Reviewing Myself

Unplugged this weekend after the NYC trip and rode my bike around DC checking in on two exhibits I’m in. The first is at Politics & Prose bookstore‘s Modern Times Coffee House. It features my Sense of Place series. Politics & Prose is to DC what Powell‘s is to Portland, OR and City Light‘s is to San Francisco. Most recently, P&P made the news when it recanted a speaking engagement with a Arabic scholar. Memory serves poorly, but there was quite the hubbabaloo.

Thus in this den of radical defiant bookish peoples sits my exhibit. Now Modern Times is not exactly a posh place, but I have to say that the work looks good all together in one room and that room is a shabby coffeeshop in an independent bookstore. While I was hanging up the prices on the work, people were talking to me about it and were genuinely engaged. And one woman matched the work she was next to perfectly (see below), and this always brings a tear to the eye of the creator.

I like this body of work. I think it evokes a portrait of a person in absentia and that’s interesting and I like the palette. I give this work B+/A-. (Yes, I know I may be biased, and therefore I am donating my prize lucre to charity).

Moving on the the ginormous, formidable, and well-endowed AU’s Katzen Center for the Arts.

Behold the Monolith of Art!

Well as you know, group shows are a motley lot, and this one in particular curated by no one other than a bunch of different visual artists competing for these fellowships and submitting one piece representative of their work. There is some beautiful work out there, and it hangs together better on this one light-filled corridor where about half of the show hangs. Further down the fabulous light-filled corridor into the dusty prism of the rotunda you will find my work, sandwiched between the illuminated blue glass elephant sculptural piece (???) and the fire alarm. I see no relationship between me and my neighbors. And the rotunda is a gigantic prism refracting light in a million directions. So such is the ignominious debut of my work at the Katzen Center. Room to grow!

My Shame, The Katzen Center, Washington, DC

Someone who did have a nice debut at the Katzen Center was Juan Andres Rodriguez who was in the big house in a show called Multiplicitocracy. yea. For me he was a highlight with his portraits of Columbians. I am very South America centric right now, but this body of work is compelling regardless, . Martin Chambi-esque. Black and White. I want to print swap with him for this one of a pig tied up. It was a humongous pig tied up against a bush. So at least I got lifted up a little by that.

Juan Andres Rodriguez © 2008

Life’s just funny where you put out you work and where you find good work. The show in the coffee shop is fun and gratifying (the work was just sitting around till october anyway, i’d rather have it out there) – while the fancy arts center is personally deflating. No biggie – glad to get it out – literally from my closets and fun to have the opportunities as well with all it’s surprises.


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