Monday, January 31, 2022

Seaman Schmuckatelli's Dirty Cover

Every once in a while I come across one of these... I used to do a lot of cartoons while I was in the Navy... some were published in base newspapers,  Navy magazines,  Stars & Stripes, etc. 

I gave most of them away over the years... here's one of the fabled Seaman Schmuckatelli (Navy sailors know who this fabled sailor was/is) - do they even have clubs on base anymore??? This one was "Seaman Schmuckatelli Dirty Cover"

Seaman Schmuckatelli's dirty cover - a 1980s Navy cartoon by Lenny Campello
Seaman Schmuckatelli's dirty cover
1981 Navy cartoon by Lenny Campello

The curious case of "Being the Ricardos"

When I first heard about the casting for Amazon's film "Being the Ricardos", the pedantic part of me immediately went into hyper-critical mode and I thought out loud, "Nicole Kidman... Seriously? Isn’t she an Aussie? Playing Lucy?”

Then I read about Javier Bardem playing Desi and I went ballistic… A Spaniard playing a Cuban? Not just any Cuban, but a Cuban from Santiago de Cuba, that most Cuban of all Cuban places!

I also knew at the time that I was being hypocritical in the sense that actors, great actors that is, like Kidman and Bardem can probably do anything and become anyone.  Still, a Spaniard portraying a Santiaguero was gonna be an uneasy pill to swallow for that most clannish of people known as Cubans.  Everyone is Hialeah was probably having a fit.

Then I watched the film.

Both Kidman and Bardem delivered exceptional performances and had me believing in their inner Lucy and Desi.  Congratulations to two great actors and a great performance.


My obnoxious pedantic nature found a spectacularly chronological anachronism which, unfortunately makes up one of the pillars of the storyline which according to the Amazon description takes place “during one production week of “I Love Lucy” — from Monday table read through Friday audience taping — Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) face a series of personal and professional crises that threaten their show, their careers and their marriage, in writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s behind-the-scenes drama.”

In summary, it’s the 1950s in the middle of the “red scare” and Lucy is being accused on having once being a member of the Communist Party in the 1930s.  The script has Bardem talking about having to leave Cuba because of the Bolsheviks and throughout the movie Aaron Sorkin wants the audience to believe that Desi came to the United Sates as a refugee because of the Cuban Revolution of the Castro brothers.

This is an important part of the storyline of the film.


  • 1917 - Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III is born in Santiago de Cuba, capital of the Oriente province to an upper class Cuban family.  His father was the mayor of the city, and his great-great-grandfather had been the Count of Santa Ines.
  • 1933 - The Sergeants' Revolt, was a coup d'etat that occurred in Cuba in September 1933 and in which Desi’s father was jailed and all the family’s property confiscated. It marked the beginning of the rise of Fulgencio Batista as a Cuban strongman. Upon his release six months later, the family escapes Cuba and settles in Miami, where Desi attends High School.
  • 1939 – Desi is cast in the Broadway musical Too Many Girls.
  • 1940s – Arnaz and Lucille Ball were married on November 30, 1940. Desi also appears in several movies and is also drafted and serves in the US Army until discharged in 1945.
  • 1950 – Desilu Productions founded by Lucy and Desi.
  • 1951 – “I Love Lucy” makes its television premiere.
  • 1953 – Episode 68 (the one that the Amazon movie is based on) takes place.
  • 1956 – Castro starts the Cuban Revolution by landing in Cuba in December.
  • 1957 – Last episode of “I Love Lucy” airs.
  • 1959 – Cuban Revolution overthrows the Batista government and begins brutalizing the Cuban people leading to the largest mass migration of the 20th century known as the "Cuban Diaspora."

Now do you see why my pedantic head is spinning when Sorkin mixes crap up to make the storyline of the movie fit a made-up Hollywood timeline?

“But Lenster,” you say, “It’s just a movie… who cares?”

Today I was listening to the 1A with Jen White on WAMU. It is one of my favorite radio shows.  And White was interviewing Bardem about (mostly) Desi, Lucy and “Being the Ricardos.”

And it was clear to the most casual listener that both White and Bardem actually believe that Arnaz had escaped Cuba because of the Communist takeover.

Why? Because Sorkin directed a movie that tells a made-up storyline which will now have most people think that the Cuban Revolution took place around the 1930s.

Makes my head hurt.

PS – Ms. Jen White also seems to think that the Ball-Arnaz marriage was a “mixed race” marriage – either White thinks that Cubans are a separate race or is curiously unaware that in the 1950s there was no such thing as a Hispanic or Latino with the contemporary present day confusions as to race and national origin and/or ethnicity. In the 1950s Arnaz was a “Cuban”, but his race was/is still the same as Ball’s.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

How do art scams work?

Once a week or so I get an email from an artist somewhere on the planet like this about a potential art scammer (see all my listed scammers here):

Hello, I'm a German artist and found your " Art Scam Alert " from July 15  2018 about this Donald Hugh mail. Now at January 21  2022 I got the same mail from him online in German. He ordered two pictures from me. My question is, how he is trying  to rip off artist? He wants me to send pictures and doesn't pay? 

Thank you for an answer. 

This is how:

  1. They will most likely give you (a) International Bank Draft/Postal Money Order or (b) Credit Card
  2. Your bank will accept them and they will show almost immediately as available in your account, which is the "normal" way to show that the deposit has cleared.
  3. Artists then usually ship the work
  4. A few days later the bank gets a note from that overseas bank... bad news - the draft is fake and/or cc has just been reported as stolen.
  5. They withdraw the funds from your account.
  6. You're hosed.

2022 Wherewithal Grantees

From the Washington Project for the Arts:

We are pleased to announce the 12 recipients for the 2022 Wherewithal Grants. Each artist or artist collective was awarded $5,000 for either a collaborative project or research.
The Research Grants recipients are: Rasha Abdulhadi, Safiyah Cheatam & Hope Willis, Larry Cook, Deirdre Darden, Rex Delafkaran, Monica Jahan Bose, and Armando Lopez-Bircann.
The Project Grants recipients are: Antonius Bui & Naoko Wowsugi, Fabiola Ching & Mayah Lovell, Ayana Zaire Cotton, Dirt, and Imogen-Blue Hinojosa.
Over the next year, these artists and cultural producers will organize projects and conduct research around such fascinating and timely topics as club photography, queering Palestinian embroidery, climate injustice, O-1 artist visas, and world-building through Black aesthetics.
An independent panel of four curators reviewed 114 applications and recommended the final 12 for funding. The panelists were Monica Peña, Programs Manager, Locust Projects (Miami); Eriola Pira, Curator, The Vera List Center (New York); Victoria Reis, Executive & Artistic Director, Transformer (DC); and Tiffany Ward, Curator and Founder, Mare Residency (Baltimore/London). 
Wherewithal Grants are generously funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of its Regional Regranting Program and managed by WPA.
Learn more about grantees and their projects here and follow @wherewithalgrants on Instagram for updates.

Friday, January 28, 2022

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center reopening tomorrow!

The AU Museum is reopening! Beginning tomorrow, January 29, they will resume regular hours, Friday–Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

Before your visit, review their health and safety protocols. Visitors must wear KN-95 or N-95 masks, not your cheap-ass cloth masks, and show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter the museum.

Five New Exhibitions on View Tomorrow:

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Languages of Fiber

Languages of Fiber: Highlighting Latin American Artists - at the Goldman Gallery in the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington

This exhibition explores the creative potential of contemporary fiber art through the work of Latin American artists residing in the Washington, DC area. These artists showcase distinctive approaches utilizing fiber through a variety of media, influenced by their diverse cultures of Latin America. 


  • Maria Luisa Benavides
  • Teresa Camacho Hull
  • Felisa Federman
  • Magaly Garza
  • Cristina Montero
  • Francisca Oviedo
  • Sandra Perez-Ramos
  • Roxana Rojas Luzon

Dates: February 10th- March 20th 

Reception: Sunday February 27th 4-7:00pm

Artists talk: Sunday March 13th 2-4pm

The Goldman Gallery is open when the Bender JCC building is open, 7:00 am to 8:00pm at the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd. Rockville, MD 20852. 301-881-0100  301-348-3770

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Opportunity for Artists

Studio Channel Islands, a 501c 3 non-profit organization, is seeking submissions of artwork to be DONATED. 

Out of the donated pieces their juror will go through a selection process to choose accepted works. (Note: If you enter more than one piece, each piece may be accepted) the accepted pieces will participate in a month-long exhibit closing with their annual Collectors Choice Fundraising Event at The Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo CA. 

Event Dates: 3/5/22 - 3/26/22
Entry Deadline: 2/7/22


The 1st place award winner will receive an opportunity for a major show in the gallery. All artists whose work is accepted into the exhibition will be invited to a special exhibition launch to meet the Board of Directors, our major partners and collectors.

Studio Channel Islands was founded over 20 years ago by artists for artists. It promotes and preserves the arts in the community, offering affordable studio space to working artists, providing unique artistic encounters for all ages as well as fostering connections between artists and collectors.

Each Collectors Choice exhibition features work by exciting emerging artists, as well as work by nationally exhibited and award winning artists. This is a very popular interactive event with ticket holders (Collectors) choosing their favorite pieces to take home straight from the walls of the Gallery.

For more information about Studio Channel Islands and the Collectors Choice Fundraiser please visit our webpage: 

Juror’s Awards:

First Place: $1,000 PLUS Exhibit Opportunity 

Second Place: $500

Third Place: $250


Deadline: February 7th, 2022

Notifications: February 11th, 2022

Shipped work arrival by: March 1st, 2022

Artwork Delivery Date: March 1st, 2022 10am – 6pm

Exhibit March 5th - March 26th, 2022

Reception March 5th, 2022

Collector Choice March 26th, 2021, 6-9pm

All selected artwork will be showcased on our website and event page. Each work will be linked to the artist’s website as well as published in our event program.


Open to all artists ages 18 and up. All media except video, performance and installation. Preferred for work to be no larger than 30” in width and 48” in height and have a retail value of at least $300. All submitted works must be original and created by the artist. Artwork previously exhibited at The Blackboard Gallery is permissible.


All placement and installation of ARTWORK to be done at the discretion of the professional installation team. All ARTWORK must be delivered within the time frame given by gallery. No late deliveries will be accepted. Artists must indicate vertical or horizontal orientation of each work and include any special installation instructions. Installation team will take requests into consideration. All 2D ARTWORK must be delivered ready to hang with appropriate hardware. No sawtooth hangers. Pedestals will be provided for 3D ARTWORK. Mannequins and busts will be provided for wearable art and jewelry.

All artwork chosen for exhibition is a DONATION to SCIart for inclusion in the fundraising event at the end of the exhibition. Tickets will be sold for $300 to members of the public, each ticket holder will be entered into a live draw. The prize for each name drawn is the chance to select an artwork from the exhibition.

Open to all artists ages 18 and up. All media except video, performance and installation. Preferred for work to be no larger than 30” in width and 48” in height and have a retail value of at least $300. All submitted works must be original and created by the artist. Artwork previously exhibited at The Blackboard Gallery is permissible.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Monday, January 24, 2022

Betty White Unites! Show at Zenith hauling in the press coverage!

I have never seen a DC art exhibition get as much press as Zenith Gallery's Betty White Unites! art exhibition has been gathering!

Here's a partial list of the coverage and see the exhibition online here.