Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Eerie magazines

Marcus, drop me an email to lennycampello at hotmail.com



Monday, November 12, 2018

On Veterans' Day 2018

A warm cyberspace shout out to all my fellow vets and to the men and women of the US Armed Forces all over the planet, with a special nod to the sailors and marines at sea!

The American flag that I sometimes hang outside my house and which hangs today has a most interesting story. 

As you can see below, it is a gold-fringed flag, which we used to call "a Navy flag" back in the days, because of who knows why... when I was an Executive Officer at the Naval Security Group Activity Skaggs Island, California in the 1990s, I was told that it was because it represented the ability to execute/hold a Captain's Mast.

But I meander away from the history of this flag... my flag.


In 1983 I was the OZ Division Officer for USS Virginia (CGN-38), and the ship was assigned Naval Gunfire Fire Support (NGFS) patrol off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, in support of the US Marines ashore in Beirut as part of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force.



We would routinely fly ashore for meetings, etc., and one day I will scan and show you a description that I put on my journal (in pre-blog days) many years ago where I described one such meeting and the interesting event that happened, with 50 cal bullets flying all over the place. Below is a picture of me, ashore in Beirut with the USMC.


From HistoryNet:
At 6:22 on Sunday morning Oct. 23, 1983, a 19-ton yellow Mercedes stake-bed truck entered a public parking lot at the heart of Beirut International Airport. The lot was adjacent to the headquarters of the U.S. 8th Marine Regiment’s 1st Battalion, where some 350 American soldiers lay asleep in a four-story concrete aviation administration building that had been successively occupied by various combatants in the ongoing Lebanese Civil War. Battalion Landing Team 1/8 was the ground element of the 1,800-man 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), which had deployed to Lebanon a year earlier as part of a multinational peacekeeping force also comprising French, Italian and British troops. Its mission was to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign fighters from Lebanon and help restore the sovereignty of its government at a time when sectarian violence had riven the Mediterranean nation.
... Marine sentries initially paid little attention to the Mercedes truck. Heavy vehicles were a common sight at the airport, and in fact the BLT was expecting one that day with a water delivery. The truck circled the parking lot, then picked up speed as it traveled parallel to a line of concertina wire protecting the south end of the Marine compound. Suddenly, the vehicle veered left, plowed through the 5-foot-high wire barrier and rumbled between two guard posts.
By then it was obvious the driver of the truck—a bearded man with black hair—had hostile intentions, but there was no way to stop him. The Marines were operating under peacetime rules of engagement, and their weapons were not loaded. Lance Corporal Eddie DiFranco, manning the sentry post on the driver’s side of the truck, soon guessed the driver’s horrifying purpose. “He looked right at me…smiled, that’s it,” DiFranco later recalled. “Soon as I saw [the truck] over here, I knew what was going to happen.” By the time he managed to slap a magazine into his M16 and chamber a round, the truck had roared through an open vehicle gate, rumbled past a long steel pipe barrier, threaded between two other pipes and was closing on the BLT barracks.
Sergeant of the guard Stephen Russell was alone at his sandbag-and-plywood post at the front of the building but facing inside. Hearing a revving engine, he turned to see the Mercedes truck barreling straight toward him. He instinctively bolted through the lobby toward the building’s rear entrance, repeatedly yelling, “Hit the deck! Hit the deck!” It was futile gesture, given that nearly everyone was still asleep. As Russell dashed out the rear entrance, he looked over his shoulder and saw the truck slam through his post, smash through the entrance and come to a halt in the midst of the lobby. After an ominous pause of a second or two, the truck erupted in a massive explosion—so powerful that it lifted the building in the air, shearing off its steel-reinforced concrete support columns (each 15 feet in circumference) and collapsing the structure. Crushed to death within the resulting mountain of rubble were 241 U.S. military personnel—220 Marines, 18 Navy sailors and three Army soldiers. More than 100 others were injured. It was worst single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.
Aboard USS Virginia, the ship's crew went into action, and within minutes our helo was airborne, carrying our ship's doctor and his Navy corpsmen to help with the wounded Marines. Minutes later the helo came back, looking for people and equipment to help assist with digging out the people from the collapsed building. Because my division was the only one that had an Arabic linguist, they came to us to see if he (Sgt. Bobby Jack Irvin, an amazing linguist and as far as I know the only Marine ever to qualify for the Enlisted Surface Warfare pin) could go ashore to help facilitate our doctor's mission, as he had radio'd that several Lebanese doctors had already come up to help him, and he might need language help.

Irvin and I had been ashore the day before (that's him in the photo a few paragraphs above - Irvin is to my left and to my right is Warrant Officer Carnes), but because of our shipboard mission, I felt that he could really help more by staying on the ship and doing what he did best.

Later on, they asked for volunteers to help ashore, and together with some other crew members, we headed to Beirut - other than Irvin, I was the only person on the ship who routinely flew back and forth between Beirut and the ship, and thus I wanted to ensure that I was part of the volunteer crew.
When we arrived at the airport, it was essentially controlled chaos, and dozens of bodies were already being tended to, and our ship's helo - along with others - began taking the wounded to a hospital in Sidon. There were also plenty of black body bags already filled.

With our doctor frenetically working to triage the wounded Marines, and since most Lebanese doctors actually spoke English, after donating blood, I left the medical area and began to help with the digging operations.

This story is not about that part, which was brutal and heart-breaking. This story is about the flag that I found in the rubble.

My American flag.

At the time, it seemed like a natural thing to "rescue" it from the rubble. I brought it back to the ship, where it flew often, as our mission shifted from routine patrol to Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS). When I left the ship, it was given to me, along with a ship's plaque. When I retired from the Navy two decades ago, I used it as my retirement flag and it was presented to me again, after flying over the Capitol - I never put it in a shadow box, as is the custom, but kept it flying every once in a while, as a flag deserves to do.

One day, hopefully I will donate it to some museum, along with its history and story.

Friday, November 09, 2018

The Hidden Censorsip of Public Art

The FaceBookian Empire exploded last week when this happened (as detailed in WaPo article):
On Monday, the city’s arts agency added sweeping language to already approved grants requiring that artists and arts organizations avoid producing work that could be considered lewd, vulgar or political or be at risk of losing their funds.
The arts community protested, saying the amended contract infringed on their First Amendment rights. The DCCAH capitulated.
Read the whole article by Peggy McGlone here.

As I noted in several social media responses to this "reversal",  the censorship decision may be rescinded on paper... 

But... couhc, cough...

This isn't really much of a change... In fact - as noted in at least a trillion times in multiple posts over the decades in this blog, this censorship was already being done on the down low for decades and decades by arts commissions and arts organizations all over this great nation.

I suspect that the last time that DC as a city (Arts Commission, City, Federal, 1% for the Arts, Airport, etc.) - or for that fact, just about any other American city or state, or federal government arts entity - museums notwithstanding - acquired (for example) a nude work of art was probably during and by the WPA! 

Can you imagine what the reaction would be today, if anyone today designed naked statues such as the Roman Legionnaires in Union Station? 

Or the Sappho statue in Arlington cemetery

Prudes of all kinds would throw a moral fit! The PC crowd would go mad!

Feh! Betcha that nothing changes...

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Del Ray Artisans' Holiday Market

Del Ray Artisans' 23rd Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market

First 3 Weekends in December 2018
(November 30-December 2, December 7-9
December 14-16)

Del Ray Artisans annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists. Different artists each weekend! Choose from wall art, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass, and much more! 

Plus FUNdraising 2019 wall calendars, cookbooks, and upcycled tote bags to support Del Ray Artisans. 

Free admission. 

Market is Nov 30-Dec 2, Dec 7-9, and Dec 14-16. Fridays 6-9pm and Saturdays & Sundays 11am-6pm. 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

15th Anniversary Transformer Silent Auction & Benefit Party

15th Anniversary Transformer
Silent Auction & Benefit Party

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Corcoran School of the Arts & Design


In celebration of their 15th Anniversary Auction on November 17, artists from Transformer's past, present, and future discuss their art practices and the role Transformer has played in their work and the art community at large.

Video featuring interviews with Amy Hughes Braden, Maps Glover, Rex Delafkaran, David Ibata, Carolina Mayorga, Joseph Orzal, Johab Silva, Naoko Wowsugi, and Georgie Payne, Exhibitions & Programs Manager at Transformer. Performances by Maps Glover, Khari Malik, Sifu Sun & guests.

Produced in partnership with 2018 Auction Media Sponsor, Brightest Young Things.
Video & Editing by William Sarmiento.

Early bird discount ticket pricing of $175
through Saturday, November 10.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Call to artists and curators

The Howard County Arts Council is seeking artwork in all media to include in upcoming exhibits. Individual artists, aged 18 & older, as well as curators and arts groups interested in presenting a group show, are encouraged to apply. The Exhibits Committee meets quarterly to review applications and select artists for the exhibit space.

Detailed entry guidelines are available at https://www.hocoarts.org/explore/opportunities-artists-arts-groups/exhibit-opportunities-apply/ongoing/

The next deadline for submissions is Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Last day to go see Superfine! DC

Two days ago I previewed the Superfine! DC art fair currently going on in DC's historic Union Market, and yesterday I visited the fair and did a photo review of the fair.

Today is the last day to see the fair, which stays open till 8PM! That's Zenith Gallery's booth, right by the entrance, which is showing my work!


LOCATION

Union Market
1309 5th Street Northeast
Dock 5 Event Space
Washington, DC 20002

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Superfine! DC: The Review

Yesterday I gave you my thoughts on the Superfine! DC art fair currently underway at the District's historical Union Market. You can read those opinions here.

Today the crew and I visited the fair, and spent a few hours enjoying the artmosphere that any major art fair brings to any city, and chatting with a lot of old friends while making some new ones.

Bottom line: Apparently Superfine! art fairs has already announced that they'll return next year - that by itself is a major success in view of the DMV's past attempts to entertain and host a major fine arts fair such as the ones that routinely take place in many other world capitals as well as in Miami each December for the art world's big dance.



Upon entering the fair spaces, and as a veteran of nearly 100 art fairs all over the nation and overseas, I immediately noticed two things: (a) Zenith Gallery - which has my work at this fair - has the primo spot by the entrance, and (b) this fair's booths are superbly well designed and spaced, and unlike any other art fair that I've ever seen!

That's a good thing.

Why do I say that? Because every other fair on this planet has one mission in mind when designing their floor plan: maximize the number of booths, because the more booths that you can squeeze into a floor, the more Samolians that the fair organizer stands to make.

Kudos to Superfine! DC management for their booth arrangement.

Another important thing separates this fair from your typical New York or Miami art fairs: Artists can have individual booths. This is both a positive (especially in the DC art market) and a negative impact... but that's a story for another column.

In yesterday's preview, I mentioned how impressive Martin Swift's chiaroscuro portraits looked online - they look even better when closely examined! Swift's works are with Monochrome Collective and are a delight to the eyes. I also liked the giant poster that he created on one of the side exits of the fair... that's a close up below.


Martin Swift Mural outside Superfine! DC
Note the enviable agility with the brush and the mastery of the paint application! This artist is really good.

We visited several DMV gallerists, admiring the works by Gregory Ferrand and Jessica Drenk at Adah Rose Gallery. This art dealer is one of the hardest working gallerists in the area and her booth look superb! Drenk's work was one of my son's early favorites for best in show.


Gregory Ferrand at Adah Rose


Jessica Drenk at Adah Rose Gallery
My son was also mesmerized by Matthew Langley's hypnotic wall of color paintings in Susan Calloway's booth.


Matthew Langley at Susan Calloway
Yesterday I also mentioned how an impressive artist like Scott Hutchison can remain largely ignored by museum curators in this area - mostly because DMV museums think of themselves as "national" museums, rather than regional or local. In person Hutchison's new series of works are even more impressive. Check some of these gorgeous works here.



Imaginary Grasp by Scott Hutchison. 19x24 inches, oil on aluminum
Imaginary Grasp by Scott Hutchison. 19x24 inches, oil on aluminum

I soon lost the family, as a decent crowd was packing the fair's well-designed floor, but I quickly found them admiring the work of Baltimore artist Daniel Stuelpnagel.  His elegant geometric work hides the extraordinary amount of compositional planning and work that it takes to deliver these intelligent pieces.
Campello clan chatting with artist Daniel Stuelpnagel


Work by Daniel Stuelpnagel
We then spent some time chatting with the hardworking art dealer Gabriela Rosso of Potomac's RoFa Projects - I was astounded to find that this is Rosso's 9th fair this year! All over the globe, by the way, not just the US.


Gabriella Rosso of RoFa Projects
RoFa's booth was full of impressive work, the output of this gallerist's focus on Latin American artists (mostly). I was taken by the photographs of Jesús Chacón, which (of course) remind me of my own work.


Jesús Chacón at RoFa Projects
After chatting a little with DC uberartist Anne Marchand, we set out to "discover" some new artists...


Campellos talking with artist Anne Marchand
Yesterday, when  I did my online preview, I thought that the work of Gaithersburg artist Hannah Sarfraz was fabric based, and essentially fabric design or painting on fabric... but they were in fact really well executed, hyper realistic water media paintings!


Hannah Sarfraz
Anderson soon made a straight line for Rogelio Maxwell's booth and was fascinated by his works and received a really nice reception and explanation of Maxwell's talented handling of color.


A picture of Mom taking a picture of Anderson being educated on Rogelio Maxwell
While I was there, I was quite impressed by the sculptural work that Maxwell brought to the fair - see some details images below.


Detail of sculpture by Rogelio Maxwell
Detail of Sculpture by Rogelio Maxwell
From there I found my way to the refined works of Wayson R. Jones, whose technique and presentation just keeps getting better and sharper! This is a key DMV artist deserving of more attention by the curatorial cabal of our area.


Drift II by Wayson R. Jones
Not too far from Wayson, this gorgeous wall of painted metal chairs, where the artist has kidnapped the substrate and made it into a work of high art, caught my attention.



It is the work of Dr. Bob, who is represented at the fair by the DMV's Gallery O on H... this piece below (detail) was my favorite and it was really bustin' loose.  This work needs to be acquired by the DC Arts Commission for the collection of the city.


Detail of Chuck Brown by Dr. Bob. Acrylic on metal chair, c.2015
Detail of Chuck Brown by Dr. Bob. Acrylic on metal chair, c.2015
Another artist who caught the eye of the young critic was Dennis Crayon, who was gracious enough to spend a lot of time discussing his techniques with an admiring 9-year-old fan!


Dennis Crayon at Superfine! DC
Dennis Crayon at Superfine! DC
But no artist fascinated this young mind more that the Ft. Lauderdale artist known as Aliguori... see below.



His fascination was in large part driven by the 3D effect delivered by this painter's focused genre of monochromatic works that tickle the eye's ability to separate depths based on color warmth and position.


Looking at Aliguori's 3D paintings
The fact that the very nice artist was also kind enough to spend a lot of time discussing his art and technique with a young admirer is also a great lesson in art fair niceness! Thank you!

By now we had spent a few hours at the fair, and towards the end I discovered the booth of New York's Lori Cuisinier, whose Ariadne series of works were not only elegantly hung in the minimalist style preferred by the art fair management set - not only did she have the best hung booth at the fair - but was also the singularly sexiest booth in the entire fair and stood out in prudish Washington.


Ariadne bride cake by Lori Cuisinier. UV pigment on dibond, 55x54 inches
My overall impression of the fair was very positive, and I sincerely hope that the rumors that the organizers have already made the decision to return next year are true. This is a kick in the creative arse of the DMV, and it helps the capital's artistic juices in not only a seminal way, but also in one that helps our art foot print.

Tomorrow is the last day to visit Superfine! DC - the fair runs to 8PM... details here.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Superfine! DC Preview


Superfine! DC opened on Halloween night and will go through the weekend - I plan to visit tomorrow and (as I usually do to any art fair that I visit) I will give you my opinions and selection of the best works that I saw there. Here's a blurb from the fair itself:
On Halloween night, more than 600 DC art lovers braved the autumn chill and came out in full force to experience the opening night of the capital's foremost art fair. We're thrilled to be DC's art fair, and can't wait for what the weekend has in store. From a Young Collectors' Ice Cream Social with cookie sundaes (!!!) by Trickling Springs Creamery to our OUTshine Film Festival-curated series of LGBTQ+ art shorts, Superfine! DC has a lot to offer - not to mention hundreds of incredible works of art ready to discover their new homes
Check out an opening night photo recap here.

I've been visiting the fair's online presence regularly, and as the planet's greatest living art fair critic, here are the works which caught my eye (so far...):


Nate by Marin Swift
9 x 9 inches framed. Oil on Panel
Martin Swift oil portraits at Monochrome Collective are spectacular artistic muscle-flexing portraits that showcase this artist's command of the classical chiaroscuro technique while concurrently revitalizing it to a modern context! Each portrait is not only a likeness of some individual, but also a psychological narrative of that individual!

The DMV's longest running gallery, Zenith Gallery (disclaimer: I am represented by them at the fair) is full of DC area blue chip artists such as Anne Marchand, Elissa Farrow-Savos (who will probably sell out), Emily Piccirillo, Margery Goldberg, and many others, but it is Stephen Hansen who (as usual) steals the show with his humorous works, which are in reality superb works of art disguised as the rare "humor in art" genre.

Potomac's RoFa Projects, a key and hardworking DMV area art dealer who does art fairs all over the planet has elegant works by Fabian Ugalde, Jose Margulis and Raymond Romero which not only work wll together, but also should satisfy the appetite of collectors of minimalist art.


They’ll Work It Out by Gregory Ferrand
24 x 12 inches. Acrylic on Canvas, c.2017
Kensington's Adah Rose Gallery, another hardworking DMV area art dealer which travels to art fairs all over the country is also well-represented in the fair, with many DMV/Baltimore blue chip artists such as Gregory Ferrand, who just keeps on getting impossibly better and better as a painter and storyteller, Joan Belmar, Jessica Drank and others.


A Long Way to Go by Susan LaMont
18 x 40 inches. Oil on Canvas
The locals continue to be well-represented by the District's Susan Calloway Fine Arts, where one of my favorite DMV artists of all time, Susan LaMont displays her hyper-realistic paintings, which after all these years continue to amaze me as much as the first time that I saw them decades ago! Art fair pro and my good bud Matthew Langley also stands out with his elegant abstract works, as he always does...

I also liked the sexy and intelligent photographs by Lori Cuisinier, whose sensual wok stands out simply buy the sheer eroticism of the human figure when coupled with compositional elements and props that makes the viewer ask questions.

Superfine! is one of the few art fairs which allow individual artists' booths, and the DC online version is full of talent such as the interesting works by the District's Noel Kassewitz, which I suspect I'll have to examine in person to see get the full impact of their art, but which online look superb nonetheless.


Her Echo Her Shadow by Scott Hutchison
16 x 20 inches. Oil on Linen, c.2017
Another artist whose work I've known and admired for decades is Scott Hutchison. Like LaMont, Hutchison is a master of the realistic brush, but Sott has always veered towards works which stretch the visual senses and modernize some of the ideas of the surrealists of ages ago. Hutchison is one of those artists that in any other city, where local museum curators pay attention to their city artists (as they do not in the DMV), would have been, and should be in the radar of a Hirshhorn Museum curator for a ground-breaking solo.

Susan Jamison and Colleen Garibaldi also caught my eye and will be inspected in person tomorrow!

See ya there! Tickets and info here.

Through Friday till 7:00 PM and Sunday, Nov 4, 2018, to 8:00 PM EDT.

LOCATION
Union Market
1309 5th Street Northeast
Dock 5 Event Space
Washington, DC 20002

Our booth in SOFA

Our booth in SOFA Chicago, where we're showcasing the works of Lori Katz, Christine Kaiser and Laura Beth Konopinski! 

We're in Booth A39.


#sofaartfair #sofachicago #alidaandersonartprojects


Lou Stovall to speak at Sidwell Friends School

My good friend and legendary DMV artist Lou Stovall will speak at Sidwell Friends School next Wednesday Nov 7, 6-8:30pm, as part of the exhibition of his artwork which will be on display in the Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery ••• Sidwell Friends School, 3825 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016.

Click here to register for the lecture.
Lou Stovall was born in Athens, Georgia in 1937 and grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at Howard University (B.F.A.). Since 1962, he has lived and worked in Washington, DC. His drawings and silkscreen prints have earned him grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Stern Family Fund.
Stovall's own prints and drawings are part of numerous public and private collections throughout the world. Though his craft is that of a printmaker, Stovall's passion for art extends beyond a single medium. He gives the same care and attention to his archival framing and furniture construction as he does to his intricate prints and drawings. Please visit his website for more information.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

SOFA Chicago opens tonight!

If you're in the windy city, come see us at the iconic SOFA Chicago art fair! Details here.

Work by Lori Katz, Christine Kaiser and Laura Beth Konopinski!

Hang Purge, c. 2018 by Laura Beth Konopinski
Blown glass, sculpted and re-purposed glass, enamel image transfer, mixed media
17 × 8 × 8 in;