Monday, March 02, 2015

Bill Clinton's NPG portrait contains Monica Lewinsky reference

Stephanie Farr from the Philadelphia Daily News interviewed the well-known PA portrait artist Nelson Shanks, whose portrait of President Bill Clinton hangs at the NPG. 

And this came out:
Q: Who did you find was the hardest to capture?
Clinton was hard. I'll tell you why. The reality is he's probably the most famous liar of all time. He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting.
If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting and it does two things. It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.
And so the Clintons hate the portrait. They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They're putting a lot of pressure on them. [Reached by phone Thursday, a spokeswoman from the National Portrait Gallery denied that.]
What a brilliant example of the power of an artist to make history! This will make this portrait the most famous and visited and chuckled about Presidential portrait at the NPG! Velazquez did something similar with a variety of hidden (and some later deleted) clues in Las Meninas centuries ago, and one of them, when discovered 500 years later, changed the Spanish crown's line to the throne from the first male born to the first born, period!

I couldn't wait to contact a good friend at the NPG and ask him/her if the claim about the pressure being put on the NPG is true! Let me see if we/she/him can find some internal NPG emails on the subject that we can publish here!

Read the article here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When art gets lost

Argentinean multimedia artist Jorge Caterbetti, between 1999 and 2003, consigned 105 artworks for sale to New York’s Belenky Gallery. In 2013, when the gallery alerted him it was closing, he went to a storage facility to pick up his works and found about 65 of them missing. The gallery told him some were lost or stolen,  his  subsequent lawsuit charged, and that others may simply have been thrown out over the years.
Read the rest here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy, one of the great icons of my childhood died today at age 83. He was not only a terrific actor, but also a HUGE art collector and I am lucky to have my artwork as part of his collection!

EYES OF MR. SPOCK - Charcoal and Conte on Paper. 1.5x3 inches, circa 2014 by F. Lennox Campello
"Eyes of Mr. Spock"

Charcoal and Conte on Paper. 1.5x3 inches, circa 2014 by F. Lennox Campello
Live long and prosper in whatever other Universe your seed has been reborn...

ISIS destruction of ancient art

By now, nearly everyone on the planet has been horrified by practically everything that The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) barbarians have done in the name of their medieval interpretation of Islam. 

Now the ISIS militants have destroyed ancient Assyrian sculptures at the Nineveh Museum in Mosul, Iraq, and posted videos of the destruction online, another level of barbarism has risen to the surface for these troglodytes. ISIS seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. In this century, we've seen this unforgivable destruction of ancient art before in the region... remember when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001?

In their conquering process, ISIS has beheaded, crucified, burned, raped, enslaved and tortured an unknown but large number of their fellow Moslems, Christians and other assorted so-called apostates who do not subscribe to ISIS' strict interpretation of Islam.

I expect that the destruction of these antiquities will continue, forever destroying an important part of mankind's cultural heritage. What bugs me the most, is that (as far as I know) other than Sheik Abdullah bin Bayyah, and some clerics in Saudi Arabia, no other prominent Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa against ISIS.

Where are the fatwas, from clerics all over the planet, denouncing these mutants and their barbarism?

Personally, I think that we are being all somewhat misled, by perhaps a well-intentioned, PC-driven, incredulous, but intellectually dishonest Western worldwide effort to deny the Islamic State’s medieval mindset religious nature.
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
 Graeme Wood
"What ISIS Really Wants"
The Atlantic
This cancer within Islam must be destroyed and cured by Islam, and so I ask again:  Where are the fatwas, from clerics all over the planet, denouncing these mutants and their barbarism?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Artist Jackie Battenfield discusses her book The Artist's Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Painter sues dealer

Painter Dean Levin has sued Upper East Side dealer Robert Blumenthal for nearly $200,000, claiming non-payment after a sold-out show in May 2014. The suit pits a 26-year-old artist represented by New York dealer Marianne Boesky and collected by Leonardo Di Caprio against a real estate investor and dealer whose gallery has been open for just a year.
Details here. 

The question is: "Did Levin have a contract stipulating when Blumenthal was supposed to pay him?" Is it 30 days after the sale of the work? or is it 30 days (or whatever) after Blumenthal gets paid?"

The moral of the story: Have a contract!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Goya found

The Restoration Service of the Museums of France (RSMF) has authenticated a rare self-portrait by the Spanish master Francisco  Goya y Cifuentes owned by the Musée Bonnat in the small town of Bayonne, in Southwest France, Le Figaro reports

Details here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Campello watercolor at auction

At auction here is a 1994 original watercolor starting at a decent price, as original works from this vintage and style have sold/been appraised as high as $5,000. Although I returned from Scotland back to the US in 1992, I went back to visit Scotland on a yearly basis through the early 2000s, so this piece is probably a Scottish-inspired skyscape.

Check it out here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Scammers scammed by a scammer

Spanish Police have arrested two brothers from Girona, Spain, who attempted to sell a fake Francisco de Goya painting to a purported sheikh, EFE reports. But the "sheikh" was no victim: he paid the pair with photocopied money.

The con artists realized they had been tricked when they tried to deposit 1.7 million Swiss francs (€1.5 million) in a Geneva bank and were told that the banknotes were mere photocopies.

Spanish police officers found out about the scam in December 2014, when the Avignon customs warned them that they had intercepted two Spanish brothers trying to smuggle 1.7 million fake Swiss francs.
 Details here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Anaïs Nin

Anais NinToday is the birthday of Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, the Cuban sex virago who is perhaps best remembered as a diarist and as a writer of erotic tales and seducer of nearly everyone who came across her incandescent life.

Other than her famous diaries, Little Birds and Delta of Venus are my favorite books of erotica.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Touchstone Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists

Deadline: March 30, 2015.
An opportunity to exhibit, develop and grow as an artist. The Fellowship provides a 2 year membership in Touchstone Gallery in downtown DC. This guarantees a solo exhibition as well as participation in gallery group shows, mentorship and a presence on the gallery website. The monetary value of the fellowship exceeds $4500.00. The Fellowship is awarded to 1 or more emerging artists who have not been represented by a commercial gallery in at least 10 years. 

The application and related information can be found on the TFA website

For questions email or call Ksenia Grishkova, the TFA Director, at 202-347-2787.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Broken Wing Ops

That's my right shoulder, which as previously announced, has been out of commission since December 23rd and will be cut open and operated on this morning around 8:30AM.

My doc went to Boston College and then to Harvard, so those elitist credentials better be good for something.

Two hours under the knife... see ya after that!

Call for Artists: Bethesda Painting Awards

Deadline: Monday, February 20, 2015.

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the seventh annual Bethesda Painting Awards.

Up to nine finalists will be selected to display their work in an exhibition during the month of June at Gallery B in downtown Bethesda, and the top four winners will receive $14,000 in prize monies. Best in Show will be awarded $10,000; Second Place will be honored with $2,000 and Third Place will receive $1,000. Additionally, a “Young Artist” whose birthday is after February 20, 1985 may be awarded $1,000. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. All original 2-D paintings including oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and mixed media will be accepted. The maximum dimensions should not exceed 60 inches in width or 84 inches in height. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibit. Each artist must submit 5 images, application and a non-refundable fee of $25. Digital entries will be accepted on DC in JPG, GIF or PNG format.

For a complete application, please visit, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Bethesda Painting Awards, c/o Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 or call 301-215-6660 x117.        

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What ISIS really wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.
Read  Graeme Wood's eye-opening article in The Atlantic here.

271 new Picassos!!!!

It all started with a box. A box jam-packed with treasure — previously unseen, extremely rare Picasso drawings and collages, 271 works altogether. The box has been through everything imaginable. It survived flooding of the painter's workshop when the Seine River overflowed its banks, the German occupation, the Liberation, and it was carted about from home to home.

The deceased Pierre Daix, the best expert on the painter's works, once told us, "Picasso was often ejected from his Parisian workshops. He didn't know how to store his works anymore. It made him furious."

The box, one among thousands, then wound up in one of the villas on the French Riviera where the artist lived. Once Picasso filled one home with his paintings, he would buy another one to fill that too.

When the artist died in 1973, the box disappeared. No one noticed because his two villas, the "Californie" and the "Notre-Dame-de-Vie," were overflowing with paintings, sketches and packages.

A box worth €60 million

The box reappeared almost half a century later, and in a completely unexpected way.
Read all (thanks to about it here!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The New York Times and Cuban AIDS

(Via) Less than three years ago, The New York Times wrote an article praising the Castro regime's "Tight Grip on AIDS" -- even if it meant restricting the Cuban people's most fundamental human rights.

It heralded:
"Whatever debate may linger about the government’s harsh early tactics — until 1993, everyone who tested positive for H.I.V. was forced into quarantine — there is no question that they succeeded... Other elements have contributed to Cuba’s success: It has free universal basic health care; it has stunningly high rates of H.I.V. testing; it saturates its population with free condoms, concentrating on high-risk groups like prostitutes; it gives its teenagers graphic safe-sex education; it rigorously traces the sexual contacts of each person who tests positive."
These "quarantines" were actually nefarious HIV/AIDS prisons. Or as the Castro-friendly World Health Organization ("WHO") calls them "pretty prisons."

Like nearly everything else The New York Times has written about Cuba since 1959, that article turned out to be unmerited -- and unethical -- propaganda.

Last week, we learned that a new, more aggressive strain of the HIV virus has been discovered in Cuba.

According to Medical News Today:
"In Cuba, a variant of HIV that is much more aggressive than other known forms of the virus has been documented. Patients infected with this new variant progress to AIDS so rapidly that they may not even know they are infected, with AIDS symptoms occurring within 3 years of infection."
And how did this new strain come about?

"If a person contracts multiple strains of HIV - typically by engaging in unprotected sex with multiple infected partners - then these strains can recombine into a new variant of HIV within the host. The new Cuban variant of HIV is one such recombinant version of the virus."
Clearly those "harsh early tactics" were not only cruel and inhumane -- but they were also unsuccessful [and are now responsible for developing a new, much more aggressive, strain of AIDS].

Castrum Canis

This new version of the ongoing Castrum Canis series is heading to an exhibition in Arte Americas in Fresno later this year.

Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch - Castrum Canis by F. Lennox Campello
Ernesto (Che) Guevara de La Serna Lynch - Castrum Canis
Charcoal and Conte on Paper. 20x16 inches, c.2015
F. Lennox Campello

Monday, February 16, 2015

Opportunity for Portrait Artists

Deadline: March 4, 2015


The International Portrait Competition is open to all artists, members and non-members
with more than $60,000 to be awarded in cash & prizes. The $45 entry fee covers up to 3 submissions and all entries must be uploaded through the website in a jpg digital format by midnight on March 4,

Prospectus located on website indicates all the rules, including size restriction.

Details: 850-878-9996 OR OR

Sunday, February 15, 2015

1990s artwork

Between 1992-1994 I lived in Sonoma, California (great place!!!) and at that time I was still serving in the US Navy as the Executive Officer (XO) of NSGA Skaggs Island.

Prior to that, destiny had given me the opportunity to be stationed at NSGA Edzell, in Scotland... easily one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

While in Scotland I worked with a model named Fleur, took some shots of her and then, and later on, using the photos while living in Sonoma, created some watercolors based on the images.

At the time a local Sonoma gallery (Presidio Gallery) picked me up and gave me two great solo shows... one was an incredible solo aimed at raising funds for the Sonoma Ballet Conservatory - that story deserves a post of its own - and the other was a show of assorted artwork.

And then, thanks to the amazing connectivity of Al Gore's Interwebs, I get an email from the person who bought two of the Fleur watercolors.

And for the first time since 1993... here they are!

"Fleur" circa 1993, watercolor 10x8 inches by F. Lennox Campello
"Fleur" circa 1993, watercolor 10x8 inches by F. Lennox Campello

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Opportunity for Artists

Call for Artists - Open Portfolio Review

JASPER ARTS CENTER -- Public art gallery is reviewing portfolios for solo and group shows for 2016.

All media. No fees. Professional, non-student artists only. Artwork must be presented in a professional manner.

Gallery provides invitations, press releases, honorarium, insurance coverage on-site, and reception where
needed. Artist is responsible for framing, shipping and/or delivery.

30% commission.
Send 10 images minimum for solo show, more for group show, along with artist statement and curriculum vitae. Digital images should be on CD. E-mail submissions accepted. There are also paid opportunities
for workshops/gallery talks in conjunction with the exhibit.

Details here.
Deadline March 13, 2015

Mail materials along with SASE to:
Emily Colucci, Visual Arts Coordinator
Jasper Arts Center
951 College Ave.
Jasper, IN 47546