Fair Enough: Miami 2010

Click for Marketing Mondays: 6 Degrees of Representation
Mel Bochner at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, last year at ABMB

And I'm off.
A big thank you, gracias, merci, obrigada, arrigato, grazie and much obliged to everyone who sent in donations via Pal Pal or check to send me to Miami.  I am deeply appreciative of your generosity. (Anyone else who's so inclined, the Pay Pal button is just to your right.) I'm taking my assignment seriously, which is to see as much as I can and report on it intelligently and in as timely a manner as possible. I will be avoiding the parties, the fashion and the "in" crowd in favor of the art, basic black, editing images and sleep. While I don't expect to produce any big posts while I'm there, I have set aside two weeks upon my return to deliver a post a day. .
This is will be my sixth year of covering the Miami art fairs. I try to live up to my blog’s disclaimer, Guaranteed Biased, Myopic, Incomplete and Journalistically Suspect, though I do stretch beyond my personal tastes for the reports I'll be posting throughout the month. And truth be told, I try to be journalistically responsible. While I don’t love all the work in all the fairs, I’m aware that artists and dealers have worked long hours to get their stuff up on a wall or in a booth, and they have spent a lot of money in the process, so if I don’t dig the art or the venue I’m judicious in my negative comments.  Exception: If you’re a movie star using your celebrity to sell derivitave and poorly executed paintings, you are not getting over. (That means you, Sylvester Stallone, and your pimperiffic gallery, too.)

I have five days, starting with the previews and openings on Wednesday evening and working my way down my itinerary through the last of the events on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to Boyd Level for providing its fab guide to the fairs again this year. I've identified the venues I know to offer free entry, just in case you're in the area and plan to attend. Here’s what’s on my itinerary ( provides a good annotated listing):
Miami Beach
Art Basel Miami Beach (artists: it’s $20 after 4:00 pm)
. Will I attend the morning Conversations? We'll see
Aqua Art (free w/ pass)
The Oceanfront (part of ABMB located on the beach; free)
Ink (free)
NADA (free)

Three causeways connect Miami Beach to the design area known as Wynwood in Miami proper. The free shuttles are not not dependable and when they do arrive, theyre often full, so I will be cabbing it to and fro. The fairs I plan to visit:
Art Miami
Seven (free)
. I'll also be attending Jen Dalton & William Powhida's #Rank sessions, including one on age and gender with Joanie San Chirico
Red Dot
Private Collections
Work does not go over the sofa in these warehouses turned into museum-like settings. 
What I'm Probably Going to Skip
Because there's only so much time, only so much energy, and only so many cerebral bytes to process the visual information (my limit: three fairs a day), I'm not putting these on my itinerary. But you never know . . .
Getting Social
Mostly I travel alone, because I can’t process all the images and information if I’m engaged in conversation. But here’s where I plan to get social:
Preview Party at Aqua Art 
. Wednesday evening, 8:00—11:00 pm
. Collins at 15th Street
. I’ll be there about 9:00 p.m.,  hanging out in Room 106, the Conrad Wilde Gallery, where I will have paintings on view like the one at left
. Click here for a free pass
Silk Road 155, 2010, encaustic on panel, 12x12 inches

Art Bloggers @
. Thursday evening, 5:00—7:00 pm, in the courtyard of Aqua Art
. Look for the signs, like the logo below, to find us
. This year we’re skipping the panel discussion in favor of a more relaxed get-together. Come on over to say Hi and have a drink. Aqua is providing the beverages
. Use the free pass to get in


The Boston Reception hosted by the DeCordova Museum
This is the second annual installment of an event hosted by the museum for artists, collectors, curators, gallerists and museum staff in the Boston area. I missed it last year, but as an artist who shows and teaches in Boston, I'm going to go meet my peeps. If you are from the Boston area (and I'm guessing that would include much of New England), it's on Saturday evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Colllins at 16th Street, Third Floor Terrace.
Reports from Previous Years
Just in case you start jonesing for some news from Miami, check out The Art Newspaper, which will publish daily dailiy editions  from Miami, as well as my blog reports from previous years:
Fair and Fair Alike: Miami 2009
Fair Weather, Miami: 2008
Fair Factor, Miami: 2007
All's Fair, Miami: 2006
Joanne Goes to Miami, 2005


Marketing Mondays: 6 Degrees of Representation

[This is the last Marketing Mondays post of the year. Reports from Miami will begin later this week and continue throughout December. MM will resume on January 3, 2011. ].

 We're talking gallery representation, not rocket science, but this picture does make a point, which is that while the sun is that big hot thing in the middle of the solar system, there's plenty going on in the outer orbits

So you’ve got a painting in a gallery show for the first time. Or a new gallery has taken a work of yours to an art fair. What’s your relationship to the gallery? Are you represented? What do you owe the gallery and what does it owe you? Nancy Baker suggested this excellent topic. Let me see if I can do it justice.

1. Represented Artists
You’re a represented artist if you’re on the gallery website and included in the regular rotation for a solo show. In a gallery that represents 20 or 30 artists, your rotation may not come up more than once every three years, but a gallery that is working hard to represent you will find ways to keep your work visible: online, in the viewing room, with a special project, with inclusion in the occasional group show. You probably have some kind of contract with the gallery—a written document or verbal agreement—that defines your mutual relationship. (Contracts: the subject for an MM post in the new year.) Typically there’s some degree of exclusivity, regional perhaps, and an understanding that the gallery gets first dibs on your new work.

2. The Inner Circle
If “represented artist” is the center of concentric rings of representation, the "inner circle" of representation is the center of the center. Artists who sell well, or with whom the dealer has a good relationship, may find they get more: a better time slot, an ad (or a larger ad) to promote a show; a review because the dealer goes to bat extra hard for the artist; their work featured at an art fair; inclusion in a special project. Chances are that if you’re one of the gallery’s “difficult” artists—always late with deadlines, never happy with anything the gallery does, you know the personality type—you won’t be part of the inner circle.

3. Affiliated Artists
Now let's move to the first outer ring. Not every artist exhibited by a gallery is represented. Sometimes the artists are listed as Affiliated, Invited or Guest Artists or another such designation, and sometimes they're not listed at all. The status is intentional on the part of the dealer, and it may be equally intentional on the part of the artist.

“Including an artist in a couple of group shows over time is an opportunity for me to try out new work, to see if collectors respond. It’s also a chance for me to see what it’s like to work with a particular artist,” says a New York dealer who asked not to be named. “Since many artists, especially new or younger artists, don’t always understand the nature of the relationship, we make it clear when we invite them to participate in a show that ours is a ‘limited partnership.’”  
Has an artist ever made the jump from exhibited artist to represented artist? “Occasionally,” says the dealer. “But it’s different with every gallery.”
Speaking from my own experience, I have good collegial associations with several galleries that have shown my work more than once. For a gallery it’s a good way to show a lot of artists without the commitment. For an artist so involved, it’s a good way to show widely and increase the network for sales without being tied down. In short, it’s like dating before you get serious. Typically there’s no contract involved and little in the way of post-exhibition responsibility to the gallery, though if you are approached after the fact by someone wanting to acquire a work that was shown, let the gallery make the sale. And definitely keep the gallery apprised of solo shows elsewhere, of reviews, of other recent achievements. Everybody likes a winner.

Also from an artist’s point of view, it’s a chance to see how the gallery performs for you. Does the gallery pay to have the work shipped there? Do they handle it carefully? Do they return your phone calls or emails in a timely manner? Do they find ways to include your work in their projects? Do they sell the work you send them? Good!  Do they let your work go out with careless consultants who return it damaged? Do you have to send a stream of emails before you get a response? Not good. You don’t want to continue an association with dealers who reveal themselves to be less than totally professional.
4. Tangential Representation
Not every relationship is destined for gallery representation or affiliation. There are many perfectly legitimate tangential associations. Here are two examples:
. You had an affiliation with a gallery that is now closed. The dealer may now be working as a consultant, or directing a curatorial program. You may find yourself included in projects as a result of the relationship.  I had a relationship with a short-lived gallery in the Midwest that resulted in a several good gallery sales and a big post-exhibition commission. I’ve remained friends with the owner, who is no longer in the business of selling art—but his friends buy art and he has brokered a few sales.  
. Your work was sold by a dealer as part of a package to a client.  A hard-working art dealer might put together a selection of works to show a client, often a corporate consultant who is looking to acquire a number of works of a specific type for a large project. To complete the package, the dealer may borrow work from another gallery, usually one whose owner she is friends with. You might be an artist whose work was included this way. (When the sale is made, Dealer #1 and Dealer #2 split the 50% commission.) It’s also possible the dealer found you as the result of an internet search or through the recommendation of a gallery artist or perhaps even the client himself. 

Sometimes tangential relationships develop into something more; sometimes they remain tangential. If you are developing a “portfolio” of representation (another topic for an upcoming MM), the tangential relationship, cultivated as such, can be beneficial to both you and the dealer. I would not expect to be working with a contract in this situation, just a consignment agreement.

5. One-shots
When a gallery curates a thematic show, it often invites artists working outside of its orbit, so to speak, to participate. (Postcards are a great way to bring your work to a dealer's attention.)  Congratulations if you've been invited. It’s always nice to have your work shown in good company by a good gallery. One-shot inclusion can be a way to fatten your resume, broaden your network, break into a new city. You never know who’s going to see your work in the venue.  Attend the opening, make new friends, and enjoy being part of the exhibition. A contract should be for the duration of the show; that’s all.

Given the economic climate, it’s wise of dealers to expand their parameters with new work and new artists. It’s also wise of an artist in this situation to understand the nature of the relationship, which is that it is unlikely to lead to something more permanent.  (Again, like dating.) But you never know . . . .
6. Inventory
You have work at a gallery—prints, let’s say—that sell well to consultants and corporate collectors. You’re not listed on the gallery’s roster, perhaps not even included in group shows, but your work fits a niche for the gallery’s sales program, and you get a check regularly.  This may not be the relationship you want with every gallery, but it's not a bad relationship to have.

(If you are more well known, you may find yourself "represented" by a gallery that shows your prints. The gallery probably acquired the prints through the publisher. In this scenario even Picasso is an inventory artist.)

If you show widely, you probably have different relationships with different galleries, represented by one, perhaps, and showing occasionally in another. In an upcoming MM I’ll talk about the “portfolio” of representation you might develop. What? You think only galleries can have a roster?  

Over to you: Artists, tell us your experiences in the solar system of representation. Dealers, please tell us about those outer rings from the gallery's point of view. Anonymous comments welcome.


X Marks the Spot: Vivid, Pavers, Mendieta


In Vivid:  Sigrid Sandstrom, Bruce, 2010, acrylic on board, 18x14 inches

Before I head off to Miami, I want to focus on the X chromosome. There has always been good painting and sculpture by women, of course, but the past few months in New York there have been a number of really good shows as well.  Previous posts on this blog (here, here, here, here and here) have noted some of those shows.

In this post I bring you installation images from three shows, up now.

Vivid: Female Currents in Painting
The show, curated by independent curator Janet Phelps, is at the fabulous new Schroeder Romero and Shredder Gallery on 26th Street.  Springing from what the gallery describes as a “post-everything” sensibility, the exhibition includes formalist abstraction to the more expressionist and representational. I'm probably too rooted in formalist abstraction to love it all, but that's beside the point. This is an excellent survey. Phelps drew from a list of about 150 artists, noting in conversation that she could easily have created an entirely different and equally strong show, so I'm guessing there's at least the possibility of a Part 2 in our future. Lisa Schroeder and Sara Jo Romero, what say you? 

In Vivid, from left: Angela Dufresne, two by Mala Iqbal, Vera Iliatova, two by Rosanna Bruno; on the other side of the door, Nicola Tyson, Andrea Champlin

Jennifer Coates, Iona Rozeal Brown, Carrie Moyer, Jackie Gendel.

Brown and Moyer; foreground,  Rebecca Chamberlain; Elizabeth Bonaventura, Judith Linhares.

Foreground, Dona Nelson.

Barbara Takenaga, Wendy White; distance, Karen Heagle

On the foreground wall: Harriet Korman, three by Laylah Ali

In the Shredder half of the gallery is the the related exhibition of painters and sculptors who bushwacked their way into visibility in two previous generations. This list includes the late Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Guggenheim founder, Hilla Rebay, as well as contemporary powerhouses Valerie Jaudon, Louise Fishman and Melissa Meyer.

In Pavers, from left: Dorothy Morang, two small paintings by Susanna Coffey, Evelyn Twitchell, Melissa Meyer.

Go see this dual show, up through January 22. If you can’t, click on the boldface titles for images of work in the respective shows.

Ana Mendieta: Documentation and Artwork 1972-2010
Across the street at Galerie Lelong, stop in to see the videos, drawings, photographs and a recreated installation of this seminal--or should I say, ovular--artist. The show marks the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death (at 36, from a high-rise fall, under questionable circumstances, though her husband, the sculptor Carl Andre, was acquitted of murder). Given the nature of her death, Mendieta’s body-based art, strong and poetic in equal measure, becomes more archetypal over time.

  Anima, 1982,  14 black rock crystals laid in soil and  grass,  55 x 25 1/2 inches

Left: Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico), 1976, estate print 1991, 
20 x 16 inches
Right: El Ixchell Negro, 1977, lifetime color photograph mounted on board, 20 x 13 1/4 inches

The show is up only through December 11. Get there if you can, or click here for more info and the gallery’s installation images.


Billionaire Boys Club (The Early Days)


At the MoMA Abstraction show (which  I hope to write about after Miami), several vitrines held papers and publications documenting the early days of the movement. The price list shown above was one of them. (Click pic to see an enlarged image.)


Marketing Mondays: "Russian Nesting Dolls of Disappointment"

Find the satisfaction
(Image from the Internet)

A couple of weeks ago I moderated a career panel in Boston at Massachusetts College of Art, for the Fine Arts 2D department where I teach a course for graduating seniors. My colleagues, Laurel Sparks, Randy Garber, Ted Mineo and department chair Jim Cambronne, were on the panel. Our topic was "Behind the Scenes of an Art Career," a chance for the students to get a sense of what it has been like for five working artists--that would be us--to build and sustain our careers as painters. We talked about the jobs we've had, lucky breaks that helped us along, the rejections we've dealt with, and the fact that no matter where you are in your career, you still want more.

It's OK to want more. That's part of setting goals and working hard. You know how it is: All you want is to get into a juried show. Then all you want is to get into a gallery. Then have a solo at the gallery representing you. But we also need to develop the capacity to appreciate what we have achieved. Without that appreciation, you get trapped in what Ted called "the Russian nesting dolls of disapoinment."

That's when it's not enough to get the solo, but to have it when the new season opens in September. Not enough to have the September slot but get a full-page ad in Art in America. Not enough to have the September show and the ad but a review followed by a cover story in the magazine. And so it goes all the way up the line. Not enough to make the sale, but the sale to a particular collector or museum. These are all great things, of course, but where's the line between wanting more and being at least reasonably satisfied (possibly even grateful) with what you have achieved? Seems crazy, but there are artists unhappy with their solo at MoMA because it's not in the particular gallery they wanted, which another well-known artist had, or their catalog is not as big as that of another artist who'd shown there.

Jackie Battenfield, an artist and author of The Artist's Guide: How To Make A Living Doing What You Love, calls this kind of thinking "Compare and Despair." And it happens at every level.

Over to you: Can you be happy with what you have achieved and still retain a hunger that has you working for more? Or does every achievement lead to a disappointment?


My Paintings in the Viewing Room at Heidi Cho


Silk Road 115, encaustic on panel, 12 x 12 inches

If you're making the rounds in Chelsea this evening, November 18, stop in and say Hi. Four small paintings of mine are installed in the Viewing Room at the Heidi Cho Gallery, 522 W. 23rd Street. The big exhibition in the front gallery is of work by Rex Lau and Diane Mayo. Enjoy it and then come and find me in the Viewing Room from 6:30-8:00.

If you'd like to know more about Silk Road, Liz Hager wrote a perceptive piece for her Venetian Red blog, Artists in Conversation: Joanne Mattera's Journey of Visual Pleasure. Here's an excerpt: "In these mostly 12 x 12 inch paintings the artist has deftly exploited the encaustic medium to opulent results. Yet appreciating this series solely on the basis of its tour-de-force technical achievement would be to miss the richer sphere that the work inhabits. . . Color on the scale of intimacy that Mattera achieves is a powerful experience."  
Click on the bolface title to access the story. Or come to the Heidi Cho Gallery on Thursday and I'll tell you all about the work myself.
If you're in the Boston area, my solo show, Travel with Me, is at Arden Gallery through November 29..


Marketing Mondays: Selling Out of Your Studio

I was chatting with a dealer recently about a particular artist whose work we both like. Due to a recent gallery closure the artist is now without  gallery representation. During the conversation the dealer let on that he had been interested in taking on this artist. Asking around, he found that the artist has a reputation for selling out of his studio while represented. After exercising what he called “due diligence," the dealer found the rumors to be true.  An invitation to the artist for gallery representation was never extended.

If you are not gallery represented
Go ahead and sell out of your studio. That’s one of the reasons Open Studios have become so popular. Indeed, studio buildings that might have had one event a year now have two or more, often pegged to the holidays. Collectors go—at least we hope they go—looking as much for bargains as for new work by new artists. Dealers also visit open studios, too, and they do so with an eye to finding new artists
If you are gallery represented
Selling out of your studio is an established No No in a business that has few established rules. The reason is obvious: No dealer wants to invest in your career only to have you snatch a sale (and their commission) out from under them. And if you're selling at a price that's lower than the gallery price, you're undercutting your own best interests. If your dealer is not working for you, it seems to me that trying to have it both ways—representation by the gallery, sales out of your studio—is not going to serve you well in the long term. Someone is going to do their “due diligence”  and you may end up selling out of your studio for a good long time.
And let me state the obvious: You worked hard to find the gallery that represents you. Why not let them do what they do best so that you can do what you do best? 
The gray area
There are some areas in which the “rules” are less clear. For instance--and I'm purposely exagerating here--suppose you live in Portland, Maine, but are represented by a gallery in Portland, Oregon. It’s unlikely the Oregon dealer has you under exclusive contract for the entire country (and if so, get out of that contract!). So if you participate in an Open Studio in Maine, I would think you’d be OK in keeping the proceeds of the entire sale.

Still, there’s a gray area within the gray area: Did the Oregon dealer do national publicity for you recently? Publish a catalog? Arrange for a museum show or get you included in a national exhibition, or a traveling exhibition, that got reviewed or written about closer to your home? Those actions could easily have resulted in the kind of increased local interest that would help you sell out of your studio as never before. The dealer may be entitled, legally or morally, to a share in the sales. Should it be 50 percent? I don't know.  What do you think?

Suggestions for gallery-represented artists
. Talk to your dealer or dealers. What do they expect from you? How do their other represented artists deal with these issues?
. Talk to the other represented artists, too
. Read the fine print on any contract they ask you to sign. Courtesy be damned; you may be legally prohibited from selling out of your studio
If you would feel uncomfortable explaining the sale to your dealer, maybe you should rethink the way you make the sale
. Because I work with several galleries, I always ask the collector who contacts me, "How did you find my work?" If it was via a postcard or ad, I direct them to the gallery that generated it. If the response is a vague, "From the Internet," I direct them to the gallery nearest them. Because savvy collectors often browse several sites where an artist's work is being shown, I may let more than one gallery know of a collector's interest. That allows them to contact the potential client directly--or to work together--to make a sale, letting me step back from the commercial end of things 
. There are many other ways you can work with your dealer. One is to have the collector over to the studio and when the sale is about to be made, call your gallery and let them handle the details--including sales tax (a bonus here: galleries take credit cards, which most artists don't).  You'd work this out ahead of time with both parties, of course
. Or arrange for a studio vist where dealer and collector meet at the studio. The dealer can personally make the sale. If there's a problem with the sale later (check bounces, there's a credit card issue) your dealer will handle it
. Another artist I know collects the gallery price from a studio sale, including sales tax. She has the collector make the check out to the gallery, who then pays the sales tax and handles shipping, installation and the disbursement of funds
Over to you
Artists: Do you sell out of your studio? Do you do so even if you are gallery represented?
Dealers: How have you dealt with artists if/when you find out they have been selling without your involvement?


Buzzing Off . . .


That's me, worker bee. I have been really busy lately with deadlines for a number of projects. Marketing Mondays will continue until Miami coverage begins (and then resume in January), but posting otherwise for the next couple of weeks will be sporadic. I will try to get Nozkowski and a roundup of Chelsea shows posted--so do check in--but know that I'm buzzing off for a bit.


Marketing Mondays: Website or Blog?

Today's topic was inspired by an artist who emailed me with this question:
"Do you find your art is viewed more from your blog than from your website? I don't see the value of keeping up with both."  

My two sites do different things, and I use them differently. The website is a static tool; the blog, much more dynamic. Here's how I use mine:

. The website shows fairly recent work; it's never updated often enough, but that's because I have someone else do it, and it costs too much in time to rethink the changes and in money to pay for them. It offers a look at my work--not a catalog for selling, but for looking. My visitors have no direct contact with me, nor I with them.  (I launched my blog in 1998, back when everyone was on dialup and the only way to make a website was to know code. Eventually I will either buy a template and create my own new website or design a "website" blog that I maintain myself. But until I find a secretary, an assistant or a clone, it will remain as it is.)

. This blog is a dynamic tool that I maintain myself, allowing me to show my work--usually on the sidebar--and to be more fully engaged with the art world via reviews, reports (like the Miamipalooza coming up next month), commentary, links to events and, sometimes, to curate thematic collections of images in online "exhibitions."  It's also interactive via comments from readers, and via the many links I include throughout the posts.

. This blog links to blogs specifically for my resume and exhibition schedule, both of which I update regularly. I don't put those URLs on my business card. While I want them to be available and informative, I don't want them to be in-your-face. 
. I also maintain a blog for the annual encaustic conference I founded and direct. Part catalog, part newsletter, it links directly to my non-profit partner, which handles registration and does outreach of its own. The conference blog allows me to run a business from my studio, to interact with my producing partner, and equally important, to communicate casually and informationally with the conference particpants.

. And, finally, I maintain a syllabus blog for the class I teach at an art college. (Subtitle: Because Photocopying is so Last Century). There are tons of links to artists' websites and other blogs, to books and articles, and to information about the speakers who will visit the class or whom we will visit. I update it as necessary. And when I teach the occasional career workshop, I post an informational blog that remains available to the students of that workshop for one month.
Other people use their blog differently: as a website, as a gallery for showing, as a catalog for selling, as a studio or personal diary, as a newsletter, as a vehicle for political activism, even as a scrapbook for various projects.

So, over to you:  Website or blog? Or both? And tell us how you use each. Include your URL. If you can figure out how to make the link live, great. Otherwise, just post it; we can cut and paste it into our browser.


Travel With Me


Installation view, Arden Gallery, Boston
In Travel With Me, my sixth solo at Arden Gallery, I'm showing 15 small color-field paintings, the newest works from my Silk Road series. Travel with Me invites you to take a visual perambulation with the paintings, which traverse the gallery walls.

The gallery is at 129 Newbury Street in Boston. I'll be at the opening this evening from 5:00 to 7:00, and tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, from 2:00 to 4:00. Hope to see you! Click here for gallery info and more images. Scroll down for a bit more of a peek.

Silk Road 139
All work 2010, encaustic on panel, 12x12 inches unless noted
Silk Road 141.

Panning around to the left wall
Silk Road 135
Opposite wall, with Silk Road 140, 143, 146, 147
Silk Road 143
Silk Road 146, 2010, 18x18 inches


Seeing the Light

I’ve been lukewarm about Dan Flavin all these years. That’s odd, really, because as someone who works reductively and with luminous color in my own painting, I should have embraced Flavin’s oeuvre. Better later than never. I’ve seen the light. Then again, this is the first time I've ever seen this particular piece.
I walked into the Paula Cooper Galler to find a long rectangular structure dwarfed by the cavernous space. My first look was to the right, where I saw a yellow green glow pouring out of the structure and bathing the wall opposite. I followed it. What you see below is what I saw, in the way I saw it.


From inside, the stucture creates a luminous hallway that you can enter. Beyond the wall of light is a black void tinged pink around the edges.

Walking around the back of the dark gallery, you see both ends of the structure. The color above is pretty accurate (a challenge for a small point-and-shoot trying to understand fluorescent.)

Approaching the opposite entrance . . .

. . .  and entering. I love this view

This work is Untitled (to Barry, Mike, Chuck and Leonard), 1972-1975; 8’ x 8’ x (no length given). Edition of three, with one fabricated. The show was up through October 30. You can see more images of additional work on the gallery website.


Don't Just Vote . . .

. . . Vote Democratic!
Support the inclusive and liberal candidates who will support you. You don't have to love them, but you do need to vote for them. The right-wing extremists are salivating at the thought of getting into Congress so that they can impose their dogmatic and repressive ideas on us. And artists, if you're thinking of not voting because you're unhappy with the status quo, consider this: It's hard enough to be included on anyone's agenda, but the Repugnicans consistently vote down any support for the arts. Make a difference with your Democratic vote. It's that important.

. Say no to creationist morons who believe the Constitution was handed to Moses.

. Say no to anti-choice candidates who have come to this position after having had access to abortions of their own.
. Say no to anti-gay zealots who may or may not be boffing their parishioners or staffers in an orgy of delusion, denial and self hate. (We don't want them on our team, anyway.)
. Say no to anti-immigrant fanatics whose grandparents or parents (or who themselves) came here with dreams of a better future--and who now demonize those who are just arriving as they try to close the door.

. Say no to the Teabaggers who push for English-only (even though they can't spell with it), believing that "if English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for you."
. Say no to the "anti-big-government" extremists who seek to impose fascist sanctions in the name of freedom 
. Say no to the people who promise no new taxes. The will cut what few benefits you do have in order to support their wealthy constituents. And you'll end up paying more for goods and services.

. And if you need more reasons, here are 90 of them, a list compiled by Robert P. Watson in The Political Agitator, which I found on Dana Roc's blog, Dana Delivered


Marketing Mondays: Scam or Opportunity?

You know how I feel about Vanity Galleries. Indeed, my outspokenness has earned me the Angry Hillbilly Award from Ico Gallery, a vanity in New York City.  (As you may recall, we had so much fun with the "award"--move over, Granny and Jethro--that they eventually took the post down, presumably from extreme mortification. But not before I dumped the contents here. )

Are those red flags?
Now comes the Bienniale Internazionale Dell'Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy.

They want me--they've already emailed me twice--but they want me to pay my own way, or get an organization to sponsor me. They found me via the Internet. Here's a red flag: The message was diverted to my junk email file. Here's another: You're automatically invited to participate if you have an Internet presence. Um, so my website with the paintings of big-eyed kittens in tutus and toe shoes makes me eligible?

Have you received one of these invitations, too? Maybe it's a legitimate exhibition, but those flags are waving. I don't care if Marina Abramovic did receive the Lorenzo Il Magnifico award from them. Here's the email:

Dear Artist,
We would like to invite you to exhibit your artwork in the next edition of the Florence Biennale. After reviewing your artwork present in internet, the Internal Committee has expressed favourable opinion for your participation. The Eight edition of the Biennale will be held from 3 to 11 December 2011.

Marina Abramovic and Shu Yong in 2009, Gilbert & George in 2007, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Richard Anuskiewicz in 2007 and David Hockney in 2003 were awarded with the maximum recognition, the Lorenzo il Magnifico award for their career. The Biennale attracted an impressive number of enthusiasts, artists and visitors. Each day of the seventh edition was studded with collateral events and conferences, such as that of Gregorio Luke, Former Director of the MOLAA at Long Beach, among others that can be seen in our website

The exhibition doesn’t receive any public neither private financial assistance. The exhibition is entirely funded by artists, that can search for sponsors independently in their own country. To those possible sponsors indicated by artists, Arte Studio will provide to send a formal nd request. Sponsors will be published both in the general catalogue and the website, as you can see by visiting the sponsor’s page present in our website, that helped some artists in the past biennales.

You will find all the necessary information in the participation documents, in order to send you these we kindly ask you to send us your postal address to the following e-mail

Best Regards,
Internal Committee of the Biennale

If you know anything, this is the time and place to share.