Friday, September 23, 2011

(e)merge day one

I never got to the pool deck last night, but I was told by reliable sources that at one time about 1500 people were jamming the Skyline's famed pool area for (e)merge's opening party.

"Some folks were jumping in the pool and swimming around in their clothes or their underwear," reported the very young reporter from one of the newspapers' covering DC's cool new art fair.

"Was anyone naked?" asked you-know-who.


OK, so maybe next year.

The pre-opening party night was packed, as I reported yesterday, and (as an astute observer of the DC art scene) I can tell you that there were a lot of new faces, in addition to the usual suspects; this is a good thing... and I've never seen so many gigantic women in one place in my life. Where are all these Amazons coming from all of a sudden?

Meander: Did I mention that I was involved in a car (actually van) crash on the way to the fair? Don't ask.

I have my work in room 313, as I am being represented by MFA, my hardworking Virginia dealer.

I have three video drawings there; this is the one (which is hanging in the bathroom... oh yeah - The Lenster tricked out the head into a cool mini gallery), which has been gathering the most commentary:

Obama Agonistes, charcoal drawing with embedded video - by F. Lennox Campello

Obama Agonistes. Charcoal on 300 weight paper with embedded video player and continuous loop video. Matted and framed under glass to 16 x 32 inches. Circa 2011 by F. Lennox Campello

On Thursday night, I managed to piss off members of both the vast left wing nuthouse and the even vaster right wing conspiracy.

"How dare you show our President looking so vulnerable and desperate?" questions the LWNH card-carrying member. I try to explain a little, but get interrupted: "There have been NO failures!" he almost shouts and stomps off.

Later on I catch it from the right. "I don't like the way that you pretend that this guy even cares about anything but his political agenda," notes the card-carrying member of the VRWC; I start to explain, "He's not worth the paper on this drawing," ha adds (I think) as he walks off.

Interesting how in Washington, politics even come seeping into narrative artwork; but we all knew this, right?

But that was all last night.

Tonight, after I arrived I aimed for Flashpoint and bought one of Kenny George's art slot machines; I had my eye on them last night and didn't want to become one of those "I'll be backs" who comes back and the piece is gone.

Essentially, Kenny George buys discarded slot machines, early table sized video games, pin ball machines, etc. and re-designs them so that they are each an individual work of Kenny George art. At $400 each, the fully functional slot machines (he rebuilds them) are the best deal in the entire art fair. There are two left, go buy them now.

Pac Man slot machine by Kenny George

That's me (on the left) and Kenny below, flanking my new art acquisition:

Lenny Campello and Kenny George at (e)merge art fair, Washington, DC

Later on the night, the amazing Mera Rubell dropped by and we spent quite a while chatting about DC and our art scene. Rubell is an amazing magnet - that's the best way that I can describe her. Before she left room 313, Sheila Giolitti's work caught her attention (always a good thing, uh?) and she popped back in and discussed it with the artist.

I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Wilmer Wilson IV's performance from various people ("His performance was amazing," noted Prof. Chawky Frenn), and later on I ran into him in the halls and Wilson was still buzzing, as he had just finished it. He looked both exhausted and primed for more action - if that's even possible.

I predict that Wilson will be offered representation this weekend: this is sort of what (e)merge is all about - at least in part - right?

Tomorrow: Back for the whole day this time.