Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanna go to an opening this Friday?

The Gallery at AYN Studio in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, will present an exhibition of collage and assemblage creations by artists Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Amber Robles-Gordon entitled, “Pretty Things, Little Treasures and Hidden Meanings”. The exhibition will open on Friday September 3, 2010 with a public reception from 6:30-8:30 pm. The exhibition will remain on view by appointment until Friday September 17, 2010.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Maxwell MacKenzie at Fraser

Scary Spider

I've got a black spider in my back yard which has the scariest looking spikes on it body and a mean looking stinger underneath... I've been staying away from this beautiful, mean looking machine.

I've never seen a spider which also has spikes on its body. My poor attempt at macro photography without getting too close to this dude is above. A better image of what it looks like is here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

20 Works of Art Missing or Destroyed

There’s a sad truth to art museums that’s not often talked about: sometimes, things just disappear. Over time, countless works of art have gone missing for one reason or another, whether it’s damage, theft, poor stewardship, natural disaster, or the tragic effects of war. For every hundred or thousand paintings or sculptures, there’s one that’s been lost to the ages. Some exist in reproductions or sketches, but some are gone for good. This list is just a small sample of those works of art that can be seen only in photos of what used to be.
Read it and weep here.

Life After Art School

Carrie M. Becker just received an MFA in sculpture and she's trying to figure out where to go from there:

Transition is a terrible thing. The transition from life in art school to life in the Great Big Out There. How can it work? As I try to write this, “failure” is the only word to come to mind. Failure. But where to go from there?

Failure perfectly describes my state of mind right now. Three years after art school, three states, four jobs, and thousands of dollars of debt later, I’m still nowhere. I once sauntered through the hallways of my alma mater as a god (in my mind at least), and have now been forced, years later, to crawl like a begging dog to interview after interview with no success and no foreseeable future. I wince every time I open my email – surely another rejection is sitting there, mocking me.
Read the entire series here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Top 20 Movies for Art Buffs

Capturing the creative process on film is almost impossible. Artists work inside their own heads as much as with physical materials, which is why a number of films about artists fall short of the mark. But sometimes, filmmakers get it right, creating rounded portraits of fascinating men and women driven by their passions to create something amazing. Some of the films on this list will be familiar to readers, especially those who've studied fine art at the college or master's degree level, but they're all worth watching no matter your profession. These are the movies that come closer than any others to re-creating the moment of inspiration in an artist's life.
Check out the 20 choices here.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One year old today!

Anderson Lennox 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 is one year old today!

Wanna do something fun tomorrow?

Tastings: Sample a variety of organic wines and samples of locally grown snacks

Topic: Getting Your Hands Dirty: Food Acitvism in Metro DC, a discussion with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative (NFI)

Date/Time: Sunday, August 29th from 2:30-5:00 PM

Place: Fountain Framing, 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Cost: No charge

What is the alternative food movement and what are people in our area doing to support food activism? Maureen Moodie and Bea Trickett of the Neighborhood Farm Initiative will discuss food access and food security in the metro DC area. NFI recognizes our concern for food security, food access and healthy living and will also discuss ways to successfully grow organic gardens at home. They will bring in produce grown from farms at Fort Totten and Fort Dupont for your sampling. Tax-deductible donations to the organization are greatly appreciated. For more information about NFI, please see their website at www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org or contact neighborhoodfarm@gmail.com

Opportunity for Artists

Applications are now being accepted from artists interested in participating in the Dupont Circle Fine Arts Show taking place on Sat, Sept 25, 2010, from 2 to 6pm on 17 St., NW.

This event is being sponsored by the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) in conjunction with the Area Neighborhood Commission2B (ANC2B). Interested artists should go to this website and download an application form and informational sheet.

Opportunity for DMV Artists

Deadline: October 30, 2010

The BlackRock Center for the Arts has a huge gorgeous gallery space and their call for artists for the 2011 art season is now up.

The 2011 Call to Artists is open to all artists residing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC over the age of 18 for original artwork only. This call will cover exhibits in the gallery from October 2011 through August 2012. An exhibit may include on applicant or a combination of applicants, based on the judgement of jurors. The jury panel is comprised of Kathleen Moran, Jack Rasmussen and yours truly.

Details here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Curious Case of Todd Crespi

Last week the New York Times had this article about the artwork of DC area artist Todd Crespi.

The article, by Adam Liptak, presents points of view on Crespi's art (he specializes in courtroom artwork), trying to figure out if Crespi crossed ethical lines in the way that he represented his artwork to his clients.

Essentially: did he create the artwork live and in the courtroom, or did he create later in his studio? The discussion extremes in the article range from:

Mr. Crespi has no Supreme Court press credentials, and artists who work at the court regularly say they never see him. It has been years, they say, since he sat in the alcove reserved for artists near the justices and advocates, the only place in the courtroom where art materials are allowed.

“Todd does not come to the court,” said William J. Hennessy Jr., a freelance artist whose work appears on several television networks. “I have not seen him at the court for at least five years.”

Another artist, Dana Verkouteren, agreed. “He’s never in the courtroom,” she said. Instead, she said, Mr. Crespi works from a standard background, adding images of the advocates based on photographs.
To quotes like:
But Art Lien, an artist who works for NBC, said he was “not very critical of Todd.”

“If they know what they’re getting,” he said of Mr. Crespi’s clients, “why not? Artists have been doing that forever.”

Ms. Verkouteren, another colleague, said of Mr. Crespi: “He might be a genius. He might be a wacky genius.”
Crespi responded yesterday with a Letter to the Editor clarifying that
In the absence of a specific media assignment, I attend the session (like any citizen willing to queue at 6 a.m.), then produce meticulously rendered paintings based on many years of experience as a court artist and portrait specialist.
So according to Crespi, he does attend the court cases; just not as a media assignment (and thus why he's not seated with his colleages). But in any event, is there a valid issue in Liptak's original argument? For the final product: does it make any difference if he produces the artwork right there in the courtroom or later in his studio?

Plein air artists have a valid distinction between a landscape painted on the spot and one painted later in the studio from photographs or sketches. But does this logic apply to courtroom artwork?.

I realize that the main issue with the Liptak article centers around what Crespi tells his clients - not necessarily the final product. But my question deals more with the process itself. I am also clear that creating and marketing the artwork under the impression that it was created on the spot inside the courtroom (as Liptak says Crespi is doing), when it's apparently created from a combination of both courtroom and studio work, does have ethical issues associated how the artwork is "marketed" to potential clients. No one will argue with that. My question is about the process itself, and only about the process.

By the way, Crespi is also an accomplished filmmaker and
Crespi’s film work in FUGAZI’S INSTRUMENT has been seen around the world at such venues as The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Kennedy Center, and the Whitney.
Todd Crespi currently has an exhibition of "New Beach Paintings" at Dupont Circle's Studio Gallery, although curiously there's nothing about the exhibition in the gallery's website.


John Gossage: The Pond

John Gossage's remarkable photographic series will be at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from Aug. 27 – Jan. 17, 2011.

“John Gossage: The Pond” celebrates the recent gift to the museum of this remarkable photographic series and the re-issue of one of the most influential photography books of the past three decades. John Gossage (b. 1946) photographed a small, unnamed pond between Washington, D.C., and Queenstown, Md., from 1981 to 1985. The title recalls Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, but Gossage advocated a more allembracing view of the landscape, exploring the less idealized spaces that border America’s cities and suburbs. Although many of the images in “The Pond” appear unruly or uncared for, Gossage found moments of grace and elegance in even the most mundane of places.

The complete portfolio of “The Pond” was acquired by the museum in 2007. This exhibition marks the first time the complete series of 52 gelatin silver prints has been on public display. Gossage lives and works in the Kalorama neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Toby Jurovics, curator of photography, is the curator of the installation.
A conversation between Gossage and Jurovics is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.

When bad dealers bite

Yet another lawsuit, this one filed in New York State Supreme Court in 2008 by the Daughters of Mary Mother of Our Savior, an order of nuns in Round Top, N.Y., alleges collusion between a local art appraiser and a Santa Fe, N.M., dealer in the sale of an 1889 painting by William Adolphe Bouguereau titled "Notre Dame D'Anges" for $450,000.

The painting, a gift from a parishioner, had hung in a chapel, and the buyer promptly resold it to another dealer for $2 million, splitting the profit with the appraiser, the suit alleges.
Read the WSJ piece (for some lamentable horror stories of the art world) here.

Lori Anne Boocks at Studio

Lori Anne Boocks and Jan Willem van der Vossen open at Studio Gallery with receptions on Friday 9/3 from 6-8pm (for the Dupont Circle galleries First Friday openings) and again on Saturday 9/11 from 4-6pm.

Peck & Elsner at BlackRock

Two immensely talented artists, Judith Peck and Rita Elsner, share the beautiful gallery space at the BlackRock Center with an exhibition that opens Friday, Sept. 3 from 6-8PM.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Opportunity for DMV Artists

Deadline: October 30, 2010

The BlackRock Center for the Arts has a huge gorgeous gallery space and their call for artists for the 2011 art season is now up.

The 2011 Call to Artists is open to all artists residing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC over the age of 18 for original artwork only. This call will cover exhibits in the gallery from October 2011 through August 2012. An exhibit may include on applicant or a combination of applicants, based on the judgement of jurors. The jury panel is comprised of Kathleen Moran, Jack Rasmussen and yours truly.

Details here.

Museum futures

There's no shining line separating the generations, of course. Some directors have been preaching the "populist" gospel for years, often translating that into exhibitions about guitars, hip-hop or "Star Wars" paraphernalia and live music nights with cocktails, DJs and dancing.

Current thinking goes much deeper. Many young directors see museums as modern-day "town squares," social places where members of the community may gather, drawn by art, perhaps, for conversation or music or whatever. They believe that future museum-goers won't be satisfied by simply looking at art, but rather prefer to participate in it or interact with it.
Read the WSJ article by Judy Dobrzynski here.

Ansel Adams Lawsuit

A group representing Ansel Adams sued a California man for selling prints and posters under the name of the famed nature photographer, the latest salvo in a dispute over glass negatives bought at a garage sale and purported to be Adams' lost work.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal district court in San Francisco by The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, seeks to stop Rick Norsigian and consulting firm PRS Media Partners from using Adams' name, likeness and trademark in their efforts to sell prints and posters not authorized or endorsed by the trust.
Read the article here.

Taubman Museum of Art in trouble

The new Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA is already in financial straits. Read Judith H. Dobrzynski's excellent take on the subject here and the Roanoke Times article on the subject here.

Is There an Age Limit for 'Emerging Artists'?

I'm not sure if I agree with all the points in this excellent article by Daniel Grant in the HuffPost, but there are some very good points and opinions being made and delivered:

Age, education and exhibition history are not the only areas in which artists may get into trouble. Listing published reviews of group shows they were in but which did not mention their names or artwork looks deceitful, and banking on the possibility that the dealer doesn't actually read the review adds insult to injury. On the other hand, an online review has no less significance than one seen in a hardcopy publication (there is no need to include a link; just put the article title, author, date and main URL of the site and let the reader find it). Listing the names of more prominent artists in a group in which one participated seems "lame," Winkleman said.
Read it here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

National Cell Phone Photography Exhibition

Deadline: August 30, 2010.

The Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery (Hammond, LA) seeks entries for an exhibition to be held September 9 - 25. The exhibition is open to amateurs and professional artists nationally. All artwork submitted for the exhibition must have been taken with the camera within a cell phone with no Photoshop or any other manipulation or effects. Images are to be full frame, not cropped in any way. $10 entry fee if images are sent by email, due to print cost. For prospectus, please email Dale Newkirk at dnewkirk@selu.edu or call 985-549-5080.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Opportunity for video artists

Deadline: September 30, 2010.

Visual Overture Magazine
is accepting submissions for a special section of the magazine called “Spotlight on Video Art,” to be included in the Winter 2010 issue, which will feature the work of one serious emerging videographer whose work is fine art. Materials to Submit: 2-3 videos, 500 word essay describing why your video work can be classified as fine art. Online Application: www.visualoverture.com/artists.htm

Benny Moré

Today is the birthday of Bartolomé Maximiliano Moré Gutiérrez (d. 1963 at age 43), known to Cubans as Benny Moré, and considered the best Cuban popular singer and Cuban orchestra leader of all time. Without any formal musical training, witness how he directs his huge band in the rare footage below, and then check him out in a scandalous zoot suit outfit singing number in a Cuban movie of the 1950s:

Go get some Benny CDs...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pencil this opening for September 23

First Campello gallery exhibition in DC area in 4 years!

Next Sept 20 - Oct. 15 I will be having my first substantial exhibition in the DC area in four years. The show will be at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

There will be all new drawings in my constant exploration of using the human figure to deliver social, historical, satirical, mythological and political messages. The show also includes work by the immensely talented Johanna Mueller, who was one of my top picks from the last Artomatic and whom I predict will steal the show, as well as Leah Frankel and Leslie Shellow, both of whom are new artists to me.

The show is curated by Dr. Claudia Rousseau and is:

An exhibit of works on paper depicting mythical themes, or themes connoting transformations—mythical, magical or organic.

The exhibit will include prints, drawings and installation works employing paper with wax and other media.
The opening is Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. I expect to see all of you there to make me look good...

Small scale clay sculptor needed

Are you really good at sculpting realistic objects out of clay? Do you need some extra money? The Washington Glass School has a project that requires small clay realistic objects in the two to four inch range. This would be ongoing throughout the year. Contact washglassschool@aol.com for further info.

Lenny the Insufferable

Some good Q & A's going on in the comments section here with the usual name calling making its expected appearance.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rita La Caimana

For your listening (and viewing pleasure) two music videos singing Rita La Caimana, one of the most famous Cuban songs of the son genre. It's about a famous woman from Bayamo, in Oriente province named Rita La Caimana (Rita The Cayman - a Cayman being a Cuban crocodile).

Apparently everyone in Bayamo knew this lady, and all her life she'd go from door to door asking for alms, and whenever she heard music playing she'd break out into a dancing fever that made her famous throughout Cuba. Check out how the two versions are so different from each other and how the singer in the first version looks like American actor Michael Clarke Duncan.

Looking for new members

The Artists’ Gallery in Frederick, Maryland is currently reviewing applicants for membership.

The Artists’ Gallery has been representing emerging and established local artists for twenty years. As a cooperative gallery, the establishment affords artists both the opportunity to show and to participate in the running of the gallery. Each month, two members are featured in solo exhibitions in separate rooms, and a changing monthly show of other members work is displayed in a third space.

Sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, printmaking and painting are among the media represented. The gallery artists hold opening receptions on Frederick’s popular “First Saturday,” which consistently draws a strong turn-out.

Members are accepted based on a portfolio review, which may then be followed by a jurying of current work and personal interview by current members.

Information and downloadable application can be found on the website

To speak to a gallery representative about membership and the application process, please call Johan Lowie at 571-276-6876, or by email 5thstreetstudio@gmail.com or Linda Agar-Hendrix at 301-865-5047, email: hendrix2723@gmail.com

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The new Touchstone Gallery to re-open

Grand Opening: Friday, September 10, 6 - 8:30 pm

Touchstone Gallery, which is owned and operated by an association of Washington DC area artists since 1976, is re-opening in a new space on New York Avenue September 10, with a "champagne celebration." Touchstone, which has been without a home since leaving its former Penn Quarter location nearly a year ago, begins its latest incarnation with fifty members in a custom-designed, ground-floor site at 901 New York Avenue, next to Acadiana restaurant and a block from the Convention Center.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Gallery

Art Reactor, a new artist-run gallery/workshop/studio space at 5614 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland, 20781, is currently hosting its first curated exhibit. The show, entitled The Whole Plate Project, is an exhibit of photographs made in the whole plate format, using a variety of historic and contemporary materials. Whole plate as a size is defined as 6.5 by 8.5 inches - it is the original format as used by Louis Daguerre for his polished silver plates in the first photographs of 1839.

Whole plate as a format has had a long and varied history, coming in and out of fashion with each major wave of photographic innovation. The work in this show relates historic process and practice to modern issues, anxieties and imagery. Work featured includes wet-plate collodion, hand-crafted silver gelatin prints, platinum/palladium, cyanotype and silver-gelatin prints on contemporary commercial papers.
The exhibit features work by eight artists from across the US, Canada, and Germany - Scott Davis, Quinn Jacobson, Diane Maher, Chris Rini, Denise Ross, Barry Schmetter, Heather Wetzel and David William White. including two artists from the Washington DC metro area, Scott Davis and Barry Schmetter.

The exhibit runs from August 9 to September 10. Art Reactor will be open August 27th from 7-9 PM for a reception with light refreshments. Regular open hours will be held Saturday the 28th from 10am to 4pm and September 4 and 5 from 10-4. The space will also be open by appointment weekdays after 7pm or any other unscheduled time on weekends.

Martell on Gossage

Nevin Martell has a terrific piece in the WCP about DC area super photographer John Gossage.

He wasn’t yet 18 when he had his first show in New York. Since then, he’s exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Hannover, Germany’s Sprengel Museum, and shared wall space with Jasper Johns and others. In September, his well-known series The Pond, which documents an unidentified, Walden-esque body of water somewhere near Baltimore, will be displayed in its entirety for the first time at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It was published as a book in 1985.

“John Gossage is the most talented and most significant photographer of his generation—a generation rich in excellence,” says Lewis Baltz, a celebrated photographer himself. “Alongside Ed Ruscha and Richard Prince, Gossage’s achievements in the book format have been an invaluable contribution to the field and an inspiration to the rest of us.”
Read Martell's really excellent article here.

Battle of Covadonga

Today (we think) marks the 1288th anniversary of the Battle of Covadonga, the historic event that stopped the tide of the Islamic invasion of Spain and turned back the Arabic armies in what became the Reconquista of Spain.

It is said by Arab historians that with Pelayo (Pelagius, 681-737) as their leader, the combined Gothic, Celtic and Asturian Christian armies under Pelayo, a son of Favila, who had been a noble at the court of the Visigoth King Egica, (687-700), and had established his headquarters at Cangas de Onís, in Asturias, united the various northern peoples of Iberia (the Celts in Galicia and Asturias and the former ruler Visigoths) and began an uprising against the advancing Umayyad Muslims, who had defeated and killed Rodrigo (Roderick) the last Gothic King of Spain.

PelayoOn this day, in either 722 or 721, the ten-year-old Islamic invasion of western Europe was turned around as Pelayo defeated the Islamic armies and the battle assured the independence of the most ancient Kingdom of Asturias, and it is that kingdom's survival which eventually became the kernel of new thrust that reconquered the westernmost European peninsula and became the modern nation of Spain.

Freedom does not come easy.

Kuitca coming to the Hirshhorn

"Guillermo Kuitca: Everything, Paintings and Works on Paper, 1980-2008," on view Oct. 21-Jan. 16, 2011, at the Hirshhorn will present over 45 canvases and 25 works on paper, spanning the Argentinean artist's career.

"Part of the Hirshhorn's commitment to international contemporary art has always been a focus on the artists of Latin America," said Kerry Brougher, the museum's deputy director and chief curator. "The Hirshhorn acquired its first work by Kuitca back in 1995, when he was still an emerging figure, and we have watched his reputation continue to grow ever since. We are pleased to have co-organized this retrospective and to be able to present the full spectrum of this insightful artist's work in Washington, and we look forward to the upcoming year featuring exhibitions with some of the most influential Latin American artists of our time."
The exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist's work in the United States in more than 10 years and is co-organized by the Hirshhorn, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., and Miami Art Museum in Miami, Fla.

Here's the odd thing to me. For at least five or six years I've had not one, but two art collectors who are retiring and in the process of donating most of their collection. I've tried every angle that I know to donate some of their Latin American artists, specifically Sandra Ramos, to the Hirshhorn. They continue to decline to accept the gift, and that is their right, but what puzzles me is that other museums (MoMA, Dallas, MFA Boston, Miami) have all recognized the inherent value of accepting a Ramos donation now -- before the Castro brothers finally died and Cuba returns to the list of free nations -- rather than later.

And now Kerry Brougher highlights a "focus on the artists of Latin America" (news to me), which makes their declining of a gift by one of Latin America's most celebrated Cuban artists a puzzle. Especially when other museums all over the US are jumping on the offers.

I realize that I am far from objective on this issue, but it is still a puzzle to me. By the way, the last Sandra Ramos work that I offered the Hirshhorn as a gift has now been gifted to the permanent collection of the Miami Art Museum.

If you feel like fish

It has nothing to do with art, but I've been meaning to mention this for a while. I love fresh fish and the key fish place around here is Atlantic Supermarket (7901 New Hampshire Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20783-4609, (301) 439-7005). Loads of fresh fish in their fish department, including many species not generally available in your regular supermarket. Today I bought Mahi Mahi for $2.99 a pound and it's not frozen, but on ice and the guy cleans it right in front of you.

I also bought a fish that I'd never heard of called Basa. I got it just to try it (and because it was very cheap).

Having just come back from Miami, I was hoping to find Mamey ice cream, which (in my opinion) is the best tropical fruit ice cream on the planet. They didn't have it (in fact they don't have much ice creams).

I'll keep looking for Mamey (called Zapote in the Oriente province of Cuba) ice cream. They even sell it at Safeway in Miami, so maybe my local Safeway can order it for me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jessica Picks Steven Silberg as the 7th one

Jessica Dawson's Real D.C. series may completely (OK, OK, partially restore) my faith in the WaPo and the local area's visual art scene. Her 7th pick is Steven Silberg and so far she's seven for seven with me in her picks.

Whodda thunk it?

Check out all seven picks so far here. All picks will be invited by me for the next volume of 100 More Washington Artists.

This is funny

Erik Wemple, the editor of TBD.com has some really funny editorial comments for a variety of DC area publications. He also raises a really good question: Why does Washington Hispanic, a Spanish language newspaper, have an English title? This is not only a good question, but also a funny one!

By the way Erik, Fuego means "fire" and Frio means "cold" - it sorta works with what you're doing with the publications, but a better set of words would have been Caliente which means "hot" instead of Fuego. But I am very pedantic about that, and I do like the shortness of the Fuego word and how it aligns with the "F" in Frio. Super funny anyway.

Why does Washington Hispanic have an English name anyway? It doesn't even translate well. The translation would have been (in proper Spanish) El Hispano de Washington. That almost sounds like a person instead of a newspaper.

Come to think of it, in Miami, the New Herald has a Spanish language version. It is called El Nuevo Herald. That even weirder to me. The right name would have been El Nuevo Pregonero.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

At the end of the day

Just when you thought the Campello-Capps feud was over and it was safe to go back to the pages of this blog and the City Paper's...

Awright... I'm being melodramatic; the battle of words between Capps and I is almost over, but not before you read this in the WCP. You see, the City Paper has done something unprecedented: they have allowed me to re-write Capps' story so that it is a bit more fair without eliminating Capps' fears about anonymous contributors to the book and other neurotic issues.

So go on and read the piece and if you want to leave a comment there, then try your best to keep them civil and constructive. I know that both Kriston and I do not bruise easily and we can both take constructive criticism and disagreement and hopefully we will all come out of this having learned something positive.

Putting together this first volume was an immense amount of work, and yet I am looking forward to the next couple of volumes and will apply the “lessons learned” from this first volume to all the others.

Shame on Springfield, MA

Art censorship covers all sides of the social spectrum in this great nation. Throw in a nude (or in this case, not even a nude) in most public settings around the US and something is bound to go wrong. Even in the Soviet Socialist State of Massachusetts. From the Legal Satyricon:

Censorship — its not just for rednecks

I often rant about the censorship minded former confederacy — but I must admit that my home state of Massachusetts has its share of censorship monkeys. The censorship monkey of the day — the city of Springfield, MA and Gina E. Beavers, director of the Springfield Arts Initiative for the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID).
Read the entire post with all the details here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


To Renee Stout, the 2010 winner of the High Museum of Art's David C. Driskell Prize, which recognizes Stout's original and important contribution to African-American art.

Stout's show Renee Stout: The House of Chance and Mischief opens Saturday, September 11, 2010 with a public reception from 6:30 - 8:30PM at Hemphill.

Monday, August 16, 2010


To Dafna Steinberg, who is the new Gallery Director at the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. Their next show is an exhibition of works on paper by artist Miriam Mörsel Nathan. The exhibition, curated by Steven Cushner, will be on display from September 15 through December 17, 2010, with an Opening Reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on September 14.

Working from pre-World War II photographs, Mörsel Nathan searches for details of family members, most of whom she has known only through photographs and stories. In working with these images, she creates hauntingly beautiful and provocative works. By piecing together fragments of information collected from family documents, notes on photographs and oral histories, Mörsel Nathan’s work reveals an elusive story of personal history and ascribed memory, acknowledging what she does not know about the people in these images.

Mörsel Nathan explains, “Only after completing these pieces was it clear to me that my way of working–making it difficult to see the images–was very much a part of the story. That’s how it is with memory, even an inherited one. It can be hard to retrieve. It is often non-linear. It can be vague or unclear or incomplete or hidden.”

The exhibition includes a series of multi-colored monotypes and screen prints based on a photograph of her aunt Greta; a wedding series of her Uncle Josef’s wedding, complemented by a video chronicling the original images from the wedding; and her version of a pre-war “family album.”

Curator Cushner says, “Miriam Mörsel Nathan has been able to take her particular experience and transform it into a language that speaks to all of us. This is the magic of all good art–to create a bridge that can connect the personal and private, with the universal and communal.”

The three-month exhibition will be accompanied by myriad of special programming, including panel discussions, film screenings, literary, musical and theatrical events. Miriam Mörsel Nathan’s work for the exhibition Memory of a time I did not know… is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Flying on Facebook - a cartoon by F. Lennox Campello c.2009
Heading back home today early in the morning... too early.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Studio Space Available

Pyramid Atlantic is currently offering a private studio space for an artist (or artists) to share. The 10 X 12 studio space has large windows, natural lighting and free WiFi access. Rent is $300 per month. Monthly rental fee includes 24 hour studio access, parking and utilities.

Artists working in the mediums of paper-making, printmaking, book making and digital media are encouraged to apply. Unlimited use of printmaking facilities and equipment is available with studio rental for an additional $100 a month.

Artist interested in applying for the private space should submit:

* A resume of artistic experience,
* A typed one-page Artist Statement,
* Up to 10 images saved in jpeg format,
* A sheet identifying the name of each image, medium, dimension and date created

All materials may be emailed to jdominguez@pyramid-atlantic.org or mailed to:

Jose Dominguez
Executive Director
8230 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring MD 20910.

All applications must be received by Sept 12, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Read and weep some more

He's Britain's most talked-about young artist. His paintings fetch hefty sums and there's a long waiting list for his eagerly anticipated new works.

It has all happened so quickly — he's still getting used to the spotlight — and Kieron Williamson fidgets a little when he's asked to share his thoughts on art.

"Cows are the easiest thing to paint," said Kieron, who has just turned 8. "You don't have to worry about doing so much detail."
Read it here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jessica's Finalist No. 6: Chloe Watson

Great choice! Check it out here.

VARA in action

The news release from artist David Ascalon reads:

"When artist David Ascalon's towering Holocaust memorial, just blocks from the Pennsylvania state capitol, was dedicated in 1994, he could not have imagined that a dozen years later, his name would be stripped away from the sculpture's base. Nor could Ascalon have envisioned that his most cherished creation - one which he designed to honor the millions who perished at the hands of the Nazis - would have been mutilated through drastic modification at the whim of a bunch of Harrisburg bureaucrats. But that is precisely what happened.

Ascalon, however, was unwilling to permit this violation of his moral rights to go unchecked. Through his attorney, Jason B. Schaeffer of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, he has filed suit under Congress' Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) - a law enacted to protect against such destruction - in Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Through this action, Ascalon seeks to compel restoration of this important public artwork to its original design."
Here are some before and after pictures, including ones that show the artist's signature completely ground away. A copy of the complaint is here.

I don't know who the artist was, or even the name of the piece was, but does anyone remember that huge piece of shiny, fluttery, metal public art that used to be above the Bethesda Metro stop for years? The thing was massive; then, all of a sudden it was gone!

I wonder if that artist, whoever she or he may be, even knows that his work is no longer there.

The perils of public art... I guess.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: September 6, 2010

CoolClimate Art Contest. The purpose of the contest is to engage the creative community on behalf of producing an iconic image that addresses the impact of climate change and spurs participation in the climate change debate. The contest is being judged by notable art experts and celebrities such as Philippe Cousteau, Van Jones, Jackson Browne, Chevy Chase, Agnes Gund, David Ross, and Carrie Mae Weems. Winners will be voted on by the public on Huffington Post. Submissions are due September 6 and can be posted online here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot Foot

I rarely hang my own work in my house, but I have a recent version of Superman Flying Naked temporarily hanging in my house while the art piece that goes there is on loan for an exhibition. The other day I noted that the way the sun was striking the glass made it look as if the Man of Steel had incandescent feet.

Superman Flying Naked

Tax Free Bennies

In addition to her $877,000 compensation package, Ellen V. Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History, lives rent free in a $5 million East Side apartment that the museum bought when she came aboard.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses its director, Thomas P. Campbell, in a $4 million co-op that it owns across Fifth Avenue from the museum.

The director of the Museum of Modern Art, Glenn D. Lowry, may have the best deal of all. In addition to the $2 million in salary and benefits he earned last year, he lives in a $6 million condo in the tower atop the museum.
Read the NYT story here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cudlin Goes Yard

Sometimes it seems like the only way for D.C. artists to get a little respect is to leave town. Take Dan Steinhilber, an artist who lives and works in the District, and is represented locally by G Fine Art. In his Style section piece this past Sunday, WaPo chief art critic Blake Gopnik praises Steinhilber, noting that his art has “earned him solos from Baltimore to Houston and group shows from Toronto to Siena. This summer, they’ve also earned him a residency at Socrates Sculpture Park, on the waterfront in Queens.”

Yes, Steinhilber has spent the summer making art in New York. He’s been asking passers-by in Queens to lay down in a large sand box and move their arms and legs back and forth, creating what can only be described as sand angels—which the artist then casts in concrete.

But Gopnik doesn’t mention one important detail: This New York residency is actually a D.C.-funded project.
Read how Jeffry Cudlin tells you what the Washington Post should have told you last week. Read it here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Rosetta Berardinis in the collection of PNC Bank
Congrats to our own Rosetta DeBerardinis, whose "Erotic Contemplation" is now part of the permanent collection at PNC Bank's regional headquarters.

Letter to City Paper

The current issue of the Washington City Paper has my letter to the editor responding to Kriston Capps deceptive article published in the previous issue. The letter reads:

The errors and journalist lack of integrity of “The C List: Will Lenny Campello’s 100 Washington Artists Serve Its Subjects or Its Author,” are too many to list in this letter; I will concentrate on the three major ones. To start, Capps lies when he writes that in my blog (DC Art News) I have been “writing for years about artists that he admires (and represents).” A simple check of my blog posts will reveal that 95% of those artists have never been represented by me.

Capps then quotes me out of context when he writes that I said “I have zero commercial relationship with them.” He follows that quote by writing “Not wholly true.” I know of no other meaning of “not wholly true” other than “it’s a lie.” What an ethical journalist would have written is: “But I have zero commercial relationship with them,” Campello says referring to the Fraser Gallery and their artists.” I never lied to Capps, and revealed to him all my artists relationships. I am insulted and embarrassed that he made it appear as if I lied and he “discovered” my lie.

The worst offense in this article, and one that should get the attention of the CP’s editors and publishers and all of Capps’ employers, is the fact that Capps purposefully omitted information which would have destroyed his argument about my ethical issues with this book.

Even though he knew that I had placed a disclaimer in the book, and referred all artists to other dealers so that no referral ever came back to me, he never mentioned the steps that I took to eliminate any perception of conflict of interest. That is unethical and malicious.

Considering that in past CP articles (not once, but twice), Capps own journalistic ethics have been questioned, and considering that he was once dismissed from the CP for issues related to one of his articles, he has huge cojones writing about my ethics when his are the ones on the record as lacking integrity.

Pyramid Atlantic gets NEA Big Read award

Pyramid Atlantic, the cool nonprofit arts center in Silver Spring's arts and entertainment district, is one of 75 nonprofits across the U.S. that is receiving a total of $1 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in connection with the NEA's fifth annual Big Read project, a yearly effort that spotlights reading as a vital element of American culture.

Each grantee receives an award ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Pyramid, the only Maryland organization to receive a Big Read award, was awarded $17,050. Founded in 1981, Pyramid is “dedicated to the creation and appreciation of hand papermaking, printmaking, digital arts and the art of the book.”

Monday, August 09, 2010

Cyber influences

Americans who participate in the arts through technology and electronic media – Internet, television, radio, computers and mobile devices – are nearly three times more likely to attend live arts events compared to non-media participants, according to a recent report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation also showed that media participants also attend twice as many live arts events and attend a greater variety of the events. A multi-media version of the report is on the NEA’s web site.

Flying on Facebook - a cartoon by F. Lennox Campello c.2009
Heading down to Florida for one week of R&R with the family. I am mentally and physically exhausted after putting together the first volume of 100 Washington Artists (and then having to defend it); I haven't done any artwork in months; my hair is too long and my shoulder hurts from where that British Marine broke my clavicle in Palma de Mallorca in 1983. Besides, it is time to expose Little Junes to the warm sea.

Anderson Lennox Campello, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Banner year so far!

Campello Pinot GrigioCampello Pinot Grigio is available practically everywhere, most notably at Trader Joe's in those non fascist states where supermarkets can sell wine.

Reviews and comments here. For around six or seven bucks it has been getting rave reviews!

Keep buying!

Busy, busy...

Former Trawick prizewinner Linn Meyers is not only one of my favorite DC area artists, but also one of the area's hardest working. Her show at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., will end in just over 2 weeks. This means that August 22nd is the last day to see the piece before it is painted over and forever gone! And she's got a full schedule ahead of her:

- This September she will create a wall drawing at Paris Concret for the show titled Touch. The show open in Paris, France on October 3rd.

- Next January, 2011, she will have a solo show at The Katzen Museum at American University in Washington, DC.

- In February 2011 she will have her third solo show with G Fine Art in Washington, DC in their new gallery space at 1350 Florida Ave, NE.

- Linn will be making a wall drawing in NYC at The Museum of Art and Design, in 2011, dates to be announced soon.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

City Gallery is hosting the opening for their First Annual Regional Juried Competition. The opening reception is tonight from 6-9PM.

Gopnik on Steinhilber

The Washington Post's Blake Gopnik has a really good focus piece on DC area artist Dan Steinhilber in today's WaPo.

His 38th birthday is approaching, but he looks much younger, with wavy shoulder-length hair and a compact build. He's wearing plaid capris, much washed, and a hip green T-shirt with a drawing of a parking lot and the single word "hermetic." He could easily pass for the bassist in some alt-rock band. With his puppy eyes and big, shy smile, he'd be irresistible to groupies.
Read the article here.

Friday, August 06, 2010

This Weekend

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Art Scam

I've got another art scam email to share:

From: Samuel Matinez (s.martinez212@gmail.com)
Sent: Wed 8/04/10 4:12 PM
Hi Dear,
My name is Samuel Martinez, i will like to order for some piece of your work from your studio as gift for my parent are celebrating their wedding anniversary, so i will be glad to have your reply as soon as possible, i will be glad if you can send me your website address to choose or send me four of your product via email that is available for me to choose.

Waiting to read from you today.so that we can make some progress.

I will be waiting to read from you at you convinet time.


Samuel Martinez.
This asshole can't even spell his fake name right (Matinez). But as it is the tradition in my dealings with these scam emails, I always send them a hook back. Here's my response:
Dear Samuel,

Thank you for your order and interest. I am very pleased with your interest and desire to own some of my artwork. As you probably already know, recently I've sold a lot of work thanks to all that great publicity that I received! I've never had so much money in the bank in my life before. It is so odd to struggle in making good art for so long, and then suddenly a break happens and people are buying my artwork from all over. Last month alone I deposited over $750,000 in my bank account from art sales. There's well over a million dollars in there now!

I am very picky as to who owns my artwork. Before I sell it to you, I need to know a few things about you. Also, I will need an international money order as payment or I can send you all my bank account details and you can transfer the funds. I will ship the artwork as soon as I receive an International Money Order.

But before that can even be a conversation I need to make sure that my precious, beloved artwork will be loved and in the collection of a deserving collector. Therefore, I need to know a little more about you. Where do you live and what do you do for a living? (Warning: if you are a Kosher or Halal butcher, I will refuse to sell you my art). Also, if you are married, I need to know if you have children. If you do, you must promise in writing that you will protect my artwork from possible damage from the rugrats.

I am also picky as to where you will hang the work. Please send me JPG (not TIFF) images of your walls in your house so that I can select the spot where you'd hang the work.

Please forgive me for being so picky, but my artwork is very important to me, and I know that it will give you years and years of visual pleasure. We can work together to make sure that it works out well.

May Allah, Yaweh, Buddha, Christ and Crom bless your home and may the bluebird of happiness fly all over the house of Martinez

your friend The Lennymeister....

PS - Can I call you Sammy?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Orchard Gallery

This terrific review by Dr. Claudia Rousseau in the Gazette newspapers discusses the paintings of Anamario Hernandez's recent show a year ago or so in Bethesda's Orchard Gallery.

Like most of Rousseau's art criticism, it's an elegant and erudite piece of writing from this well-traveled and experienced art scholar.

But the key issue here and what this review triggered in my mind is an interesting thing that is happening associated with this small, unassuming gallery and frame shop at 7917 Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda.

Orchard galleryMost of you have probably never heard of Orchard Gallery because as far as I know it has never been written about in any of the local press. I have written about it a few times, but never in depth.

Part of that is because the owners, a very nice and unassuming Korean couple, don't seem to be too concerned with the press. As far as I know, they don't even send out press releases (at least to me), although they do participate in the monthly Bethesda Art Walks.

But they are doing something right that seems to have escaped most galleries these days: they are selling a lot of artwork.

When I first walked into Orchard a few years ago, I was expecting to find the usual mediocre art that one finds on the walls of most art venues that rely on framing as a business. I was pleasantly surprised not only by the quality of the artwork (at the time they were showing a recent MICA MFA graduate whose name escapes me now), but also by the fact that the framing business does not interfere with the art gallery space at all. It's a clean, minimalist art space.

The owners were very nice and warm, and were genuinely surprised when I identified myself (they had no idea who I was anyway), described what I do, and then told them that I really liked the work. I also noted that there were a lot of red dots.

Over the next couple of years, every time that I find myself around Norfolk Avenue, I drop by into Orchard to check out their shows. I haven't been WOW'd every time, but I've never been disappointed. It is clear that the owners have a particular taste and sensibility that is working for them. And I've always seen a lot of red dots.

So after reading Rousseau's review I reached out and try to gather some info on this gallery and the one constant that comes back is that they're selling artwork. A recent show with a price point of $3,000 - $4,000 a piece sold out and the current show (I am told) is selling well.

What's even more refreshing is that in these times of austere fiscal environments, when galleries are closing all over the nation, and where they turn away new artists by the droves, Orchard's website still says: "We encourage local and emerging artists to contact us for details on our monthly gallery exhibits."

Orchard, my kudos to you. Keep doing whatever you are doing to put original artwork on peoples' walls.

Update: Read Rousseau's review of the most recent show at Orchard here.

Art Dealer Is Sentenced for $120 Million Scheme

The victims took turns standing at a lectern in State Supreme Court in Manhattan and calling for a harsh sentence. And in the end, despite a tearful plea for mercy from the defendant, Justice Michael J. Obus ordered Mr. Salander, 61, to serve 6 to 18 years in prison, the maximum term agreed upon in the plea arrangement. He also ordered Mr. Salander to pay more than $114 million in restitution, but acknowledged that it was unlikely that Mr. Salander would be able to come up with that sum.
Read the NYT story here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Errors, omissions, etc.

Someone formerly from the Washington Projects for the Arts just pointed out a big error in the CP article by Kriston Capps. In the article Capps compares my 100 Washington Artists book to WPA efforts to expose DC area artists; he writes:

"And the gains may be limited for the artists, whose peers are many, and who compete for a vanishingly small slice of the pie. Half of Campello’s selections appear in the WPA’s Artfile, a browsable archive where member artists upload artists’ statements and images—a lot like what Campello is offering. Until recently, the WPA Artfile was published in print: a guide, not a game-changer."
This is completely incorrect and inaccurate.

The WPA Artfile has never been published in print.

What was published in print in the past was a separate WPA project which had nothing to do with the Artfile, and it was done at a very reasonable cost to the artists ($80 per artist as I recall) and open to anyone who submitted their inclusion fee and WPA membership fee. There are hundreds of artists in these WPA guidebooks, and each artist had one page with contact information and one image.

Also, as far as I know that WPA guidebook was never offered for sale in bookstores or Amazon, etc. as my book will be. And in my book none of the artists pay a cent to be in it.

Thus the comparison (erroneous to start with) is like comparing apples and mangoes.

Kiddie art

...child's art is often displayed prominently on the family fridge, but one English boy has far surpassed that standard, recently exhibiting and selling his collection of paintings for more than $200,000.
Photo: Painting Prodigy: Kid's Art Sells for Over $200,000: People from as Far Away as South Africa and Arizona Traveled to U.K to Buy Seven Year Old's Paintings
Seven-year-old Kieron Williamson, known in the British media as "Mini Monet," recently exhibited and sold his collection of paintings for more than $200,000.

Seven-year-old Kieron Williamson of Norfolk, U.K., known in the British media as "Mini Monet," has impressionist style and impressive impact: All 33 works in his latest collection sold in 27 minutes, earning $236,850.
Read it and weep here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Gallery Neptune to close (and change)

From Elyse Harrison, the hardworking and talented owner and director of Gallery Neptune:

In the spirit of economic realism (but indeed not cultural nourishment), Gallery Neptune will conclude it’s seven year run this summer on August 21st.

The good news though is that elements of the gallery’s programming such as our special events will continue, as will the very important work of Studio Neptune, our 20 year old educational program. In fact, Studio Neptune is positioning itself to go non profit and add a wonderful online component that will reach out to art educators and creative people everywhere.

I want to personally thank all of you who have shown dedicated support in covering our numerous exhibits over these past years. It is truly a labor of love to run an art gallery and our two year old gallery space in the building we so carefully developed is proof that my husband and I are firmly dedicated to inspire through good design and excellent programming.

I hope you remain interested in Studio Neptune’s bounty, as we step forward this fall on our world wide journey.

Not good enough

Kriston Capps responds to my defense responding to his his highly flawed and deceptive article on the 100 Washington Artists book and I. He writes:

Seventh-generation Texan, in fact. There are many Mexican Americans in my family, but I don't have much Latino blood in me. And I'm a fanboy for Star Trek and Marvel Comics.

Okay, a couple of points:

On Fraser: In my article I write, "As a curator and a dealer, he’s shown 100 Washington Artists selections Lida Moser, Andrew Wodzianski, Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Joseph Barbaccia, and many others," which is correct. I note that in D.C., he's primarily shown these artists through Fraser--also true. But I did not write that Fraser represents these artists. Somewhere in the editorial process, "Lida Moser" became "Linda Moser," a typo that was either my fault or editorial's.

No way did I fabricate any quote or bend the context to fit the narrative.

More broadly, I think it is a misreading to say that I've fingered Campello in a conspiracy or scheme to profit. I speculate that that opportunity is probably not even there. Rather, I say that Campello has conflicts of interest with regard to artists he works with and artists he is covering in this book. I cited the Alida Anderson/art fair example because it was recent and clear (and because Campello told me that). It doesn't destroy my argument that he skipped last year's Affordable Art Fair. His financial relationships with specific artists continues and will continue in the future.

Again, I acknowledge that Campello has kept nothing hidden. I don't say that it's a scheme to make money. The takeaway is that a conflict of interest doesn't bother him and isn't keeping him from writing a survey of D.C. artists.

Campello writes, "He does shoot himself in the foot by later acknowledging that I did tell him that I have current commercial interests in some artists." I do not see how reporting that constitutes shooting myself in the foot.

Campello says I "strangle the truth" by saying he blogs about artists he admires (and represents), but that is correct. I don't say they are one and the same.

No more hairsplitting from me. I would refer back to my story on all the other points.
Let's examine this response in detail.

Capps writes that: "No way did I fabricate any quote or bend the context to fit the narrative." But he did bend the context. The quote in question is: "I have zero commercial relationship with them."

This quote is in the context of our discussion on the past and former Fraser Gallery artists in general that we were discussing in our telephone conversation. He even listed a few artists by name at one point and that quote was in response to that context. I then immediately followed that by listing the very few artists that I do have a relationship with - which Kriston admits in his response "I acknowledge that Campello has kept nothing hidden" - but in the article he follows the "I have zero commercial relationship with them" quote with "That’s not wholly true." He then details all the facts that I revealed to him without telling his readers that it was I who revealed that information to him.

If you follow the thread of the writing, the implication is that I lied to him, unless someone knows of another meaning for "not wholly true." Had he written in the article what he wrote in his response ("Campello has kept nothing hidden") then this part of my argument would have been a moot point. But to make that clear in his article would have seriously undermined his goal to make this project seem full of conflicts of interest.

I also told Capps of the safety valves that I had implemented to minimize the potential conflicts of interest with the artists in question. I'll repeat myself: Every artist in the book who is represented by a gallery or dealer is referred back to that gallery or dealer. In the case of artists associated with me, every single contact info points back to another dealer who represents that artist. Not a single artist in this book is associated in the book with me. In fact, if any "business" is to be derived from this book, I am sending the business to everyone but me. Capps knows this, but conveniently avoided discussing that. The reason is simple: it demolishes his implied undercurrent about my ethical transgressions in having artists in the book that I'm associated with.

He shoots himself in the foot because first he implies that "That's not wholly true" as in a lie, but then later reveals that I did tell him that I have a relationship with a tiny percentage of the artists in the book. So he has told you that I told him that I have zero relationships with any artists and I also told him that I do have a relationship with some artists. It is the flow of the sentences that don't follow a logical path other than to imply to that I tried to hide my relationship from him.

And he does strangle the truth when he writes in the article: "As much can be ascertained from his blog, D.C. Art News, where he has written for years about artists he admires (and represents)." Clearly this was meant to incorrectly suggest that I only write and admire artists that I represent. In his response he says: "I don't say they're one and the same." See how a dishonest employment of English to convey one meaning - the one the author wants to convey - works?

What an honest journalist would have written should have been: "As much can be ascertained from his blog, D.C. Art News, where he has written for years about artists he admires (and some of whom he represents)."

You see the difference between the truth and unethical journalism designed to carry the author's agenda forward?

In another response in reference to my anger at being called a "fanboy", Capps tells me that:
But to say that I kicked my story with a slur to insult you personally -- or that City Paper would publish that kind of attack -- is not true. As another commenter says, it's a word that comes from comic-book and nerd culture that suggests extreme enthusiasm for a subject.
Fair enough, but I'll say it again: regardless of the actual meaning of "fanboy", the intent was the same: to diminish and reduce. He could have written "fan" and accomplish the same point without the denigration to a juvenile status that "fanboy" brings to those readers not in tune with the arcane meanings of the sci-fi and comic book culture.

Capps doesn't respond of his denigration of the publisher. In the article he picked as examples some weird titles from a selection of 100s of art books that this respected publisher has offered in the 50-plus years that they've been publishing art books. This is a highly respected publisher that is taking a huge chance financing this book, its marketing and exposure at zero cost to the artists or anyone.

It all comes down to choice of words and the intended meaning that the author wants to accomplish.

What bugs me the most out this whole episode is that I really tried so fucking hard to bust my ass to cover every possible angle dealing with conflicts of interest; that I've spent some many hundreds of hours putting together this volume with the real Pollyanna goal of doing something good for the DC art scene; that I tried so hard to focus all possible future "financial rewards" to other art dealers or to the artists themselves... and still, after all that, in the end a piece of shoddy attack journalism still tries to focus most of the attention on conflicts of interest without pointing out the steps that I took to remove them.

For that there's no semantic excuse other than a flaw of character and a scary disregard for ethics. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, right? and one lesson that Capps will learn from this episode is that you reap what you sow.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Critique the critics

On Tuesday, August 3rd, the Arlington Arts Center and The Pink Line Project are turning the tables on writers who cover the DC area arts and culture beat.

For Critique the critics, "eight authorities on all things stylish will compete head to head, attempting to create works of art on the spot and exposing themselves to the scrutiny of a horde of artists, patrons, and other curious onlookers who will judge their artistic abilities (or possible lack thereof).

These eight brave writers will use familiar kids’ toys and craft materials—from play-doh, to finger paints, to duplo blocks—to battle in a humorous tourney filled with unlikely aesthetic challenges. By competition’s end, one writer will emerge victorious."

The roster of warrior critics includes:

Maura Judkis (tbd.com), Stephanie Kaye (WAMU), Svetlana Legetic (Brightest Young Things), Danielle O’Steen (Washington Post Express), Holly Thomas (Washington Post), Ben Eisler (WJLA), Annie Groer (Politics Daily), Peter Abrahams (DC Modern Luxury).

Music provided by DJ Anish. Tickets are $5, and are available on the AAC website.

Tuesday, August 3, 6 – 8 pm at the Gibson Guitar Showroom (above Indebleu), 709 F St NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC.

Worth noting

Back when the WaPo announced the Real Art D.C. thing where the WaPo's Galleries critic Jessica Dawson reviews online entries and selects work that she liked, there was a good discussion about the rules of the entries, which seemed particularly one-WaPo-sided towards image copyright issues.

Not sure if that was a lot of wasted words worrying about copyright. I think.

Jessica's first pick was Joel D'Orazio, and she really liked his chairs but didn't seem so hot on his paintings. By the way, I'm the opposite: I like his paintings better.

Anyway, score is Jessica one, Lenny zip as Joel's chairs are featured in Dwell Magazine.

And by the way, all of Jessica Dawson's picks will be automatically invited for the next volume of 100 Washington Artists, tentatively titled 100 More Washington Artists.


To 18 year old Bethesda artist Carolyn Becker, who just won the grand prize in the Plein Air Easton, The Next Generation painting competition.

Having been a guest speaker in this competition in the past, I know that it is very difficult and an amazing art experience.

Carolyn also won the Alma Thomas award for painting this past year at American University for her work in the undergraduate show there. She is a painting major at American University.

Keep an eye on this young talented painter.