Adventures of Hoogrrl!

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

Browsing Posts published in June, 2008

Thanks James Alefantis, collector and restaurateur extraordinaire, for sending me this link to a piece entitled: “Why Artists need More Than Creativity to Survive”.

This research identifies the critical contribution that artists make to our society and economic the difficulty of being an artist.

Throughout our history, artists in the U.S. have utilized their skills as a vehicle to illuminate the human condition, contribute to the vitality of their communities and to the broader aesthetic landscape, as well as to promote social change and democratic dialogue. Artists have also helped us interpret our past, define the present, and imagine the future. In spite of these significant contributions, there’s been an inadequate set of support structures to help artists, especially younger, more marginal or controversial ones, to realize their best work. Many artists have struggled and continue to struggle to make ends meet. They often lack adequate resources for health care coverage, housing, and for space to make their work. Still, public as well as private funding for artists has been an uneven, often limited source of support even in the best of times economically.

The research then suggests ways to improve the situation.

…improving support structures for artists in the U.S. will not be accomplished simply by restoring budget cuts, though we will certainly need to rebuild these kinds of direct financial support going forward. Making a real difference in the creative life of artists will entail developing a new understanding and appreciation for who artists are and what they do, as well as financial resources from a variety of stakeholders. Achieving these changes involves a long-term commitment from artists themselves, as well as arts administrators, funders, governments at various levels, community developers and real estate moguls, not to mention the business and civic sectors (emphasis added).

It’s simply not enough to rely on government grants. Supporting a creative community requires participation by many stakeholders, including art collectors! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, though buying paintings is an important way collectors can support artists, there are many other ways that collectors can participate in developing a thriving art community. And it doesn’t take lots of dough to move beyond a passive role, just a little creative thinking.

Sweet Jesus.


(Bless you TG.)

Nice abs.

Good art

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One thing that seems to prevent some from becoming art collectors is a lack of confidence in their own ability to identify “good” art. Prompted by a dispute over whether the above Warhol painting is really a Warhol if it was created by a former studio assistant without Warhol’s oversight, blogger-dealer Ed Winkleman ponders this topic. In the context of whether this painting is worth $3,000,000, we believe Warhol is a good artist who made good art. This painting was made by someone who was trained by Warhol in a manner that is indistinguishable from a real Warhol. Ergo, this painting is good art. I don’t know if that is true, but it spurs a good conversation about how we decide what is good art. Be sure to read the comments on Winkleman’s post; I particularly liked this quotation that someone posted about Sol LeWitt’s work:

“He also liked the inherent impermanence of Conceptual art, maybe because it dovetailed with his lack of pretense: having started to make wall drawings for exhibitions in the 1960s, he embraced the fact that these could be painted over after the shows. (Walls, unlike canvases or pieces of paper, kept the drawings two-dimensional, he also thought.) He wasn’t making precious one-of-a-kind objects for posterity, he said. Objects are perishable. But ideas need not be. ”

For me, good art is not about the object, though I like and collect objects, rather good art is defined by the good idea behind it. I like to collect good ideas.

(Photo: David Gonzalez/The New York Times)

The Lord & Taylor department store has commissioned the South Bronx crew to create a graffiti installation for its store windows on 5th Avenue in NYC. See here for the whole story.


I love DC Mag’s coverage of the Recognize opening at the Portrait Gallery a few months ago because all my friends got to be in the pictures! Good to see different faces showing up on the pages of Scene In DC.

Nekisha is fourth from left, Henry is third from right, Jeffry is dead center.
(c) Tony Powell

In May 2008, Henry Thaggert, a great DC art collector and a co-curator (with Jeffry Cudlin) of the exhibition She’s So Articulate at the Arlington Arts Center, spoke to Nekisha Durrett about the meaning behind her work; about how an African American artist came to make Japanese inspired drawings, and about whether she is a Diva. Read this fascinating interview here.

“She’s So Articulate: Black Women Artists Reclaim the Narrative” is a new exhibition at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia, that examines storytelling techniques in art made by black female artists. The show explores the art world’s longstanding, sometimes dismissive, assumptions about African American narrative art, black female artists’ connections to shared culture and history, and the ways in which those connections get articulated in recent contemporary fine art. The exhibition, which runs through July 2008, draws context from the art world’s fascination with Kara Walker, a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant winner who recently had a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Walker, an African-American artist, creates larger-than-life cutout caricatures of antebellum slaves and their white masters. Her narratives reference testimonial slave accounts, historical novels and minstrel shows.

“She’s So Articulate” attempts to expand the discussion beyond Walker’s concerns about the traumatic impact of slavery on its victims and survivors. For example one of the artists, Nekisha Durettt, tells a cryptic fairy tale using a multi-paneled installation that seems to be a hybrid of Japanese manga-styling and Kara Walker’s room-sized antebellum scenes.


Took me awhile to get this scanned and posted, but here’s an article about Wreckfest@Tiffany’s that appeared in the Arlington Connection back in April. The author Greg Wyshynski quotes Arlington Arts Center Exhibits Director Jeffry Cudlin about the show:

No, graffiti in a gallery isn’t groundbreaking or edgy and hasn’t been for decades. But Philippa’s stated goal isn’t to shock; it’s to make visual art accessible to audiences that it might not traditionally reach.

Exactly. I’d say we succeeded given the numbers of people who showed up at the closing party and given the amount of art we sold that night to both first-time art buyers and experienced collectors who’d never purchased graffiti art before.

An extra reminder to go see Girlish Ways on Saturday night! Opens at 7 pm @ the Bobby Fisher Memorial Building, 1644 North Capitol Street, NW.


I was just talking to Leila Holtsman about how much we admired Louise Bourgeois and then discovered that a movie about her life opened yesterday in NYC. Might have to make a special trip to see it.

From the New York Times:

The uncommonly elegant and evocative portrait “Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine” reveals much about this haunting and haunted master while leaving intact what Georges Braque once wrote was the only thing that mattered in art: the thing you cannot explain.