Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dubya's Portrait

Dubya's portrait was unveiled today at the White House.

The portrait was painted by John Howard Sanden (born 1935 in Austin, Texas), who is a well-know is an American portrait artist.

Sanden had previously painted the portrait of Mrs. Bush.

He is the founder of the Portrait Institute and was an instructor at The Art Students League of New York.

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

Elizabeth Parkman's Artomatic Top 10

Elizabeth Parkman is the Associate Director of Heiner Contemporary and she just recently visited Artomatic and files her Top 10 Artists:

Rachel Farbiarz, The Genizah Project
1.     Rachael Farbiarz, The Genizah Project.  My favorite piece at Artomatic!

Steve Wanna
2.     Steve Wanna
3.     Jeff Skeer
4.     Larissa Raddell

Christian Tribastone
5.     Christian Tribastone
6.     Paul Sharratt
7.     Jenny Walton
8.     Michelle Chin
9.     Melissa Badenhop
10. Veronica Szalus

Free Art!

They're celebrating the anniversary of the Bethesda location of L'Eclat de Verre which is managed by founder Jesse Cohen. They will be giving away 25 small framed works completed in the French style. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Average Female Artist

Interesting email from artist Linda Stein
Do you know that the average female artist earns 10%-30% of what a male artist of comparable standing earns for selling comparable art? The Economist Magazine says it all in its recent article The price of being female. In an artnet list of the top ten most expensive post-war artists at auction we find the sculpture Spider by Louise Bourgeois selling for over $10 million. Sounds great, right? Sure, until we compare it to the Orange, Red, Yellow painting by Mark Rothko which sells for over $86 million! And so it goes.

And get this: it's widely known that when artists submit work for jurying in a "blind entry" without revealing their identity, the results are usually 50% or more female. But just add a name or sex to that entry and then we are back down to below 30%. See Eleanor Bader's recent article in Truth-Out Magazine.

Need more convincing? Take a look at the web site listing artists currently being shown at Gagosian Gallery. You'll find 25 artists, 22 male, 3 female. How about sister gallery owners like Mary Boone Gallery? Out of Boone's stable of 30 artists, 25 are male, 5 female.
Any comments?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heard on Univision

Behold the first Hispanic to be a Republican candidate for President!

Here's what the "official" designation of a "Hispanic/Latino is... I think... (my bold/font size increase):
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget currently defines "Hispanic or Latino" as "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race".[35]
"The terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" refer to persons who trace their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish speaking Central and South America countries, and other Spanish cultures. Origin can be considered as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of the person or the person's parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race." 

The Constant Artist at AU

Paul Feinberg’s photographs and interviews, or “word portraits,” have enlivened magazine articles, books, and exhibitions both locally and nationally for decades. He has been particularly obsessed with interviewing and photographing artists in our own community. This AU Katzen Arts Center exhibition features early and late works of art by nine Washington artists, together with Feinberg's photographs of the artists early and late in their careers.

Artists in the exhibition include Lisa Montag Brotman, Manon Cleary, Rebecca Davenport, Clark V. Fox, Sam Gilliam, Tom Green, Fred Folsom, Margarida Kendall, and Joe White. Five of those artists are in the 100 Artists of Washington, DC book.

Opening reception:  6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday, June 9 - Show is June 9–August 12, 2012.

Gallery talk:  4:00 PM– 5:00 PM, Saturday, July 7

Artomatic: Visit Two

On my return visit I did notice that many artists took my advise and did put signs with their prices up, and/or added easy to find contact information.

I have never been a fan of anything that is for sale and which yet makes you ask what the price is. In this context, just like in a commercial gallery context, art is a commodity and if you want to sell your artwork, you better make it very clear how much the artwork is.

Still working on my review... 

Per the comments here, seems like some asshole has an issue with artist Gloria Chapa's installation and vandalized it on the 23rd. Chapa repaired the vandalism, only to have the installation vandalized again (apparently according to her, by the same asshole) on Friday evening.

Chapa fixed it again, and when I saw it on Saturday it looked terrific, but one has to wonder what's going on through the head of the mutant doing this.

Monday, May 28, 2012

When ripoffs get caught...

Below is Dulce Pinzon's photo and below that a rip off... steps are being taken to correct the wrong and lawyers are about to get involved...

NOE REYES from the State of Puebla works as a delivery boy in Brooklyn, New York. He sends 500 dollars a week.
"NOE REYES from the State of Puebla works as a delivery boy in Brooklyn, New York. He sends 500 dollars a week." By Dulce Pinzon
Some show in some French gallery by someone named Thibault Franc

Happy Memorial Day

Alexa Meade at the NPG

Alexa Meade at the National Portrait Gallery Museum

Portraits After 5: Camera-Ready Color
National Portrait Gallery
Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Alexa Meade creates her portraits in three-dimensional space by painting directly on top of live models, which appear to be two-dimensional paintings when photographed. For “Portraits After 5: Camera-Ready Color”, Meade will create an interactive installation in the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery that will allow viewers of the art to become participants by entering into the space, experiencing it in depth, and reinterpreting the work through their own photography. The installation will reference the innovation in Harry Warnecke's photographic portraits seen in the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition “In Vibrant Color".

Alexa Meade and National Portrait Gallery Curator Of Photographs Ann M. Shumard will be available to discuss boundary-breaking work in portraiture.

For more information about Alexa Meade and her art, visit

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Artomatic Impressions

I spent about six hours at Artomatic yesterday. I started on the 11th floor, which means that the top 3-4 floors got good attention, but the other floors were rushed. Therefore, as usual, I will return a couple of times more for more extended visits before I write my final impressions and recommendations for this year's version of the planet's greatest all-open arts extravaganza.

Yesterday the huge building was packed with families and kids and peoples of all sorts. When I left around 6PM, large crowds of people were filing out of the nearby Metro stop less than a block away and heading to AOM. The Metro is by far the best way to get to AOM.

 The real reason that most art critics hate Artomatic is that they get visual overload very quickly. After all, how does a writer cover a visual art show of the size of Artomatic once the eyes and mind become numb after the 200th artist, or the 400th or the 600th? Or in this year, the 1300th?

I have visited and written about every single AOM since the original one, including the recent one in Frederick, MD, and thus I feel that I am uniquely qualified to make some judgemental calls on this year's version as an evolving comparison to past years' AOMs, and after my first six hours there I can pass some hi level impressions:
  • Every year the overall "quality" of AOM improves and this year is noticeably better looking and more professional-looking than any other year.
  • There's a lot less porn in AOM this year. In fact, there's a lot less nudes of all kinds.
  • The range of the quality of the work, even in a postmodern world where everything is art, still ranges from the mind-boggling bad to the artistically sublime.
  • There are several brand new (at least to me) artists in AOM who can show anywhere right now.
  • There is a lot of art about The Beatles and blues musicians.
  • There's more video art than I expected.
  • There are a lot more well-known DMV area "gallery" artists in this AOM than any previous one (except the first one in 1999).
  • There's a lot of artists working with discarded computer boards and parts.
  • There are a lot of glass artists and every single one of them is really good.
  • There are a lot of dark room style galleries and a lot of "blue light" art.
  • There is a lot of artwork about Obama.
  • There is a lot of left-wing nuttery artwork.
  • There are a lot of really good sculptures.
  • There are a lot of artists who make it really hard for someone interested in buying their work to get the basic details (how much is it and how do I buy it?)
I will be returning soon, and hopefully by next week I will have my review in as well as my recommendations for my choices for the best of AOM this year, as well as the Campello awards in the various categories that I invent as I go along. Meanwhile below are links to the last three AOM reviews:

Here's my 2009 review of AOM.

Here's my 2008 review of AOM.

Here's my 2007 review of AOM

Saturday, May 26, 2012

HeART of the Community Live Auction

Sunday, June 3, 5-8 p.m.
Clear Space Theatre,
20 Baltimore Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone: 302-227-5620

Small Plates and Open Bar - Featuring the 2012 HeART of the Community Live Auction with art by 25 invited artists selected by four curators. Auctioneer: Lorne Crawford.

Dress: Black and White Casual
Tickets: $75. Tickets are limited. Advance Ticket Price $65, available through April 30 only on the CAMP Rehoboth website. After April 30 all tickets will be $75 and may be purchased online or by calling 302-227-5620.
Purchase Tickets

HeART of the Community Art Auction

Curators and Artists:

Murray Archibald
Rodney Cook
Ward Ellinger
Gary Fisher
Laura Hickman
Victor Letonoff
Andres Tremols  

Sondra N. Arkin
Joan Belmar
Scott G. Brooks
Anna U. Davis
Pat Goslee
Barbara Gruber
Renee Stout
Novie Trump

Jay Pastore
Rick Bach
Susan Finsen
Lee Wayne Mills
Brian Petro
Duane Rieder
Ellen Sinel

Andres Tremols
Lenny Campello
Max Hirshfeld
Laurel Lukaszewski
Christopher Speron
Betsy Stewart
Ellyn Weiss

Sneak Peek Art Preview
Wine and Cheese Reception
CAMP Rehoboth Community Center
Sunday, May 27, 4-7 p.m. (free)

Thanks to the efforts of our curators and their invited artists, CAMP Rehoboth is pleased to present an exceptional collection of art selected especially for the 2012 Black and White Beach Ball. All art will be previewed at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center on Memorial Day weekend. Proxy bidding will be available for buyers who are interested in purchasing but unable to attend the June 3 event.

Cuba de Ayer Restaurant

Last week I took three friends with me to Cuba de Ayer Restaurant in Burtonsville, MD. One of them is addicted to Cuban food, but the other two - one a Canadian and the other a Brit - had never had Cuban food in their entire life.

This was my also first visit to Cuba de Ayer, although (since as some of you know, I'm of Cuban ancestry) every time someone who knows me goes there, they tell me what a great place it is, so I was overdue for a visit.

The restaurant is very cozy and when we came in at lunch time it was packed, which is always a good sign.

The pretty waitress took our orders and my alarm bells went up a little when she asked if we wanted our black beans and rice "together" or "separate." I say that my alarm bells went off because "Moros y Cristianos" -- the Cuban name for black beans and rice -- is NEVER served together; never, ever, ever! It is a cultural error and a true and easy test of the Cubanosity of any restaurant.

I ordered my favorite Cuban dish in the world... OK, OK, one of my favorites, "lechon asado", which came with black beans, white rice and tostones (actually a choice of tostones or sweet fried plantains).

I breathed a sigh of relief when my friends' dishes came... what the waitress meant as "together" was actually "congri" which is a separate dish where the black beans (or red) are indeed cooked together... a Cuban version of dirty rice, but much tastier.

Both the Brit and the Canadian ordered "ropa vieja" with "congri" and they both loved it... my English friend actually said: "I can't believe that a simple rice dish can taste so good!"

So Cuba de Ayer gets my highest endorsement!

One last thing: When the food came, I was explaining some of the cultural references that I mentioned above. I must have been loud enough to be heard by other people, because as we filed out of the restaurant, the very attractive daughter of the owners came out, introduced herself and asked me if I was Cuban, as she had overheard me describe the cultural aspects of the food.

So we met, chatted a little, and we all passed to her our enthusiastic thumbs up of the food... I will be back

Cuba de Ayer is located at 15446 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866, (301) 476-9622.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heading to Artomatic tomorrow...

Just returned to the DMV from a week in Bethany Beach... and Jonesying for AOM, so I will make my first visit to the 10 floors of artists tomorrow...

I plan to return a second time with a couple of gallerists looking for new talent... more on that later.

Art Scam Alert

A DMV area painter recently received the below art scam email - this is a new twist:

From: Murphy Lawrence <>
Date: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 5:31 AM

Dear Sir/Ma,

I got your email through the employment database. In the past,
 you either posted your resume online or applied for a job that was
similar to the one that I am hiring for.

I am looking for someone who can handle my personal and business
errands during his or her spare time.
I need your service because I am constantly traveling abroad  on
business. I own an Art Gallery that specializes in international art.

Your Responsibilities are below.

1.   Receive my mail and correspondences. Drop them off at the post
office or shipping center.

2.   Pay my bills on my behalf and sit for delivery at home.

4.  When you get my mail or package, you would mail all items  to
where I want them shipped. .All expenses and shipping charges will be
covered by me.

The contents of the packages are mostly art materials and paintings.
In addition, there will be clothing I need for business and personal
letters. No heavy packages are ever delivered!

I would love to meet  with you to discuss this job in more detail,
but I am currently away on business to Taiwan.  If you decide to
accept the position, please read the employment requirements listed


A. You Must be a honest human.

B.  Your Work hour ls only for 15 and 20hrs a month

C  You must be able to check your email 3 to 4 times daily


In closing, I have a couple of questions for you.
First, If I were to mail you money to do my shopping plus an upfront
payment for your service, where would you want it mailed to?
Second, how would  you like for your  name appear on the money or check?
Maybe you can provide me with the following details below










 Bank Name(for direct deposit of some payments):

Mark Jenkins on Artomatic

The WaPo's Galleries art critic, Mark Jenkins (I wonder how many times people confuse the two DC-based Mark Jenkinses in the DMV art world?) has a really good piece on Artomatic - read it here

James George on AOM

Arlington Examiner's James George with an AOM focus piece on Greg Minah. Read it here

B&W Beach Ball

A Stunning Collection - HeART Art 2012 Dazzles!

Black and White Beach Ball 2012 - Sunday, June 3, 5-8 pm
heart art - victor letonoff
The 2012 HeART of the Community Art Auction will be featured at the Black and White Beach Ball on June 3. The stunning collection of art by 25 artists can be previewed online. Proxy bidding is available for those who cannot attend the event.

View HeART Curators and Artists
Preview HeART Art and Artists
Read More about HeART 2012 (by Sondra Arkin)
Purchase Black and White Ball Tickets

The Black and White Beach Ball is hosted by CAMP Rehoboth and our presenting sponsor PNC Wealth Management.

Black and White Beach Ball 2012
Sunday, June 3, 5-8 pm
Clear Space Theatre, 20 Baltimore Avenue
Open Bar and Food by Plate Catering 
Auctioneer: Lorne Crawford
Dress: Black and White Casual
Tickets: $75. Tickets are limited and may be purchased online or by calling 302-227-5620.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

American Contemporary Art Magazine

The May issue has a DC article plus three gallery reviews.

Read it here.

Jury Duty

Deadline: June 30, 2012

Later this year I will be honored to jury RSVP 2012 for The New Wilmington Arts Association. They support the careers of artists by providing opportunities for uncensored experimentation, professional presentation, and critical dialogue and RSVP is their annual juried exhibition open to all artists and media.

You can download the prospectus here - hurry and do not leave it to the last minute!

Ebner on Artomatic

Juliette Ebner has a piece in the Washington Blade: read it here

Artists' Websites: Joe Shannon

Joe Shannon has been one of the most influential DMV area artists for many decades and his new website allows you to explore what makes Shannon tick.

Diana with Acolytes, 2011, Oil on Canvas, 27x40
Joe was born in 1933 in Puerto Rico, raised in D.C. He studied art at the Corcoran School of Art, but he was largely self taught. Looking at masterworks, lots of practice and self-criticism revealed his direction. He loved Degas for his technique, composition and even psychology; but for subjects, salty and mythic it was Picasso graphics, like “The Sculptor’s Studio” and the drawing therein that had deep impact.
Joe worked for the Smithsonian for 26 years as an exhibition designer and curator. He has organized world class exhibitions, and written articles in major art magazines and newspapers, and juried many shows. He teaches currently at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore; he lectures, and has taught at other universities.

His work has been shown in galleries and museums around the world. Joe’s work is in many important collections, private and public – i.e. – The Corcoran, Hirshhorn, and Brooklyn Museums among others.
 Visit his website here

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

James George on Artomatic

Arlington's James George has a piece on Artomatic artist Joseph Corcoran - read it here

Montie Martin on Artomatic

The Connection Newspapers' Montie Martin on Artomatic's opening; read it here

Opportunity for Artists

Vitale on Artomatic

Tammy Vitale has a quick view of Artomatic, floor by floor... see her photos here.

Manifest Destiny on Artomatic

Manifest Destiny went to AOM and...
I took a bunch of photos, but I have to admit I concentrated on the most absurd pieces (or those that reminded me of something else and which I wanted to share with friends). 
See the post here and the pics here.

Big Artomatic Photo Essay has a big photo essay on Artomatic and a couple of hilarious comments... See it here.

Mexico at the Katzen

When you think of Mexico, what images pop up in your mind’s eye? The AU press release says that "You may think of stereotypical icons such as the Mexican flag or a sombrero, or news stories about Mexico such as those focused on tourism, immigration policy, poverty, or violent drug cartel crime. The stereotypes may also inform your thoughts about Mexican art: you may have prescribed ideas of what Mexican art would or would not look like." 

I also think of some of the paradoxes of this gorgeous country, such as their demands for an open US immigration policy towards Mexicans while Mexico has one of the toughest and most brutal anti-immigrant set of laws on the planet (Mexico has its own illegal immigration problem from its southern borders); or the justified Mexican pride on the influence of its indigenous Native American population on Mexico's ample cultural fottprint, while at the same time being a very repressive government towards its own Native American nations. It is with these paradoxes in mind that I am really looking forward to this exhibition at the Katzen.
MEXICO: EXPECTED/UNEXPECTED— an exhibition that will make its East Coast debut at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center on Saturday, June 9— defies commonly held stereotypes about Mexico and its art, exposing unexpected images and perspectives created and communicated by some of Mexico’s most influential contemporary artists. The goal?  To encourage new thoughts about Mexico and its place in the international, contemporary art scene.
The exhibition, the largest one of contemporary Mexican art to show in Washington, D.C., comprises works selected from the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection, one of Mexico’s most comprehensive contemporary art collections.  Works by leading contemporary Mexican artists such as Francis Alÿs, Jorge Méndez Blake, Gabriel Orozco, and Pedro Reyes, are presented beside works by artists from other Latin American countries, Europe, and the United States, including Gordon Matta-Clark, Ana Mendieta, Ed Ruscha, and John Baldessari.
MEXICO: EXPECTED/UNEXPECTED at the American University Museum is sponsored by the Mexican Embassy and the Mexican Cultural Institute. As part of the collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute, Mexican artists will visit D.C. for a few months while creating installations for the exhibition.
Gallery Talk: Mexico: Expected/Unexpected
Saturday, June 9, at 5 p.m.
Featuring Exhibition Curators Carlos Basualdo and Mónica Amor

Artists' Reception
Saturday, June 9, from 6–9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

John Anderson's AOM Top 10 (sort of...)

The WCP's John Anderson pops in with his top 10 Artomatic picks - read it here.

One always wonders...

Just noticed that one of my drawings from about a decade ago just showed up on Ebay being sold by a British dealer. 

The piece, titled Daphne (see it here), represents the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river god Peneus. 
Through the malice of Eros, Apollo the god was seized with love for the maiden. But she abhorred the thought of loving men. Her delight was in woodland sports and the spoils of the chase. Many lovers sought her, but she spurned them all. Apollo chased her into a ravine and was about to ravish her. She called for help and a great Earth magic reached from under and turned her into a laurel tree, which subsequently became the tree of lovers and of victory. 
The drawing was done in 2000, and if my memory serves me right, it was sold to a lawyer in Charlottesville, Virginia. Thus I find it curious that it is now somewhere in Britain being offered on Ebay at a great price.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mussels, Russians, Pigs and a Blue Crab

The story: We're at the Blue Crab Restaurant in Bethany Beach, waiting for two big plates of mussels to be delivered and a crab cake for Little Junes, when the Russian waitress brings over a box of crayons for the little guy.

Two things flash through my mind: We're told that jobs are very difficult to find, especially for young people, so how come it seems that throughout the Mid Atlantic, all beach season jobs are filled by hard working, good looking young Russian girls and boys?

They travel a million miles from their frozen tundras to bust their buts in the Eastern seaboard's beach shops, restaurants and pools; where are our local good looking boys and girls? Not that I blame the Russians, I mean, would you rather be freezing your tuchis in Siberia or dishing out mussels in Bethany Beach?

But you get my point...

But let's get back on track with this post... ahem... so the other thing that crossed my mind was to kidnap some of Little Junes' crayons and start my own art project while we wait for our food.

At some point the pretty Russian waitress noticed and she brought over a second box of crayons and then I really went to town.

 Below is "Two Pigs Looking at a Red Crab", crayons on tablecloth kraft paper, circa 2012.

Food stains were accidentally added while the delicious mussels were being eaten...

CBS on Artomatic

Check out their photo gallery here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

WTOP on Artomatic

WTOP has a photo spread on AOM; check it out here.

James Renwick Alliance 
Recognition of Excellence 
Brad Taylor 
Wood and Metal Furniture 
David D’Orio 
Mixed Media (Glass) 
Donna McCullough 
Body of Work 
Metal Sculpture 
Helen Baribeau 
Body of Work 
Fiber Sculpture 
Julia Bloom 
Wood Sculpture 
Matt MacIntire 
Body of Work 
Mixed Media 
Michael Janis 
Body of Work 
Pierre Davis 
Body of Work 
Wood Sculpture 
Sean Hennessey 
Body of Work 
Zofie Lang 
Mixed Media 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tim Tate: Artomatic Top 10 List

Uberartist Tim Tate, in my biased opinion the DMV's best-known artist, sends in his top 10 choices in this year's Artomatic, which opened last night with a monster of a party in Crystal City. Here are his choices:

1) helen baribeau

2) nils henrik sundquist

3) dave d'orio 

4) drew storm graham

5) kelly guerrero

6) zofie lang

7) justin cameron

8) matt macintire

9) sean hennessey

10) melissa burley

Tim Tate
Washington Glass School
3700 Otis St.
Mt. Rainier, Md. 20712

Today --- In the Mix: DC Area Abstract Artists

In the Mix: DC Area Abstract Artists

  A special gallery opening

Saturday, May 19, 2012
3:00 – 5:00 pm  

The Gallery @ Children’s National Medical Center
111 Michigan Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20010

Exhibition on View
May 7 - July 6, 2012

a group exhibition featuring the works of internationally & nationally known artists:
Joan Belmar, Anne Bouie, Elsa Gebreyesus, Wayson Jones
Anne Marchand, Tariq Tucker,
Ann Marie Williams and J. Bertram White

Curator: Jarvis DuBois
"Not too unlike a DJ's “digging in the crates” to pull together seemingly disparate musical styles and sound effects, many contemporary artists mine various mediums for their individual art production. This exhibition explores the creative drives and experimentation of mixed media abstract artists from DC, Maryland and Virginia who have often chosen to combine untraditional painting and assemblage materials (acetate, plant pods, metal components, pumice) with more straightforward acrylics, pastels, and oils to create their both energetic and powerful visual "mashups". As curator one of my goals is to expand the understanding of what abstraction is and can be as expressed by these eight artists."   
 – Jarvis DuBois

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
For more information, call 202.476.3225

Visit the web site for more information and directions: