Thursday, March 12, 2015

Amy Marx on Phyllis Plattner at The Katzen

Amy Marx reviews Phyllis Plattner at The Katzen Center at American University - hurry to see this show, as it ends March 15!
 In 1770 Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  These words are as relevant today as they were then.  There are, in the history of the visual arts, many examples of artists “doing something”, speaking in images rather than words.    

     In 1830 Eugene Delacroix painted “Liberty Leading the People.”  He renders “Liberty” in feminine form leading the people over the dead bodies of the old order, in one hand holding aloft the tri-color flag of the French Revolution, the epic violent battle for freedom, and in the other hand she carries a bayoneted musket.  This iconic painting of the July 1830 Revolution depicts the overthrow of King Charles X of France.  Delacroix wrote his brother:  “If I haven’t fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her.”   

 
     In 1814 Francisco Goya painted “The Shootings of the Third of May 1808 in Madrid.”  It is a gut-wrenching portrayal of a man with arms upraised before a firing squad.  He has an expression of horror on his face.     His comrades lie in a bloody heap at his feet. Goya’s emotionally charged depiction of this man’s last minutes of life was unprecedented.  The painting graphically illustrates the Spanish resistance to Napoleon's invasion and occupation in the Peninsular War.  Art historian Kenneth Clark has said this is "the first great picture that can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention".
Chronicles of War/Saints and Martyrs
        Oil and gold leaf on linen on panel           
2007     40”x50”
     In 2001 Phyllis Plattner began the creation of a series of artworks in which she made meticulously rendered copies of art historical paintings in the style of the original artist, and photographs culled from newspapers and magazines.  In “Chronicles of War, Saints and Martyrs” she utilized Goya’s historic painting, mentioned above, and amplified its effect.  She placed Goya’s painting in the center of a sixteen-paneled piece.  To the left of Goya’s work is the arrow-pierced Saint Sebastian, an early Christian martyr (288 AD) from “ The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian” by Andrea Mantegna, (1480).   On the right is Christ, blindfolded and bound, about to be scourged, painted by Van der Weyden, (1450).  Further heightening the effect of “Chronicles of War, Saints and Martyrs” is a horizontal row of images along the bottom, a format known as predella panels.  From left to right are painted the following: The Twin Towers ablaze on September 11, Christ’s feet nailed to the cross, the well known image of an inmate in Abu Ghraib, a World War Two survivor with a prosthetic leg, and finally the tangled heap of stainless steel, a ghostlike cathedral, the remains of the World Trade Center.  A cherub from Raphael’s Sistine Madonna glances heavenward atop all of this with additional angels on either side.  And there’s more, even in this one piece. 
Chronicles of War/Heads and Hands
          Oil and gold leaf on linen on panel           
2009     67”x 45”
     This is one of twelve complex pieces that make up “Chronicles of War,” the epic two-part show at The Katzen Center at American University.  The other half is entitled “Legends.”  The two together form “Gods of War!”  “Legends” details the Zapatista uprising in San Cristobal, Mexico, which Plattner witnessed.  She and her archaeologist husband later lived in Italy.  She tells the story of the Zapatista uprising utilizing Italian Renaissance paintings, substituting Zapatistas for the saints and apostles.  For example, “Legends, Deposition” is after a painting by Caravaggio, (1585), and “Legends, Mary Magdalene in Glory,” is after a painting by Domenichino, (1600). The succession of places in which they lived is reflected in the subject matter, style, and technique of the work.  Italian Renaissance meets Liberation Theology.

     The soft-spoken, long time professor at The Maryland Institute College of Art is profoundly anti-war.  In order to speak against war and violence she employs images of violence.  Though the images are deplorable, the overall effect is beautiful.  “Chronicles of War” is a pastiche of images of human violence borrowed from art historical paintings and photo-journalism across cultures and across time. She juxtaposes violent images with the bucolic and the divine, skies at sunrise and at sunset, cherubs and angels, Jesus and Mary.  Eight or more panels are assembled into one artwork.  She also adds borders of gorgeous motifs from a multitude of cultures and intricately carved and gold-leafed frames and borders. The overall shapes of each work are based on Renaissance altarpieces, copied directly from the Italian in the “Legends” half of the show, and more loosely based on Asian, German and Italian altarpieces in “Chronicles of War”.  Plattner has done all of this work herself.  It is a fourteen year project, to which she plans yet to add.  It represents an immense labor of love.


      Plattner enumerates the vast array of violence throughout human history.  From the guillotine to napalm, to a pyramid of human skulls, from child soldiers to suicide bombers, from Napoleon to the Samari, from Guernica to the Mayan Bonampak murals in Chiapas, Mexico.  Could there possibly be something she has left out?  Plattner’s work has a continuing relevance to  our present condition as the world is menaced by ISIS.  


    One might say that the destructive history of all humankind is represented here.  The forms of destruction are assembled by the type of destruction so that each artwork has a theme.  In “Chronicles of War, Heads and Hands,” 2008, the subject is beheadings.  In “Chronicles of War, Swords and Lances,” 2008, a pastiche of death by blade, the central image is the “Battle of San Romano” by Paolo Uccello, (1432).  Above fourteen panels of death and destruction, cherubs alight in the vault of heaven.  With fist-fulls of flowers  they rain rose petals over the bloody folly of humankind.  

For TBT: One of my 1997 reviews on digital photography


The Digital Atelier: The Computer as Fine Art
by
F. Lennox Campello

Originally published in Dimensions magazine - 1997.

When photography first attempted to enter the world of fine art, the museums and arts intelligentsia alike rudely rejected it, but it was accepted by the public.

Today, the computer is attempting to enter the sterile white walls of the Washington power galleries and museums, but unlike photography, it seems to be allied with the insiders in the world of art, who seem enamoured with the digital world of art.

 "Exhibiting the Digital Atelier: Prints by Unique Editions and Participating Artists," is a powerful groundbreaking exhibition at George Washington University Dimock Gallery, curated by Mary Ann Kearns.

So far, digital (in Washington circles) usually means Iris prints, and owners of these pricey printers, such as Chris Foley and David Adamson, have made quite an impact upon the local art scene by the creation of huge, beautiful Iris prints from standard photographic images. Controversy, caused by lack of data on conservation standards and misinformation, heavily cloud the image (pun intended) of Iris prints, yet photographers like Amy Lamb and Susan Rubin have delivered, huge beautiful works which make us gasp at the beautiful, ethereal, marriage of photography and technology.

This exhibition attempts to push the digital envelope. It focuses on the marriage of software, hardware and creativity: the pencil neck geek meets the angst-ridden, socially conscious artist! 

The show's primary focus is a collaboration of five artists: Helen Golden, Bonny Lhotka, Judith Moncrieff, Dorothy Simpson Krause and Karin Schminke. They translate their printmaking, photographic and painting skills to the digital world to deliver "fine art in limited editions." In addition to these five artists, several other local artists were chosen from a digital workshop held during the summer at the National Museum of American Art. These artists are Cynthia Alderdice, Danny Conant, Andras Nagy, Linda Mott-Smith, Howard Bagley, Grace Taylor, Patrick Lichty and Lynn Putney.

And it is two photographers among this last group, Danny Conant and Grace Taylor, who steal the show! Conant's mastery of photography is as well known as are her beautiful infrared nudes or fragile Polaroid transfers - she is able to transfer her immense photographic abilities, as does Taylor, to this new media in an effective, creative way. This, unfortunately, makes many of the other images in the exhibition look like fancy web pages.

I must be honest, I had mixed feelings about the exhibition, and perhaps my opinion is clouded by my own background (I have degrees in Fine Art and also in Computer Science).  Another perhaps is that I am essentially prejudiced in attempting to see creative beauty in the color of a pixel as painted by a bubble jet printer or a laser printer or an Iris printer, as compared to the beauty of a Van Gogh brushstroke, or an Escher etching or the crisp white of a cloud in an Ansel Adams print.

It is nonetheless a seminal exhibition in its field, and I recommend it! The show hangs December 11, 1997- January 30, 1998 at the Dimock Gallery of GWU, 21st and H Streets, NW in Washington (202) 994-1525.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Come to this on Friday

Thank You Artist Friends on Facebook

by Akemi Maegawa
March 13 - June 21
2438 EIGHTEENTH STREET NW WASHINGTON, DC 20009 • 202.462.7833 EMAIL: INFO@DCARTSCENTER.ORG
Opening Reception: Friday, March 13, 7-9 pm
Gallery Talk: Sunday, June 21, 5 pm 
"Majority of my Facebook friends are artists and art related people whom I have met before or artists whom I would love to meet in person one day. Facebook has become a virtual art salon to me. Of course I would prefer to meet friends and discuss things face to face but everyone's busy schedule and different location (many of them are international friends) won't allow us to meet face to face easily.
Because of the Facebook I feel so close to far away friends and family as getting everyday information is so easy. We can discuss our concerns or social issues anytime and pass around important news instantaneously. It is the biggest power of social media and I think artists are playing an important part in supporting our freedom of speech and expression through social media like Facebook.  
My “Thank You Artist Friends on Facebook Project” allowed me to look closer at each of my artist friends. This project made me think about our crazy everyday life and let me take a longer time to reflect and question how we process any single image from the Internet.
I decided to reproduce a small profile picture of each of my artist friends on a small ceramic tile to be able to feel his or her presence real and make the moment permanently frozen in time. I was hoping that those portraits, being the physical images on tiles, would remain to be “real” despite being shared only virtually with friends. I had looked thoroughly at each of my artist friend profile picture on my cell phone and when I finished making a tile portrait I got a feeling that each time I learned something new about this person.  
I had made porcelain tiles and sketched/etched each artist profile picture directly on them. There was no eraser or pre-sketch practice tiles. I prepared only one tile for each friend and used only a needle tool to make each sketch. I had really stayed focus and be careful not to damage their "face" which they chose to share with public on Facebook. As an artist and an art supporter, I tried my best to focus- during etching of each artist portrait- on our time together and concentrating my thoughts on the person and how to show my appreciation and respect for each of them. I am very happy to have a chance to show those portraits at the exhibition and share my admiration to their persistence and achievements. I plan to keep adding the tiles as I make new artist friends on Facebook."
                      - Akemi Maegawa, February 4th, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Maximizing Your Success As An Artist

Tonight, myself, Michael Janis and Tim Tate will lead a discussion at the Washington Glass School entitled "Maximizing Your Success As An Artist."  

There is no magic formula for artistic success, but in this interactive night of discussion, come pick the brains of three very successful artists for tips and hints on how to move your art forward. How to find galleries, manage social media, choose art fairs, etc. We will try to help all who show up. Free to all.

Time:         7pm to 9pm
Tuition:      Free (RSVP to erwin@washglass.com)

 

Monday, March 09, 2015

Alchemical Vessels 2015

Alchemical Vessels 2015

March 27 - May 22, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, March 27 | 7-9pm

Benefit: Friday, May 1 (By Contribution Only)

 

Make your contribution starting on Tuesday, March 10th at 10am!

 

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is happy to announce the return of the Alchemical Vessels Exhibition and Benefit in 2015! This year's exhibition will run from March 27 - May 22, 2015, with the special by-contribution-only Benefit on Friday, May 1st, where everyone who makes a $150 Benefit-Vessel contribution (beginning Tuesday, March 10th at 10am) can select one of the works in the exhibition to add to their collection! The vessels are selected in the order contributions were made, so the earlier you make a contribution, the earlier you can select your work of art!

 

This year's exhibition and benefit features works from over 100 new artists hand-selected by 20 prominent curators. See below for a list of this year's incredible line-up of artists & our invited curators, and visit www.smithcenter.org/benefit to learn more and make your contribution beginning 10am on Tuesday, March 10th!
Artists:
David Alfuth, Beth Baldwin, Rhoda Baer, Emily Biondo, Ed Bisese, Julia Bloom, Raya Bodnarchuk, Joseph Bradley, Judy Byron, Lenny Campello, Jessica Cebra, Mei Mei Chang, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Patterson Clark, Billy Colbert, Susan Cole, Paula Crawford, Michael Crossett, Sarah Dale, Catherine Day, JD Deardourff, Jennifer DePalma, Robert Devers, Jessica Drenk, Patricia Dubroof, Pam Eichner, Dana Ellyn, Margo Elsayd, Susan Finsen & Michael Holt, Sharon Fishel, Kathryn Freeman, Marcia Fry, Adrienne Gaither, Michael Gessner, Carol Brown Goldberg, Pat Goslee, Matthew Grimes, Andrea Haffner, Courtney Hengerer, Jeff Herrity, Maurice "Mo" Higgs, Ryan Hill, Joseph Hoffman, Jeff Huntington, David Ibata, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Njena Surae Jarvis, Rose Jaffe, Mike Johnson, Mariah Anne Johnson, Wayson Jones, Maria Karametou, Sally Kauffman, Elizabeth Kendall, Joanne Kent, Hana Kim, Micheline Klagsbrun , Kitty Klaidman, PD Klein, George Koch, Yar Koporulin, Peter Krsko, Bridget Sue Lambert, Maria Lanas, Toni Lane, Khanh Le, Jun Lee, Kyujin Lee, Nate Lewis, Mimi Logothetis, Steve Loya, Akemi Maegawa, Alex Mayer, Donna M. McCullough, Kathryn McDonnell, Maggie Michael, Vanessa Monroe, E.J. Montgomery, Lucinda Murphy, Ziad Nagy, Leslie Nolan, Frederick Nunley, Cory Oberndorfer, John Paradiso, Elena Patiño, Miguel Perez Lem, Brian Petro, Thomas Petzwinkler, Jeneen Piccuirro, Michael B. Platt & Carol A. Beane, Pattie Porter Firestone, Tom Raneses, Red Dirt Studios, Ellington Robinson, Carolyn Roth, Bonner Sale, Jean Sausele Knodt, Matt Sesow, Foon Sham, Janathel Shaw, Lillian Shaw, Bernardo Siles, Steve Skowron, Jeffrey Smith, Anna Soevik, Langley Spurlock, Stan Squirewell, Rebecca Stone Gordon, Lynn Sures, Tang, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Valerie Theberge, Michael Torra, Kelly Towles, Dan Treado, Ruth Trevarrow, Tariq Tucker, Pamela Viola, Ellyn Weiss, Lee Wheeler, Catherine White, Sharon Wolpoff, Sue Wrbican, and Jenny Wu

 
Curators:
Sondra N. Arkin, Artist & Independent Curator | Philip Barlow, Associate Commissioner, DC Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking; Board Member, District of Columbia Arts Center & Millenium Arts Salon | Chuck Baxter, Artist | Robert Devers, Professor of Fine Arts and Ceramics, Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University | Thomas Drymon, Curator, doris-mae | Charlie Gaynor, Realtor and Photographer, member of the Mid City Artists | Aneta Georgievska-Shine, Lecturer in Art History, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution | George Hemphill, Gallery Director, Hemphill | Francie Hester, Visual Artist | Don Kimes, Professor, Director Studio Art Program, American University Department of Art; Artistic Director, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution | Zofie Lang, Artist | Mary Liniger, Executive Director, Art Enables | Akemi Maegawa, Artist | Jayme McLellan, Director & Founder, Civilian Art Projects | Twig Murray, Gallery Director, Athenaeum Gallery | Victoria Reis, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Transformer | Nancy Sausser, Curator and Exhibitions Director, McLean Project for the Arts | Andy Shallal, Founder, Busboys and Poets | Stan Squirewell, Artist

Sunday, March 08, 2015

More on visiting Cuba

... But most people, I gather, think that O’Brien’s trip to Cuba was really cool.

These visitors are like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes: “I see nothing” — beyond the pretty girls, the classic old cars, the swaying palm trees, etc.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, was just in Cuba. She met with no dissidents, of course. While she was there, more than 100 were arrested, for such crimes as trying to attend church. The American said nothing.

She did, however, post pictures of old cars to the Internet. Isn’t that cute? There have long been political pilgrims to totalitarian countries. Paul Hollander has devoted a good part of his career to chronicling them.

There have been plain old ignoramuses, too.

As he crossed from Poland into the Soviet Union, George Bernard Shaw threw his food tins out the train window, because there would be no need of them in the land of milk and honey.

He denied that there was famine in the Soviet Union, because there was plenty of food in his hotel — the Moscow Metropol, which was for foreigners only. They have that kind of hotel in Cuba, too.

John Kenneth Galbraith went to Communist China during the Cultural Revolution, when millions were being starved, tortured, humiliated, and killed. He came back with a criticism: The Chinese smoked too many cigarettes.

In my observation, most Cubans and Cuban Americans bear no great grudge against visitors — as long as they show some moral awareness. As long as they have a smidgeon of conscience.

Conan O’Brien was able to flit down there and then flit back home. Does he realize what happens to ordinary Cubans if they try to leave the island? Does he realize that they have been shot and killed in the water, as they desperately try to escape?

I sometimes wish that people in free countries could be sentenced to live in unfree ones — just for a while — in order to appreciate what other people have to endure, and what they themselves have to be grateful for.
 Read the whole article  by Jay Nordlinger here.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Conan, traveling to Cuba and being apolitical

"You can’t go to Cuba and be apolitical. Traveling there is a political act alone. The brands [Conan O'Brien] joked about at the grocery store were all companies that were appropriated by the Cuban government. That cigar factory he visited was taken from a Cuban family of cigar makers. Cubans cannot afford to eat at paladares because the average Cuban only makes $20 a month, creating an unofficial tourist apartheid where foreigners enjoy Cuba while Cubans endure the regime. The “ruins” that took Conan’s breath away are dilapidated buildings that thousands of people have to live in because they are not free to move out of them without government permission."

-- Carmen Pelaez, Cuban-American filmmaker, "Conan’s TV Show Avoided Politics, But For Cubans It’s Not That Easy," Remezcla, 3/6/14

Friday, March 06, 2015

Beirut 1983

The more things change the more they stay the same... Check out this cartoon about Lebanon that I did for the Stars and Stripes back in 1983 when our Marines were in Beirut as part of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force...

USMC in Beirut MNF 1983 by F. Lennox Campello

Thursday, March 05, 2015

A steal at Ebay

Signed vintage prints from my "Mujertrees" series have sold at auction as high as $500... this 1992 vintage piece is opening at Ebay for less than $50 bucks!!!

Update: I just looked at this again, and I believe that this is the original drawing from which the 100 prints were pulled, so this would be a steal at the current opening price!

Bid for it here.



Journal Pages: June 15-25, 1983


Alchemical Vessels 2015

Alchemical Vessels 2015

March 27 - May 22, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, March 27 | 7-9pm

Benefit: Friday, May 1 (By Contribution Only)

 

Make your contribution starting on Tuesday, March 10th at 10am!

 

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is happy to announce the return of the Alchemical Vessels Exhibition and Benefit in 2015! This year's exhibition will run from March 27 - May 22, 2015, with the special by-contribution-only Benefit on Friday, May 1st, where everyone who makes a $150 Benefit-Vessel contribution (beginning Tuesday, March 10th at 10am) can select one of the works in the exhibition to add to their collection! The vessels are selected in the order contributions were made, so the earlier you make a contribution, the earlier you can select your work of art!

 

This year's exhibition and benefit features works from over 100 new artists hand-selected by 20 prominent curators. See below for a list of this year's incredible line-up of artists & our invited curators, and visit www.smithcenter.org/benefit to learn more and make your contribution beginning 10am on Tuesday, March 10th!
Artists:
David Alfuth, Beth Baldwin, Rhoda Baer, Emily Biondo, Ed Bisese, Julia Bloom, Raya Bodnarchuk, Joseph Bradley, Judy Byron, Lenny Campello, Jessica Cebra, Mei Mei Chang, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Patterson Clark, Billy Colbert, Susan Cole, Paula Crawford, Michael Crossett, Sarah Dale, Catherine Day, JD Deardourff, Jennifer DePalma, Robert Devers, Jessica Drenk, Patricia Dubroof, Pam Eichner, Dana Ellyn, Margo Elsayd, Susan Finsen & Michael Holt, Sharon Fishel, Kathryn Freeman, Marcia Fry, Adrienne Gaither, Michael Gessner, Carol Brown Goldberg, Pat Goslee, Matthew Grimes, Andrea Haffner, Courtney Hengerer, Jeff Herrity, Maurice "Mo" Higgs, Ryan Hill, Joseph Hoffman, Jeff Huntington, David Ibata, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Njena Surae Jarvis, Rose Jaffe, Mike Johnson, Mariah Anne Johnson, Wayson Jones, Maria Karametou, Sally Kauffman, Elizabeth Kendall, Joanne Kent, Hana Kim, Micheline Klagsbrun , Kitty Klaidman, PD Klein, George Koch, Yar Koporulin, Peter Krsko, Bridget Sue Lambert, Maria Lanas, Toni Lane, Khanh Le, Jun Lee, Kyujin Lee, Nate Lewis, Mimi Logothetis, Steve Loya, Akemi Maegawa, Alex Mayer, Donna M. McCullough, Kathryn McDonnell, Maggie Michael, Vanessa Monroe, E.J. Montgomery, Lucinda Murphy, Ziad Nagy, Leslie Nolan, Frederick Nunley, Cory Oberndorfer, John Paradiso, Elena Patiño, Miguel Perez Lem, Brian Petro, Thomas Petzwinkler, Jeneen Piccuirro, Michael B. Platt & Carol A. Beane, Pattie Porter Firestone, Tom Raneses, Red Dirt Studios, Ellington Robinson, Carolyn Roth, Bonner Sale, Jean Sausele Knodt, Matt Sesow, Foon Sham, Janathel Shaw, Lillian Shaw, Bernardo Siles, Steve Skowron, Jeffrey Smith, Anna Soevik, Langley Spurlock, Stan Squirewell, Rebecca Stone Gordon, Lynn Sures, Tang, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Valerie Theberge, Michael Torra, Kelly Towles, Dan Treado, Ruth Trevarrow, Tariq Tucker, Pamela Viola, Ellyn Weiss, Lee Wheeler, Catherine White, Sharon Wolpoff, Sue Wrbican, and Jenny Wu

 
Curators:
Sondra N. Arkin, Artist & Independent Curator | Philip Barlow, Associate Commissioner, DC Department of Insurance, Securities & Banking; Board Member, District of Columbia Arts Center & Millenium Arts Salon | Chuck Baxter, Artist | Robert Devers, Professor of Fine Arts and Ceramics, Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University | Thomas Drymon, Curator, doris-mae | Charlie Gaynor, Realtor and Photographer, member of the Mid City Artists | Aneta Georgievska-Shine, Lecturer in Art History, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution | George Hemphill, Gallery Director, Hemphill | Francie Hester, Visual Artist | Don Kimes, Professor, Director Studio Art Program, American University Department of Art; Artistic Director, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution | Zofie Lang, Artist | Mary Liniger, Executive Director, Art Enables | Akemi Maegawa, Artist | Jayme McLellan, Director & Founder, Civilian Art Projects | Twig Murray, Gallery Director, Athenaeum Gallery | Victoria Reis, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Transformer | Nancy Sausser, Curator and Exhibitions Director, McLean Project for the Arts | Andy Shallal, Founder, Busboys and Poets | Stan Squirewell, Artist

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Jackie with Tattoos

Jackie Kennedy Onassis with tatoos, 1979 by F. Lennox Campello
"Jackie Kennedy Onassis" is an original charcoal and conte drawing on 300 weight pH-balanced, acid free paper. Circa 1979 and done as an assignment for portrait class at the University of Washington School of Art. This drawing measures approx. 6x6 inches.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Which Art Fairs Attract the Most Visitors?

The number of visitors is a good indication of the chances of success of an art fair, not the only one, but certainly one of the key indicators. And some of the best-known art fairs are not necessarily the best-attended, but nonetheless rank at the top of the art fair food chain.
... a total of 1,032,729 people attended the world's top 20 art fairs in 2014. The best attended fair was ARCO Madrid, which attracted 92,000 visitors, followed by Art Miami, which attracted 82,5000 visitors, and Art BA, Buenos Aires, which attracted 77,000 visitors. 

The lower end of the table is occupied primarily by specialist fairs such as Paris Photo/LA, which attracted 12,000 visitors, Affordable Art Fair NY, which also attracted 12,000 visitors, and The Salon: Art + Design, which attracted 8,000 visitors.
Read the whole article here.

By the way, we'll be at the Affordable Art Fair New York (March 25-29), booth 1.37, showcasing the work of Jodi Walsh, Anne Marchand and Georgia Nassikas.

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 www.touchstonefoundationdc.org.


For questions email touchstonefoundationdc@gmail.com 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 www.bethesda.org, 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 NotionsCapital.com) 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

 INTERNATIONAL PORTRAIT COMPETITION

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,
2015.


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

Details: 850-878-9996 OR http://tiny.cc/rrqesx OR
amanda@portraitsociety.org

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

or
E-mail:  visualarts@ci.jasper.in.us
 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Artists prisoners of Castro

Today join the Twitter demonstration (#FreeTaniaAngelElSexto) demanding the freedom of:

Danilo Maldonado, a Cuban artist known as "El Sexto," who has been imprisoned since December 26th, 2014 -- pursuant to the Obama-Castro deal.

Angel Santiesteban-Prats, a Cuban novelist who has been imprisoned since February, 28, 2013, and was left behind by the Obama-Castro deal.

Tania Bruguera, a New York-based Cuban artist, who was temporarily arrested on December 30, 2014 for organizing a free speech performance entitled #YoTambienExijo -- pursuant to the Obama-Castro deal. She had her passport confiscated and is not allowed to leave the island.

Googleando

This is what you get when you Google images for "Washington, DC artists." 

This is what you get when you Google images for "Maryland artists."

This is what you get when you Google images for "Virginia artists."

This is what you get when your Google image "Obama paintings."

This is what you get when you Google image "Bush paintings."

Cough, cough...

 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Artists Opportunity with BMA

The Baltimore Museum of Art has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to artists in the Greater Baltimore area interested in being considered for a collaborative project that will debut with the museum’s new center for learning and creativity (CLC) in October 2015. The BMA will contract with one artist or artist team, in partnership with an area non-profit, to produce a year-long project on the theme of ‘home’. Details of the RFQ are available on the BMA’s website.

Responses are due by midnight, Friday, February 27, 2015.

The opening of the CLC is the culmination of the BMA’s $28 million phased renovation to offer visitors a more welcoming environment and more imaginative encounters with the collection. It is designed to fuel new ways of thinking about art, culture, and contemporary life in Baltimore and beyond.

Through exhibitions, programs, digital initiatives, outreach, and partnerships, the CLC will spark new ways of thinking about art and culture in the context of the wider world. Equal parts catalyst, convener, and connector, the CLC will deepen visitor understanding of human experiences and stimulate the creativity essential for addressing some of society’s greatest challenges. The center is comprised of five interconnected spaces—a total of 5,550 square feet situated adjacent to the museum’s newly renovated Zamoiski East Entrance and East Wing Lobby.

The selected artist or artist team will activate the museum’s new 864 sq. ft. community commons space with artwork and with a series of free public programs implemented between October 2015 and August 2016. The project budget, inclusive of all fees, materials, fabrication expenses, and transport is $30,000.

Eligibility is limited to artists who meet the following guidelines:
  • Artists who are working in traditional or new media, public art, and/or performance-based visual expression.
  • Artists who have a history of collaboration, social, and/or participatory practice.
  • Artists whose work addresses the theme of ‘home.’
  • Artists must reside within the Greater Baltimore region (defined as Baltimore City and its surrounding five counties (Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and Carroll counties) during the 12-month project period.
  • Artists may not be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, either part-time or full-time, at an institution of higher learning at the time of the application deadline.
  • BMA staff and their families are not eligible to apply.
  • Artists must apply in partnership with a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Responding candidates are asked to submit a PDF portfolio, resume, references, a letter of intent, and up to five pages of supporting materials. Also required is a letter of support, mission statement and legal proof of 501(c)(3) status from a non-profit partner organization. Interested candidates are invited to review the full details of the RFQ on the BMA’s website.

The selection process includes selecting a shortlist of candidates in March, presentations and interviews with candidates in April, and final selection announced on April 30.

Please address all questions to Jessica Braiterman, Manger of Community Engagement and Learning (jbraiterman@artbma.org).

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

PK on Mayor Bowser

They simply don’t have the money, and money is all that matters. Never mind that the institute would have enlivened a neighborhood that pretty much goes dark when offices close at the end of the day. Never mind that the city desperately needs an open space for large temporary art exhibitions that are a staple of the cultural diet in other, more progressive, far-sighted metropolitan areas. Never mind the innumerable intangible advantages to having an institution devoted to free expression and innovation closely knit into the fabric of the downtown core.


Thank God for Artomatic, uh? Read Kennicott in the WaPo here - also read the commenters lambasting him... Ouch!

Opportunity for Artists

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 before midnight
VisArts invites artists working in all media to apply for 2016 Solo Exhibitions in the Gibbs Street Gallery and Common Ground Gallery.

The Gibbs Street Gallery offers exhibitions that explore the breadth of contemporary art featuring emerging to mid-career artists. Exhibits reflect a wide range of media and experimental approaches that offer the viewer unexpected interactions with art. The gallery is approximately 1,100 square feet with 16 ft. ceilings. It is on the street level with floor to ceiling windows along one wall. International, national and local artists are welcome to apply.
The Common Ground Gallery features exhibitions that reflect the creative pursuits of artists from our community. The gallery is located on the second floor and is approximately 300 square feet. Artists must live in the DC/Baltimore metro area to apply for a solo exhibition in this gallery.

Applicants who have participated in a solo exhibition at VisArts within the past two years are not eligible to apply.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 before midnight
*Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


All application materials must be submitted online through our website no later than 11:59 pm EST on 03/25/2015. Application materials submitted by mail or hand delivery must be received in our administrative offices (3rd floor) no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Required Application Materials
Application Form
Images Submit 5 – 10 images of work produced during the past 3 years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution photos and time-based media.
Media Requirements: Images must be in .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .gif file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Maximum file size 5MB per image. 2 minutes of video, film, sound or performance documentation = one work. Up to 10 minutes total.
 

List of Works Form
Artist Statement (1 page maximum)
Artist Biography (1 page maximum)
Exhibition Proposal: Briefly describe the exhibition, installation or project for the gallery space.
Resume/CV
Application Fee ($15.00) – online application will require payment by credit card or Pay Pal


Submission Guidelines

Apply online : Complete the online application and submit all images and required documents on the VisArts website, Click Here.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 before midnight
Apply by mail: All required application materials must be RECEIVED in our Administrative Offices (3rd floor) no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Download Application Forms.


Send or deliver all required application materials to:
Exhibitions Department
VisArts at Rockville
155 Gibbs Street, Suite 300
Rockville, MD 20850
 
Make payment of Application Fee by check made payable to: VisArts (Please write “Solo Application 2016″ in the memo line)
 

Notification
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application via email by April 13, 2015.

Questions
Please send any questions via email with “Solo Exhibitions 2016″ in the subject line to Susan Main, Exhibitions Coordinator at: smain@visartscenter.org

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Art censorship???

Welcome to the solipsistic world of equality activism, in which the removal of sloganeering in chalk on the pavement, which might have been wiped away by routine maintenance, if rain didn’t get it first, is equated with the censorship of a faculty artist.


Read  Franklin Einspruch 's superb piece When Artists Fear their Audience here.

I think there's a current confusion in the world left of center that needs some distinction: There is a huge difference between a "liberal" and a "leftist."

Liberals generally embrace diversity, discussions amongst different opinions and points of view, protection of our basic rights, and an open, receptive ear to all.

Leftists, on the other hand, are generally aligned with the Marxist dogma that prohibits all but one voice and seeks to silence all others and endorses only the "approved" form of art. Some of the biggest mass murderers in modern history (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro) have all been leftists.

Fine Arts Workshops

The Sandy Spring Museum is hosting a series of fine arts workshops – colored pencil, gouache, plein air, water color.

Check them out here.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Does Photography Help Artists Cheat?

This question is as old as the invention of photography itself... and yet, it is still being asked... this time by Sarah Cascone at artnetnews.

Cough, cough, yawn... read it all here.

Bottom line is the bottom para in this tired argument: "... artists get into trouble when they view a photograph as the truth, rather than as a tool."

PS - Asskicking portrait of Putin by Dubya though!

"Putin" by President George W. Bush
"Putin" by President George W. Bush