Saturday, January 09, 2021

A name option for the Washington Football Club

 A few years ago I told you in 2013 about my wife's suggestions for the name controversy for the football team now called The Washington Football team.

She had suggested in 2013 to 

(a) Just change the mascot to a red potato and then call them the Washington Redskin Potatoes... Cough, cough... and change the helmet design so that instead of the old one, it would now depict a ferocious-looking red skin potato!

(b) She also thought of another great name option: The Washington Federals!

Dan Snyder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 08, 2021

The wounded deer

 The poem by Jose Marti goes like this:

Si ves un monte de espumas

Es mi verso lo que ves:

Mi verso es un monte, y es

Un abanico de plumas.


Mi verso es como un puñal

Que por el puño echa flor:

Mi verso es un surtidor

Que da un agua de coral.


Mi verso es de un verde claro

Y de un carmín encendido:

Mi verso es un ciervo herido

Que busca en el monte amparo.


Mi verso al valiente agrada:

Mi verso, breve y sincero,

Es del vigor del acero

Con que se funde la espada.  

And this is the painting that I did back in 1979 for an art school assignment at the University of Washington. The assignment was to create a new work, but in the style of a master.  This work is thus an adaptation of Jackson Pollock's style.  It is titled Mi verso es un ciervo herido que busca en el monte amparo.

Mi verso es un ciervo herido que busca en el monte amparo - A 1979 acrylic painting by F. Lennox Campello done as an art assignment at the University of Washington School of Art - from the CUBA series
Mi verso es un ciervo herido que busca en el monte amparo
1979 Acrylic on 600 pound paper by F. Lennox Campello


Thursday, January 07, 2021

The Navy pilot

When I was in the Navy I did dozens of illustrations for newspapers (such as The Stars & Stripes), and sketches of his shipmates and other US Navy sailors in ports in the US and European ports.  Most of these drawings and paintings were given away to his shipmates, but I also kept many of them - this one has been in storage for over 40 years and was recently found!

The Navy Chief and the pilot - a 1983 US Navy drawing by F. Lennox Campello
The Navy Chief and the Pilot
1983 US Navy drawing by F. Lennox Campello


Wednesday, January 06, 2021

On the anniversary of a hero's death

Six years ago my father died on this day... here's my eulogy from that date:
"Hoy se ha caido otro roble en la selva del amargo exilio" is how I always thought that my father's eulogy would begin once he died.

"Today another oak falls in the jungle of bitter exile," began the eulogy for the man whose bloodlines my children and I carry on.

Florencio Campello Alonso died today at age 90 in Miami, the heart of the bitter Cuban Diaspora. Like many Cubans of his generation, he was the son of European immigrants to Cuba. His Galician parents left the scraggy mountains of northern Spain's ancient Celtic kingdom and in the first decade of the 1900s migrated to the new nation of Cuba upon its liberation from Spain.

Galicians have always been uneasy subjects of the Spanish crown, stubbornly hanging on to their ancient Celtic traditions, to their own language and to their bagpipes, so it is no historical surprise that they left their mountain homelands en-masse and headed to the new tropical paradise of Cuba, free from the heavy hand of the Spanish monarchy.

And thus it was never a surprise to me that my father was both a fighter against heavy-handed rulers, a lover of freedom, and one who was never afraid to re-start a life for the better, even if it involved discarding the old. 
My father could have been one of the privileged few who currently rule  atop the food chain of Cuba's Workers' Paradise. But instead of accepting the benefits of oppression, this most valiant of men chose the harsh path of right over wrong.

And he paid for it dearly (he spent years in Concentration Camps), but when he died, his soul was clean.

In his youth, my dad worked the brutal hours of the son of an immigrant who was slowly building a small financial empire in eastern Cuba. My father was pulled from school as soon as he learned to read and write, and like his two other brothers and eight sisters, he was expected to work and contribute to building a familial empire.

And he did, as my mother relates the stories of my father's childhood in the fields of eastern Cuba, a blond creole in a land of jingoist natives... he trying to out-Cuban the "real Cubans"... how he organized a labor union of the exploited Haitians who worked almost as slaves at the Los Canos Sugar Mill, how he joined a group of bearded rebels in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra in the fight against a tyrant, how he ran for the leadership of the Sugar Workers' Union and beat the Communists to the post, and how he spent years in a Castro Concentration Camp, jailed for the crime of refusing to join the Party, because he believed in Democracy and not Communism. 
And because of that stubbornness, in the 1960s he was offered the bitter pill of exile, and this brave man decided to choose family... and left his birth place, and thus became another immigrant within two familial generations and brought his wife and child to another new land.

And it is to him that I owe the greatest gift that a father can give a son: the opportunity to grow in freedom in the greatest nation in the history of this planet.

It is because of my father's courage that I was raised in this country and not in a land bloodied by brutality and oppression.

It is because of my father's teachings that I was raised with the conviction that freedom is not free and never to be taken for granted; after all, he fought for freedom and then Castro, the man who inspired  the fight, ended up being a worse dictator, eventually destroying all notions of freedom for all of his people.

It is because of my father that I was taught that every citizen owes his  nation some form of service, and that's the main reason that I signed (at age 17) to serve in the US Navy.

It is because of my father that I despise anyone who hides behind the mask of victimism to excuse failures and shortcomings.

When our family arrived in New York in the 1960s, my father began to work in a factory three days after he landed at the airport; my mother (who came from a privileged Cuban family and had never worked a day in her life) found a job as a seamstress five days later. That pattern was repeated for decades as they worked their way in a new nation.

"We thought we'd be back within a few years," was the answer given to me when I once asked the question about leaving their birthplace. When that didn't materialize, they became fierce Americans in the "United States of Americans" sense... these were the "America None Better!" set of immigrants, and in my Dad's case, you better be ready to fight if you dissed the USA.

"Americans"!

Always a fighter he was... and always for the right reasons.

Cubans are archaic immigrants... we love this great nation because we  recognize its singular and unique greatness; perhaps it is because our forebears had the same chance at greatness and blew it.

And my Dad loved this nation even more than he once loved Cuba... perhaps it is the genetic disposition of the serial immigrant. After all, his father had left his own ancient Celtic lands and kin for a new land... which he learned to love dearly.

My father always wanted to make sure that I knew that I was an "Americano" and not another forced-on label.

"Labels," he'd say, "are just a way to separate people."

By labels he meant "Hispanic" or "Latino" or anything with a "-" between two ethnic words.

I also remember as a kid in New York, when he bought a huge Hi-Fi record player-color-TV console... that thing was huge. He bought it "lay-away" and he'd pay $10 a week to the store and him and I would walk all the way from our house on Sackman Street to the store on Pitkin Avenue to make the payments every Saturday - he never missed a single payment, and that taught me a lesson.

It was soon playing my Dad's favorite music, which oddly enough was Mexican music (Cuban music was a close second)... and he knew all the words to every charro song.
Guadalajara en un llano, Mejico en una laguna... 
Guadalajara en un llano, Mejico en una laguna...Me he de comer esa tuna 
Me he de comer esa tuna.... aunque me espine la mano.
That Jorge Negrete song... being shouted often on weekends at the top of his lungs from our apartment in a mostly Italian neighborhood in East New York in Brooklyn must have raised some eyebrows.

My dad and I watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon on that TV set... we also watched loads of Mets games... and in 1969 and 1972 went to Shea Stadium to see the Mets win in '69 and lose in '72. He really loved baseball and he really loved those Mets!

When I joined the Navy at age 17, my first duty station was USS SARATOGA, which at the time was stationed in Mayport in Florida, so my Dad decided to migrate south to Florida and moved to Miami... just to be close to me.

He and my mother spent the next 40 years in the same apartment while I was stationed all over the world.

When I visited him today in Miami, he looked good and freshly shaven... this is a good thing, as my father was a freak about hygiene... and that's a common "creole" trait.

The Hospice nurse almost teared up when I told her that my parents have been married for 60 years.

I looked at this old "gallego"... his skin as white as paper, his eyes as blue as the sky, and his head (once full of blond hair) as bald and shiny as the old Cuban sing song ("Mira la Luna, mira al Sol... mira la calva de ese.....") and I saw the generations of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Gallego Homo Sapiens that led to my bloodlines... the generations of fighters, of strugglers, and of tough guys who didn't take no for an answer and who made a better place for others. 

And I felt at peace and grateful.

And as my father died tonight, after an extubation,  all that I can think  to say to him is "Thank you for your courage... from me, and from my children... and soon from their children. You opened a whole new world for them."

I love you Dad... Un Abrazo Fuerte! Thank you for your gifts to me and my children and it is no coincidence that you died on El Dia de Los Reyes.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Call For Entry: Hotel Indigo

Quarterly Exhibitions at Hotel Indigo

Application Deadline: Rolling (submissions reviewed bi-annually)

Maryland Art Place (MAP), in partnership with Hotel Indigo is pleased to announce an open ‘Call to Artists’. 

As an extension of MAP’s annual IMPACT public art partnership projects, MAP is working with Hotel Indigo to offer rotating exhibitions in Hotel indigo’s library and Poets Modern Cocktails and Eats. This opportunity is available to visual artists living or working in Maryland. Maryland Art Place will curate four exhibitions a year based on submissions entered through a rolling basis. Hotel Indigo, Baltimore Downtown is a boutique hotel located in Baltimore, MD. MAP has been working closely with the hotel since it opened, selecting and installing the hotel’s permanent artwork collection including works by Jared Ragland, Gary Kachadourian and Christos Palios. 

Hotel Indigo and MAP share the same vision of supporting working artists in the region, and both look forward to their continued partnership and the rotation of quarterly exhibitions. 

For more information, visit www.baltimoreindigohotel.com

General Guidelines & Information: Details and application here.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Eyes... and more eyes

 

"Eyes of the woman standing behind the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 6 inches
Sold


"Eyes of The Morrigan"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 2.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Frida Kahlo I" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 1.5 inches
"Eyes of Frida Kahlo"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 1.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Frida Kahlo"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 2 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Queen Boudicca, also known as Bodicea" Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007 2 x 4.5 inches
"Eyes of Queen Boudicca, also known as Bodicea"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Humphrey Bogart" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 .75 x 1.5 inches
"Eyes of Humphrey Bogart"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
.75 x 1.5 inches
Sold  

"Eyes of a small New Orleans girl after Katrina" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 .75 x 1 inches
"Eyes of a small New Orleans girl after Katrina"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
.75 x 1 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Lauren Bacall" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 .75 x 1.5 inches
"Eyes of Lauren Bacall"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
.75 x 1.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of John F. Kennedy" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1.5 x 4 inches
"Eyes of John F. Kennedy"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1.5 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of John F. Kennedy II" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 3 inches
"Eyes of John F. Kennedy II"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold


"Eyes of John F. Kennedy III" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 3 inches
"Eyes of John F. Kennedy III"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of  Horus" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 3 inches
"Eyes of Horus"
Charcoal and colored pencil on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Happy Man"
Charcoal and colored pencil on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Africa"
Charcoal and colored pencil on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 2 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Woman who in 1994 sent me naked photos of herself"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold


"Eyes of Very Stormy Woman"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a woman about to make a mistake"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Very Strong Woman"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1.5 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Mr. Spock" Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007 2 x 4.5 inches
"Eyes of Mr. Spock"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Diego Rivera" Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007 2 x 4.5 inches
"Eyes of Diego Rivera"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Paul McCartney" Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007 2 x 4.5 inches"Eyes of Paul McCartney" Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007 2 x 4.5 inches
"Eyes of Paul McCartney"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
2 x 4.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Frida Kahlo"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 2.5 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Bettie Page" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 2 inches
"Eyes of Bettie Page"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 2 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Bettie Page" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 2 inches
"Eyes of Bettie Page"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
2 x  4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Barack Obama" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 3 inches
"Eyes of Barack Obama"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold
"Eyes of Anderson"
Charcoal and Colored Pencils on Paper, c. 2011
1 x 3 inches

"Eyes of Bettie Page" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 2 x  4 inches
"Eyes of Bettie Page"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
2 x  4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Frida Kahlo" Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007 1 x 3 inches
"Eyes of Frida Kahlo"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Frida Kahlo"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
0.5 x 1 inches
Sold

"Eyes of The Morrigan"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of an Irish Woman"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a woman with an eye freckle"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Sad Woman"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Maeve"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2005
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Small Child"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Power Lawyer"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Power Lawyer"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 3 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Professional Athlete"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of Candy"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of an Airport Hustler"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of The Morrigan"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Famous Porn Star"
Charcoal and colored pencils on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of an Artist"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold

"Eyes of a Sad Woman"
Charcoal on Paper, c. 2007
1 x 4 inches
Sold


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hotel California at auction again!

"Hotel California" shows up for auction in Ohio of all places! This is an art school assignment from 1976!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Mortgage and Rent Relief

In accordance with the Arts and Humanities Capital Funding Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, the Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) has established the FY21 FAB: Mortgage & Rent Relief (FAB-R) grant program to assist DC-based arts and humanities organizations with rent or mortgage expenses. Funding is being offered in response to the financial impacts related to COVID-19 to help ensure arts and humanities organizations remain in place, vibrant, and viable to open when safe to do so. The complete Request for Applications (RFA) is available online.


Submission Deadline: Friday | January 29, 2021 | 11:59 pm

Prospective applicants should read through the Request for Applications (RFA) in its entirety before initiating an application.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Quarantine Christmas!

 

The Giving Season by David FeBland
The Giving Season, 2007 David FeBland

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Christ, the Last Supper, and the missing afikoman


A few years ago, before governors in many states made it a Covidian crime, I was invited to a Seder meal by a friend who is also quite a well-known Philadelphia area artist and an even better known curator.

The Christ in Gethsemane III, charcoal on paper. Circa 2009 By F. Lennox Campello
Somehow the conversation turned to Christ’s Last Supper, which of course was a Seder meal, and she observed how most paintings depicting The Christ’s last meal showed regular bread instead of the unleavened bread required by Jewish tradition to celebrate the Passover. This is very interesting to the pedantic part of me, already troubled by the fact that nearly every depiction of The Christ that was presented to me in art school depicted mostly Northern European-looking Christs, rather than the Semitic Middle East Israelite that He was.

And now I wonder, are there any contemporary depictions (or any depiction) of the last supper which depict this last Seder for Christ in a more historically correct perspective?

I am sure that there exist versions of the unknown supper created by pedantic, history-aware artists of all sorts.

Religious art has pretty much been pushed aside by the postmodernists, in what can best be described as a self-mutilation of intelligent subject matter. It would be interesting to see a new contemporary view of religious art, and allow us to discover how today’s artists would interpret our diverse religious backgrounds.

Is that a great idea for an up-and-coming curator or gallery to take on or what? But I want to see The Christ as a Semite and I want to see the middle of the matzoth on the Seder plate broken in two with the larger piece hidden, to be used later as the afikoman.