Sunday, April 11, 2021

My gift to the "woke" crowd: the racist Che Guevara

Dear members of the "woke" police...

If you wear, or have ever worn a Che Guevara T-Shirt (unless it is like the one on the left) then you are wearing or have worn the image of a man whose racist writing and actions and beliefs are full of negative, racist remarks about Mexicans and Blacks, and Native Americans. 

This man was a killing psychopath whose image has been re-invented over the decades so that in the past he's been viewed by a large, ignorant segment of the planet's population as some sort of positive icon - he was not.

By the way, "Comemierda" is an almost unique Cuban insult...

Wanna read some of the things this comemierda has written or said?
"The black is indolent and lazy, and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized, and intelligent."
                        -- Che Guevara 

"The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations."  -- Che Guevara

"Mexicans are a band of illiterate Indians" -- Che Guevara
In an interview given to the London Daily Worker in 1962, Che Guevara said that "if the nuclear missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City... we will march the path of victory, even if it costs millions of atomic victims... we keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm."

And this line after the Cuban Revolution in 1959: "We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing."

“I don’t need proof to execute a man,” said Che during an interview published in a Cuban newspaper in 1959, “I only need proof that it is necessary to execute him.”

Che Guevara (like Fidel Castro) was sadistically anti-gay. He referred to gay people as "sexual perverts" and also helped to establish the first Cuban concentration camp in Guanahacabibes in 1960 - a camp for gay men. This brutal camp was the first of many that the Communists established in Cuba - with forced hard labor, and the first which focused on gay men. From the Nazis, Guevara also adapted the motto from Auschwitz, “Work sets you free,” changing it in Guanahacabibes to “Work will make you men.” 

Inform yourself - then hunt anyone and everyone who has ever worn a Che Guevara T-shirt or had a Che Guevara poster in their college room and out them and cancel them! 

You want the image of a real Cuban hero for your T-Shirt? How about Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet?

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Things that are not OK - and I'm going to start calling them out

One of the most common ingredients of the artworld, and sometimes a formidable tool for emerging artists to build a resume (if you want to know what it is sooooooo important that you develop a valid and sustainable artistical resume, then you need to take my next "Bootcamp for Artists" seminar) is to respond to call for artists, art competitions, etc.

There's always a set of deadlines.

A deadline for entries to be in - the most important deadline for the artist.

A deadline for the hosting entity to respond with notifications of acceptance or rejection.

A deadline for delivery of accepted artworks

A deadline for pick up of exhibited/unsold artwork at the end of competition (if local delivered)

Three of the four key deadlines fall on the artists - and generally speaking, if you miss any of the first two (entry deadline and delivery deadline), then you are OUT!

If you miss the last deadline, there's often a daily "storage charge" until the artwork is picked-up.

One thing that I have been noticing more and more lately, is that hosting venues are often - anecdotal data seems to indicate most of the time - Missing THEIR deadline to notify artists and respond with notifications of acceptance or rejection.

This is not only unprofessional, but puts an extra burden on the shoulders of the artists, who may only have a tight window for decision-making related to the submitted artwork.

What is up with that? Why are we allowing the hosting venues to simply (often without a reason) go silent as deadlines pass and then ad hoc notify artists?

I have been on the jurying end of this process dozens if not hundreds of times, and thus as the poet Marti wrote: "I know the monster well, for I have lived in its entrails."

Thursday, April 08, 2021

New Corcoran Director

Here's the announcement:

Corcoran community,

I’m very pleased to announce that the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University has named Lauren Onkey as its next director. Lauren most recently served as the Senior Director at NPR Music, where she led a team of journalists, critics, video, and podcast makers and provided the editorial vision in creating innovative cross-platform music journalism. She will begin her director role at Corcoran on July 12. 

The goal of the Corcoran’s search committee was to find a strategic leader with the vision and experience to guide Corcoran into the future. Lauren’s lifelong commitment to the arts as an educator, music scholar, museum professional, presenter and producer makes her the right leader for our school. 

Throughout her career, Lauren has dedicated herself to the arts, cultural studies, education and civic engagement, and she believes that innovation and diversity are the key to growing our vibrant, creative community of cultural leaders. With over two decades of experience ranging from directing NPR Music's team to developing and managing a museum's award-winning education and community programs as the Vice President of Education and Public Programming at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Lauren is poised to lead Corcoran’s future growth. She will help increase our school’s impact and visibility and foster student success.

During her tenure at NPR, Lauren worked with NPR's newsroom and robust member station network to expand the impact of NPR Music and continue positioning public radio as an essential force in music. At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from 2008-2015, Lauren led divisions such as Education, Library and Archives, Community Programs, and Visitor Services to provide programs, classes, and visitor experiences that engaged a broad audience in the history and significance of rock and roll music. 

At the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, which provides civically-engaged humanities education to a large and diverse population of community college students, Lauren led the creation of curriculum and programming and developed strong community partnerships that provided students with opportunities for experiential learning. Lauren also spent fourteen years teaching at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, specializing in popular music studies and postcolonial literature. Over the course of her career, she has published many articles in literary studies, popular music studies, women's studies and pedagogy.

I know Lauren is excited to meet our DC community members at the Corcoran. We will share additional details in the weeks to come about her arrival. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Lauren and her husband to our community!

Thank you,

Kym Rice

Interim Director

Corcoran School of the Arts & Design

The George Washington University

Monday, April 05, 2021

Anna Soevik at Gallery B

Stop by Gallery B in Bethesda and see the new exhibit featuring colorful paintings and sculptures, "People with Something to Say" by Bethesda-based artist Anna Soevik.

March 31 - April 24, 2021

Wednesday - Saturday, 12:30-4:30pm

7700 Old Georgetown Road

Bethesda, MD 20814


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Carol Brown Goldberg at Addison/Ripley


... ON THE OTHER HAND     *        APRIL 10 - MAY 22, 2021

Differences in Sameness by Carol Brown Goldberg
Addison/Ripley Fine Art is open by appointment Tuesday-Saturday, 11 - 4pm. 

Please contact us to schedule your visit: 

Visit our Artsy page to view the exhibition:

*Masks/face coverings will be required to enter the gallery, and for the entirety of your visit.

For more information about the artist and her work, images from the exhibition or to schedule an appointment to view the work, please contact Ms. Romy Silverstein at

The gallery is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue in Upper Georgetown at the intersection of Reservoir Road

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Arte Latino at Queens University

Queens University of Charlotte, NC has a terrific virtual art, writing and performance exhibition titled ARTE LATINO.

In the past I've participated with my artwork, but this year I contributed a written piece about my childhood neighborhood in Guantanamo.

You can see the exhibition and artists here - click on my image to read my story:

Friday, April 02, 2021

Saatchi Art’s The Other Art Fair

The Other Art Fair, a leading artist fair for discovering emerging artists, today announced its 2021 exhibition plans. The 2021 schedule includes plans to re-introduce in-real-life events once it is safe to do so, as well as the launch of corresponding six-day Virtual Reality (VR) editions.

DMV artist Anne Cherubim is participating and so we have an insider in the fair! She notes:

Among the various interactive activities for this virtual experience, there are curator led tours, a painting class, short films, a talk on art collecting by Saatchi's Rebecca Wilson, a sound installation I'm looking forward to, you can have your portrait drawn -- just a heap of fun things to do virtually.

One of my limited edition Recycled Art Project pieces is part of the Director's Picks:

One of my smaller paintings is highlighted in the $500, or thereabouts, section.

I'd be remiss not to tell you to come check it out. I'm in Room 2, apparently diagonally across from Brandon Boyd of the band, Incubus. Today was the first day of the fair, and it continues 'til Sunday, April 4th.

There are videos telling you about each artist at the front of each booth, along with a guestbook you can sign, and a way to schedule video appointments to chat with us, for those wanting to share comments, or who have questions about work. 
See my video here:
Visit the fair here. The Fair Program will point people to all the different activities.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

An open letter to DMV area universities

There are several important, major universities in and around the DMV area. In most cases each is working, as most universities do, their own, individualized visual arts exhibition program, which is normally mix of exhibitions by their students, faculty, and sometimes invited artists.

Almost without exception there is very little coordination between the different university/college venues, which in some cases boast some of the nicest exhibition spaces in the area - none better that American University's spectacular Katzen Arts Museum. 

This "little coordination" is not unusual, as I imagine that in most cities this is also the same case, as the focus of the university gallery is in fact the university itselg.

And here is where we can make a major change, and use the extraordinary resources afforded to our area by these venues, and their academic standing, to help Washington expand its worldwide visual art standing.

What we need to happen is for one of the local university art school chairs, or college deans, or even university gallery directors, to take the initiative to start coordinating a joint effort to create one annual combined, joint exhibition that synchronizes a focused exhibition that is spread throughout the Greater Washington area.

Imagine a national survey of art, with a good title and perhaps even a good, donated chunk of money as a prize. Say we call it “The Capital Art Prize” (OK, OK we’ll have to work on the title) and because good ideas sometimes attract funding, maybe we can convince a major local company like Lockheed Martin or Marriott or Booze Allen and Hamilton, or (be still my beating heart), The Washington Post (owned by the planet's richest Cuban-American), to help fund it on an annual basis.

This synchronized event can be modeled somewhat on what the Whitney does, but better. The Whitney Biennial’s Achilles heel is its over-reliance on hired curators. Unless an artist lives and works in NYC, LA or SF or is already in the local radar of one of the curators for that particular year, chances are slim to none that the artist will come to the attention of those Biennial curators. Hence great art and potentially great artists may and often are ignored.

And the Whitney Biennial is not what it used to be... not even close.

In addition to the use of invited curators, also imagine that this event puts forth a national call for artists, independent and museum curators, schools, art organizations, and galleries to submit works for consideration - all to be done online, of course, and without an entry fee.

Anyone can submit and in a fair selection process, since art is truly in the eyes (and agenda) of the beholder, anyone can be selected to exhibit. A truly American concept for a national American art survey that will leave the Whitney and other continental Biennials in the dust.

And because the exhibition venues are spread around the capital area region, in galleries at Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, American, Catholic, Howard, University of Maryland, Montgomery Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and the many others I am sure to be forgetting momentarily, we could put up one of the largest, most diverse, and influential American contemporary art surveys in the nation.

This will take a lot of work to set up initially, as one key university person needs to take the lead and emerge from the pack of largely unknown, anonymous group of academics currently running our area’s university art programs. On the other hand, this could be an exhibition that can and will put names and faces on the international art world map, much like the Whitney Biennial sometimes elevates its curators a notch above the rest

Some universities will resist, as the easiest thing to do is to do things as they have always been done, and not really create “new” work. But given that a strong leader among our academic community emerges and takes the lead for this idea, then even if we start with a set of four or five venues, in a joint, coordinated effort, others will follow.  When it all else fails to get an university or college to play along, then they must be hit via the Board of Trustees of that University.

Boom! A trustee drives the idea and the university will suddenly pay attention!

This will not be an easy job to do, and as it grows, so will the bureaucracy around it. But starting it up will be the hardest part, and as momentum grows, things will become easier. Whoever, if anyone, takes this idea and runs with it, will face many huge obstacles and many negative people. He or she will need to convince other university/college gallery directors to participate (unless a Trustee is involved). They in turn, will have to convince their superiors, who will, in turn have to approve (and perhaps help kick-start the funding) the joint project.

This leader will also have to coordinate the approach to get a local giant to fund this effort, but I suspect that once he has aligned a few colleges and universities, this may become easier (it’s never easy) as the “buzz” and need for the event develops.

This is all a lot of work, and initially, until a bureaucracy is established around the annual event, many, many volunteers will be needed. I hope that some of these can be drawn from the school’s student body, alumni who are artists, and other local artists, much like Art-O-Matic draws from the collective muscle of our area’s significant artist population.

Our area universities and colleges already have significant media resources at their disposal, to help spread the word. They run school newspapers, radio stations, etc. and also provide a constant flow of new blood to our major mainstream media.

The goal (or perhaps “the dream”) would be a national level survey of art, which may look, review and/or jury the work of maybe 50,000 artists around the nation, and select perhaps 100 each year, showcase their work around a dozen academic galleries, and award a $100,000 cash award as the Capital Art Prize, plus various other awards (Emerging Artist, Young Artist, etc.). Art of a nature and scale that will attract visitors to the university galleries, attention to our area, piss some people off, excite others, create interest, discussion and buzz around Washington and our art scene.

I initially proposed this idea locally about two decades ago - and everyone ignored it.

In a weird way that the the Covidian Monster could have never predicted, the potential end of the Covidian Age may be in fact offering us the time for this idea to spring.

There’s nothing more empowering than an idea whose time has come.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The book that saved my art life

The number one spot in my top ten most influential books (on me) of all times has been occupied since 1977 by The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe.

I think that this book should be required reading for all art school freshmen across the nation, as it will prepare and armor them against all the bull that the art world will be about the heave at them. If you have not read it, please do.

Below is the text of a review of the book that I wrote for Amazon:

Can I start by saying that this book "saved my art life"?

Let me explain. In 1977 I started art school as a not so impressionable 21 year-old with a few years as a US Navy sailor under my belt. But in the world of art, there's a lot of molding and impressions being made by a very galvanized world. And although I was a few years older than most in my class... I was probably as ready as any to swallow the whole line and sinker that the "modern art world" floats out there.

Then I read this book - it was given to me by Jacob Lawrence, a great painter and a great teacher --- although I didn't get along with him too well at the time. I read it (almost by accident and against my will --- it was a get-a-way "love weekend" with my then-girlfriend - it went sour). And this book OPENED my EYES!!! It was as if all of a sudden a "fog" had been listed about all the manure and fog that covers the whole art world.

I used it as a weapon.

I used it to defend how I wanted to paint and feel and write. And it allowed me to survive art school.

And then in 1991 - as I prepared to look around to start my own gallery - I found it again, in a gallery (of all places) in Alexandria, VA. I read it again, and to my surprise Wolfe was as topical and effervescent and eye-opening as ever!

Wolfe has a lot of bones to pick with the art world -- 25 years ago!!! He destroys the proliferation of art theory, and puts "art gods" like Harold Rosenberg, Clement Greenberg, and Leo Steinberg (who have ruined art criticism for all ages - by making critics think that they "lead" the arts rather than "follow the artists") into their proper place and perspective. He has a lot of fun, especially with Greenberg and the Washington Color School and their common stupidity about the flatness of the picture plane.

Here's my recommendation: If you are a young art student or a practicing artist: SAVE YOUR LIFE! Read this book!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Studio space available

As of July 21st, 2021, 1/2 of studio 17 (in section B1 by the galleries) will be available for lease on Parklawn Drive in Rockville, Maryland. This 1/2 studio share rents for $195/month. Get in touch now for jurying to reserve!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

What's a print? What's a reproduction?

The most misused word in the world of art is the word "print," as used in defining work as "limited edition print," etc.

In the narrow, but true art definition of what an original art print is, a print is a work of art produced from an image worked by the artist on another material, usually a metal, plexiglass, wood, linoleum, plastic plate, etc.

Everything else is a reproduction.

And lawsuits will happen if suddenly a collector discovers that their "print" or "original" is in fact a reproduction.

So if an artist paints or draws an image on any medium, and then has multiple images made from that original by an electro-mechanical or mechanical process using photographic or digital images (such as Iris or Gyclee), those images are reproductions - not prints.

However, because it would really be hard to market an artist's work as "limited edition, signed and numbered reproductions," the word "print" has been kidnapped by the marketers of art to apply to any set of multiple images - regardless of how they came to be, or what part the artist played in its creation.

It gets a bit murky when it comes to digital art - that is artwork that is created from scratch through the use of a computer or a photograph taken with a digital camera.

Once the file is done and finished and saved, then one can say that the image that comes out of the printer is the "print" in the true sense of the narrow art definition - much like the negative in traditional photography produces the photographic print.

However, a photograph that is taken, developed, printed in the darkroom and then scanned so that Giclees or Iris "prints" can be made from the photographic image means that those are reproductions made from the original photograph. 

But a photograph taken with a digital camera and then has Iris/Giclees or any other digital prints made from the digital image in the memory card is a "real" print!

So a digital medium like Giclee/Iris can be either a reproduction or a real print - it all depends on what the original source of the image is!

Printmakers are especially sensitive to the misuse of the work "print" to market reproductions of artwork. One of the best places in town to buy true prints from very talented printmakers is the Washington Printmakers Gallery in the Dupont Circle area.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Shiri Achu virtual exhibition



By Award-winning International Artist SHIRI ACHU



April 10th - Private Zoom Opening party

April 11th – 18th - 41InPrint Virtual Exhibition (7:00 pm – 7:30 pm daily)

April 19th - Virtual book launch.

From my good friend Shiri Achu:

Tune out and Zoom in from the comfort of home with a glass of wine to the Opening party of 41InPrint:Worldwide on Saturday 10th April at 7pm EST. Following the Zoom Opening Party, again, tune in, this time on YouTube and Facebook where the International artist Shiri Achu will be hosting DAY 1 of her first ever online exhibition entitled, 41InPrint:Worldwide. This 8 day long Virtual Exhibition will be opened to the public - WORLDWIDE - from Sunday, April 11th 2021 through to Sunday April 18th 2021, starting each day at 7:00pm EST. Each day of the exhibition will have its own theme and will be presented by one of four seasoned hosts; Diane Daiga of Ddtalks, Gwendoline F.D of Gwendy Media, Nico Kang and MC Chaz. The program will also have a daily special guest for the ‘4+1 talk’, interview segment. This is not an event to be missed!

Born in Cameroon, raised in London, and now residing in Washington DC, this marks the 6th of such ‘InPrint’ exhibitions. With her ‘InPrint’ annual series of exhibitions, Shiri selects a focal destination city to exhibit her art and to showcase and expose the African culture to its citizens. The first of the InPrint series, 35InPrint:LONDON took place in April 2014 at The Strand Gallery in Central London. 36InPrint:DC took place in May 2016 at Gallery A in Central Washington DC. 37InPrint:AUSTRALIA took place in July at Mama Jambo in Australia. 38InPrint:JAMAICA took place in August 2017 at The Regional Headquarters of the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. 

39InPrint:TORONTO, took place in November at Ariilon, Toronto, Canada.

This time, because of the Worldwide Pandemic, the gallery comes to you in an intimate series of daily online unveilings of skillfully crafted depictions of everyday life and culture throughout the continent of Africa. Shiri Achu’s fluid yet grounded style creates layers of dimension and emotional depth that allow the viewer to truly enter into the earthy yet colorful lives of everyday lives all across Africa. The online exhibition will also feature a host of special guests daily including, Famous American Soul Singer Angie Stone, renowned Jamaican Dub Poet Mutabaruka, Nigerian movie industry pioneer, actor Zack Orji and revolutionary Cameroonian musician Witty Minstrel among many others. During the ‘4+1 TALK’ time, Shiri talks about ‘art’, the pandemic and other topics with each of her special guests.

All art pieces unveiled during that day of the exhibition will be available on her website immediately after the exhibition for purchase. The last piece on day 8 will mark 41 pieces exhibited throughout the 8 days. On Monday April 19th, Shiri Achu will launch a Virtual book, an anthology collection inspired by her art.

Everyone (art lovers, supporters, fans, where ever you are in the world etc) can register for the exhibition on her website and receive a 20% discount on all art purchased throughout the exhibition. Registered persons will also receive the Private viewing ‘Opening party’ zoom link. During the 8 daily exhibition broadcasts, a secret number or letter will appear in the live stream, and the first three people who correctly guess the secret word or phrase will be eligible to win some awesome prizes.

Wherever you are in the world, you are cordially invited to 41InPrint:Worldwide. Take a journey through the motherland and enjoy the daily unveiling of fresh, bold African inspired art.


8 Days Exhibition & Special Guests on ‘4+1 TALK ’

Day 1 - Sunday 11th - Bishop Darlingston Johnson & Pastor Chrys Johnson

Day 2 - Monday 12th - Witty Minstrel

Day 3 - Tuesday 13th - Jessica Mbangeni

Day 4 – Wed. 14th - Naomi Achu & Myra Maimoh

Day 5 - Thursday 15th - Blick Bassy

Day 6 - Friday 16th - Mutabaruka

Day 7 - Saturday 17th - Angie Stone

Day 8 - Sunday 18th - Zack Orji

Friday, March 19, 2021

Michelle L. Herman at VisArts

Michelle L. Herman will be showing her work at the Common Ground Gallery at VisArts in Rockville from April 2–May 14 as part of the MICA MFA in Studio Art 2020 Thesis Exhibition. 

Michelle L. Herman is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans theoretical and philosophical research, feminist and disability politics, comedy, and conceptualism. Herman’s work broadly traverses the margins between ability and what is beyond our reach: particularly the limits of perception, attention, connection, and categorization in the digital age. Through installations, sculptures, and video Herman investigates the ways in which we negotiate and push these boundaries every day. Herman has shown nationally in both group and solo exhibitions at locations such as the Hillyer Art Space, Arlington Art Center, Visarts, the Washington Project for the Arts, the Corcoran, The Smithsonian Institution, and The Kennedy Center. Herman’s work has been written about and featured in Hyperallergic, New American Paintings, The Washington Post, NPR, and East City Arts. Herman is an alumna of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MFA, 2020) and the Sparkplug artist collective sponsored by the DC Arts Center.

Read the essay by my good friend Kristen Hileman here.  

Thursday, March 18, 2021

How to sign artwork

 One of the most curious things that I have puzzled about in the many decades of making art, presenting art, selling art and dealing with both artists and art collectors (as well as art dealers), is how often artists anguish over a signature.

There are gazillions of ways to screw up a work of art with a signature - the most common one is where a work of art is marred by a giant signature in glow-in-the-dark silver color marker or some hideous color like that.

Even a tiny and elegant signature can distract from a work of art if placed in the wrong area of the work. Imagine an elegant abstract, such as a Mondrian, with a signature in the middle of one of the color geometric shapes.

And, the real truth is that if you care at all about art as a commodity, then I will tell you that most collectors, especially the savvy ones, will always ask about the signature, if one is not apparent at first inspection. You can give them all the certificates of authenticity on the planet, but they want that siggie somewhere.
"A Picasso with a signature may be worth twice as much as one without a signature," said Mark Rosen, former head of the print department at Sotheby's, which sells approximately thousands of prints per year with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000. "Chagall did a series of prints called 'Daphne and Chloe' and those that are signed are worth 10 times as much as those that are unsigned. Otherwise, they are the same prints."

By now you're itching to yell at me: "Lenster! What is this? Damn if you and damn if you don't?" 

Nope - it's just damn if you don't; just do it in the proper place(s).

Some easy to remember DO NOT Rules when signing artwork
  • Never sign with a gigantic signature; a normal signature (or even smaller than normal) will do fine.
  • Never sign anywhere on the surface where it interferes with the composition.
  • Never sign with that glows, shimmers, is metallic or will fade.
  • No need to put the little "c" inside the circle "copyright" sign by your signature. You already own the copyright no matter what!
  • If you sign on the back (verso in Sothebyse), make sure that it doesn't bleed through!
  • Don't sign using inks that will fade in time, or worse, separate, such as "Sharpies" do after a few years, when they acquire a yellow border around the faded black ink.
You want to know where to sign, right?

Cough, cough...

By the way... I'm meandering all about signatures on two dimensional work; you sculptors are all on your own, as long as you don't pull a Michelangelo on the Pieta stunt.

Where to sign two-dimensional work
1. On the back (make sure that it doesn't go through and can be seen from the front); in fact, the more info that you can put on the back to help art historians of the future, the better.

2. On the lower margin of the piece (usually the right margin, but that's up to you).

3. Photographs can either be signed (and numbered in a small edition, cough, cough) on the verso (there's a million "special" photo-signing pens for all you photo geeks; they "write" on photo paper and dry in nanoseconds and don't smear, etc.) Or you can sign them if you leave a white border all around the printed photo. Even signing the mat in the lower margin in pencil was in vogue in the last century and is OK.
If you don't believe me about the power of a signature, then just go online and research the difference in price between a signed Picasso (most of them) and the two dozen or so fully validated, authenticated and documented unsigned Picassos (the ones that he gave to one of his ex-wifes that he hated).

That will learn y'all a lesson about signatures and art, Jethro...

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Art Fair Types

As we approach (we hope) the end of The Covidian Age, and art fairs (hopefully) make a come back, and as we prepare to do art fairs in NYC, Miami, Houston, London, and maybe Seattle, I thought that this would be a good time to republish this post from 2004:

One of the more eye-opening things in attending an art fair is seeing the dynamics that go onto the decision to buy a piece of art. Put together a few thousand people, paying an entry fee to enter the fair, an assortment of dealers, and a huge diverse variety of offerings and it's an education in people watching.

The married couple: 

"Do you like it?" 
"Yeah, I like it- it's just what we've been looking for." 
"Where would we put it?" 
"We have a couple of spots that it'd fit."
"Do you really like it." 
"Yeah, how about you?" 
"Yeah, I kinda of like it." 
"Should we get it?" 
"If you want it." 
(five minutes later) "Let's think about it." 
[To me] "Do you have a business card?" 

The couple (not married): 
Her: "Do you like it?" 
Him: "Sssoright" 
Her: "Where would we put it?" 
Him: "Dunno." 
Her: "Do you really like it." 
Him: "So'OK.. Yeah, how about you?" 
Her: "Yeah, I kinda, sorta, really like it." 
Him: "Dunno though" 
Her: "What? You don't like it?" 
Him: "If you want it." 
(five minutes later) Him: "Let's think about it." 
Her or Him: "OK" [To me] "Do you have a business card?" 

The Single Woman (SW) with a Woman Friend: 
SW: "WOW! Now, I really like this!" 
Friend: "Yeah... it's nice" 
SW: "It's exactly what I've been looking for!" 
Friend: "I have a friend who does work just like this..." 
SW: "I am really drawn to it!" 
Friend: "Are you really sure you like it?" 
SW: "Uh - yeah!... why? Don't you like it?" 
Friend: "Yeah... it's OK" 
SW: "I think it's really good... I think it's the first piece in this whole show that I really like." 
Friend: "There's a few more booths we haven't seen." 
SW: "I think I'm going to buy this." 
Friend: "Are you sure?" 
SW: "Uh - yeah!... It's a good price too.... why? Don't you like it?" 
(five minutes later) SW: "Do you have a business card?" 

The Single Woman (SW) with a Man Friend: 
SW: "WOW! Now, I really like this!" 
Friend: "Yeah... Cool" 
SW: "It's exactly what I've been looking for!" 
Friend: "I think it's a lithograph" [it's actually a charcoal] 
SW: "I am really drawn to it!" 
Friend: "Are you really sure you like it?" 
SW: "Uh - yeah!... why? Don't you like it?" 
Friend: "I have something like it... I got it cheaper though..." 
SW: "I think it's really good... I think it's the first piece in this whole show that I really like." 
Friend: "You like lithographs?" 
SW: "I think I'm going to buy this." 
Friend: "Are you sure?" 
SW: "Uh - yeah!... It's a good price too.... why? Don't you like it?" 
(five minutes later) SW: "Do you have a business card?" 

The Single Focus Dream Buyer: [Walks straight up to one piece, never looks at the rest of the work in your booth] "I'll take this" 
[Me] "Thank you... it's a very striking charcoal drawing - will be that be a check or charge?"
[Me] "I can send you more information on this artist..." 
"That will be great - I love this work - it's exactly what I'm interested in!"
[Me] "I have a few more pieces here, would you like to see them?" "
No, thanks..."  (He/She buys it and walks away)

The "I'm glad you're here guy (IGYHG)"
IGYHG: "Hey! I've been looking for you!" 
[Me]: "Hi, how are you?" 
IGYHG: "... been walking this whole fair looking for you!" 
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!" 
IGYHG: "Howsa been goin'?" 
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..." 
IGYHG: "Well, let me look at what you've got!" 
[three minutes later] IGYHG: "Well... I'm glad you're here... see ya next year!"

The "I Shudda Bought It Last Year Guy (Shudda)"
Shudda: "Hey! You're here again!" 
[Me]: "Hi, how are you? Yeah... It's our 7th year here..." 
Shudda: "... been walking this whole fair looking for you!" 
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!" 
Shudda: "Howsa been goin'?" 
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..." 
Shudda: "Well, let me look at what you've got!" 
[three minutes later] Shudda: "Where's that really good watercolor of the fill-in-the-blank?" 
[Me]: "Uh... I sold it last year - but I have a few more pieces by that artist." 
Shudda: "Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?" 
[Me]: "Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---" 
Shudda: "I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too..." 
[Me]: "Maybe you'd like some of his new work..." 
Shudda: "I shudda bought it last year" [Walks away] 
Shudda: "You gonna be here next year?" 

The "Where's That Piece Guy (WTP)"
WTP: "Hey! You're here again!" 
[Me]: "Hi, how are you? Yeah... It's our 7th year here..." 
WTP: "... been walking this whole fair specifically looking for you!" 
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!" 
WTP: "Howsa been goin'?" 
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..." 
WTP: "OK... last year I saw this piece... it was a fill-in-the-bank and I should have bought it then! " 
[Me]: "Yeah... that is a nice piece." 
WTP: "I've been thinking about it for a whole year" [Looks around the booth and doesn't see it]
WTP: "Do you still have it?" 
[From here there are two paths...] 

Path One - [Me]: "Uh... I sold it last year - but I have a few more pieces by that artist." 
WTP: "Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?" 
[Me]: "Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---" 
WTP: "I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too..." 
[Me]: "Maybe you'd like some of his new work..." 
WTP: "I shudda bought it last year" 
[Walks away] WTP: "You gonna be here next year?" 

Path Two [Me]: "Let me get it for you... I have it in the back!" 
WTP: "Great" [I bring it out and give to WTP] 
WTP: "Yeah this is it! It's great!" 
[Me]: "This artist has done really well this last year and ---" 
WTP: [Handing it back] "Excellent! I'm glad you still have it... until what time are you going to be here?" [Walks away...]

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Skies over Gig Harbor, Washington

"Skies over Gig Harbor, Washington", these are several 1980 watercolor assignments from the University of Washington School of Art.

They're in my daughter Vanessa's collection - and she needs to sell them! Contact her for details! Or send me an email to

Skies over Gig Harbor, Washington - 1980 Watercolor by F. Lennox Campello

Skies over Gig Harbor, Washington - 1980 Watercolor by F. Lennox Campello

Skies over Gig Harbor, Washington - 1980 Watercolor by F. Lennox Campello

Monday, March 08, 2021

Anatomy of another commission

More later on what this new commission for a nice Illinois couple will end up as - but here are the draft sketches... the last one borrows heavily from a Romantic period piece that I once saw in a museum (can't recall the artist).

Woman with Skull - Draft one for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 2 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 3 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 4 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 5 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 6 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 7 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 8 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 9 for a commission

Woman with Skull - Draft 10 for a commission