Monday, October 18, 2010

Auction alert: Campello original

This Ebay auction offers a drawing that I did while in Art School. It is circa 1980. It is being offered by some antique store in Washington state.

It's pen and ink of an unicorn. The piece, as I recall, was one of many, many different unicorn and fantasy drawings that I did during that period for a fantasy periodical in Seattle (name escapes me now, but that stuff was hot in Seattle in the 1980s). I would get a small chunk of money for each drawing they used, and then I'd get the original back and sell it at the Pike's Place Market in Seattle.

Between 1977-1981 I sold artwork at Pike's Place Market... everything including all of my art school assignments once they were graded and all of the pen and ink illustrations that I did for this periodical (and others). I'm guessing that I probably sold anywhere from two to three thousand drawings, paintings, watercolors, etchings and woodcuts at Pike's Place Market in those four years - don't be too impressed, the price point ranged from $5 to $100 or so.

The unicorn pen and ink original, framed is starting at only $20 bucks! Hurry, there's only a day left in the auction!

Bid for it here.

Scope Art Fair "freefall" continues?

A while back I noted the various artblogsphere posts describing the various issues surrounding the once mighty Scope Art Fair and describing what's happening to Scope as a "freefall."

Scope had to cancel its Hamptons fair this summer, doing so at the very last minute possible and getting a lot of irate grumbling from the scheduled exhibitors.

And there's something odd going on now with the exhibitor selection process for Scope's Miami version.

Initially, the deadline for announcing the final set of exhibitors for Miami was supposed to be in early October. When that didn't happen I called Scope to find out why and I was told that the date was "October 14 all along."

This is not what I had been told (and what I had in my notes) earlier on, but I said OK and waited.

When October 14 came and went, and no exhibitors had been notified, I called them again and after being put on hold for a bit, I was told that the new date was November 1st.

When fairs keep extending deadlines for applications and/or notifications of exhibitors there are usually a few things that drive this train wreck:

1. Not enough applicants (and thus not enough application fees and deposits gathering interest in bank accounts)

2. Not enough "good" applicants, at least from the self described "cutting-edge contemporary art from around the world" art fair. Judging from the Miami Scopes of the last two years, this fair has been slow in deciphering that because of the drastic economic slowdown, both galleries and collectors are becoming a little more grounded in the plebeian realities of selling artwork than in trying to get attention through the often salesless avenues of cutting-edge art tricks.

3. Not enough cash at hand to actually make the fair happen

I don't know if any of the above applies to Scope and its reason for once again delaying notifying applicants of their acceptance status, and I think that Scope Miami will take place one way or the other (after all, they have a shiny new 80,000 square foot pavilion next to Art Asia and Red Dot and across the street from Art Miami; all of them centrally located in the center of the Wynwood Arts District).

But I do know that this continuing delay in notifying applicants of their acceptance or rejection status is not only highly unprofessional, but it is also creating havoc with galleries' art fair schedules as alarmed artists keep putting pressure to know if their particular dealer is in Scope or not.

Why? Because in the complex chess game that is Art Basel week in Miami, any artist worth his or her artsy business cards must be in an art fair somewhere from the 25 or so art fairs that surround Art Basel Miami Beach. In the 21st century visual arts games, you gotta be in Miami somewhere or you're still so 20th century.

But fairs like Scope demand that galleries, if showing in Scope, can't show in any other fairs.

And art dealers/gallerists, being the over-protecting cabal that we are, usually demand that only one dealer show the artist in Miami (I've always thought the opposite - that is, that the more dealers that show the same artist in various fairs, the better for both the artist and the various dealers - but in that line of thought I am alone in the art dealer universe). And thus one can have the case where an artist has said to his "other" dealers: "Look, my New York gallery has applied to Scope, and if they get in, only they can show my work in Miami during Art Basel week."

In the past, when Scope actually stuck to its timetables, if a dealer got rejected from Scope, they could always (and usually) did, apply to another art fair, and another, until accepted in one of them. But with about six weeks left before Art Basel Week, and Scope still delaying the process, by the time November 1st comes along, there are only four weeks left to find hotels, ship artwork (imagine this nightmare if you're an overseas gallery trying to ship artwork from your location in Europe or Asia to Miami in four weeks), etc. It's a train wreck in the making for the selected exhibitors and a train wreck already in process for those who will be rejected, and scrambling - with four weeks to go - to find another art fair with some booth space still available.

All of this maelstrom because a once mighty art fair appears to be scratching its ass trying to figure out what to do next, not realizing that they've already thrown a huge wrench in the gear works of a couple of hundred galleries and a couple of thousand artists.

Hurry! Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: Tonight at 11PM, October 18, 2010

This competition has an interesting twist to it. It features figurative and Fine Art Nude photography with a twist of fetish to celebrate Halloween. It is titled the "Halloween Fine Art Nude/Figurative Photography Show" and it is being held at the The Carriage House Studio and Gallery in DC. All entries are submitted online.

Submission Guidelines: Content may be any image in the realm of fine art nude photography. Winners will be selected and exhibited in the following categories:
1) best figurative image
2) best costume/fetish image
and two special exhibits
3) best figurative/fine art nude image shot on film and
4) best image of Nika (, who is returning to to Washington DC from Germany and will attend the show as their Feature Model.

The images for the exhibit will be selected by three judges with background in fine art photography, who will be announced shortly. The top selection in each category will receive a complementary shoot at the Carriage House studio during the 60 days following the exhibit. Participants whose work is not selected will also have their work displayed on a wide-screen display.

All images must be received by 11 pm on Mon, October 18th. You may send up to 5 jpegs (1200 px x 1200 px max) for consideration.

All the details are here. The show will be at The Carriage House Studio and Gallery, a new arts cooperative in Washington, DC, located in the historic Logan Arts Circle District. The studio is located in a historic landmark 1860's carriage house.

Later this month: Sandra Ramos solo show in Norfolk

Havana-based Cuban artist Sandra Ramos is in many people's opinions, the leading contemporary Cuban artist in the world, and later this month, her solo exhibition titled Exodus, running from October 23 - December 27, opens in Norfolk's leading independently owned commercial fine arts gallery: Mayer Fine Art.

MFA, which also represents my work, is by far the top fine arts venue in the Tidewater area, and its hardworking owner, the talented Shiela Giolitti, daughter of the legendary comic book artist Alberto Giolitti has been preparing for this, Ramos' second ever solo show in the USA, for a long time.

Sandra Ramos, Flyin to Miami

Sandra Ramos. Flying to Miami. Charcoal and Acrylic on Digital Canvas Print. 130 x 90 cm. Circa 2010

The opening is Saturday, October 23rd from 6-9PM.

Additionally, Ramos will be leading a printmaking workshop at the Chrysler Museum on Oct 23 and 24th. You can register for that workshop here.

Then, on October 26th at 7PM, Sandra Ramos will present a lecture on contemporary Cuban art at the Baron and Ellin Art Galleries of Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Free and open to the public.

I'm driving down for this opening; see ya there!

Rousseau on Goodwin and Shapiro at Iona Center

By Dr. Claudia Rousseau

Something like a retrospective of the photographs of Lee Goodwin is now on view at the Iona Center in NW Washington. Goodwin, who was named “Artist in Residence” there for this year, is widely known for his photos of the area, especially the Potomac and the C&O Canal area.

The photos in this exhibit include both the gelatin silver prints that he was creating until a couple of years ago, and his new archival digital prints, many in color.

The subject matter remains the same: familiar places made to look very unfamiliar, exotic, desirable. One delicately colored photo of a figure reading a newspaper on an early foggy morning on the Mall looks like an impressionist painting. Another, taken after the first snowfall this past winter, is a study in perfection. Taken just at dawn, the rising sun is framed in the center of trees covered in white. All the photos are both sensitively and expertly composed, using features in the landscape to create unusual effects.

Goodwin’s photos are accompanied by sculptural work by 98-year-old special guest artist Marilee Shapiro. Shapiro has been working in bronze for decades, and many of her more recent works are figurative, naturalistic, expressive, and rather small.

They are all displayed in vitrines. Yet, to her great credit, recently, when working in bronze became too much of a burden, this Washington DC artist reached out, took a Photoshop class, and hired a private tutor to teach herself everything about the program and its potential to transform imagery.

Creating large sheets of paper printed with exotic patterns created in Photoshop, Shapiro wraps these around shipping tubes. The results are reminiscent of those “rain maker” cylinders that sound as they are turned. These don’t make that lovely sound, but are fine, inventive works just as they are.

Iona Center
4125 Albemarle St. NW
Washington DC 20016

Patricia Dubroof, Gallery Director. Call for information: 202-895-9407