Monday, December 12, 2011

Another loss to the DMV visual arts community


Nicole Puzan
Studio Coordinator, Glass Artist, Friend

I am sorry to report that the Washington Glass School's much loved glass studio coordinator passed away yesterday morning. Only 28 years old, Nicole succumbed to a very aggressive ovarian cancer. Our Nicole was a trooper to the end, and we understand that she seemed comfortable as she passed.

Nicole was integral to the Prince George's County Courthouse public artwork sculpture.

Nicole coordinated many art projects while working in the Washington Glass Studio. Here, Nicole is cleaning a just annealed glass casting that was part of the Vanderbilt University Critical Care Tower.

Nicole celebrating the arrival of Margaret Boozer's baby in 2009 with the Dutch sweet "beschuit met muisies".

Nicole shown here plugged through the messy part of studio work.

Nicole was an instructor of classes at the Washington Glass School. Nicole is hown here with artists Cheryl Derricotte and Dave Cook.

A mural based on Nicole's tattoo was painted at the Fridge Gallery in Washington, DC. in 2010.

Services will be held Saturday at 11 am at the Oakton Unitarian Universalist.

Vintage Che

Che by KordaTo the left is the most reproduced photograph in human history. It's an image taken by Cuban photographer Korda (1928-2001) of Argentine mass-murdering guerrilla icon Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch, known to most of the world as Che and to many Cubans as "El Chacal de La Cabana."

Che's photo has been reproduced in billions of T-Shirts, posters, postcards, cigar labels, vodka labels, etc. as the West's all-powerful ad machinery, driven mostly by an mystic love of all things Che by Italians and the French, has iconized this image beyond's Korda's wildest expectations (and until the very end of his life, he didn't get a penny for it, as in Castro's workers' paradise, the state, not Korda, had ownership of the image).

Would you be surprised to learn that the very first vintage photo of Che; the very first one; Korda's own personal print; the mother of all subsequent images of Che, has found a home in the DMV?

It does, living alongside 17 other vintage Korda photographs acquired directly from Korda's daughter soon after the legendary Cuban photographer died.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Artists 62 and older...

The Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging
(NYC & DC Metro Area ) --- ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY ( will select professional visual artists from the NYC and Washington DC Metro areas for a 9-month project (September 2012-May 2013) run by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging to help organize and document the artists' work.

Artists receive honoraria for public forums. To receive more information please send your contact information to or leave it at 202-895-9489. Info materials will be sent in January for a February deadline.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Graduate Arts Award

Deadline: 9 February 2012

The Graduate Arts Award - The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award recognizes and rewards America's promising up-and-coming artists from lower-income backgrounds with the nation's leading graduate scholarships in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing.

The Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and significant financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the US or abroad. Awards can be as much as $50,000 annually. In 2012, the Foundation will select up to 15 recipients for this award.

The award provides funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books. Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors, including cost at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives.

Students interested in the program must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Faculty Representative at their school, and may not apply directly to the Foundation. Each college or university may nominate two students to be considered for this award.

A review panel of distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators select Scholars using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, will to succeed, and a breadth of interest and activities.

The online application is available now and the deadline for submission is February 9, 2012. For more information please visit the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Another Experiment: Frida After Frida

As I've discussed and reflected on this site many times, over the last year or so I have been experimenting with the marriage of technology and drawing. In the first trials, I have begun to embed a video player into drawings and use that technology to expand my interest in narrative art.

In preparation for the recent Aqua Art Fair in Miami during Art Basel Week, I also began to experiment with tiny LCD screens and software that would allow a Powerpoint-like presentation.

Here we see a shot of my studio with the first stage of a drawing of Frida Kahlo. I envisioned a Kahlo portrait that (like the Kahlo portrait with a small portrait of Diego Rivera on her forehead) that would amplify her obsession (and mine) with her own image.

Frida Kahlo - Full prior to hole
And thus, here is the drawing - prior to the addition of the electronic component.

And here is the 1.5 inch LCD screen and the motherboard with rechargeable lithium battery.

Here is the drawing with the window cut into her forehead.

And here's a detail showing the embedded electronic component playing a continuous loop of all of Kahlo's self portraits.

This piece is now in the De La Torre Collection in Miami Beach. The Aqua Art Fair was a spectacular success for these new pieces.

What's next?

About a decade ago I did a huge drawing entitled "Last Supper for Dictators." The piece was exhibited at one of my solos at the old Fraser Gallery in Georgetown, and subsequently sold to a New York collector via Sotheby's auction. It depicted a last supper scene with the principals being Latin American dictators. Che Guevara was The Christ, Fidel Castro was Judas Iscariot, Evita Peron was The Magdalene, etc.

I am going to revisit that theme again, and this time the video or Powerpoint component will amplify the presence of the dictators.

The WPA 2012 Auction Jurors are...

Seth Adelsberger - Artist & Co-Founder, Nudashank (Baltimore, MD)

Molly Donovan - Associate Curator, National Gallery of Art

Sarah Newman - Curator, Corcoran Gallery of Art

Dennis O’Neil - Chair, Fine Arts Dept at Corcoran College of Art+Design, Director at Hand Print Workshop International

Stephen Phillips - Fine Arts Program Director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Katy Murnane Reis - Curatorial Assistant, Wexner Art Center

Judy Sherman - Independent Curator, J Fine Art

Paul Thulin - Interim Chair, Dept. of Photography and Film at VCU

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tomorrow: Kahn & Goldberg at Addison Ripley

Carol Brown Goldberg
Wolf Kahn: paintings & pastels and Carol Brown Goldberg: sculptures

December 9, 2011 - January 21, 2012

Opening reception for the artists: Friday, December 9th, 6-8pm.

New Xmas Song

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

WGS Open House

The Washington Glass School will have its 10th annual Winter Sculpture Show and Holiday Open House, featuring works by artists and instructors of the Washington Glass School.

Some of the region’s leading mixed media sculptors and artists work from the studios on the edge of DC, and artwork both large and small will be on sale.

This event is more than an art open house – its an experience! I get a lot of Xmas presents there each year.

The adjacent artist studios - FluxStudios and Ellyn Weiss Studio will also be open on the day.

Washington Glass School Winter Sculpture Show
1pm – 5 pm
Saturday, Dec 10, 2011
Free and open to the public

Washington Glass School
3700 Otis Street
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
phone: 202.744.8222

December 7

This story has been a perfect guiding example for me most of my life: seeing the silver lining in every possible aspect of life:

Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.

When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat—you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"

Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?"

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"

Nimitz explained: Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow everyone of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.

-- "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz


Today at 3PM you can come to say a final Adios to Manon Cleary, a spectacular and talented artist, and wonderful mentor to many DMV artists. At Joseph A Gawler's Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Matta at AMA tomorrow

Art Jobs

Check them out here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Campello for Christmas

My daughter Elise has been busy recording a Christmas Album by Sony Masterworks and Steinway Artist Andrew T. Miller.

Elise, along with a few other very talented artists, are featured on this album and you should get one today and play it often during Xmas.

Go to for more info!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

ABMB: The Last Day

And thus came Sunday - which is the art fair day where most ABMB Art fairs end... and there are always a bit of tremors in the minds of gallerists, as the packing out is always a complex chess game of vans, trucks, boxes and packing tape.

Over at Aqua, it was a very busy and well-attended day again, and I managed to sell a few more drawings including the remaining piece with an embedded digital component.

The fact that all the works with embedded digital elements (video or otherwise) sold, does not escape me... more on that later.

In fact, Sunday was the second best day of the fair.

Around closing time, the nightmare scenario (for closing day) began to develop: rain!

But I just took my time and took down the work, wrapped it, boxed it, filled in the holes on the wall, painted the walls, and went down to check out the loading scene on front of the Aqua Hotel.

There was a spot on the small front driveway.

I ran to the parking lot... full speed, both man and van on the return drive... overshot the hotel (yes I did) and had to back down on busy Collins Avenue, but nonetheless, after a lot of birds being flipped at me, managed to sneak the van into a Doris Day parking spot right in front of the door of the hotel.

With the rain pouring down, I grabbed a couple of guys to help (offering them some Samolians) and loaded up... then drove to Wynwood to unload into my shipper's van and by midnight it was all done.

This was my best Miami ever - More next December....

Saturday, December 03, 2011

ABMB Day Four

This morning I shifted the Campello headquarters from Hollywood Beach to Little Havana, then started the art morning by delivering four sales from yesterday to the collector's home.

Dulce PinzonBy the time I got back to Aqua, it was past one PM, and the gallery minder had sold not one, but three more Erwin Timmer pieces (he's now sold five pieces at Aqua).

I then sold a couple more drawings, one of Dulce Pinzon's cool photographs and a nice sculpture by Charles Flickinger. I also have the remaining large drawing of mine with an embedded digital element on hold.

Tomorrow is the last day of the fairs and the nightmare known as pack-out begins.

Luba Sterlikova

The art exhibit Innergism by Luba Sterlikova runs at the Parish Gallery in Georgetown, DC, December 7,2011 - January 17, 2012 with the opening reception on December 7, 2011. 6-8 p.m.

This the first exhibit of Luba's abstract art in Washington, but her paintings have already been exhibited and well received by the public in London, Paris, Moscow and Khanty-Mansyisk.

Friday, December 02, 2011

ABMB Day Three

Today the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair (which I hear is asskicking) announced that Alyssa Dennis (Kesting/Ray, New York), Brookhart Jonquil (Dorsch Gallery, Miami), and Larissa Nowicki (Man & Eve, London, UK) had been selected as the finalists for the Miami 2012 PULSE Prize. Selected from the thirteen exhibitors in the solo-artist IMPULSE section of the fair by Director Cornell DeWitt and PULSE Committee members Stefan Roepke (Galerie Stefan Roepke, Cologne / Madrid), Mark Moore (Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA) and Thomas Von Lintel, (Von Lintel Gallery, New York, NY) the three artists "embody the exciting and ambitious works for which the IMPULSE Section was founded."

DCAN sends envious congrats to Baltimore artist Alyssa Dennis! She "creates colored graphite renderings of partial architectural elevations blended with animals and assorted objects, and is a frequent collaborator with noted artist Swoon. A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, she has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is the recipient of numerous awards, including three selections by the Maryland State Council in the Arts Fellowship."

Today Aqua was humming with a constant flow of visitors. I got there at 11AM as usual, dropped $4.50 for a double cappuccino, tried to catch up with email (over 500 behind - most of them waaay old) and stood by to hawk artwork.

I checked with some of the other DMV galleries, and Heiner Contemporary (they're at Scope) reports that they've been:

"quite pleased with our experience at SCOPE thus far. Foot traffic picked up yesterday and has been increasingly heavy throughout today, which is great to see. We've also had lots of luck with the collector's edition video and Avery's gotten a bit of press (see: here, and here. In addition to the articles above, Avery and the gallery were interviewed for a new website about performance art, which is launching early next year: Several museum people and galleries have generally expressed interest Avery’s work, which has been quite exciting as well. Lastly, at SCOPE, I’ve been struck by how strong the DC galleries are… I think they’ve really “brought it” this year and we’re s happy to be a part of the DC gallery group!"
Back to Aqua, today was an excellent day as we started the day with sales of several individual drawings of mine, followed by sales of three of my new series of drawings with embedded videos (Obama Agonistes, Ave Frida and Batman & Robin) and one of Tim Tate's self contained video sculptures.

This was by far the best day so far, and tomorrow, early in the morning, before I head back to Aqua, I got to deliver and install all four pieces.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

You gotta watch this

ABMB Week Day Two

The celebs are all over town, as apparently "There's a new celebrity collecting frenzy. It's becoming a hot new symbol of status," said Alexander Gilkes, co-founder of online art marketplace Paddle8, a partner in Nada, one of the many satellite fairs that surround ABMB.

I don't know about "new" but whatever...

Anyway, read about the celebs and ABMB here.

The only sighting that was reported to me from the satellite fairs was that apparently Will Smith had dropped $63,000 on a rather patriotic piece that he acquired at Red Dot today.

I'm also hearing that the Pulse Art Fair is absolutely amazing this year. "This is the best Pulse ever," noted a well-known Miami art collector when I asked her about it.

I got to Aqua at 11AM this morning to open up the joint, and by the time I got there, a fully stocked bar was doing brisk business on the ground floor and some big limos were dropping people off busy Collins Avenue.

People trickled by all day, and I cracked the ice mid day with a sale of one of my drawings and later on, the collector who had placed the Cirenaica Moreira piece on hold, came back and bought it.

Erwin TimmersAt exactly the same time, a local glass collector acquired one of Erwin Timmer's glass pieces that he does from glass that he reclaims and recycles from buildings being torn down.

When it rains it pours.

One more sale of one of my drawings follows and then the night is over and I'm heading back to Hollywood, spending the usual 25 minutes to go from 16th Street on Collins to 20th...

Tomorrow the weekend will ramp up, traffic will get worse and more people will be there.

O Yea... I got mentioned in the Nuevo Herald yesterday - read it here.

ABMB Week: Day Two

Aqua Art FairLast night was the Aqua Art Fair opening and I'm sure several others (heh, heh), but since I'm at Aqua, at Aqua I was all day and night.

The life of a gallerist: Since Monday I have been arriving at the Aqua Hotel in the morning and leaving at night, as setting up an art fair is a lot of work. And yesterday was no exception. I was there by ten AM and pretty much finished by 5PM or so, and since the opening was at 8PM, usually one would say: "Hey Lenster, pretty good for a one-man Army setting up a gallery show."

Not so fast.

There's always a crisis, right? So this time it was the fact that the amazing Mexican photographer Dulce Pinzon's gorgeous photographs, which I am for the first time exhibiting, had been "attempted to deliver" yesterday, but according to UPS, no one was at the address... never mind that my aunt has not left the house in several years and was thus the reason why I picked her house to have Dulce ship the photos from Mexico.

But I thought, that maybe she was in the bathroom when they came... and gave UPS the benefit of the doubt.

Crisis looming; now UPS would try to deliver on the same day that the fair opens.

Dulce calls me from Mexico, alarmed that the work has not been delivered - and she's been told that a second attempt has been made and no one was at home. That I cannot believe and I call UPS and track the package; it hasn't been re-attempted yet.

I enlist the extended family and ask cousins to come over and stand watch for the UPS truck as it comes by the streets of Hialeah. My cousin Carlos lives on the same street as my aunt, and he sits outside on the porch of his beautiful house and begins to stand guard while his son Andrew patrols the streets in his skateboard.

It is now 6PM or so and suddenly the UPS truck arrives and drives by my aunt's house, and Andrew begins to chase it in his skateboard. He catches up to it at the corner of LeJeune Road and asks the driver "Que Pasa?"

A garbled explanation later, Andrew has the box of photographs in his possession and he skateboards back to his Dad's house and they all get in the car and start the short drive to Miami Beach to bring the photos to me.

Dulce PinzonShort drive, but a long time because of the fact that this is, after all, South Beach, one of the hottest places in the world, somewhat because of the really bad traffic at all hours.

At 7:45PM, Carlos drops Andrew at the Aqua Hotel and with his help, by 8PM, when the fair opens, Pinzon's groundbreaking work is finally hanging on the walls of room 218.

Is that cutting it close or what?

An hour later Carlos arrives - he has been looking for parking all along... he gets a hug and an original Campello as a "gracias" from a very grateful cousin.

Aqua begins to rock as people pour in. DMV area uberartist Akemi Maegawa drops in, and across the hotel I see Andrea Pollan and Jeff Spaulding. Then Margaret Heiner from Heiner Contemporary drops in, as does uberblogger Joanne Mattera, whose work is also here at Aqua, as well as many good collectors dribbling in from the shuttle between Pulse, ABMB and Aqua.

Live music and booze and women in seven inch heels seem to be everywhere and the first sale of the night is one of my drawings, which is (of course) at exactly the same time that someone wants to buy an Andrew Wodzianski piece which I haven't had time to look up and price, so I ring Andrew and that piece becomes the second sale of the night.

Earlier on, Cuban photographer Cirenaica Moreira's work had attracted the attention of a curator from a German museum, and Cire now has an invitation for a group show at that museum... this is why art fairs are important beyond sales. And her streak continues, as one of her pieces is then put on hold by a well-known Virginia art collector with an extensive Cuban art collection.

Finally, a Dulce Pinzon photo is put on hold by a very nice Australian lady, and by midnight, even though the place is still packed, I'm exhausted and head to my hotel in Hollywood.

The 16 miles take me almost two hours.

WTF are all these people doing on A1A at one AM in the morning on a Wednesday/Thursday?

Count Down

Count Down is a temporary, contemporary artspace located in residential downtown Bethesda. Count Down is an alternative space created to provide local artists opportunities to exhibit their work in a community setting and to help fill the void left by the closure of several commercial galleries in downtown Bethesda. Countdown is a non-commercial venture and is a private home in transition hence the concept will only exist for 4-5 months. Artists receptions will coincide with the Bethesda Art Walk, the 2nd Friday of every month 6-8pm.

Their first opening is Friday December 9th, 6-8.30pm at 4526 Cheltenham Drive, Bethesda, 20814 featuring the work of Jack McTiernan and Lisa Rosenstein.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aqua Opens Tonight

Aqua Art Fair Miami

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And the openings begin: ABMB Day One

Tonight was the openings for Art Miami, Scope, Red Dot and some other fairs, and I had a chance to stroll through those three and chat with some gallerists and artists.

Over at the Art Miami press lounge, the buzz, from some journos and locals, other than the street trees being "decorated" in shirts and tops, was Art Basel's "contraction" or how ABMB had reduced the number of galleries at last year's ABMB.

"I'm not sure if this is was a result of the economy," said a savvy Miami art writer, "Or ABMB throwing a bone to the satellite fairs."

He must have seen the quizzical Klingonesque forehead expression in my face, because he expanded by adding that the economy seems to have had a profound impact on the number of galleries applying to the satellite art fairs, as more and more galleries stay home due to lackluster sales.

"I know of a local Miami gallerist who sold a million dollar painting at ABMB last year and this year he didn't get invited back," he postulated, "And so he went to the next best fair, Art Miami."

Heads nod. "And yet, ABMB week has a record 260 art galleries this year," someone says.

"What's the art fair food chain looking like this year?," I asked. By that I meant to ascertain as to which ones were the top fairs. Another journo chimed in and noted that she thought that after ABMB, Art Miami was the best satellite art fair, followed by Pulse and Scope.

Heads nod.

"But Scope is in a real down spiral," noted yet a third voice, this time belonging to a local artist whose gallery is at Art Miami. Several heads nodded in agreement looking like a Nirvana video.

"And Red Dot is surprisingly picking up former Scope galleries left and right," added the guy who had coined the term "contraction."

"Uh?... why is that?", I asked, recalling that one of my own dealers had turned down an invitation from Scope and chosen Red Dot.

"I'm going to check this out over the next few days," he expanded, "But I'm told that Red Dot more than doubled its size from last year and that a lot of 2010 Scope galleries are now showing at Red Dot, especially a lot of Asian galleries."

"Free booze and food at opening night..." commented a new voice.

While there is free booze (all kinds of wines, Herradura Tequila and Finlandia vodka non stop) and food (be ready to fight) at Red Dot's opening night, in my opinion there's also a huge change for the better over the last few years. In fact, I would opine that this is the best Red Dot that I've ever seen and I know that Scope now realizes that Red Dot is breathing down their neck when it comes to the art galleries' food chain... and Red Dot has food and booze... heh, heh...

The two fairs, next to each other, still have huge differences. Scope seems to be stuck a little in a presence and feel that was cool and popular when everything that hanged sold; that's a thing of the past. Red Dot booths hang a lot of artwork.

And while the minimalist look of the Scope galleries may still show a once cool approach to art fair presence, the lack of crowds and lack of red dots and alleged mass exodus to its neighboring art fair, where hanging is a bit more relaxed (read that a gallery can hang more artwork in their booths), plus the fact that this year's Red Dot's booths are quite a bit taller than usual (affording more vertical wall space), may reflect the realities of the new art fair world.

"I think the days when an art fair director could dictate to a gallery what artist to hang are rapidly coming to an end," opined a local art blogger.

"What about Art Miami?" I asked.

"Art Miami has become the second choice if a gallery can't get into ABMB" was the consensus opinion, and my own walk-thorough showed a highly sophisticated art fair with a very good blend of art galleries and a sharp, elegant presentation in most of them, with a clear and surprising lack of trendy art and more of a lean towards commodifiable artwork.

I haven't seen Pulse yet, thus I asked about Pulse.

"I think Pulse has learned the Scope lesson and is making an U-Turn on its brand," opined someone and heads nodded.

I Klingoned my forehead and the opiner expanded, "Pulse is doing a great job of still appearing cool and trendy while its galleries shift to more traditional artwork that can actually be sold... check out how all of a sudden realism is all over Pulse."

The next few days will tell... meanwhile, over at Scope, I had heard some good buzz over Trawick Prizewinner David Page's performance; he's there with Baltimore's Jordan Faye Contemporary. Page's unique work really stood out at Scope. A couple of other DMV are dealers are also at Scope: Hamiltonian, Civilian and first time Scoper Heiner Contemporary, who was showing the amazing work of (e)merge wunderkind Avery Lawrence plus Elizabeth Huey, David Kramer and Jon-Phillip Sheridan.

Heiner has one of the best looking art fair booths of all time, courtesy of Lawrence's familial wallpaper, part of his "Moving a Tree" project.

There are no DMV galleries in Red Dot or Art Miami, although AM has two Baltimore dealers in their roster.

Tomorrow the hot ticket is the opening party at Aqua, where yours truly has been busting his keister for the last two days preparing for tomorrow night's opening.

Celebrity sighting: Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman is two booths across from Norfolk's Mayer Fine Art! Jane Seymour's artwork dominates the booth of her gallerist, and paintings, watercolors and sculptures by the actress and artist, who was there tonight, all 85 pounds of her, dominate the booth. Her watercolors are by far her best work...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manon Cleary

I first met Manon Cleary's artwork sometime around 1993 or 1994. It was at an exhibition at Addison Ripley's old space behind the Phillips Collection. Back then there were several galleries in that space and I was making the rounds for some art magazine long since gone, and literally walked into the show without knowing anything about Manon Cleary.

I was hypnotized by what I saw. It was clear to the most casual observer that here was an artist who not only had the most enviable set of technical skills that I had ever seen, but also an equally enviable ability to grab a slice of energy out of her subject matter and deposit it into the artwork itself.

I was so envious of this belligerent dual skill, so powerfully individual in a DC art scene back them that eschewed any sort of confrontational realism and loved acre after acre of abstraction of all hues and shapes.

Some time after that I met her for the first time, and soon after I co-opened the first Fraser Gallery in Georgetown in 1996, and then I became good friends with her and spent many a good time in her splendid apartment in Adams Morgan, including a quite memorable New Year's in either 1996 or 1997.

My next memory comes when she had an exhibition of her ex-boyfriend's penis. Multiple paintings of that particular gent's penis were the talk of Washington in those days, and for quite a long time, there always seemed to be a Manon Cleary penis in every MOCA group show.

Then I recall the disturbing scenes in her rape paintings, which I think were first exhibited at MAP's old space in Baltimore. Here was the artist at her most powerful: taking the ultimate assault on a person and disseminating it to a powerful and beautifully painted series of images on canvas. Here was Cleary exerting the power of realism over all the other "isms" in a manner and form which only years of concentrated and meticulous work can deliver - the same span of years which eventually delivered the death prescription to this master.

Over the years that followed, we saw the quality of her spirit, as she continued to be a key part of the DC art scene, even as her health deteriorated.

I last saw her at the book release party for 100 Artists of Washington, DC, in which she is - of course - included. She thanked me for including her in the book and I told her how honored I was that she was part of it.

I used to call her "Manoncita" or Little Manon, and it is a bit unsettling, as I spent some time last night looking at the digital footprint of old emails between Manon and I, to see that term of endearment applied to such a giant of an artist.

I will miss you Manoncita.

Capps on Cleary

Kriston Capps has a good piece in the CP on Manon Cleary - read it here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bad boy, bad boy...

Anderson Campello in Hollywood, Florida

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Manon Cleary (1942-2011)

Just heard a few hours ago that my good friend Manon Cleary, by far one of the DMV's top artists, passed away today. More on this amazing artist later; meanwhile that's her last August, in a great photo by Rebecca D'Angelo.


Manon Cleary

The Nude in DC Book

The Nude in DC: The Figurative Art Scene in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area is a new book and it features:

Over 50 institutions that deal with the nude in art - not just names and address, but descriptions, including history of some, website, logo - a full 28 pages on this feature alone.

Full text of The Art of Modeling, used for Model Training Program for Figure Models Guild.

A narrative on the nude in art, as well as society in general. Insightful information presented as an argument to counter conservative bias against nudity in general.

Includes a DVD with photos covering the Figure Models Guild since its inception in 2002 as well as many art exhibits and special events.

Also includes over 20 articles in Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Montgomery Advocate and other print media. Also video by Reuters News Service and numerous online publications including The, New York Arts Magazine, Artists-Perspectives, and too many to name. Includes several video clips, including Richard Takeuchi painting nude model in July 2004 exhibit - well over 2,000 images - worth the price alone.
The package is $20, including book and disc; or $15 individually. Payment may be by check made out to David R. Quammen, or PayPal - account Free Delivery - or pick up at gallery with prior notification. Proceeds will go to help fund MOCA DC.

Allow 10 days for delivery

David R. Quammen
1054 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007

In Eff-el-Lay

In Miami, getting ready to do some family-visiting before heading out to Miami Beach to check out the Aqua Hotel and tomorrow begin the unloading and set up for the fair.

Artnet has a good preview of the fairs here.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Heading to Miami in the evening to participate in a couple of art fairs, but the one where I will be is the Aqua Art Fair in Miami Beach - almost right across the street from ABMB.

Anybody who will be in Miami for the art fairs and wants a free pass to Aqua, please drop me an email.

Xenophilia: Biomorphic Sculpture by Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault is an accomplished ceramic artist. Her sculptures reflect her mastery and exploration of organic forms daring the viewer to recognize where their inspiration originated.

The sculptures in her upcoming show Xenophilia at the Arts/Harmony Hall Regional Center (through Saturday, Dec. 24), according to her, 'is purposefully not identifiable as either animal, vegetable or mineral but encompasses many possibilities." Lescault’s work can be both beautiful and repelling in the same moment. Her sculpture is visually inviting, the surface may be velvety and smooth, the color deep and rich, often contradicting the viewer’s response to the form itself.

There's a sonic adjunct to the exhibition: "Recently I started playing with the idea of creating complimentary environments for my works to exist in, environments integral to the object that engage but never distract the viewer," she says. "My sculptures conjure objects of nature and natural objects exist in nature in an environment, a biosphere, as part of their surroundings. I decided to make sound my first venture into creating surroundings to envelope my work. The concept of the 'sound environment' is to bring a richer focus to the sculptural objects and a new dimension to the viewer’s experience where the environment is subtly and elegantly responsive to the viewer."

Arts/Harmony Hall Regional Center
10701 Livingston Rd.
Fort Washington, Maryland 30744

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that you all have the luck to spend today with your families and that we all think a thought for all those who can't, especially our men and women in uniform stationed all over the world and our sailors at sea.

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Silverpoint at McLean

For a look at how a contemporary artist handles the difficult Renaissance technique of drawing with sterling silver, check out a show titled "Imaginary Botanicals" at the McLean Project for the Arts.

Elizabeth Whiteley's solo exhibition of silverpoints runs from December 1 to January 7.  The reception is on Thursday, December 1 from 7:00 to 9:00 in the Atrium Gallery.  She will also be at the Gallery from 2:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4.  Whiteley's website is here

New DC Gallery to open

CHARLES KRAUSE/REPORTING FINE ART is located in the heart of downtown Washington at 1300 13th Street NW, Suite 105, Washington, DC. 20005. Ph: 202-638-3612. To find out when each show is open to the public or to make an appointment, go to:

The gallery’s mission reflects the background and professional experiences of its founding director, Charles Krause, whose career as a foreign correspondent afforded him the opportunity to witness many of the wars, revolutions and social and political upheavals of the last two decades of the 20th Century. On assignment for The Washington Post, CBS News and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, he saw the profound influence that art and visual images often have on the dynamics of change, and discovered the extraordinary work that has emerged---and continues to emerge---from the great social and political conflicts of our time.

“By showing the work of artists who have sought to influence, or who have been influenced by, the great social and political upheavals of the 20th and 21stcenturies, I hope to influence the way their art is viewed, understood and valued by museum curators, art historians, art critics and collectors throughout the world.

“I will exhibit and sell fine art I admire for its quality and originality as well as its social and political significance. I will also show work by artists I admire for the risks they have taken to defend their artistic freedom and/or the political and human rights of others. The work shown in my gallery will be selected on the basis of its artistic merit and its impact, both visual and political, irrespective of the artists’ political views --- or my own.

---Charles Krause

Campello for Christmas

This past week, for those of you who don't already know, my daughter Elise has been busy recording a Christmas Album by Sony Masterworks and Steinway Artist Andrew T. Miller.

Elise, along with a few other very talented artists, are featured on this album and you should pre-order yours today since it will be out this coming weekend!

Go to for more info!

Major Talent, Part II

Lida Moser, Chawky Frenn, Tim Tate, Lenny Campello, Pat Goslee
In the foreground that's the legendary Lida Moser with GMU Art School Top Gun, Prof. Chawky Frenn. In the background that's Tim Tate talking to the multi-talented Andrew Wodzianski, Pat Goslee, The Lenster and Victor Ekpuk's arm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: December 2, 2011

Call for Submissions: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop's 6th Annual Contemporary Photography Exhibition

Exhibition dates: January 6th - February 2nd 2012. Looking for any and all types of contemporary photography: traditional, alternative, black and white, color, photojournalism, fine art, time based, performance, installation... if you think it involves photography, please submit! Over $2000.00 in purchase awards, and the selected photographers will become part of a permanent public installation in Washington, DC. One of the participating artists will be invited for a solo exhibition in 2012, including a press release, opening reception, printed invitation, and an artist honorarium. All submissions online, deadline for entries: December 2nd 2011. For details and submission guidelines, please visit

Fun art

Lucy, Desi and Fidel Castro
This is an early view on a potential masterpiece... art can be fun sometimes, right?

In the developing drawing, Ricky has just returned home a little early and finds Lucy in a compromising situation with fellow Oriente Cuban Fidel Castro.

Lucy... you got some 'splaining to do!

And now...

Possibly Al Gore's Internets world's coolest art website? Check it out here after you get a sample below.

Girl with Ice Cream Cone remake by Stephanie Gonot

“Girl with Ice Cream Cone” remake by Stephanie Gonot

Girl with Ice Cream Cone by Wayne Thiebaud

“Girl with Ice Cream Cone” by Wayne Thiebaud

Monday, November 21, 2011

Job in the Arts

UrbanArt Commission is currently accepting applications for the position of Executive Director for the organization. Interested individuals should view the job description and responsibilities outlined in their website below.

For more information please visit their website at or contact them at

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Free passes to the Miami art fairs?

Anybody need some free passes to some of the art fairs in Miami during ABMB week? Drop me an email if you'd like some.

I've noted with some sadness that the DMV is barely represented this year in Miami - as far as I can tell, only three DMV area galleries (one just an online gallery) and one non profit, are heading to Miami this year plus one Baltimore gallery, one Richmond gallery and one Norfolk gallery.

It's pretty tough being an artist in 2011 and not having a footprint in Miami during ABMB week.

What I don't get - having lived there recently - is how come there are over half a dozen Philadelphia galleries in various art fairs in Miami - twice the number over DMV.

A load of talent

Some of the great talent in my 100 Artists of Washington, DC book - photo taken at a recent book signing event at the home of a a major DMV art collector.

Lenny Campello and Lida Moser
That's me with the legendary Lida Moser.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

At Strathmore

Simultaneous exhibitions in the Mansion at Strathmore represent the largest three dimensional installation pieces ever shown at the arts center in From Forge to Form: Modern Ironwork, alongside some of the smallest, in the legacy exhibition, The 78th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature.

Both exhibitions are on view through December 30, 2011. From Forge to Form will illustrate the evolution of blacksmithing from a utilitarian trade to a growing artistic medium, featuring 32 pieces of ironwork, totaling 3,500 pounds, by Virginia-based artists Frederic Crist and Nol Putnam.

The juried Fine Art in Miniature exhibition features 667 meticulously painted, sculpted, carved and crafted micro-works from 252 artists. Works in the exhibitions are available for purchase. For more information, call (301) 581-5100 or visit

An opportunity to help

In today's economy, the term "starving artist" has taken on a much more prevalent and literal definition. But if our professional artists are starving, what does that mean for a children's nonprofit trying to improve lives using art?

It is harder than ever to raise money in the nonprofit sector, but that is exactly what M.O.M.I.E's TLC is still fighting to do. Mentors of Minorities in Education's Total Learning Cis-tem is a nonprofit organization focused on giving at-risk children of color the nurturing environment and leadership skills that they need to succeed. One of their most basic tactics is to use art to help children see the world from perspectives other than their own.

On December 17th, M.O.M.I.E's TLC is hosting a charity art auction supporting its Eco-Green Children's Facility building plan. The auction will take place from 6pm to 8pm at Sankofa Video and Books and will feature gallery owners, community leaders, notable DC figures and many more. The initiative is based on the premise that they can auction art to create more opportunities for art. They are seeking art donations to sell at auction from local high school and college students, as well as professional artists from around the country. The money raised will create a new space to expand and continue their mission of using art to teach life lessons.

The economy may be tough, but every artist or art enthusiast can play a part in easing the burden for someone else. Donate a piece for the auction. Donate time to attend and learn. If you're a local business or gallery, take out an ad in their event program. And if you're able, donate a few dollars for this fantastic cause.

To donate or for more information, visit or email

Friday, November 18, 2011


I just accidentally nuked about 50 unread emails thanks to the "Delete From Imbox" option in the B'berry.

My apologies in advance.

The Lilith Plotting The Sin

Just worked out another drawing with embedded digital component. This time, instead of a video, I embedded a tiny motherboard driving a very small LCD screen. Below is a series of images showing how the piece progressed from conception to changes and final piece.

The work started as "Eve Contemplating The Sin" and this was Eve - note the tiny screen to the right - within the screen, a series of red apples rotate through:

The Lilith Plotting The Sin, Charcoal with Embedded Digital Screen, by F. Lennox Campello

Here's the computer chip on the verso which drives the LCD screen - it has a rechargeable Lithium battery.

The Lilith Plotting The Sin, Charcoal with Embedded Digital Screen, by F. Lennox Campello

Then I framed it all up, and was getting ready to pack it for Aqua Art Fair, when it somehow spoke to me; this wasn't Eve, this was her predecessor - this was The Lilith. And so, I unframed it, and changed the drawing...

The Lilith Plotting The Sin, Charcoal with Embedded Digital Screen, by F. Lennox Campello

And now she's The Lilith... covered in Pictish tattoos! And below is the final piece: The Lilith Plotting The Sin.

The Lilith Plotting The Sin, Charcoal with Embedded Digital Screen, by F. Lennox Campello

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Composer

MPA/Corcoran longtime art teacher Barbara Januskiewicz, together with NY jazz pianist Matthew Shipp, is part of a collaborative art project called The Composer. This is more than an independent film, as it can be developed into outreach programs, art installations, and multimedia exhibits.

Her work this year has been to fuse music, art and the idea of creative critical thinking together. Here with The Composer project, she can reach into cultural art centers, museums and alternative art venues around the world. We know Barbara as a multimedia artist/filmmaker who sees herself and art as a way to celebrate creativity. Her actions have advocated taking art outside of the boundaries of the (art) system and to open it up to multiple possibilities thus bringing creativity into all areas of life. She now needs our support in reaching her goals with this project.

Matthhew Shipp, Barbara's partner:

is a perfect match for her. His talent persists as a resilient outsider, maintaining strong ties to NYC's free-jazz community even as he assails its orthodoxies. His strengths draw from listening to his own voice and taking risk in both composing and performing. He has performed around the world and has over 20 CDs, both solo and in groups. He is also the leader of the Matthew Shipp Trio.
You can support this project on their Kickstarter page at your preferred level. This is a charitable tax deduction courtesy of the American Jazz Museum.

100 Artists of Washington, DC book
This was taken at a book-signing party for the artists in the "100 Artists of Washington, DC" book at the home of one of the top DMV area art collectors.

That's me signing a book in the rear. In the foreground there's some major talent... that's Prof. Chawky Frenn, the top gun at GMU's Art School taking a pic of the legendary Lida Moser - yep... she whose's work is in every major museum in the world (including all DMV museums except the Hirshhorn... hello H?), and whose life has been documented in not one but two documentaries, and whose image (painted by Alice Neel not once but four times) hangs in a few major museums of their own around the planet...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good Cuban Food = Cuban Hall of Fame

In Rockville, Maryland there's an excellent Cuban restaurant called "Cuban Corner." As far as my palate is concerned, and as I've stated before, this is the best and most authentic Cuban restaurant in the Greater Washington, DC area. They are at 825 Hungerford Drive, near Ivy League Lane, Rockville, MD, 301-279-0310. Essentially on a strip mall right on Rockville Pike.

The food is authentic, affordable and plentiful (see the menu here). My favorite dish there is "Ropa Vieja," although the "Vaca Frita" is also superb. Either of those dishes, with a side of yuca con mojo or tostones, will delight your mouth and belly. There's something special that happens when yucca and lime and garlic marry. "Ropa Vieja", as Cuban Jews will often tell you, has an interesting tie to Cuba's considerable (and often ignored) Jewish history.

A visit to Cuban corner also delivers the interesting spectacle of the restaurant's Cuban Hall of Fame... or as they call it: The Wall.

The Cuban Hall of Fame, as determined by Joaquin Cabrejas, the restaurant's feisty owner, is composed of Cubans, Cuban-Americans, and people of traceable Cuban ancestry, and is made up of hundreds of name plaques glued to the restaurant's walls.

Some potential surprises to non Cubans (and even to some Cubans):

- Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell - otherwise known as Anais Nin, one of the 20th century's sexual goddesses nymphomaniacs (and a damned good writer as well!).

- Amazon's creator Jeff Bezos.

- Benjamin Huberman, Science Adviser to several American presidents.

- Truman Capote (by adoption)... took the last name of his adopted dad. Capote in Spanish is a large cape or the hood of a car.

- Ysrael A. Seinuk, the "father of the modern New York skyline."

- Eamon de Valera: The father of the modern Irish republic was Eamon de Valera, who was born in New York in 1882. His father, Juan de Valera, although technically on paper always reported as a Spaniard, was really a Cuban, born in Cuba (which was part of Spain back then), the son of a Cuban sugar planter and escaped to New York during the Independence Wars with Spain. There he earned his living as a piano teacher. He met and married Irish immigrant Catherine Coll. Juan died shortly after the birth of their son Eduardo. After Juan's death, his wife sent Eduardo to Ireland, where her family changed his name to the Gaelic version of Eduardo: Eamon.

- Cameron Diaz... we all know who she is.

- Dr. Steve Pieczenik, author of 39 books, including 16 bestsellers. He is critically acclaimed author of psycho-political thrillers and the co-creator of the New York Times best-selling "Tom Clancy's Op-Center" and "Tom Clancy's Net Force" book series. He is also one of the world's most experienced international crisis managers and hostage negotiators.

- Olga Viso, the Hirshhorn Museum's former director and now director of the Walker Art Center.

- The Joker... I mean Cesar Romero.

Ambrosio José Gonzales, this Cuban Confederate Colonel played a significant role in the Civil War and was essentially responsible for building Confederate coastal defenses. He had his finest hour during the Civil War as the artillery commander at the Battle of Honey Hill.

Cubanos todos de alguna manera!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Loads of talent in one pic

At a recent booksigning at the home of a major DMV art collector...

That's me in the background signing a copy of 100 Washington, DC Artists... which continues to sell surprisingly well as more and more DMV area shops and book stores order copies...

And in the foreground there's some major talent... that's Prof. Chawky Frenn, the top gun at GMU's Art School taking a pic of the legendary Lida Moser - yep... she whose's work is in every major museum in the world (including all DMV museums except the Hirshhorn... hello H?), and whose life has been documented in not one but two documentaries, and whose image (painted by Alice Neel not once but four times) hangs in a few major museums of their own around the planet...

Just bragging...

New Video Drawing: Ave Frida

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

Here's the first stage of the drawing

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

Here's a better view of the drawing's first stage

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

The drawing itself is now pretty much finished and it's ready for the narrative video to be embedded

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

The pattern of the window to be cut in the drawing has been measured and now the drawing is ready to be cut

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

The window has been cut in the shape of a heart with fangs. A short loop of Kahlo and a young, frightened girl plays in the video player embedded within the drawing

Ave Frida by F. Lennox Campello

Ave Frida, Mater Omnium Artificum. 22 x 18. Charcoal and conte on paper with embedded video player and historical video in loop. 2011 by F. Lennox Campello.

Monday, November 14, 2011


A wave of repression is currently taking place in Cuba – but you wouldn’t know about it from the lack of media coverage.

Why is the press at home and abroad ignoring blatant human rights violations?

Why has the current administration consistently coddled this neighboring and brutal dictatorship?

And, what should our elected leaders be saying about Cuba and these human rights abuses?

This will all be discussed tomorrow here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You can't make this stuff up

From the current issue of The Gazette:

Brindie Lynn Fish and Nicholas Drew Frye were married June 24 at The First and Franklin Presbyterian Church, followed by a reception at The Belvedere in Baltimore.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tomorrow: Red Dirt Open Studio

Serving warm drinks for your November art-browsing experience
Free parking
Lots of other art studios open nearby, within walking distance...

Nearest metro: Red line to Rhode Island Ave (+ bus to Mt. Rainier) or green line to West Hyattsville and easy 1 mile bike ride from W. Hyattsville

Sunday, Nov. 13 from 1-5 pm for Red Dirt's Fall Open Studio
3706-08 Otis Street
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

The Miraculous Mass

From Carolina Mayorga:

Hello Sons and Daughters, join me this November 17 at Hillyer Art Space for my next performance art piece The Miraculous Mass. Don't miss the 3rd apparition of the Miraculous Artist in the Nation's Capital, this time performing a ceremony that will turn your life around forever! You might've got the invite via Facebook too, I just can't wait to bless you all, hope to see you there,

Hillyer Art Space
9 Hillyer Court, NW (Behind the Philips Collection)
Washington, DC 20008
Service begins at 7pm sharp.
More info at:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

LCDR Lenny CampelloThat's me in 1992 in Skaggs Island, California, and below us my favorite poem about veterans.

In the poem Rudyard Kipling captures what so often in history men and women in uniform have felt and experienced... my favorite lines are at the bottom, when Kipling writes:

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot

Enjoy the poem and a well deserved "thank you!" to all the men and women in uniform around the world and their families, and to all who have had the honor and privilege to wear the uniform of the armed forces of the United States.

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

-- Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bragging here now...

So all I did was to provide the watercolor for the book cover, and yes the amazing photography inside this book and the harsh historical facts coupled with the vintage photography does make Ada Bezos Castilla's book "Cuba en Verso: La Isla Entre Rejas" a gorgeous poetry book... and yes, we all know that Amazon founder-geek Jeff Bezos is Cuban-American, and yes Ada is his aunt...

But amigos, this book was just published and tonight it went number one on this Amazon's Best Seller List!

Tomorrow: NYC NOW in Bethesda

Margaret Bowland, Flower Girl, Krylon and Tar on Linen, 28NYC NOW is an exhibition of new work by 5 contemporary artists living in New York City and it is Morton Fine Art's (MFA) fourth *a pop-up project.

The exhibition features new artworks by nationally renowned, New York based, contemporary artists Margaret Bowland, Kenichi Hoshine, Choichun Leung, Jules Arthur and Jason Sho Green. *a pop-up project will be on display from November 11th through December 6th 2011 at Gallery B located at 7700 Wisconsin Ave # E, Bethesda, MD 20814-6530. The opening reception will be held on Friday, November 11th from 6 - 9 pm. Images can be previewed online at and

Do this tomorrow

See this on PinkLine Project. If you've had the honor and privilege of serving in the US Armed Forces, then this art project is seeking Veterans & Civilians for historic photo by the Metabolic Studio’s Optics Team and their Liminal Camera.

Please arrive by 10am on the Mall on 3rd street between Jefferson and Madison Avenues, across from the Capitol building. Giant flag raising and photograph to take place at 11am sharp. Bring a picnic.

The photograph will be on view at the Hirshhorn Museum on 11/12/11 and 11/13/11.

All the details here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Are We Too Prudish For Our Own Good?

Herewith a guest post by Tiberio Simone:

The Difference Between Sensuality and Sexuality
By: Tiberio Simone

Being an American citizen, I enjoy the freedom of expression enjoyed by artists in this country. However, I wonder sometimes if we grasp some of the ironies of how we express that freedom.

I am from Italy, which is known as one of the most romantic countries in Europe, a destination for lovers who come to visit from all over the world. So, perhaps I have a slightly different perspective on how Americans express themselves, particularly with regard to romance and sensuality. In Italy, we embrace these concepts in everything we do – the way we dress, the way we cook, the way we dine, and the way we live.

In America however, I sometimes sense a split personality with regard to these concepts. More specifically, I think we sometimes confuse our sensuality with sexuality, and as a result, try to keep both of them hidden for fear of corrupting our children. My point is, there is a difference.

For instance, if any part of the human body that would traditionally be covered by a bathing suit on a typical American beach is shown in a film, that film is rated for adult content, usually getting an “R.” If it is shown in a TV show, the scene is either deleted, or the “naughty bits,” as the British call them, are digitally pixilated out. And of course those areas are not necessarily even covered by bathing suits in Europe, as many of the beaches there are clothing optional.

In this type of censorship, there is no accounting for context. It’s not about the type of scene, but rather the anatomy. If it is a romantic scene, with a context of love and respect, soft lighting, and appropriate mood, it is considered just as “dirty” as a scene in which naked women are running around and shown as sexual objects and nothing more.

The same goes for modern art. Gallery shows in which the human form is depicted tastefully and sensually are regarded as pornography by many “morals” groups, leading some Congressmen to suggest that public funding from the National Endowment for the Arts should not be awarded to any artist who deals with the nude form. The chilling effect, when we approach the sensual and the sexual in the same way, is that we teach our children that nudity itself is a dirty thing, and that they should all be ashamed of their bodies.

That is why young adults in America go directly from puberty straight to pornography – because they do not have anything in between, such as public art or other forms of healthy nudity – things that would help them develop an understanding of sensuality.

Here is the ultimate irony. While we demonize certain parts of the human form, we don’t demonize treating women as sex objects at all, because we use sex to sell just about everything in the consumer marketplace. In TV commercials, young, attractive, and barely dressed women sell everything from cars to beer, weight loss plans to gym gear, breakfast cereals to vacation destinations – even snack foods practically guaranteed to make the men who eat them incredibly unattractive to the women used to sell them.

The difference here is context. We enter the world naked. It is our most natural state as humans, yet the naked body is considered dirty and inappropriate for all time zones. Meanwhile, treating women not as people, but simply as objects of sexual desire, which demeans all women in the process, is perfectly acceptable.

We need to create an environment in America in which sensuality is not confused with sexuality, so that we can all enjoy a freedom of expression that is based in context and meaning instead of an unhealthy and negative obsession with sex.
(Born in southern Italy, Tiberio Simone is a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-author of La Figa: Visions of Food and Form, a coffee table book that features a spectacular collection of sensual photography – models wearing nothing but Simone’s edible creations.)