Adventures of Hoogrrl!

A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.

Browsing Posts published in May, 2008

Upset the Setup makes some astute social observations here noting that this window display at the Mitchell Gold store on 14th Street speaks volumes about the gentrification of that neighborhood. I walk by that display 10 time a day and though I always thought it was an idiotic tagline, I never thought about it in the same way as Upset, who also adds:

And yo, I snuck into that $200/plate ‘arts’ dinner the Arts Development Corporation had. I have to say, the black tie fund raiser for the source theater in a ‘gritty’ urban loft, complete with graffiti ‘art’ on the walls disturbed me because I knew that the latinos working the catering and the artists who painted those walls weren’t going to see their share off that high brow arts development scam.

Thanks Vince Gallegos for this great image of the building in question.

Interesting commentary considering the recent rising tensions over several local arts organizations using the former Church of the Rapture at 14th and T Street (just up the street from the furniture store) for arty events this year. When Meat Market used the building for Performance Week in January (disclosure: The Pink Line Project was involved), a grumpy neighbor called the police numerous times when graffiti writers were invited to cover the building with colorful pieces before Performance Week began. The building’s owners authorized the graffiti on their private property and in fact enjoyed showcasing the building as an art space. Most people saw it as a fun, temporary improvement while the developer went about obtaining proper permits and whatever else they needed to do to develop property.

In early May, the CuDC used the space for its annual fundraiser gala, meant to raise money to support development of sustainable spaces for the arts and artists. Again, the grumpy neighbor called the police. The event took place as planned but city officials were now on high alert.

Shortly after, when Transformer used it for a sculpture exhibit, the grumpy neighbor finally got his way: the city sealed the building, trapping all the art inside, including 104 innocent goldfish, due to alleged potential dangers within. The Transformer event would have been the last art event to take place there before construction was to have begun in early June. This short-sighted and spiteful intrusion by the grumpy neighbor may have delayed the building’s development, which seems a fitting reprisal for someone whose chief complaint was that the building was taking too long to be developed and that it was an eyesore.

I might not have commented on any of this except that that same said grumpy neighbor has recently requested that *I* buff the graffiti. Asking someone who encourages the graffiti arts, nay, celebrates the graffiti arts to paint over graffiti seems a tad incongruous. My first reaction was, “No way. Are you the biggest jerk ever? Hell will freeze over before I take a roller to the side of that building.”

But then Nathan reminded me of a movie called The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal in which buffing is compared to Rothko! And I got to thinking that this could be a fantastic art project. Hmmmm. Will keep you posted.

Thanks again Art Vent for drawing my attention to this interesting article about creative thinking in aging brains.

This sentence caught my eye:

A reduced ability to filter and set priorities, the scientists concluded, could contribute to original thinking.

According to studies cited in the article, the brain’s ability to filter information diminishes as it ages, and therefore absorbs a wider range of information, including data that seems irrelevant at the time. But this info is processed and can be accessed later to solve problems in original and creative ways even when conditions change or are unrelated to the original situation.

Andrea sent me this great piece from Art Info that shares 9 tips on collecting photography. Of course, these suggestions apply equally to collecting in every media.

1. No Trust Fund? No Problem
You might not be a nouveau riche Russian billionaire or the heir to a family forture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a collector. “There are many areas of the market to collect in,” says Richardson. “You can buy Struth and Gursky and be ready to spend a hundred thousand to half a million dollars, but you can also buy strong young artists for, say, $2,000 to $3,500.”

2. Let Dealers Help
“A lot of dealers are collectors at heart, so they share this excitement and enthusiasm for finding a piece that’s fabulous and wonderful and right for you,” says Richardson — even if that fabulous piece is in another gallery. “Part of the excitement of the photographic community is that a lot of sharing goes on.”

3. Be Sneaky
If you find a work that you love but can’t afford, look around a bit, advises Belden. You may be able to find a smaller version of it being offered somewhere else. Belden does most of his searching online, trying auction house, gallery, and artist Web sites.

4. Look in the Closet
If you go to an art fair, says Richardson, look in the closets. “I’ve found some of the best pieces for myself and my clients in the closets of the exhibition booths. They’re for sale, but they’re tucked away for one reason or another.”

4. Don’t Rely on Fairs
Go to art fairs to see a range of work, but go to exhibitions at galleries to learn about a particular artist’s range, says Richardson. “You’ll have a much better understanding of who that artist is.”

5. And While You’re There…
If you find an artist you like at a particular gallery, ask to see work by other artists it represents, since it could be that your taste overlaps with the gallerist’s. You can also browse through a gallery’s stable of artists online, though Richardson warns that there’s a good chance the images posted there are not necessarily the newest work.

6. Do Not Fear the Gallerina
Those chic, bespectacled young aesthetes behind the desk at the gallery may not be the most welcoming, but they’re there to help. “I know people find galleries intimidating,” says Richardson, “but we’re always trying not to be.” She suggests the following approach: “If you’re interested in something, walk up to the gallerina at the desk and say you’d like some help, or point to something on the wall and say, ‘Who is that, can you tell me about that?’ In many galleries, someone will happily get up and talk to you about the artist.”

7. Stop By in the Summer
“Summertime’s a great time to look at photographs,” says Hunt, “because many galleries will do a summer show that features talent that the gallery’s trying on to see the response. The price point is pitched a little lower, because you get a different kind of traffic in summer. And I think dealers behave a little differently.”

8. Give a Little, Get a Little
Charity auctions can be a great place to find bargains, says Richardson. Galleries are unlikely to offer up their very best gems, but “often a lot of very good pieces are donated. It’s also a great way to get exposed to a lot of work.” Hunt adds that it’s also “a great way to see a mix of photographs that may otherwise never be seen together.”

9. Be a Joiner
If you can afford it, join the support group for patrons of the photography department of your local museum, suggests Richardson. “Curators and directors will talk with you about work they’ve seen that they think is important. They’ll take you through the art fairs and help you understand what you’re looking at.”

Jessica Dawson reviewed Ben Jurgensen’s fantastic show at Meat Market a couple weeks ago. Definitely one of the best shows in town right now.

So what sets Jurgensen apart? For one, a remarkably cogent set of works that display, if not maturity beyond his years, then at least a level of finesse that has to be taken seriously. That, and a certain creative juice — a whiff of the art student persona, that smarty-pants obsessive creative type — infuses almost every work.

This is way cool.

Did you catch Anita Walsh‘s nifty art installation on 14th Street last weekend during the Mid City artist open studios?

A review of the Thread Is the Line show at the Ellipse today in the Washington Post.

The Olympics 2008 commissioned art from DC-based artist Mark Smith. I met him a couple months ago at a dinner party and was really impressed with his views about art, which happen to echo my own! See below for a snippet from his artist statement.

[T]he artist believes that artwork has a primary function to ennoble the public. In order to create an awareness and appreciation of the Arts, Art must be connected to and integrated into our daily lives and must find applications that engenders understanding and implants the desire to have the Arts as a permanent partner in the everyday experience of our lives.

Tai Hwa Goh: Horizons Under the Surface
May 22 – July 5

@ Flashpoint Gallery
916 G Street, NW