Sunday, December 05, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day Five (Last Day)

Pretty much a repeat of Saturday as far as the size of crowds, although for some odd reason, I was told that people were being turned away about half and hour before the fair officially closed at 6PM.

One of the main reasons that artists and galleries must try to participate in the art madness that is ABMB week is what I call the "wake effect."

The wake effect is all the follow on business, contacts and even exhibition opportunities that happen because of ABMB exposure. For the next few days, and even months, events related to ABMB will happen to the artists and galleries which showed there.

Throughout the day the crowds were fairly good, and MFA managed to sell a couple more of my drawings, as well as a painting by Norfolk, Virginia artist Robert Sipes and as the fair came to an end, a deal was reached between MFA and a Miami collector for a Sheila Giolitti painting.

Also a Palm Beach gallery was very attracted to the work of DMV artist Joey Manlapaz and requested that we put Manlapaz in touch with them.

After six the tear down begins, and an entire week of working long hours (mostly standing up) begins to take its toll and galleries begin to bring art down from the walls, re-wrap and package it all for the return trek home and vans and truck jockey for the best loading spots.

MFA will be back in Miami next month, as the gallery is participating in the Miami International Art Fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center from 13-17 January.

Yes, amazingly enough, about a month after 25 or so art fairs consume Miami, another art fair returns to the area, and last year it attracted about 22,000 visitors.

See ya there!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day Four

Easily the busiest day of the fairs so far, with lots of crowds filling the tents at Art Miami, Red Dot, Scope and Art Asia in Wynwood and the streets around them.

At MFA, a day of highs and lows. Lows in the sense that there was a tremendous amount of interest at all levels with an inordinate number of near misses ("Wow! That's a really cool painting," she says to him. "I love it!", he adds. Looks at the price. "And it's really a good price"... they walk away).

Highs in the sense that this was the best day for sales so far. Sheila Giolitti sold two paintings, including her largest painting going to a collector in Washington state. MFA also sold a couple of paintings by Russian painter Alexey Terenin, and after an agonizing three separate holds with first right of refusal on Judith Peck's "Jus in Bello" painting (which has been selected for Virginia's CACVB "New Waves" exhibition early next year), the painting was finally sold to a Miami collector at the end of the night.

Also high in the sense that a local art advisor wants to hook up with Lou Gagnon to place some of Gagnon's gorgeous weather studies in some local collectors' homes, and also high that the curator from the Mobile Art Museum added Giolitti to his forthcoming "Southern Women" exhibition.

El GordoNext door at Scope, Civilian had sold out all six Trevor Young's brilliant paintings, so Scope has been good to all of them. I also saw some multiple red dots over at Hamiltonian's booth.

There was also some celebrity sightings: Alan Dershowitz haggling over some artwork and Raúl de Molina (El Gordo) from Univision's popular El Gordo y La Flaca TV show strolling around the fair.

That's him talking to the stunning Wonder Woman look-alike gallerina from Anderson Art Collective.

After closing, I headed out to Little Havana and with 15 relatives in tow, we invaded Versailles Restaurant for some late Cuban food. Even at midnight the place was packed and the food was (as usual) amazing. For desert: a torte made out of chocolate and mango.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day Three

Definitely lots more people today walking about the art fairs, if not necessarily buying the art off the walls, although there were certainly a lot more interest, loads more questions, lots more people asking for business cards and info on artists, some museum curators walking about, etc.

Jus in BelloAbout 1% of all that will lead to actual sales later on in the "wake effect" of being at an art fair.

Some of the close calls were of the "WTF" kind. Such as the fact that Judith Peck's gorgeous and intelligent (and signature piece) "Jus in Bello" was twice in a "first right of refusal" status; twice!

And one couple has come back three nights in a row to look at one of Lou Gagnon pastels.

MFA today sold two Sheila Giolitti resin oil paintings, a couple more of my drawings, and one more Andrew Wodzianski android gouache as well as the first Alexey Terenin oil of the fair.

Fight over Campello video of Che GuevaraAs I noted earlier, towards the end of the night I almost had my clock cleaned by an older British gent who was irate over my Guevara video drawing. A small crowd gathered as he threatened to hit me. Apparently his Cuban-born wife had been mistreated by Che in the early 60s in Cuba and also her brother had been executed by Guevara during his reign of terror as the chief executor of the Cuban Revolution.

Since this has happened several times this week, by now I have a "system", and soon he was all "explained-out" about the ying yang meaning of this complex piece. In the background, the gigantic figure of DC artist Andrew Wodzianski was covering my back while snapping photos with his phone as a curious crowd gathered. That's one of 11 pics he took.

Two more days left, although from my experience, Saturday is truly the last "real" day as Sunday is strollers day and pack out nightmare evening.

Art Basel MB week: Day Three (0730 report)

I'm almost punched out by a British old man who is married to a Cuban lady whose brother was executed by Che Guevara. He is offended by my video drawing of Che.

I calm him down and explain the piece to him. Andrew Wodzianski is in the background taking pictures; they will be up tomorrow.

Art Basel MB week: Day Three (1300 report)

I walked Scope today at noon and chatted with Civilian Art Projects's folks, dropped them two cold Bustelo's cafe con leche cans and took a walk through the fair. Civilian is showing DMV artist Trevor Young and has so far sold three of Young's gorgeous paintings.

Having walked both Art Miami yesterday and now Scope, I can offer the opinion that at least this year, Art Miami blows Scope away as far as the quality and depth of the art being exhibited. Both are also far better than Red Dot.

There is a lot of video in Art Miami, and a lot of video artists are now doing what DMV artist Tim Tate started doing years ago: taking the video out of the DVD player and incorporating it into sculptural elements. It's a lot easier to justify buying a video when you actually have it as a "showable" work - I think.

But anyway, Scope is somewhat suffering from the "so yesterday" look to a lot of the dated artwork being exhibited. To start, there's a disproportionate number of Chinese and other Asian artists in the fair, all showing the kind of work that was the rage of the art fairs three, four years ago, but that is now so diluted and overexposed that all that it gets is a glance. Then you realize (after talking to someone who knows this) that Art Asia and Scope are together under the same tent and sharing the same floor!

So all the Asian art is actually the Art Asia Art Fair and not the Scope Art Show, but nearly everyone that I talked to was as confused as I was: I thought it was all Scope!

In the real Scope there's also an abundance of artwork that appropriates Marylin Monroe's iconic images and puts them into glittery, shiny surfaces, odd surfaces, fill-in-the-blank surfaces, etc.

It is mostly crap, with the exceptional work of Romero Fudyma at Gallery Biba. Fudyma's sculptural approach to Monroe takes the icon to a stereographic three dimensions that has a hypnotizing effect.

There is also a lot of "angry artist" writing on the wall "art" -- sort of "so last century" work by a couple of European galleries. Speaking of writing, a Costa Rican gallery has a series of blackboards with chalk writing on them with repeated sentences as one would find in the old days when teachers would actually punish a Bart Simpson type kid with writing "I will not be late for school" 100 times on the board.


Other blase and thankfully out of vogue artwork still showing up for some reason at Scope are the big-eyed 1960 Sears type painting of kids that were all the rage a few years ago and that immediately upon falling out of rage a few hours later disappeared from the art scene, but it is clear that at least one gallery didn't get that fax.

Rafel BestardOne of the best set of works at Scope are the superb paintings by Rafel Bestard at Barcelona's Galeria Contrast. These gorgeous, sexy paintings are worth the trip to Scope alone!

There's a moist sensuality to Bestard's treatment of the subject matter, coupled with a photographic artifice that fools the eye, and which upon closer inspection reveals unexpected textural qualities that almost denies the first photorealism impression.

The sense of sensuality of the works on exhibit also have a strong dose of danger attached to them. Are these wet dreams or are they nightmares? Is the dreamer a frustrated sexpot or a dangerous psychopath?

My suggestion to the 2011 Scope gallery selection committee is simple: Shoot for a 50% refresh rate of new galleries; you need some new blood and need to adjust your rudder to 2011.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day Two

The fairs are all in full swing now, and Wynwood is traffic-jammed with people as I get dropped off at Red Dot for another day of art fairing.

In the early afternoon, a couple who had been there on opening night returns and acquires another one of my drawings. The piece will have to make a return trip to the DMV in order to be shipped to them. Soon after that a gorgeous Rosemary Feit Covey wood engraving finds a home in a California collection.

The well-known Texas video collector returns and kidnaps me to Art Miami across the street to show me her latest acquisition, and I swing by Chicago's Catherine Edelman Gallery, which is showcasing Tim Tate's self-contained video installations. There's already one red dot when I get there. The owner approaches me and asks if I'm familiar with Tate's work. I smile and respond yes. She says something along the lines of how everybody seems to know Tate.

I return across the street and my daughters have arrived, and almost immediately they depart and start touring the fairs. Meanwhile, Andrew Wodzianski, who is walking Art Basel in Miami Beach, texts me that he just ran into Steve Martin.

Over at Red Dot, Miami's Oxenberg Fine Art, which is also showcasing Tim Tate's videos, has also sold one of the self-contained video sculptures. Tate is having a good day at ABMB.

AT 6PM the booze starts pouring and this time is free margaritas for the crowds. The alcohol does little to loosen purses, although I do help to sell a couple more of my drawings.

A TV crew from Art Miami TV shows up and they are taken by Sheila Giolitti's luminous resin paintings and want to do a piece on them. Giolitti is a little nervous about being interviewed on TV and so she downs a beer to calm her nerves. The crew shoots a long clip on her and her work.

By 8PM my feet are killing me and my daughters and I head back to Hollywood for a Thai dinner on the beach.

Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day One

I arrive at 11 am and we take down the Rosemary Feit Covey triptych that we had laboriously set up the day before and replace them with some of Covey's strong signature pieces; it's just a gut feeling.

The day passes through slowly, and we are across from the Bustelo coffee stand, which has free chilled coffee drinks and free Cuban coffee all day long. Gallerists and dealers from Scope next door keep sneaking in through the tent's side door to grab free coffee.

Somewhere in the early afternoon MFA sells another Michael Fitts painting and I get into an almost fist-fight over the Che Guevara video piece. Later that day a well-known video collector from Texas drops by and MFA owner Sheila Giolitti sells her a video, sight unseen, by Norfolk video artist John Miles Runner.

DC artist Trevor Young, who is with Civilian Projects over at Scope, drops by and we chat about the NPG David Wojnarowicz controversy back in DC, about William Sickert, and about the arbitrary choosing of 22 seconds as the max time sample for audio. Young has sold three paintings so far at Scope and is having a well-deserved super fair.

At 6PM free tequila drinks begin to be served and now the invasion from Scope is in full mass as Scope artists and dealers use Red Dot's side door to sneak in and grab a free drink.

Bad Hair Day II (Sue Richards)Later that night, the crowd thickens and Lynnvale's Lou Gagnon's elegant landscapes start to get a lot of attention from the Wednesday night crowd. At some point after that, Andrew Wodzianski cracks the ice and one of his "Android Series" (Bad Hair Day II (Sue Richards)) pieces finds a home with a Miami collector.

As the night moves, another Michael Fitts painting is sold and almost immediately I sell my Frida Kahlo homage drawing (done at the last possible minute), to one of the DMV's best known art collecting couples.

At seven the fair closes and I drive to Hialeah to pick up my daughter Vanessa at the airport and drive her to cousin Jorge's fortress house in Little Havana. When she arrives, she's hungry and Jorge feeds her sopa de chicharos.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Art Basel MB week: Day Oneish (Preview Day)

The day starts with last minute adjustments to the booth and artists' names and work title tags go up. By 3:30 the staff is kicking everyone out for a couple of hours in order for the cleaning crew to vacuum Red Dot's new black carpet before the grand opening preview at 6PM.

By 4:00PM I'm in my hotel in Hollywood showering and putting on the uniform for tonight's festivities. Little Junes is sitting on a makeshift high chair in the hotel eating Cheerios and wondering why dad is running around the room all in a hurry.

By 5:00PM we're out the door and driving the 15 miles to Wynwood. Miami traffic gets in the way and the drive turns into an hour and so I barely make it to the fair in time for the opening.

The cleaning crew is still working and by the time the order is given to stop vacuuming, as the doors will open to the invited VIPs and press, our booth is the only one that hasn't been cleaned and the brand new black carpet is littered with tons of white debris.

The floor looks so speckled with withe dots and paint and tape chunks that it almost looks like an installation worth of a booth at Scope (the story of what happened at Scope on check-in that will come later... it's a good one).

MFA owner and director Sheila Giolitti is justifiably upset and is searching for a broom to sweep the floor as she's told that no more vacuuming is to be done because of the fire marshall is on the premises.


The crowd starts pouring in, and before all the good food gets scarfed up, I grab a couple of good plates of decent finger food and a couple of generously poured tequila mixers. There is a lot of free booze being poured away.

As usual, the elegant paintings of Russian painter Alexey Terenin get a lot of attention, as does Joey Manlapaz's hyper-realistic paintings. Also grabbing some good discussion are Judith Peck's series inspired by John Rawls' Veil of Ignorance thought experiments. The press is all over John Roth's sensuous sculptures and a lot of photographs of them are taken.

An interior designer grabs a lot of attention and time from gallery owner Sheila Giolitti. She's grabbing artwork from all over the place and discussing it in terms of this and that... she does this for almost an hour before disappearing on a trek to the bathroom.

My Che Guevara video piece is getting a lot of attention - mostly from people of Cuban ancestry familiar with Che's brutal excesses. An old man with tired blue eyes tells me in Spanish that I must take the drawing down or he will. I spend some time explaining the video piece to him and he apologizes and compliments me on the work. This happens several times during the night as I spend a lot of time explaining the entrapment of a video drawing that requires a lot of intellectual capital to fully understand. This piece has already been successful beyond my wildest estimations; I am almost afraid that someone will punch me out at some point during this art fair, seeing exactly what they want to see, rather what they would see with a little guidance.

Around 8:00PM I sell my largest drawing, the first sale of the night for MFA. It's from the series of pieces on Eve. It goes to a Miami Beach collector. Almost at the same time MFA sells a gorgeous Michael Fitts trompe l'oeil of Twinkies. As usual, the two sales come almost at the same time.

Someone comes in from Scope next door, complaining that they have plywood floors; we have a brand new black carpet, and our booth's carpet looks like a litter field. Interesting what people will complain about. Someone else adds that Scope is empty of people. An hour earlier I had heard that it was packed. You go figure.

One more sale later and the night is over; somehow the interior designer is back and has Giolitti back under her domain, even outside the fair. I'm exhausted and my wife picks me up and drives me back to Hollywood. Preview day is over.

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: December 17, 2010

Call for entries for the Fifth Annual Photography Exhibition at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Entries must be received by December 17, 2010. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is seeking submissions of any and all photographic processes, black and white or color, traditional or alternative, material or digital, time-based, performance based, any work exploring the act of photography. The exhibition will open on January 8, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and will run through February 4, 2011. Cash awards will be announced at the opening.

The juror for the exhibition is Bruce McKaig, local artist and art educator. Bruce McKaig chairs the Photography Department at CHAW and teaches at Georgetown University and the Smithsonian Associates. He has exhibited nationally and internationally for over thirty years and every once in a while reviews a DMV show in this blog. For more information about his work, please visit his website here.

HOW: Submit the following:
➢ Three to five jpegs on a CD
➢ Image inventory list specifying title, size, medium, date and price (or insurance value)
➢ Contact info including a mailing address, phone number and email
➢ An entry fee of $25.00 for up to five images, payable to CHAW

WHERE: Please hand deliver or mail these materials to:

545 7th Street SE
Washington DC 20003

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art Basel MB week: The day before Day One

I arrived here last Saturday, hanging out at Hollywood, less that 20 miles north of the Wynwood Arts district in Miami, where I'm helping Norfolk's Meyer Fine Art and Philly's Projects Gallery hawk some of my artwork at the Red Dot Art fair, which this year shares the block with Scope, Art Asia and the grand daddy of all Miami art fairs, Art Miami.

First night headed to my favorite restaurant on the Hollywood Beach boardwalk, the unexpectedly delicious Sushi-Thai Restaurant, where for $7.95 you can have the mouth-watering Ika Shukgata Yaki (whole grilled squid in ponzu sauce) and a cold one while looking out at the ocean.

Today I drove to Wynwood and from 11am until 7pm it was all about hanging artwork at MFA's booth. MFA is showing work by yours truly, as well as Cuban artist Sandra Ramos, Norfolk's John R. G. Roth, Robert Sites, and Shiela Giolitti, Lynnvale's Lou Gagnon, Charlottesville's Michael Fitts, Prague's Alexey Terenin, and DMV's Joey Manlapaz, Rosemary Feit Covey Andrew Wodzianski and Judith Peck.

I'm stoked about this fair because it will be the first ever showing of my first video drawing.

I had an interesting experience upon checking in, during which somehow I ended up checking in and getting badged (by mistake) into Scope, which is the big tent next to Red Dot, but more on that later.

The grand opening is tomorrow night.

Small works at MEG

Recently I had the pleasure and honor to select the current small photographic works at Multiple Exposures Gallery in Alexandria.

It's wonderful show, if I may say so, and continues this trend that I've been writing about recently, about the unique experience of artwork in a small, intimate scale.

MEG is home to superior, highly talented photographers. In the many years that this photography collective has been around (formerly known as Factory Photoworks), and Susan Meyer Apple in a Vasein the dozens and dozens of shows that I have seen there, seldom, if ever have I seen a weak show. If you are a photography fan and you haven't been to MEG, then you're missing one of the key photography spaces in the Mid Atlantic.

Every selection in this show is a gem. In Susan Meyer's "Apple in a Vase," the sheer simplicity of the image hides the smart compositional idea behind it. The super sharp focus of the photo also does wonders to bring our attention to the subject, and (as I did) speculate why there's an apple in a flower vase.

I was also quite pleased not only with the superior set of works submitted by Michael Borek, but also with the super-modern, sharp minimalist presentation, where Borek has the small works floating in a deep white frame. I might "borrow" his presentation concept for some future works of my own!

Grace Taulor, 3 red pearsThere's also the scent of a master photographer in Grace Taylor's "Three Red Pears." Here we see what can be best described as the subject emerging not only because of its inherent beauty and recognition-factor, but also because the way the Taylor handles it, massages it and presents it; the pears emerge as exotic, sexual fruits, awaiting the first touch of the lips and the first cut of the bite.

Luise Noakes' visually textured, added onto and manipulated photos as well as the always impressive work of Danny Conant also stand out.

The Small Works show goes through January 2, 2011.

Some further considerations on the paintings of Freya Grand

By Claudia Rousseau

An exhibit entitled “Journey” of the paintings of Freya Grand was on view at the Greater Reston Art Center (GRACE) until November 12th. I had made the pilgrimage out there to see the show (and it did seem a pilgrimage from my home in Colesville, MD), and meant to write a review while the show was still up. Swamped with other work, I didn’t make it. Yet, I feel that some thoughts about this remarkable artist are in order, even now that the show has closed.

COTOPAXI, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 60 inches by Freya GrandThe first word that comes to mind looking at these paintings as a group might be “sublime”. When thinking about that rather slippery concept as applied to art, one might be imagining something by Turner or Caspar David Friedrich, artists who did try to embody eighteenth-century writer Edmund Burke’s aesthetic notion in actual works of art. The sublime is a feeling that involves an element of fear, something beyond the merely beautiful or picturesque precisely because of that fact. It is something that we experience in nature, as at the edge of the ocean at night when we look out at the horizon, and feel simultaneously exhilarated and overwhelmed at the greatness of what is in front of us—part of that huge sky and water—knowing full well that it would be death to move into it. The experience can occur in art as well, and this was, of course, at the core of Romanticism.

I think the most moving thing about Freya’s paintings is the way that they so completely convey this sense, and the feeling that one is experiencing what the artist experienced confronting the natural scenes represented in these large scale paintings. These are not realistic works, and, although descriptive, do not reproduce the visual record so much as the experiential one. It’s that sense that we are there with her, viewing the volcano Cotopaxi, as thrilled as Frederic Church (Freya’s art great grandfather) had been more than a century ago. Or seeing/feeling the tides pulling out at the water’s edge in Beach. Because these paintings are so full of experience, they provoke memories in the viewer of his/her own moments of the sublime. They rushed in on me as I looked, and kept me looking, and thinking for a long time.

Claudia Rousseau
Critic, member AICA

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WPA 2011 Artist Directory

Deadline: February 1, 2011

The Washington Project for the Arts has announced a call for submissions for its 2011 Artist Directory.

Published bi-annually, this four-color, 8.5 x 5.5 inch directory is the definitive listing of established and emerging contemporary artists throughout the Washington region. It is seen by more than 2,000 galleries, curators, art consultants, and interested art patrons. Copies are distributed to selected art critics and other members of the press, and to museums both in the region and outside the area. The 2011 Artist Directory will also be available for sale on the WPA website and at select area retail locations at the price of $9.95.

Each participating artist will be featured on a full page (8.5 x 5.5 inches). The page will include the artist's name, a color digital image of their work, their studio address and phone number, email address, web address, and their gallery affiliation.

All current WPA members are eligible for publication in the Artist Directory. There is an additional registration fee that includes a copy of the Artist Directory. Participants who submit before December 1, 2010 can pay a discounted early registration fee of $65. After December 1, the registration fee increases to $75. The final registration deadline is February 1, 2011. No submissions will be accepted after this date.

All submissions will be handled through an online registration form on the WPA's website.

Each participating artist can upload one image to be featured on their page. Images must be submitted as .eps or .tif files in CMYK format. They must be 300dpi and as close as possible to, but no smaller than 6 inches on the longest side.

If you have any questions regarding the 2011 Artist Directory, please contact Blair Murphy, Membership Directory at or 202-234-7103 x 1.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Guess who's walking?

Anderson Lennox Campello

It's official: the little guy is walking!

Last one before Miami

On Wednesday night I attacked a 200 lb. large piece of paper with charcoal pencil and charcoal dust and, inspired by the elegant Incantation of Frida K. by Rita Braverman, I produced a large drawing - the last one which will be leaving for the Miami Art Basel week art fairs this coming Sunday.

Incantation of Frida K - An Homage to Rita Braverman

The Incantation of Frida K. Charcoal on paper. 16.5 x 40 inches.

Five gets you ten that this drawing will be the first one to sell.

Leaving for Miami on Saturday. I have passes for almost all of the 25 or so fairs in Miami; if you'd like one, drop me an email - first come, first served. Most fairs have the grand opening on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and I even have a few VIP passes to the grand openings, which obviously I won't be able to go since I will be hanging around my work at booth B108 at Red Dot with Mayer Fine Art and/or Projects Gallery at C108, both of which will have some of my work.

See ya there!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that all of you have the luck to spend today with your families (like I am) and that we all send a positive thought for all those who can't, especially our men and women in uniform around the world.

Below is how pumpkin pies are made, source unknown, but clever!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Video meet Drawing: Final Result

As I noted before, as the next step in my own artistic endeavors, I've decided to marry video to my drawings. In my heart, I am but a storyteller, and thus this marriage, of visual descriptions of all sorts, is a natural one.

And where else to start but with one of my iconic obsessions: Che Guevara. Below is what the drawing originally looked like:

St. Ernesto Che Guevara
Then, after discussing all sorts of possibilities with the video tech wizards at the Washington Glass School, I took the Exacto knife to the drawing and carved a "Heart of Jesus" shape underneath Che's neck. The thorns around the heart delicately cut out. Next was the precise measuring to ensure that the small LCD video screen (guaranteed for 60,000 hours) would align and fit perfectly under the cut out heart.

Next to hunt for old newsreels of Guevara and appropriate one of them that would fit well in the vertical LCD screen and deliver a good image across the thorns. My idea was to try to deliver the dual nature of Guevara. That is the iconic face and hero to millions of people who know little about this psychopath, and also deliver a harsh reminder about the chief executioner of the Cuban Revolution and the man many Cubans know as "El Chacal de La Cabaña."

"El Chacal de La Cabaña" translates to the "Jackal of La Cabaña," although it is usually translated as the "Butcher of La Cabaña."

La Cabaña is an 18th century fortress complex located on the elevated eastern side of the harbor entrance to Havana, and the location for many of the thousands of firing squad executions which took place after January 1, 1959. Shot were former members of Batista's police, army and air force, informants, traitors, and counter-revolutionaries.

The best known story about this period (which I heard related in a Spanish language radio show in Florida) relates to how a Cuban mother went to see Che to beg for her son's life. The son was 17 years old, and was on the firing squad list, to be executed within a week. If Guevara pardoned her son, the mother begged, she would ensure that he never said or did anything against the Revolution.

Che's response was to order the immediate execution of the boy, while the mother was still in his office. His logic: now that the boy was shot, his mother would no longer have to anguish over his fate.

Two newsreel videos were then married: it starts with Che talking and it ends with the firing squad execution of one of his many victims. The gruesome scene plays in his heart. This is what the cut out hart looks like with the video screen aligned behind it.

Che Guevara's heart

Then the delicate art of framing the piece and aligning all the electronics on the back ($1,000 worth of electronics). This happened several times due to the usual hair or other object discovered after one frames a large piece. Once framed it looked terrific.

"It needs to be balanced on the top," offered several critical voices from talented people around me, including my wife. The loudest voice was the one in my head. I had considered doing some Romanesque writing on the top of the drawing at the very beginning, to tie it even more to a iconic, saint-like presence, but discarded the idea.

I wrapped Che and prepared it for it maiden voyage to the Miami art fairs.

The next day the voices were too loud.

I unwrapped Guevara and then with a sigh unframed it and took it all apart so that I could draw on it. This is about halfway through the process, before I took a tortillon to the words to burnish them into the paper.

St Ernest Che Guevara

The words say SANCTUS GUEVARUS CASTRUM CANIS and are the result of hours of thinking about an appropriate title that delivered the real man who was Che Guevara. It is also the result of consulting with a Latin expert who could explain the nuances of Latin language declension and other such recondite subjects. With a bit of modernized translation it means "Saint (or Holy) Guevara, Castro's Dog." But a savvy play on words delivers a second (actually prime) meaning: "Holy Guevara, Fortress Dog."

The word "Castrum" could be modernized Latin for Castro but it also means castle or fortress.

"Fortress Dog" or the "Jackal of La Cabaña Fortress." Here's the video playing in his heart:

Che Guevara heart video
Here is the video - the orientation is sideways so that it can play correctly in the installation within the drawing.

And here is the finished piece:

Sanctus Guevarus Castrum Canis

SANCTUS GUEVARUS CASTRUM CANIS. Charcoal on paper, electronics, video player and video. 27.5 x 27 inches. Circa 2010 by F. Lennox Campello

Now let's see what Miami thinks of it.

Call for Exhibition Proposals

Deadline: January 31, 2011

The Olin Art Gallery on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA, is now accepting exhibition proposals in any medium for the 2011-12 academic year. Proposals may include solo or group exhibitions. Submissions must include contact information, artist statements for all participating artists, 10-20 digital images (jpg-format, 300dpi) on CD, an image list (including title, media, size, and date completed for each work), and a resume or CV. There is NO entry fee. The application deadline is January 31, 2011. For additional information, contact

Doug McGlumphy
Director, Olin Art Gallery
Washington & Jefferson College
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, Pa 15301.


Proposal materials will only be returned if provided with a self-address stamped envelope with sufficient postage. This opportunity is open to all professional artists 18 or over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Opportunity for artists

Deadline: December 20, 2010

The Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition is the second-longest running juried print and drawing competition in the country, now in its 33rd year. Every two years it features the best contemporary graphic artwork from around the globe. All accepted artwork is featured in a full-color exhibition catalogue and on the exhibition’s website.

JUROR: Robert E. Marx. Robert Marx’s long and illustrious career includes recognition as a master printmaker, an illustrator of more than a dozen books, a distinguished professor of art, and a Fulbright scholar.

AWARDS: Four cash prizes totaling $2500 will be awarded by the Juror. In addition the University as well as other local art organizations will select multiple purchase awards.

TO APPLY: Please visit their website here.

Video meet drawing

Back of Lenny Campello's first ever video drawing

This is the back of my first ever experiment, let's say the prototype, of my new exploration on the marriage of video and drawing. I am sure lots of artists have tried and are doing this already, but it's new for me and thus exciting, and even this first prototype kicks ass.

I'll show you a pic of it from the front once it hangs in the Miami art fairs in a week or so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When brains fart

I did one of the most professionally embarrassing things today, and the only blame that I can find is having a brain fart.

This weekend has been immensely busy with family coming from all over for Little June's baptism, which was this weekend. Because of that, I had postponed a professional engagement from the weekend to Monday. So the weekend was packed to the gills prepping for the baptism, doing it, having the reception party, etc.

Monday was to be a packed day.

First I had to drop off my cousins at the National Mall for a few hours so that I could go and do some work (more on that later). From there, my plans was to pick them off after I was done, then drop them off at national for their flight back to Miami, and then head off to Alexandria to do my professional engagement job (I'm too embarrassed to tell you what it was).

So, I braved late afternoon DC traffic, picked them off across the street from that weird flaming gold sword sculpture on Constitution Avenue (between 16th & 17th I think), turned right on 14th street, crossed the 14th street bridge relaying the Greaseman's bad taste radio joke about Air Florida that got him fired, dropped them off at National, and then... instead of getting back onto George Washington Parkway for a nice, easy short drive to Old Town Alexandria, as it had been my plan... the cell phone rings, and I pick it up. And then my brain goes onto another realm and I go on automatic and start driving home.

After brutal traffic at that time, I get home to discover, to my horror, that I had skipped on a very special task that I had been looking forward to for the longest time.

Feh! Seldom has a man been so embarrassed without at least a decent excuse.

WPA 2011 Artist Directory

Deadline: February 1, 2011

The Washington Project for the Arts has announced a call for submissions for its 2011 Artist Directory.

Published bi-annually, this four-color, 8.5 x 5.5 inch directory is the definitive listing of established and emerging contemporary artists throughout the Washington region. It is seen by more than 2,000 galleries, curators, art consultants, and interested art patrons. Copies are distributed to selected art critics and other members of the press, and to museums both in the region and outside the area. The 2011 Artist Directory will also be available for sale on the WPA website and at select area retail locations at the price of $9.95.

Each participating artist will be featured on a full page (8.5 x 5.5 inches). The page will include the artist's name, a color digital image of their work, their studio address and phone number, email address, web address, and their gallery affiliation.

All current WPA members are eligible for publication in the Artist Directory. There is an additional registration fee that includes a copy of the Artist Directory. Participants who submit before December 1, 2010 can pay a discounted early registration fee of $65. After December 1, the registration fee increases to $75. The final registration deadline is February 1, 2011. No submissions will be accepted after this date.

All submissions will be handled through an online registration form on the WPA's website.

Each participating artist can upload one image to be featured on their page. Images must be submitted as .eps or .tif files in CMYK format. They must be 300dpi and as close as possible to, but no smaller than 6 inches on the longest side.

If you have any questions regarding the 2011 Artist Directory, please contact Blair Murphy, Membership Directory at or 202-234-7103 x 1.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's new Buenos Aires?

(The line is from this Evita song; you'll see why in a minute... sorta). And thus, I've decided to take the next step with my artwork.

For years and years, after I graduated from the University of Washington School of Art in beautiful Seattle, I painted. Because I was mostly living in Europe at the time (Spain and Scotland, with a long stint in between in Lebanon and postgraduate school in Monterey), my artwork focused on what was around me and I painted.

When I returned to the US for good in 1992, I also abandoned painting and returned to my love for drawing. A couple of thousand drawings later, I am ready to take my drawing to the next level.

In my heart, I am a storyteller. I like to use my drawing to push ideas, historical points, narrative, agendas, questions and even fantasies. My series of "Written on the Body" drawings, such as the one below (that's the piece selected by Mera Rubell for last year's WPA auction at the Katzen Museum), I told stories by figuratively decorating the bodies of people with writing anchored in current events, literature, history, etc.

Age of Obama - Nobel Peace Prize

"Age of Obama - Nobel Peace Prize" Charcoal on Paper. 16x12 inches.

I going to expand on that storytelling driving force and here's how I'm going to do it: I'm going to marry drawing with video imagery.
First there will be baby steps. The initial idea is simple. I am going to do a drawing much like this one below, of the psychopath Che Guevara, sanctified of his sins by an adoring public who has little idea who the man really was.

Che Guevara as San Ernesto by F. Lennox Campello, 2010

San Ernesto Guevara de la Serna Lynch, known to most of the world as 'Ché' and to many Cubans as 'El Chacal de La Cabaña'
F. Lennox Campello. Charcoal and Conte on paper. 15 x 10 inches.

In his chest there will be heart much like the Sacred Heart of Jesus from Catholic imagery and tradition. There will be a cutout within this heart, a window into the heart if you will, and visible there, through the hole in his heart, will be a video, playing in a continuous loop showing newsreel video of Guevara reciting a poem, then the video ends with the public firing squad execution of one of the many Cubans that El Chacal de la Cabaña had killed in 1959.

A simple story about an immensely complex man, told in a video drawing.

Muchas gracias to my good friend Tim Tate, video sculptor extraordinaire for giving me the encouragement (and technical acumen) to proceed in this direction.

PS - If you don't get the Buenos Aires banner: Che was Argentinean, not Cuban. Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna Lynch was born on May 14, 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. An Argentine blue blood, Che was the son of Celia de la Serna, member of one of Argentina's high society families. His mother's lineage was of undiluted, pure Spaniard blood, and one of her ancestors was a Spanish viceroy of colonial South America for the crown of Spain. His father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch was the descendant of both Spanish and Irish nobility, and his parents Roberto Guevara Castro and Ana Lynch had been born in California, where their families had migrated from Argentina during the California Gold Rush. Yes, Che had American grandparents.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ten years of Jessica Dawson

The WaPo's Galleries' critic, Jessica Dawson, has an almost nostalgic article in the Post today as it is her 10th anniversary writing for the paper.

Jessica and I have had a very interesting professional relationship over the years. I first met her when she was a young writer for the City Paper and used to swing by the original Fraser Gallery in Canal Square in Georgetown. Back then there were seven galleries in the square, and the 3rd Friday openings were packed with people. Most of those galleries closed over the years, Fraser relocated to Bethesda, Parish expanded into the Fraser space, MOCA went through the loss of Clark & Hogan and it is still there, as is Alla Rogers and her almost new neighbor Cross MacKenzie.

At one point we were even writing for the same editor, as for a shining short period of time the WaPo had several writers, including Jessica and yours truly, writing online gallery reviews for the brand spanking new site. Imagine that! Online art reviews to expand the WaPo's print section's art reviews. Ahhhh... the good ole days.

When she first started writing for the print version of the paper, as she notes, her "prose smacked harsh" and many of us gallerists were left with our mouth open in some of her reviews. One former Dupont Circle area gallerist kicked her out of her gallery and prohibited her from ever returning - they've since made up.

As she notes in today's article, over the years she "wised up and recognized that there are kinder ways of saying "shape up" than likening art to "a dental hygienist scaling your tartar with a metal pick." Ouch! I don't remember that one.

Also over the years I have been an avid follower of her writing, and protested when it was reduced in appearances (she used to write every Thursday). I recall an angry email received from Eugene Robinson, who then used to anchor the Style Section. I had complained to him that Dawson's column had been missing for two weeks. He responded with a terse: "She's gotta go on vacation sometime!" I wrote back in an even terser note saying: "It would be nice if you told us that she'll be back in two weeks, as you do for all other columns!"

Through this blog I've trashed, praised, criticized, admired, hated, defended, attacked and also liked Jessica's writing at different times and on an individual review basis. I've been left astounded, educated, surprised and pleased by what she has written over the years, but I've always read it. "Jessica goes yard!" announced one of my banners; "Jessica off the mark... again" reads another

Ten years is like a 100 years in gallery-years, and the legacy of Washington art galleries to Washington art and artists has been documented in print by Dawson at the Post, and I for one, still look forward to her columns and how they make me react.

Jessica, I look forward to 10 more years of me delivering one-voiced arguing, or yelling at your writing, or admiring your points, or agreeing with your views, or disagreeing with your conclusions, etc., but always reading your words.

Un abrazo sincero.

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: December 17, 2010

Call for entries for the Fifth Annual Photography Exhibition at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Entries must be received by December 17, 2010. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is seeking submissions of any and all photographic processes, black and white or color, traditional or alternative, material or digital, time-based, performance based, any work exploring the act of photography. The exhibition will open on January 8, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and will run through February 4, 2011. Cash awards will be announced at the opening.

The juror for the exhibition is Bruce McKaig, local artist and art educator. Bruce McKaig chairs the Photography Department at CHAW and teaches at Georgetown University and the Smithsonian Associates. He has exhibited nationally and internationally for over thirty years and every once in a while reviews a DMV show in this blog. For more information about his work, please visit his website here.

HOW: Submit the following:
➢ Three to five jpegs on a CD
➢ Image inventory list specifying title, size, medium, date and price (or insurance value)
➢ Contact info including a mailing address, phone number and email
➢ An entry fee of $25.00 for up to five images, payable to CHAW

WHERE: Please hand deliver or mail these materials to:

545 7th Street SE
Washington DC 20003

Jury Duty

BlackrockAt the BlackRock Center for the Arts to select the exhibits for the gallery for September 2011 through August 2012.

More later...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wanna go to an opening this Friday?

Curated by Zoma Wallace and featuring work by Jamea Richmond Edwards, Kristen Hayes, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Danielle Scruggs, FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Five Women opens at the DC Arts Center (2438 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009) this Friday with an opening reception from 7-9PM.

Presented by the Black Artists of DC (BADC), this exhibition "seeks to spark a visual discussion between artworks created by black women and a verbal dialogue between those that view and purchase artwork. The topic of discussion is material. What are artists using? What materials do they feel drawn to? How does black femininity affect or reflect itself in the chosen materials, if at all? How does femininity affect the delivery and/or reception of the message?

The voice of each woman in this exhibition is heard primarily in material form. Embracing both visual and verbal discussion, FOCUS GROUP: Four Walls, Four Five Women hopes to determine how effectively unique material languages are deciphered/valued/appreciated/ or acquired by a universal audience and market."

Through January 9, 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Small Works at the Art League

Selected by Emily Conover, who is an adjunct professor of art at the University of Maryland, where she teaches drawing and painting, the Art League's Small Works show, and much like the Target Gallery's 5x5 show reviewed here, proves that if the talent is there, size doesn't really matter in art.

Conover awarded the Eleanor Boudreau Jordan Award to Untitled I a very cool silver gelatin print by Andrew Zimmermann. The Second Place Award went to a superb oil titled Playing with Dandelion by Kim Stenberg. She also passed Honorable Mentions to the entries by Diane Blackwell, Kathy Clowery, Marcia Dale Dullum, Avis Fleming, Janice Sayles, Jean Schwartz and Xiaolei Zhang and from the 530 works of art entered, she accepted 158 for the show.

With prices as low as $35 for an original work of art (check out the images, titles and prices here), this is a terrific show to visit and come away with either an unique art present or a small addition to one's own art collection.

Haley by Wendy DonahoeIn this show I was once again floored by the technical ability of Wendy Donahoe, whose entry titled Haley is a breath-taking small graphite portrait that jumps out of its tiny environment because of the artistic prowess of Donahoe.

The woman doesn't just draw well, she draws spectacularly well and then she manages to go beyond being simply a talented hand and also manages to cross the line into the realm of solid composition and that psychological "it" that is so hard to capture in a portrait.

Keep your eye on Donahoe and somebody better go buy this drawing now.

The tiny monumentality of Xiaolei Zhang's Single Pear, a gorgeous little oil painting that you can pick up framed for $80, underscores the fact that most good painters know: a tiny, small oil can be just as difficult and challenging to deliver well as a large painting. In fact you can even make the case that it is even harder because of the scale.

Zhang's pear succeeds because Zhang knows how to paint and now the challenge becomes delivering with skill on a small scale. It is a success in this case.

The image here is terrible (it should have been scanned rather than photographed), but I also liked T. Pham's Beach Season Begins, a brilliant little pastel that crams a lot of visual information into one very small piece. Even up close hanging on the wall, it has the feel of a large work, not an easy trick to accomplish in such a small scale.

I also liked U. Dehejia's gorgeous employment of wet on wet watercolors to submit an impressive flash of color in this tiny landscape.

Mist of the PotomacAnd I have no idea how H. Rodkin's diminutive photograph Mist Of The Potomac manages to come across like a giant Thomas Cole painting, but it does.

The show goes through December 6, 2010.

Chicken Wars

I am surprised to report that Giant's rotisserie chicken is much better tasting than Whole Foods.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Little Junes in the Fall

Anderson Campello

Anderson Lennox Campello, c. November 2010. NFS

Aaron Gallery to re-open

DC's Aaron Gallery, which for years and years operated on Connecticut Avenue, a couple of blocks north of Dupont Circle, has announced the Grand Opening of their new location, and they're inviting art lovers to join them as they celebrate with a reception to be held November 18, 2010 (6 pm to 8 pm).

You gotta R.S.V.P. to or 202.234.3311 by November 17th in order to get on the list and be let in at the door.

2101 L Street NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20037

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Lasting Power of Rockwell

The crowds at the Norman Rockwell show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum have prompted the museum to extend its hours during the upcoming holidays.

Since "Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg" opened in July, attendance at the museum has soared 30 percent.
Read that story here.

Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With

Norman Rockwell. The Problem We All Live With. 1963.

Read Ruby Bridges' (the little girl in the above historical masterpiece) modern valiant efforts here.

And read why traditional art critics stuck on "old thinking" and who haven't hit the reboot button when it comes to Rockwell, are wrong. Read that here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 15, 2010

Art in Hand™ is an arts publisher looking to bring their City Project Decks of cards to the city of Washington, DC. They are seeking 54 artists who are currently living and working in the Washington, DC area to participate in their next City Project Deck. Read more below:

The Washington, DC Project will be a deck of fully functional playing cards where each individual card in the deck (plus 2 jokers) is rendered in the typical style of the contributing artist. The project will create widespread exposure for participating artists while producing a unique, entertaining, functional and green product for the city of Washington, DC.

We are seeking artists of 2-dimensional art in any style or medium and from as many different neighborhoods and districts within Washington, DC area as possible.

Accepted artists will be assigned one card from the deck and asked to produce an original piece of work that clearly represents their designated card, that represents some aspect (be it overt or subtle) of Washington, DC and that is created in their own unique style.

There will be no fee for participation but accepted artists will be asked to sign a letter of commitment, a confidentiality agreement and a ‘right to reproduce’ agreement as well as submit a high res TIFF of the image in exchange for a one-time royalty payment in product. Artists are free to keep their original image.

Interested artists should submit an email before November 15th, 2010 to, include a short bio and a link to a website where their work can be easily viewed or 2-3 sample image files representative of their work. Please include the title: Washington, DC Project Artist in the subject line of your email.

If you are accepted to the project, we will contact you after November 22nd, 2010 and send you an information package that should answer all your questions.
For more information or to view other City Projects, please visit their website at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wanna go to an open studio(s) tomorrow?

Red Dirt Open Studios

Tiny masterpieces in Alexandria

We all stopped by the Torpedo Factory last weekend, mostly wanting to check out the Ofrenda: Art for the Dead exhibition. This was an exhibition of local artists' shrines, altars, paintings, photography, music, dancing, magic and spoken word based on the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Mexican tradition.

In the process we also discovered some tiny masterpieces in the current exhibitions at the Art League Gallery and the always interesting Target Gallery.

At Target, and through Nov. 21st is "5 x 5 Exposed," which is an exhibition of small photographic works (in a tiny 5 x 5 inches format) by 46 artists from around the country, Iceland and Australia. The show was juried by the amazing Kathleen Ewing, considered by most of us to be one of the most influential persons on the planet when it comes to photography. She writes that:

"At a time when in some circles of the photography art world bigger is better, it is fascinating to view the remarkable range of photographs which have been produced to fit the relatively small dimension of 5 x 5 inches. The photographers in this exhibition have accepted the challenge of a limited format within which they have succeeded in expressing their personal vision. Not only did they print small; they let their imagination create small images.

I found an unanticipated diversity of subject matter in the photographs submitted for this exhibition. It was a refreshing experience to view images where size is irrelevant and content is paramount. By the very nature of their intimate scale, the visitors to this exhibition will need to get up close and personal to fully experience the creativity of these artists and the magic of the photographic process."
Ann Dinwiddie MaddenI agree, and it was refreshing to see the anti-thesis of Teutonic-sized photography, most of which follows the Dali maxim of "if you can't paint well, then paint big." You can view the selected photographs here.

I particularly liked Missouri's Ann Dinwiddie Madden piece titled Fishing, one of those Seinfeldian photographs about nothing that seem to capture a lot in the image.

That is until we get drawn closer and closer into the tiny image and discover the man to the right and the reason for the title.

Joseph MougelI also liked all of California's Therese Brown's tea toned cyanotypes on fabric and the pinhole C-print as well as Florida's Joseph Mougle's purposefully and vastly overexposed series.

Even in this tiny format and in spite of the urban subject, Mougel's entries almost show like modern icons. The exaggerated contrast delivers an unexpected elevation of the subject from the mundane to some sort of unexpected sublimation of almost saint-like status.

The major surprise to me was to find five very elegant architectural photos by the DMV's own Deb Jansen, a fiber artist who now shows remarkable facility with the camera as well.

Overall, this is quite a satisfying show and well worth the trip to Old Town Alexandria. If you are a fan of the early Sally Mann, you will also like Iceland's Agnieszka Sosnowska's very strong entries. If you liked Joyce Tenneson's most recent work with dead flowers you will love North Carolina's Joel Leeb's intelligent exploration of this subject.

Ohio's Savitri Maya Sedlacek's work falls in the fan of Chan Chao's portrait work category, as Sedlacek offers a strong and powerful selection of portraits of India's Kolkota School children.

Sky Bergman Japanese subway seriesAnd since I've let the Washington Post's erudite chief art critic Blake Gopnik influence my words in the above couple of paragraphs, I think that Gopnik would approve of California's Sky Bergman's series on Japanese subways. They offer an intimate view of the denizens of the subway, capture their boredom, or attempts to pass the time, but always in a manner that seems to make the act of taking their photo illicit somehow. Only the lady to the right of the dude checking for reception in his cell phone seems to have caught Sky in the act.

My absolute favorite in the show? Virginia's Hugh Jones Vie de Boheme, a gorgeous nude which is illustrated by words projected onto the body. If you know my own work, then you know why I would love that tiny, sexy image with writing on the body. The unachievable and fantasized critic objectivity flies out the window with this photo; well done Hugh!

Next: Tiny successes at the Art League Gallery.

Kostabi Documentary

His career collapsed after the art market went bust in 1990; in 1993 his publicist and close friend, Andrew Behrman, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud after selling fake paintings bearing Mr. Kostabi’s signature. That incident raises an intriguing question: What is the difference between an original and a forgery, if the original wasn’t executed by the artist whose name was signed to the canvas but by a crew of factory workers? Mr. Kostabi had already placed ads selling “original forgeries by the world’s greatest con artist.”
Read the NYT's review of the new documentary on Mark Kostabi here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting ready for Miami

In the last day and a half I finished, matted and framed four large drawings for the Miami art fairs this coming December. The big ones go to Mayer Fine Art. Last year I sold about six or seven of these in Miami through MFA.

Then I gotta check on the status and maybe do some new ones of the tiny drawings that I love to do (one to three inches in size) and that seem to sell so well at the art fairs, and send a whole bunch of them to Projects Gallery.

Both these hardworking galleries will be in Miami for the art fairs. If you want some free passes to some of the fairs, drop me an email.

I noticed that the number of DMV galleries doing the Miami art fairs have decreased substantially this year, while the number of DMV non-profits are realizing what commercial galleries have known for years: you got to do the art fairs if you want to move artwork, be noticed by curators and museums and do a lot of hard work on behalf of artists.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heard on Univision

While watching the red carpet pre-show to the Latin Grammys, the guy who is the master of ceremonies (I think his name is Eugenio Derbez... this guy) confesses to interviewer Raul from El Gordo y La Flaca that one of his jokes about the Arizona law had been censured from the show.

El Gordo insisted on hearing the joke; he stated that this was the preview to the show, and thus it would be OK.

MC dude says: "You know, that new Arizona law against illegal aliens has sent most of them packing away from the state."

El Gordo looks at him.

"So they all went back to where they came from... L.A."

El Gordo says, "hurry, the show is about to start!"

Thank you!

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Danals
To all US veterans, both those who have served and those who are serving in all corners of the planet while we're home with our families. A well-deserved thank you to all the soldiers, sailors, airmen/women, Marines and Coasties.

Below is Petty Officer Third Class Lenny Campello back in 1975!

Lenny Campello, USN
And then Lieutenant Commander Lenny Campello back in 1992!

LCDR Lenny Campello, USN

Gopnik on FotoWeek awards

The WaPo's chief art critic, Blake Gopnik, succumbs once again to the art critic's maxim: "it's gotta be 'new' to be good":

Overall, the FotoWeek awards are a terrible disappointment. You've seen almost all their pictures many times before, in almost any publication you could name. The shot by Ansett, a commercial photographer from England, is one of the few that demands, and repays, closer looking.
Read his take on an excellent Richard Ansett photo which is part of the FotoWeek DC International Awards, now on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

I understand and to a point agree with Blake when he tells us that we have "seen almost all their pictures many times before, in almost any publication you could name." I figure that by now I've been looking at artwork seriously for around 30-35 years. In that time both Blake and I have seen our share of gorgeous landscapes, multi-colored leaves in a stream, that same stream shot so that the water is frozen in one instant of time, or caught over many minutes of time; breath-taking sunsets and sunrises; close-ups ad nauseam of architectural details (perhaps ad infinitum actually) and parts of the body; the body itself in a million interpretations, etc.

But, unlike Blake, I never seem to grow tired of a really good take on the human nude, or an exceptional take on the landscape, or an intelligent view of something tried many times over (such as this brilliant photo by Marissa Long).

And while we agree on some really exceptional takes, such as Richard Ansett's photo or the even better photo by Jenny Yang, we also disagree violently on what I call "Seinfeldism" or essentially, photography about nothing, such as this yawning snap by Raul Flores. It's a snap of nothing that means nothing, records nothing and whose main contribution to modern photography is nothingness.

But then again, I sort of "read" Gopnik as more of a Seinfeldian (at least when it comes to photography), and it is fun to see when we do come together on art and when he (and/or the art he likes) leaves me yawning.

But I do like and applaud his exploration of FotoWeek DC. Go Blake!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Carlin Quotes

"The future will soon be a thing of the past."

- George Carlin

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Residencies at Arlington Arts Center

AAC is pleased to announce the availability of seven studios in its Resident Artist Program,

Part of AAC's mission is to provide subsidized studio space for emerging artists in the DC metropolitan area; two-year leases may be renewed, but cannot exceed 6 years. The terms for eight Resident Artists have come to an end. We regret having to say goodbye to them, but we are excited to welcome new artists to the AAC community.

Anne Goodyear will head the review panel.

After applications are submitted-the deadline is December 3-they are reviewed by a distinguished panel of arts professionals. Ms. Goodyear is Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Notification will be by December 13.
To apply: Vist AAC's website and Studios page where you can learn more about the program and download the Description and Application forms.

Opportunities for Artists

Deadlines: December 13, 2010

Two exhibitions - Space and Fame at the Paul Robeson Galleries - Rutgers University, New Jersey.

SPACE: With the recent announcement that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or NASA - best known as the agency that put the first man on the moon), is about to end its moon program for the foreseeable future it seems timely to curate an exhibition about the issues relating to space exploration. We are seeking proposals for work relating to the topic of ‘space’, and this may include: Perceptions of future life based in space, Space agencies, i.e. NASA, Russian space agency, the race for space, NASA by products, Objects in space - moon, sun, stars, planets, asteroid, meteor, galaxy, Ways of viewing space from earth- telescopes, satellites, The life of an astronaut, The possibility of other life forms in space, aliens, Popular culture and science fiction – Television (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica), film (Star wars) and literature, Design for space – the spaceship, lifestyles within space craft. Exhibition will be on display September- December 2011.

FAME: Fame is defined as an impression, report or opinion about someone or something which is widely known. It may be of a positive of negative nature, and impact on the standing of that individual within a society. The United States has been described as a fame hungry culture, which has been fuelled in recent years by the plethora of communication devices, social networking internet sites which facilitate the dispersal of information in real time, and a slew of reality programming on both television and the internet. This exhibition will focus on the work of artists who address ideas about fame and infamy, celebrity culture, current idols, imitation of celebrities, any and all attempts to secure at least 15 minutes in the spotlight. Exhibition will be on display January – March 2012.

These exhibitions will be accompanied by substantial exhibition catalogues. Please do not contact them for a status report on your application; all artists will be notified in due course as to the outcome of their proposal. All proposals must be posted to:

Exhibitions Department
Paul Robeson Galleries
Rutgers University
350 Dr Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
Newark, New Jersey, 07102

A proposal should consist of the following: An artist statement illustrating your concept and how it relates to this exhibition. A CD with images (still or moving) of related artworks and an accompanying list of details about the works (title, date, medium, dimensions, and possibly a narrative). A recent resume. Your complete contact details – name, address, email address, telephone.

Details here.

CentroNía’s 2010 Fine Art Gala & Crafts Show

CentroNía’s 2010 Fine Art Gala & Crafts Show is a celebration of twenty-four years of providing affordable educational services in a bilingual and multicultural environment to more than 2500 children, youth and families in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. The event will take place at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016.

On Friday, December 3rd, from 7:30 to 10:30pm the Gala will feature an international fine craft sale, silent and live fine art auctions, a sumptuous international buffet and live entertainment. Early Bird rate: Purchase ticket by November 19th for $125! Check out the artists here.

Contact the Gala Office at (202) 332-4200, ext. 1089 or for details.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Gopnik on Yang

Blake Gopnik checks in with a truly remarkable insight piece into the superbly talented Jenny Yang's photograph that is part of FotoWeekDC.

Read it here.

Arrested again

Remember this Cuban grandmother who was arrested, beaten up and jailed for the simple act of trying to visit her son's grave?

She was arrested again yesterday for once again attempting to visit her son's burial site.

Amnesty International had already called for urgent action in this case. It has been ignored.

Where's the outrage?