the Mary Cassatt painting, the Alexander Calder mobile, the collection of Edward Weston photographs—and that talk (they well know) encourages similar donations. Cultivating gifts is a large part of being a museum curator or director. But not all donations are equally welcome, and another part of the job is figuring out how to say "no, thank you."
Read this very cool article by Daniel Grant in the Wall Street Journal here.

I've had that experience with rather interesting results. For example, a while back I had a major art collector who was retiring down to Florida and she had quite a bit of artwork that she wished to donate to museums. Among her collection were several early Sandra Ramos' works, including possibly the largest Sandra Ramos painting in the United States and a very early piece.

Since Ramos is already in the collection of MoMa in New York, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Thyssen-Bornemisza in Austria, and in quite a few University museums in the US, and considering how some people are always bitching about how some US museums are not "diverse" enough in its representation of women and ethnicities, I thought that a major gift like this would be a shoo-in for the Hirshhorn.

And thus I was very surprised when the Hirshhorn declined it very quickly, in spite of (in my opinion) the artists' pedigree and the museum's lack of any depth in the particular field that Ramos' works represents.

"Pecera" (Fish Tank) by Sandra Ramos
Oil on Distressed Muslim, circa 1997
65 x 76.75 inches (165 x 195 cm)

From there I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, thinking that VMFA would be a good logical alternative. I could have gone to the University of Virginia, which has a most excellent Cuban art collection, but I wanted to place her work on a new collection, as Ramos is already in the UVA collection.

When VMFA also declined it rather quickly, I was a little floored as well (and I'm even more floored now that I've learned from the WSJ article that they accept about 2/3 of all gifts offered), but this time I decided to go south quite a bit further and go for the easy out, and currently the piece is in the process of being acquired by the Miami Art Museum, which of course, demographically has an interest in this genre of work, so that was truly an easy pick.

But meanwhile both the Hirshhorn and VMFA could have added a significant work by a truly blue chip Cuban artist, whose presence has been cemented in the current difficult times of the brutal Cuban dictatorship as one of the few Cuban artists in the vanguard of questioning the stark realities of Cuban life, and whose stature, once the Castro brothers strangle hold on Cuba is broken, is almost certain to rise even higher.

Their loss.

Project Create tomorrow

Monday, May 24, 2010

McKaig on Steve Szabo at the Harmony Hall Regional Center

By Bruce McKaig

In an eloquent and poetic tour de force, these photographs from the Eastern shore and of boots stuck on barbed wire fence posts in Nebraska provide traces of human endeavor and ritual, traces in various stages of decay, on their way back to the natural elements. The abandoned state is not repellent. It is dignified. There is a Zen-like acceptance of this inevitable transformation. Szabo virtually speaks to viewers (maybe to himself) through these works, each one evenly repeating: Let it go.

This is not an exhibition of portraits, but it is an exploration of people, faceless folk who have left a mark – an object – to weather the elements, not really saying, “I was here,” so much as saying, “Now, I am somewhere else.” The works are all about the human venture to manifest in ritual and ceremony then move on, leaving a trace, an unprotected trace. There is nothing casual, disdainful or disrespectful about the abandoned trace. Tibetans traditionally perform sky burials, which involve abandoning the deceased on a platform to be devoured by vultures. No pyramid for royalty (and mass grave for the rest?), the surrender to nature is a final gesture of modesty, humility, and respect.

Instead of finality, these images explore continuity. Part detective, part archeologist, the artist Steve Szabo provides photographic traces of the traces, platinum prints that tell viewers Steve was there. In connecting viewers with these not-personally experienced signs of anonymous decisions, Szabo provides insight both into the worlds he explored and himself as an explorer.
 Steve Szabo boot

Born in 1940, Steve Szabo was a native of Berwick, Pennsylvania and worked in the Pennsylvania steel mills. Though he attended Penn State University and the Art Center School of Design in LA, he was basically self-taught. He was employed at the Washington Post as a part time photo lab assistant in 1962, then staff photographer 1966-72.

In 1972, he took a 6-month leave of absence to get away from the hectic world of photojournalism to devote some time to photographing the landscape in Somerset County, MD. Instead of 6 months, he worked on the Eastern shore from 1971-1976 and produced the fine art platinum prints that became his first published book of photographs. In these photographs, the lingering traces of human presence and activities silently persist though the natural elements steadily attack and replace them.

Before beginning the abandoned boot series, he worked in DC, France, Scotland, Hungary, and Hawaii, producing several bodies of work and publishing additional books. In Hawaii, he photographed ruins of ancient temples, another angle on exploring the passing of time. At one point, he produced sets of multiple images, complementing the sense of place with a sense of time.

In 1990, Sazbo began photographing abandoned boots stuck on fence posts in Nebraska. The images of boots unmistakably evolved from previous series exploring traces of now-forgotten rituals (the ruins in Hawaii) and human presence succumbing to natural decay (Eastern shore images). However, the images of the abandoned boots take on a more private, personal quality. He never learned why the boots were there or if they were supposed to mean anything. He never explained why they fascinated him, maybe did not know himself. His enthusiasm and attentiveness to the isolated, weathered boots produced a body of work that, as a whole, have become traces not just of boots but of a man’s drive and curiosity to manifest and, before moving on, to leave a trace.

Stuart Diekmeyer, gallery director at Harmony Hall, worked with Szabo from 1998 until shortly before his death in 2000. In Stuart’s words:

Steve and I spent many weeks organizing and selecting images to print. Even though he could no longer manage a camera and photograph at the level he was accustomed too, I was always amazed and in awe at his uncanny ability to look deep into a photograph and make it come alive through words. He knew the story and every little detail about every photograph he had ever taken. Steve once told me, although he missed using a camera, this trip down memory lane was just as great. Whenever I returned to Steve with new prints to look at, especially images he had himself never printed, there was frequently a long period of reflection followed by a euphoric choice of words. In all matters [of] photography, Steve's passion never faltered
The exhibition was curated by Kathleen Ewing. In Kathleen’s words:
Seeing Steve Szabo's platinum photographs from his "Eastern Shore" series in 1975 was my introduction to fine art photography. I was intrigued by the combination of documentation and personal vision he conveyed in his images of the desolate rural Maryland Somerset County. From that beginning, I began to learn about the great history of photography and the masters like, P.H. Emerson, Walker Evans and so many others which had influenced Steve as he transitioned from a photojournalist at the Washington Post to a fine art photographer and teacher at the Corcoran School of Art.
The exhibition at Harmony Hall is significant on several levels. The photographs on view are from his first series as a fine art photographer, "The Eastern Shore" from 1971 to 1976 and his last series, "Icons of the Great Plains" dating from 1990 and 1991. It is fascinating to see where Steve began and where he ended his photographic career.

"International Truck, Frogeye, Maryland," from Steve Szabo's "Eastern Shore Series"

For the "Eastern Shore" series, Steve used a large format, 8x10 inch view camera to document the rural areas of Somerset County. It was a cumbersome task to carry the heavy camera and a strong tripod into the woods and fields to capture an image.

Steve's approach was to photograph the scene just as he found it; never making any changes or alterations. I'm sure he circled the abandoned International truck several times before he decided to let the window of the open car door frame the Ebenezer Baptist Church off in the distance.

Later, Steve seemed to think the image was too predictable and contrived. Personally, I felt it was a serendipitous moment and the framing of the church in the truck window greatly enhanced the image.

As well as years devoted to exploring art, Steve Szabo was also an art educator who influenced many a DC artist in his classrooms starting in 1979 (Diekmeyer was one of his students). Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992, he continued to teach until 1994 and passed away at home May 18, 2000.

This show is on through Through May 29th 2010. After the exhibition closes, the works can be seen by contacting Kathleen Ewing.

Harmony Hall Regional Center is located in Southern Prince George's County and offers classes in the visual and performing arts as well as exhibitions, concerts and performances.

For more information about the author, click here.

This summer: Alexa Meade at Irvine

Remember when I stumbled upon Alexa Meade's fabulous work and pointed all of you to it?

Well.. she's been picked up by Irvine Contemporary and has a show opening Saturday, June 19, with reception from 6-8PM.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ed at Plaza

Yesterday I needed some paper for some new drawings, and so I dropped by the Plaza art supply store at 1594B Rockville Pike in Rockville, MD. Although this store is about five miles from my house, I had never been there before, as I had frequented the now closed Pearl store also on the Pike.

I stumbled on a great sale on stretched canvas (70% off), but the great discovery on this particular store is that there is a guy working there named Ed who is an absolute gem. This dude knows his art supplies!

In fact, over the last few years I've been doing most of my art supply buying online, and today I rediscovered the joy of going through a really good art store and discovering a host of new products that I never knew existed, thanks to this Ed guy, who is a talking machine who clearly loves his job.

He turned me onto these new washable charcoal pencils. They are charcoal pencils, but once down you can treat them like watercolors. And also the blackest charcoal stick/stump that I've ever seen put down on paper - also washable like a watercolor and leaving behind an absolutely gorgeous black.

And these new water soluble oils! Ed has experimented with them all and thus offered me a hands on opinion on which to try.

He also turned me onto Gamsol thinner for oils; odorless and truly toxic less and onto Golden acrylic ground! Expect new artwork explorations from the Lenster.

I went in there to get a couple of 30x40 sheets of acid free drawing paper and came out with $250 of new art supplies.

Plaza, this guy is a jewel - give him a pay raise!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


In recognition of its Georgia O’Keeffe: Abstraction exhibition, The Phillips Collection recently honored six women for their leadership in advancing the arts.

See who they are here. Hint: One of them became a game-changer for me last year.


With around 100 or so folks at the opening and more than half the work already sold, Ellen Cornett's Juxtapositions at Studio His already a hit show. There will be a happy hour event on June 10; go check out this show!

Wanna a real good deal on an original drawing?

Not from me, but from whoever is selling this original drawing on Craigslist for only $45!

"A Woman from another World"
by F. Lennox Campello (c. 2006) 24.5" x 11.5"

The price three years ago was $400. Buy it quickly!


So far I've scanned about 20 of the 80 or so CDs that I've received (about 20 artists still missing) for my 100 DC Area Artists book project, coming to all bookstores in the Spring of 2011 from Schiffer Publishing.

And so far I've found one particularly evil virus which was a Trojan buried in her Word software and which was auto dialing the artist's C drive contents and probably sending it to a destination in either a particularly large East Asian nation or to an even larger Asian nation.

Artist notified and properly horrified. She then bought a virus software package, scanned her computer and cleaned it and promptly delivered a new CD.

Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists

Deborah Addison Coburn, Rockville, MD
Sheila Blake, Takoma Park, MD
Deborah Ellis, Alexandria, VA
James Halloran, Arlington, VA
Katherine Mann, Washington, D.C.
Lindsay McCulloch, Chevy Chase, MD
Michele Montalbano, Burke, VA
Carol Phifer, Fredericksburg, VA
Nora Sturges, Baltimore, MD

The selected finalists will display their work from June 1-26 2010 in downtown Bethesda at the Fraser Gallery. The opening exhibition of the Bethesda Painting Awards winners is on Friday, June 11th from 6-9pm held in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Many of the finalists and winners will be on hand to discuss their work.

Congrats to all the finalists!

Mid City Artists Open Studios Tomorrow

Twice yearly, the artists in the neighborhood between Dupont and Logan Circles invite visitors into their studios. Next one is this weekend: May 22nd and 23rd.

Plan your visits in advance by flipping through the artists' pages online to see what you like, who is new, and who is participating. You can also download a map to plan your route in advance and guide you along.

Some of the artists participating are: Sondra N. Arkin, Chuck Baxter, Jane Cave, Groover Cleveland, Robert Dodge, Thomas Drymon, Gary Fisher, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Betsy Karasik, Hannah Naomi Kim, Joren Lindholm, Regina M. Miele, Lucinda F. Murphy, Mark Parascandola, Rebecca Perez, Dave Peterson, Brian Petro, Peter Alexander Romero, Nicolas F. Shi, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Isabelle Spicer, Bill Warrell, Mike Weber, Robert Wiener, Colin Winterbottom and others.

Real Art DC Finalist Number 1

Jessica Dawson picks Joel D'Orazio as her first finalist for the Washington Post's Real Art DC contest:

So how come D'Orazio doesn't have a gallery? When I asked him for a conceptual read on his artworks -- What's the thinking behind them? What are they about? -- I got an inkling of the problem. For D'Orazio, making chairs and making paintings (which he turns out in droves) is instinctual stuff; he considers them open-ended experiments in form and color. There's no big idea here.

Joel, you can't be serious! To be relevant, art has got to have a conceptual underpinning, some reason why it exists. In particular, abstract painting is a minefield -- it can't be attempted in the 21st century without a plan of attack that positions the work against all that came before.

As Joel toured me around his home, basement studio and garage, I saw legions of his abstract paintings on panel, each with pigment pooled on their surfaces in chance patterns. The works were lined up one against the next, almost all without gallery interest or a collector awaiting them.
Read the whole piece here.

Questions for the masses: Does art have to have a conceptual underpinning? Or is that a fabricated aftershock of postmodernism or its predecessors? Or even worse, something that art critics and curators all believe in, but many artists choose to ignore?

Or is Joel right in essentially doing art for art sake's and enjoying creating droves of experiments in color and form?

I submit that only time, the only true art critic who wins all art debates, can tell. The most recent evidence of this is the spectacular sudden success of Carmen Herrera, who sold her first painting at age 89 and is now the new darling of the painting world at age 94.

I figure Joel has about 30-35 more years to go...

New Art Order Scam

Australia Order‏
From: Chris Matt (
Sent: Thu 5/20/10 11:12 AM

I am interested in purchasing some of your artwork, I will like to know if you can ship directly to Australia, I also want you to know my mode of payment for this order is via Credit Card.

Get back to me if you can ship to that destination and also if you accept
the payment type I indicated. Kindly return this email with your Website.

I await your quick response.
Kind Regards.

Chris Matt
1-7 CNR Ashley Park Drive & Wells Road, Chelsea Heights, VIC 3186
Tel :- +61 7 3276 1626 +61 7 3276 1626
Fax:- 61 7 9253 6910
Beware of this "Chris Matt"

Meet the Gallery Girls

Ryma Chikhoune of BYT has been profiling the gallery girls of the DC area art galleries in a very cool series of interviews.

Start with part 1 here, part 2 is here and part 3 is here.

We all hope that a series on DC gallery boys follows.

Wanna go to an opening this Saturday?

Megan Coyle's "Piece by Piece: Figurative Collage" will be opening at the Fisher Gallery on NOVA's campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The reception is on Saturday, May 22nd from 3:00 to 5:00p.m., with an artist talk at 4:00p.m. The show opened May 14th, 2010 and runs through June 13th.

The exhibition includes several 18”x24” collage works on paper. Each piece is made entirely from recycled magazines and depicts different figures interacting with the environment around them. Coyle is also having an upcoming solo show in July at the Art League Gallery that will feature different work than the Fisher Gallery show.

Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center
3001 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria VA 22311

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm

Art Movie Night

Tomorrow night is Art Movie Night at Artists' Circle in North Potomac, featuring Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock .

Saturday, May 22nd 7 to 9pm (seating limited; open to public with reservations). Please email or call 301.947.7400 for inquiries or reservations.

Artists Circle Fine Art
13501 Travilah Road
North Potomac, MD 20878

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interview and Beautiful at GRACE

We Love DC has a terrific interview of fave photographer Victoria F. Gaitán here.

By the way, last weekend I dropped by GRACE in Reston and was awed by the Beautiful: Virginia Women Artists and the Body (through June 11, 2010) curated by Joanne Bauer. What a terrific show!

A moderated dialogue with the Pink Line Project's Philippa Hughes will take place next week, Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 pm.

Go see this show... the work by Victoria F. Gaitán, Elizabeth Menges, Elissa Farrow Savos and Bernis von zur Muehlen (is that a supercool name or what?) will really leave an impression on you; this is one of the best GRACE shows that I've seen in years!

International Draw Mohammed Day

Today is the International Draw Mohammed Day.

"... an event organized to protest the violence faced by artists, cartoonists, and creators of all stripes who would exercise their free speech to parody or even depict the Prophet Muhammed as they would any other religious or political figure, and the chilling effect those threats have upon free speech."
Details here and below is my contribution:

Draw Mohammad Day cartoon
At the celestial coffee shop, all the other deities hated it when Mohammed ordered to go

Battle of Dunnichen

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Dunnichen or Battle of Nechtansmere (Scottish Gaelic: Blàr Dhùn Neachdain, Old Gaelic: Dún Nechtain, Old Welsh: Linn Garan, Old English: Nechtansmere), which was fought between the original indigenous people of present day Scotland, the Picts, led by King Bridei Mac Bili, and the English Northumbrians, led by King Ecgfrith on 20 May, 685.

"Egfrid is he who made war against his cousin Brudei, king of the Picts, and he fell therein with all the strength of his army and the Picts with their king gained the victory; and the Saxons never again reduced the Picts so as to exact tribute from them. Since the time of this war it is called Gueith Lin Garan."
— Nennius' account of battle from Historia Brittonum.
King Ecgfrith was killed in battle, and his army destroyed and this ancient battle ended with an unexpected and decisive Pictish victory which severed Northumbrian control of northern Britain and eventually assured the creation of a separate Scottish nation rather than a larger English nation.

More on the Picts here.

Viva Scotland!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Donnelly and Finsen at City Gallery

Nancy Donnelly
I'm hearing good things about the Nancy Donnelly and Jill Finsen show at City Gallery, 804 H St NE in DC.

Nancy Donnelly
Nancy's glass bird forms in colors, are now swooping around the gallery, the egg shapes, also in colors, are lit from below and are quite beautiful while Finsen continues her exploration of color in some beautiful paintings. Jill Finsen will be at City Gallery Saturday May 22 and Saturday May 29. All photos by Pete Duvall.

Nancy Donnelly

Opportunity for artists

ACLU-NCA is looking for DC photographers and artists.

They are looking for artwork that "depict local scenes that demonstrate the importance of statehood, liberty and freedom in Washington, DC."

13 pieces of artwork will be selected to appear in the ACLU-NCA's 2011 calendar as well as being on display at the ACLU-NCA's upcoming July 14th statehood event.

If you have any questions please contact

New DC Gallery to Open

You should all go this Sunday to the champagne grand opening of the newest art gallery in town, Gallery 555 in Washington DC.

When: Sunday, May 23, 2010, 1-5 pm
Where: Lobby level, 555 12th St NW, 202.393.1409
Metro Center station

Jodi Walsh's new Gallery 555 is representing a group of terrific DC artists, including Michelle Cormier, Ani Kasten, Sabri Ben-Achour, Erwin Timmers and Ellyn Weiss.

And later more on a new gallery possibly opening in Bethesda.

Job in the Arts

The Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) has a good job opening; check it out here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gopnik on Eva and Franco Mattes

Blake Gopnik has a really fascinating article here.

It's not easy to impress an art critic these days.

So how about a piece of contemporary art that consists of fragments stolen from priceless major modern works? My head's still spinning.
As my good bud Bailey says, I find it interesting that Blake seems to be suggesting that since these artists have stolen artistic materials to create their own work of art from those materials, that it will no longer be necessary for others to do the same thing.

We both think that the fact that the Mattes did this is now an open invitation to other artists to one-up them.

Fascinating nonetheless...

Last weekend opening at Conner

Great pics of the Janet Biggs and Mary Coble openings at Conner Contemporary here.

Mid City Artists Open Studios

Twice yearly, the artists in the neighborhood between Dupont and Logan Circles invite visitors into their studios. Next one is May 22nd and 23rd.

Plan your visits in advance by flipping through the artists' pages online to see what you like, who is new, and who is participating. You can also download a map to plan your route in advance and guide you along.

Some of the artists participating are: Sondra N. Arkin, Chuck Baxter, Jane Cave, Groover Cleveland, Robert Dodge, Thomas Drymon, Gary Fisher, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Betsy Karasik, Hannah Naomi Kim, Joren Lindholm, Regina M. Miele, Lucinda F. Murphy, Mark Parascandola, Rebecca Perez, Dave Peterson, Brian Petro, Peter Alexander Romero, Nicolas F. Shi, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Isabelle Spicer, Bill Warrell, Mike Weber, Robert Wiener, Colin Winterbottom and others.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Oct. 31st, 2010

Art House sends you the sketchbook, then you make the art. Then Art House is taking all the sketchbooks on a 6 city tour to galleries and museums across the U.S. The goal of the exhibition is to encourage anyone to create artwork and build a collective of sketchbooks made by artists from all over the world.

Sign up at

Art House Gallery
309 Peters St.
Atlanta, GA 30313

Monday, May 17, 2010

McKaig on Eadweard Muybridge

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change

By Bruce McKaig

Seen with 21st century eyes, the images and objects in this exhibition linger in a romantic, comfortable past, but their significance and impact on photography and cinema give the show a peculiarly contemporary presence, a mute visit from the past that coyly unveils the building blocks for much of photography and cinema today.

Eadweard Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge, a, walking; b, ascending step; c, throwing disk; d, using shovel; e, f, using pick. Plate 521, 1887. Collotype on paper. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, d.c., Museum Purchase, 87.7.477.

A comprehensive retrospective of Eadweard Muybridge’s explorations in locomotion and photography is now at the Corcoran Gallery of Art through July 18, 2010.

Organized by the Corcoran and curated by Philip Brookman, chief curator and head of research, Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change includes numerous vintage photographs, albums, stereographs, lantern slides, glass negatives and positives, patent models, Zoopraxiscope discs, proof prints, notes, books, and other ephemera. The exhibit runs chronologically from his earliest works in stereo photography (3-D glasses are provided) to his landscapes of the American west, his surveys and work from Alaska to Panama, ending with extensive samples of his animal and people motion studies.

Looking at the beautiful albumen silver prints is a treat for anyone who stares at a computer screen much of the day. The material quality of the vintage prints is nothing short of majestic, with all the serenity and fortitude the glorious west of the past is expected to have. They only become melancholic, or tragic, if a viewer compares these images to contemporary aerial photography that shows the state of the land today.

In Muybridge’s motion studies, the subject matter is usually less majestic than Yosemite or the Pacific Coast. Although the motion studies were technical extravaganzas to achieve, the subject matter is simple and straightforward, often boring and banal. Frozen in time-lapse sequences, people and animals parody gestures that will never headline at Cirque du Soleil – tossing a hat, pouring a cup of tea, walking up and then down steps (OK, there are some more gymnastic gestures). In his efforts to document the mechanics of movement, Muybridge proceeded by splintering the movement into chunky slices. They might have been made as quasi-scientific motion studies, but when viewed based on how they look not why they were made, there is an edgy pathos to these flickering slices of movement, a futility akin to the myth of Sisyphus. It’s difficult not to contemplate the images based on how they look. Despite sporadic controversies about the quality of programming and leadership, the Corcoran is a museum of art.

Whereas movement can be equated with change, involving departure and arrival, these short flipbook-like clips endlessly loop through the same futile gestures, never leaving or arriving or sustaining – just moving. In the 1920s, Frank and Lillian Gilbreth attached glowing lights to wrists, arms, and legs of workers then filmed them working in the dark. These films were tools for consulting work on movement and efficiency. (Observing that surgeons spent too much time digging for tools, they suggested that surgeons keep their eyes on the patient and ask for tools as needed, thus, “Scalpel please.”) Like Muybridge’s locomotion studies, Gilbreths’ films, when contemplated for how they look not why they were made, evoke more misery than celebration, not the stuff for a propaganda campaign promoting the work ethic.

The exhibition ends with the brilliant idea of installing a few contemporary works whose influences can be traced to Muybridge. His influences spread over painting, photography, and cinema. Included in this part of the exhibit are works by Mitchell F. Chan and Brad Hindson (Canadian team), Stacey Steeks, and DC’s own William Christenberry, to name a few. The motion picture industries, motivated by commercial interests more than scientific study, have turned Muybridge’s chunky movements into fluid blockbusters. Last summer, I participated in a video piece by then-local artist Lisa Blas (currently living in Belgium) that directly references Eadweard Muybridge. In the piece, called The Jump (in progress, not included in this exhibition), Blas, replete with skirt and heels, repeatedly walks down the sidewalk and leaps over a pile of books on the history of art.
Valley of the Yosemite

Eadweard Muybridge, Valley of the Yosemite. From Mosquito Camp. No. 22, 1872. Albumen silver print. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, d.c., Museum Purchase, 2007.003.

There was a great deal of mobility in Muybridge’s life, both geographically covering vast regions of the planet, and professionally interacting with numerous individuals also working on photography, motion, and cinema. Born in Great Britain, Muybridge (1830–1904) first came to the United States in 1855 and worked as a publisher’s agent and bookseller. A few years later, following a serious stagecoach accident, he returned to Great Britain and learned photography. When he returned to San Francisco in 1866, he quickly established himself as a qualified photographer, working mostly with landscapes and architecture. These images were published under the pseudonym “Helios,” which, in Greek mythology, is the name of the god of the sun.

In 1872, businessman and race horse owner Leland Stanford – former Governor of California – hired Muybridge to use photography to answer the question: In full gallop, do all four horse hooves leave the ground at the same time? Unaided human observation cannot answer the question. Muybridge spent several years perfecting techniques to produce a series of photographs that do capture a moment with all four hooves in the air. Technically, this involved developing faster shutter speeds and faster emulsions to register the fleeting activity.

In 1874, Muybridge shot and killed his wife’s lover. Though he confessed to the crime, the court acquitted him, labeling the crime a “justifiable homicide.” Stanford had paid for his defense, which included a failed attempt to plead innocent by reason of insanity, claiming that the earlier stagecoach accident had damaged his brain.

After the trail, Muybridge traveled and worked in Central America before returning to the US in 1877. Between 1883 and 1886, he worked with the University of Pennsylvania and produced over 100,000 locomotion images. In 1893, Muybridge gave a series of lectures on the Science of Animal Locomotion in the Zoopraxographical Hall at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. He used his zoopraxiscope –“animal action viewer” -- to project his moving pictures, the first commercial movie theater. In 1894, he returned to England, published a couple of books, and died in 1904 at his cousin’s house where he had been living.

A catalog will accompany the exhibition, and with essays by Philip Brookman, Marta Braun, Corey Keller, Rebecca Solnit, and an introduction by Andy Grundberg.

Following its debut at the Corcoran, Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change will travel to Tate Britain in London from September 8 through January 16, 2011, and to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from February 26 through June 7, 2011.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Corcoran's website here.

For more information about Bruce McKaig, check out

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire

Mark your calendar on May 17th for night 2 of Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire!

Washington Project for the Arts and The Pink Line Project present Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire, curated by my good bud Alberto Gaitán. Join them for four evenings of food, drinks, art, poetry and performances.

Cabaret [re]ReVoltaire celebrates the historic Cabaret ReVoltaire series which was presented by WPA in 1992.

Night 2: May 17, 2010
Time: 6:30 - 9:30pm (doors at 6:00pm)
dinner style seating, food and drink available for purchase
ticket price: $20 (50 available tickets)

Emcee: Dody DiSanto
House Band: Bob Boilen

Performances by:
Bradley Chriss,
Happenstance Theatre,
Karin Abromaitis, Kristina Bilonick & Tzveta Kassabova,
Reuben Jackson,
Kristin Garrison,
Jim Hesla,
Prosser Stirling,
and Matthew Pauli

Videos by: Anarchy in the Kitchen, Ayo Okunseinde, Vin Grabill, Champneys Taylor, and original footage of Cabaret Re-Voltaire from 1992 shot by Matt Dibble and edited by him and Linda Lewett

Tickets can be purchased here.

Note: You MUST have a ticket in advance. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Ryan Hill opens at Civilian

Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 2010

Civilian Art Projects artist Ryan Hill continues his process of exploring the contemporary cultural imagination through found images and word associations. The works on paper found in “SuperFacial” play with ideas of the spectacular, the facial and glamour. Drawings based on images of spa treatments, facebook profiles, fashion magazines, and entertainment websites ask the question “how do we look at faces?” “what happens if we are not sure if we are looking at a face at all?” and “what do faces mean to us anyway?”

Ryan was initially inspired to make this series of related works by a friends wedding reception on Halloween’s eve at a New Orleans mansion.

Ryan HillThe artist found interacting with the masked wedding guests both confusing and exciting since he couldn’t read the social cues from people’s faces when they spoke or reacted to his responses. Also, the artist wore a range of fake noses and teeth throughout the night, evolving them from smaller to larger prosthesis as it progressed. This social experiment gave the artist both a sense of glamour and invisibility, allowing his face to be read in ways unfamiliar to him. People projected their fantasies on his new features in ways that allowed him to maintain a comforting sense of anonymity. He found parallels to this process of masquerade on social networking sights, celebrity discussion forums and even in the act of how the public interpretation of art is a private act done in public.

Images are drawn onto the paper with some areas blocked out by frisket. Ryan then sprays layers of washes over the drawing and works back into them with ink and brush.

Ryan's textworks are enlarged from copious notes he takes while drawing. Words are often drawings in themselves or overlaid on top of images as a way of complicating meaning.

He presently experimenting with cutting out text and hanging them sculpturally on the walls. Like previous exhibit, "Everything Must Go," the nature of the textwork are based on personal anecdotes and imaginary personas.

The artist will also show his related collages and textworks along with a video collaboration with local DC area experimental filmmaker Rob Parrish.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

One of my favorite artists on this planet is Mary Coble and her solo show "Source" and performance at Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, DC opens tomorrow, Saturday, May 15th, 6-8pm.

Important News follow: Mary Coble's performance begins at 2pm and will continue on into the opening which is from 6-8pm. Coble will also be showing video, photography and an installation piece as part of the exhibition.

New video and photographs by New Yorker Janet Biggs in an exhibition titled Nobody Rides for Free will also be on display. This is Biggs' first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Be there!

This weekend: go to Reston

Check out the artists juried into the 19th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

This is one of the best outdoor art festivals in the nation. It takes place on the streets of the Reston Town Center — Reston, Virginia, May 15 & 16, 2010. 10am — 6pm daily.

50,000 people will show up to look and buy art. Drop by and say hi at Booth 204.

Tomorrow: Gateway Open Studios

Robert KincheloeThe many talented artists around the Gateway Arts District are having a joint open studios day tomorrow. You can also join the Washington Glass School as it celebrates its 9th Anniversary tomorrow with an Open House and Artwork Sale - art and craft from over 20 studio artists and instructors will be available.

WGS artists exhibiting include: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Syl Mathis, Robert Kincheloe, Jessica Beels, Nancy Donnelly, Sean Hennessey, Rania Hassan, Jennifer Lindstrom, David Pearcy, Anne Plant, Cheryl Derricotte, David Cook, Allegra Marquart, Chris Shea, , Nancy Krondstat, Kirk Waldroff, Allison Sigethey, and more! Torchwork demonstrations, discounts on class registrations, music, food & fun!

The surrounding artist studios (Red Dirt Studio with Margaret Boozer, JJ McCracken; Flux Studios with Novie Trump, Laurel Lukaszewski; Ellyn Weiss Studio) will be participating in the huge event, along with the Gateway Arts District’s Mount Rainier Day events along Rhode Island Avenue.

A free shuttle bus from the West Hyattsville Metro station will loop through the area beginning at 11:30am with a last run at 5:00pm. For more information and a PDF map go to the Gateway CDC web site here.

While you are in the area, check out the exhibition "Space / Place" which opens this Saturday, May 15th, from 5-7 PM, at the 39th Street Gallery within the new Gateway Arts Center in Brentwood, MD. The show will present the work of painter Matt Klos, draftsman Matt Woodward, and photographer Andrew Zimmermann. The work of each of the three artists presents a different concept of space and of how that space is used to describe a particular place.

It's all free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

The WPA announces:

About the project:

In September 2009, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA) and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Creates! Public Art Program (DCCAH) partnered to create an innovative approach to public art by transforming retail windows into a street side art exhibition entitled Windows Into DC. These temporary art spaces are popular ways to energize storefronts and windows, while drawing in visitors. For phase one of Windows Into DC, 14 DC artists were selected to paint on the storefront windows and install original works in the display windows. Now in phase two, the project looks to activate the space with incubator space, street festivals, a neon installation, portraits of DC residents, and original works of art in the display windows.

Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), through the support of DCCAH and WCSA, is inviting artists to submit proposals for Arcade, a street-level window gallery that will transform the Convention Center display windows along M Street NW between 7th and 9th Streets NW into showcases for art. Six windows will be available for the creation or installation of artworks, selected from artist proposals.


Creative use of the window space is expected. Painting, three-dimensional work, multimedia, photography, graphic design and site-specific installation are all welcome for consideration. Video will not be permitted for this phase. Artists should take into consideration the location and size of their preferred window in their proposal, and are strongly encouraged to visit the Washington Convention Center, located at 801 Mt Vernon Place, NW, to view the windows before submitting their application.

Submissions Requirements:

To apply for the Arcade exhibition opportunity, please send a brief written description and 1-2 images of your concept or the work you wish to submit for consideration (with dimensions) to with "ARCADE EXHIBITION PROPOSAL - YOURLASTNAME" in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name, address, website URL, and telephone number in your submission.


Deadline for proposals: Sunday, May 16, 2010, midnight
Artists notified: Friday, May 21, 2010
Installation dates: Friday, June 11, 9am through Monday, June 14 at noon
Exhibition opening: TBD
DCCAH/Mayor's RibbonCutting Ceremony: TBD
Exhibition run dates: June, 2010 through March 30, 2011
De-install dates: March 30, 2011 (subject to change)

Submission guidelines can also be found here.

For questions, please email or call them at 202-234-7103.

Art in Embassies Program

Established by the United States Department of State in 1964, the ART In Embassies Program is a global museum that exhibits original works of art by U.S. citizens in the public rooms of approximately 180 American diplomatic residences worldwide. For more information, contact

19th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival

Check out the artists juried into the 19th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. This is one of the best outdoor art festivals in the nation. It takes place on the streets of the Reston Town Center — Reston, Virginia, May 15 & 16, 2010. 10am — 6pm daily. 50,000 people will show up to look and buy art.

Pencil it into your schedule this weekend and drop by and say hi at Booth 204.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Commercials imitating art?

Am I the only one who thinks that the current AT&T commercial where they wrap up everything (buildings, beaches, etc.) in orangey material is a direct rip off of the whole Christo art legacy?

Remember when Mickey D's ripped off former DC artist Thomas Edwards?

Donnelly on Gopnik

Is there room for delight in the vocabulary of art? Perhaps. Sometimes perception is actually bigger than the current vocabulary of criticism. Not everybody wants always to be striving for a leg up, or to express anger or despair. Other sides of human experience are also valid, and a great relief.
DC artist Nancy Donnelly argues that there is room and therefore disagrees with WaPo Chief Art critic Blake Gopnik. Read Donnelly's argument in the Post here.

Wanna go to an artist talk tonight?

The join "a pop up project" for a memorable artist talk starting at 6 pm with Margaret Bowland, whose work in the current show there is my favorite. She will be discussing her Murakami Wedding series, an artwork of which is currently featured at National Portrait Gallery and her series of powerful Thorny Crown drawings, exclusively available at the pop-up project exhibition.

Artist Talk and Reception
Wednesday, May 13, 2010
6 pm
625 E St, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Project Create

Hillwood has a new director

Ellen MacNeile Charles, president of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, announced today the appointment of Kate Markert as executive director. Currently the associate director at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Markert will succeed Frederick J. Fisher, who has led Hillwood as executive director for over 20 years and has long planned to make 2010 his final year heading up the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post in northwest DC. Markert, who will be Hillwood’s second professional director since its founding in 1977, will assume leadership on August 2.

Markert is co-author of The Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums (Altimira Press, 2007), which has become a trusted guide book for many museum directors and boards.

Art that sells itself

On Jan. 28, while on a business trip to Chicago, Terence Spies used his iPhone to monitor an eBay auction. He was trying to outbid a couple of rivals to win a black plastic box that was at the time on display at an art gallery in Seattle. Spies had read about “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter,” as the piece is called, on a Reuters financial blog. That’s a strange-enough place for a collector to learn about art, but Spies’s interest seems even more curious given that the blogger Felix Salmon’s write-up of the piece’s sale was titled “The Uncollectible Artwork.” Even if Spies won the object, created by a young artist named Caleb Larsen, his ownership would be tentative: the technical innards of “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” carried a program that would relist the thing on eBay every week, forever. Indeed, the terms and conditions for submitting a bid clearly stipulated that the device must be connected to the Internet, constantly trying to resell itself at a higher price to someone else.

The minimum bid was $2,500. Spies won with a bid of $6,350. “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” had generated a fair amount of buzz online when it first went up for sale as part of a show of Larsen’s work at Seattle’s Lawrimore Project gallery. And I understood why people found the concept compelling (or annoying) enough to write about it. But I wanted to know why somebody would find it compelling enough to spend thousands of real dollars to sort of own that concept.

Spies, who is the chief technology officer at Voltage Security in Palo Alto, Calif., describes himself as a collector of “baffling contemporary art.” (He mentions the almost monochrome panels of Anne Appleby and Molly Springfield’s meticulous drawings of photocopies.) He says another collector once advised him to buy art that “people have a reaction to — good or bad.” And “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter” has elicited reactions ranging from “You’re really crazy” to “You’re slightly crazy.” He’s O.K. with that. It “sets people off,” he continues, “because it’s not even clear what you own.”
Read the NYT story here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Focus on Michele Banks

Craftzine has a cool focus on the work of DC area artist Michele Banks.

Atrial Fibrillation. 6 × 9" on 300 weight watercolor paper. Michele Banks

See it online here

Open House at the Washington Glass School

Robert KincheloeJoin the Washington Glass School as it celebrates its 9th Anniversary this coming Saturday with an Open House and Artwork Sale - art and craft from over 20 studio artists and instructors will be available.

Artists exhibiting include: Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Syl Mathis, Robert Kincheloe, Jessica Beels, Nancy Donnelly, Sean Hennessey, Rania Hassan, Jennifer Lindstrom, David Pearcy, Anne Plant, Cheryl Derricotte, David Cook, Allegra Marquart, Chris Shea, , Nancy Krondstat, Kirk Waldroff, Allison Sigethey, and more! Torchwork demonstrations, discounts on class registrations, music, food & fun!

The surrounding artist studios (Red Dirt Studio with Margaret Boozer, JJ McCracken; Flux Studios with Novie Trump, Laurel Lukaszewski; Ellyn Weiss Studio) will be participating in the huge event, along with the Gateway Arts District’s Mount Rainier Day events along Rhode Island Avenue.

Washington Glass School & Studio
9th Anniversary / Open Studio / Sale
3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Noon til 6 pm, Saturday, May 15, 2010
Free and open to the public

Novel way to get glass into Hirshhorn

A few years ago, when I was trying to convince the Hirshhorn to accept a donation of some of the very early glass sculptures by a DC artist, a curator there (since then long gone) informed me that the "Hirshhorn does not collect glass."

That's a silly statement of course, like saying that the Hirshhorn does not collect granite or bronze or chocolate or mud (all of which are substrates of artwork in the Hirshhorn's collection). In other words, the substrate of the artwork shouldn't matter, right? What she really meant to say was that in her mind, all that she could visualize for glass was vessels and containers and Chihuly-like organic forms: craft

A bomb squad was called in Monday night after a UPS delivery truck crashed into the side of the Hirshhorn Museum, but no explosives were found.

Officials said the truck was heading eastbound on Independence Avenue just before 9 p.m. when it swerved into oncoming traffic. The truck narrowly missed a car, jumped the curb, hit a light pole and a concrete flower pot barricade before slamming into the glass exterior wall of the museum's lobby, located at 7th and Independence SW.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said the truck came about a foot into the circular-shaped building and shattered a large glass window.
Read the whole story here. My dad used to work for UPS; let's all hope the driver is OK if he had a medical issue or something that caused this accident.

View more news videos at:

Mike Licht has the real scoop here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

At the end of the fair

Overall Mayer Fine Art sold nearly 40 works of art during last week's Affordable Art Fair in NYC. Work by Shiela Giolitti, Alexei Terenin, Heather Bryant, Michael Janis, Matt Sesow, and a few more artists, sold by MFA.

I sold about a dozen drawings, including three of the pieces that I had done for the Mera Rubell studio visit last week.

On Sunday I sold two big drawings, including "Fallen Angel" and "Superman Flying Naked and Close to the Ground in Order to Avoid Radar"; both of these were "Rubell visit drawings." I also sold a large female nude drawing titled "America Desnuda".

Superman Flying Naked

"Superman flying naked and close to the ground in order to avoid NORAD radar"" Charcoal on Paper. 20x24 inches.

Artist Jeremy Drummond to speak at MPA

Jeremy Drummond will give an artist talk about his current exhibition at MPA, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere: A Photographic and Video Installation.

Mr. Drummond is a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Richmond and he will speak at McLean Project for the Arts on Thursday, May 13 at 7 pm.

The talk is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are a must. To reserve your seat, please email or call 703-790-1953.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Just found some notes that I wrote and had in my car when I lived in Scotland at the Little Keithock Farmhouse near Brechin in Angus. I used to have a Russian made Lada for a car. Perhaps the worst car ever made in history.

muckin = clean
croft = small farmhouse
jine = join
kill = overcome with weariness
swir = unwilling to work
auld Nick = the Devil
tint =lost
fit like? = how are you?
besom = broom
deen = done
barra = barrow
widna row its leen = would not hold it's load
siccan = such
soss = dirty wet mess
strae = straw
swipe = sweep
greep = gutter in the byre
fell sklite = fall heavily
neep = turnip
ben = through
soo = female pig
booin'doon = bending down
goon = gown, dress
midden = refuse heap
riggs = strip of ploughed land
tyke = dog
bumbee's byke = beehive
lang syne = long since
tyne = lose

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Vandals at work

A public art piece in Richmond worth more than $1 million was vandalized this week, prompting the president of the Vancouver Biennale to call on police to treat it as a serious crime rather than an act of mischief, should the perpetrator be caught.

"This was vicious and intended," said Barry Mowatt, president and founder of the Vancouver Biennale, which brings large public art installations from all over the world to Vancouver and, more recently, Richmond. "It should be treated as a crime."
Read the whole story here.

At the end of the day...

Yesterday things picked up a little and some more artists at the AAFNYC showing with Mayer Fine Art have broken the ice.

Yesterday Sheila Giolitti sold four of her paintings, I sold my cool drawing of "St. Ernesto 'Che' Guevara", more Matt Sesow's sold as well as one Novie Trump sculpture and one of Rosemary Feit Covey's super cool "Peep Show" boxes and one of her wood engravings

In walking the fair a little I've really become quite fond of the breath taking photographic wax encaustic work by Leah MacDonald, represented by Galerie BMG from Woodstock, New York. MacDonald has some of the most innovative and sexiest work that I have seen in a long time.

Leah MacDonald

Encaustic Photography by Leah MacDonald"

Friday, May 07, 2010

You never know...

Elderly couple comes by around noon or so, and spend a lot of time looking at one of Rosemary Feit Covey's "Peep Show" boxes. I spend a lot of time talking to them.

These custom made boxes each has a set of 10 wood engravings which are inserted into the box and "peeped" through the keyhole. They are engravings of women in various state of being disrobed, objectified and enjoyed. Not exactly the genre of art that one would expect your stereotypical 80something couple to acquire for their collection.

They express interest and walk away to look at the rest of the fair. "They are major collectors," whispers the gallerist across the aisle from me.

A few hours later they return and buy the piece.

Only in New York.

Dawson on One Hour Photo

The Post's Jessica Dawson has a really good article on the One Hour Photo exhibition project at the Katzen.

Read it here.

I have a pic in that novel show.

Gopnik on Abramovic

I for one, agree with Blake's review of the Marina Abramovic MoMA show, but Aline Martinez doesn't.

Read her letter to the WaPo here.

At the end of the day...

The 1,000 point drop in the market yesterday was buzzing through the crowd coming to the Affordable Art Fair in New York. However, having done this fair many years, it seemed that Thursday's attendance was quite good considering it was a Thursday, so there were mixed signals: good crowds + bad economic news = slower sales than preview night.

Also, last night was "Brooklyn Night" and the crowd seemed younger and more interested in the open bar for wine and beer and the cool DJ who was actually playing music from a record player... than in artwork.

At the end of the day Mayer Fine Art ended up selling Sheila Giolitti's second largest painting (a major sale), a few more paintings by Matt Sesow, and as the lights were being flickered at 9:30PM, one of my large drawings ("Eve and the Lilith"), which ended up being acquired by the Sonya Spann Collection.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Thursday afternoon

Good crowds still and lots of artwork being sold at the Affordable Art Fair here in New York. The London gallery across the aisle from us is selling large color photos and they're flying off the wall (the price is right).

Tonight is "Brooklyn Night" or something - another party.

So far today we've sold a very large Sheila Giolitti painting (last year she sold 19 paintings). The one that she sold today was her second largest piece in the show and is heading to a collection in New Jersey.

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

Opening Reception: Friday, May 7, 5:30-8 pm - Things Uncertain: Recent Works on Paper by Ellen Verdon Winkler at Washington Printmakers Gallery.

Also photos by Andrew Zimmerman open at the Arts Club of Washington on Friday, May 7, from 6:30 - 9 PM.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Preview Night at the Fair

Today was the press night and VIP preview night at New York's Affordable Art Fair, held at 7 West 34th Street, right across the street from the beautiful Empire State Building.

In the many years that I have been doing the AAFNYC, tonight's opening was by far the most crowded and buzzy preview that I have seen. It seemed like most galleries were selling something.

Norfolk's Mayer Fine Art, showcasing several DMV artists including my work, also did OK, with several sales by multiple artists, including a couple of sales by Novie Trump, a major piece by Rosemary Feit Covey on hold, a few sales of Matt Sesow, and sales of four of my drawings, including my two largest pieces that I brought to NY: "Batman Naked" and "Suddenly she discovered that she wasn't afraid any longer".

One Hour Photo at the Katzen

One Hour Photo, is a quite novel exhibition opening May 8th at the American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center. One Hour Photo features works by 128 artists from 13 countries.

Each photograph will be projected for one hour and then never, ever seen again since all of the artists showing photos in this exhibition have signed release forms honoring and promising that those particular photos will not be reproduced or ever exhibited again. Adam Good, Chajana denHarder and Chandi Kelley curated this most interesting concept.

I have a piece in this exhibit, which I can't show you because, as I said above...

The opening is Saturday May 8th 6:00-9:00PM. Pinkline's Tara Hauser interview Adam Good here. Through June 6, 2010.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Something that I thought would never happen just happened! I had lousy matzoh ball soup in a Jewish deli in New York City!

Walking along Broadway, around W. 38th Street is the culprit. A good looking Jewish Kosher Deli, with several Hassidic families happily eating inside, and so I thought to myself: "Mmmmm... matzoh ball soup..."

I sat down and was promptly given a complimentary small dish with four or five nice pickles and some excellent coleslaw... nice!

I then ordered the soup, enjoyed looking at all the happy customers and awaited my feast. Then I noticed that this was a combo Jewish Kosher deli and Sushi bar. A slight alarm went off, but then I figured that maybe it was Kosher sushi, if there is such a thing.

When the soup arrived I was shocked! Not only was it thin and watery chicken soup, but it also looked and tasted like those soups that one makes from powder... you know, the Lipton soup packet types that have those tiny, almost invisible noodles? Yep... that bad.

The matzoh was gigantic and tasteless - essentially plain dough.

I was shocked.

The matzoh ball soup at the Parkway Diner on Grubb Rd in Silver Spring, right past Chevy Chase off East-West Hwy in DMV is a gazillion times better!

In fact, the matzoh ball soup that my shiksa wife makes is a thousand times better than this crap that I had in NYC tonight.

What's going on here New York?

Style Resignation

Scott Vogel, the Arts editor at the Post, just resigned. From the WaPo:

We are sad to announce that Scott Vogel has resigned as fine arts editor. Scott is a masterful editor, passionate about his reporters, the arts and the newspaper. He has been a wonderful colleague, whose humor, talent and devotion will be missed and not easily replaced. We wish him well.

Shortly we will post for Scott's position, one of the most demanding and most rewarding in the newsroom, working with outstanding talent to cover this city's ever-evolving arts world. If anyone has suggestions for people who would build on our momentum, please let us know. In the interim, the also wonderful and talented Peter Kaufman will come help.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

This weekend is the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, the highest ranked outdoor fine arts festival in Maryland and one of the top in the nation. About 30,000 people will enjoy and buy art from 140 juried fine artists and crafts folk from around the nation.

Saturday, May 8, from 10am - 6pm
Sunday, May 9, from 10am - 5pm
Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle, Norfolk & Auburn Avenues

Check out the juried artists here.

Want free tickets to the art fair?

The Affordable Art Fair NYC is this week, opening on Thursday in New York. Drop me an email if you want me to set you up with a couple of free tickets to the fair.

If you go to the fair, swing by and say hi... I'll be with Mayer Fine Art. Reports coming as time allows.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Art Criticism, Texas Style

Some nuts in Texas...

Are protesting a sculpture on the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock. They have mounted an instantaneous online petition a mere six years after the artwork was installed.

YCT says the work, ”Tornado of Ideas” by Tom Otterness, commits sacrilege against the Masked Rider, a revered Texas Tech idol, depicting Him using a javelin to commit gross indecencies on a police officer. The work is also said to show two lesbians actually sitting together.
Details from Mike Licht here.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

Next weekend is the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, the highest ranked outdoor fine arts festival in Maryland and one of the top in the nation. About 30,000 people will enjoy and buy art from 140 juried fine artists and crafts folk from around the nation.

Saturday, May 8, from 10am - 6pm
Sunday, May 9, from 10am - 5pm
Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle, Norfolk & Auburn Avenues

Check out the juried artists here.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Guevaraing on May Day

The racist psychopath Guevara continues to haunt my drawing hand; here's version III of "ASere SI o NO".

Che Guevara

"ASere SI o NO" c. 2010. Charcoal on Paper. 5.5 x 14 inches.