OK, I know, I’ve been a total blog slacker recently and all this stuff is piling up. It’s a sad state of affairs when you look forward to a good July 4th weekend and you are happy to be staying home and catching up on personal work. But such is life,folks. I’ve chosen this glamorous gig, and I’m gonna do right by it. For those of you kind enough to comment on the book, I’ll do the drawing by Monday, so if anyone new wants to comment – go for it and you to might win a beautiful hard bound book by a bevy of world-famous [in their own minds at least!] photographers, and i might be so generous to throw in a few other flat file trinkets.

I’ve finally had time to digest a few great floors of the 9 floor extravaganza that is DC’s ARTOMATIC, a democratic non-juried 800 plus artist showcase located conveniently next to Nationals Stadium. I’ve eyed a few pieces I’m going to acquire. I hate top ten lists, such an arbitrary number, so I’m therefore just going to highlight some stuff that caught my eye – Like I said, I haven’t made it to all the floors yet, so it’s not representative of everything at all. I’ll also vent a little about some stuff I hate, so keep reading to the end for the full rant.

In no particular order:

Yes, nary but a few steps away from a dungeon and dragon playing crazy cat lady, I love the animals.  And I love Lord of the Rings.  I think this is why I was drawn to Tracey Clarke‘s New Mythology series of paintings which contain animals in fantastical ways.  My dream is to own a llama, though the one she has depicted here she says is a sheep, so I’m not sure what is going on with that, awfully long neck if it is.  But hey, it’s how you read it.  And to me, it’s a llama. A ver:



All images © Tracey Clarke.

This picture actually reminded me of something from Nina Buesing’s awesome equus photos.  So it’s a shout-out for her.

The scrappy Washington Glass School always gets a ton of attention, they are like an Artomatic-trope unto themselves, but I have to say – the sculptural artists I’ve seen do kick ass.  Allegra Marquart‘s designs are quite beautiful.  Unfortunately, my lifestyle is not one conducive to collecting glass, unless you like expensive broken glass.  Much better for me things that can be secured safely to a wall, since I cannot afford to hire a museum guard, and things can get quite kinetic in casa Raab.    If you however live in a less tenuous situation, check out Ms. Marquart’s work below:


© Allegra Marquart

Also dig the attention to detail in WGS’s Sean Hennessy‘s work.  He’s got mini eiffel esque towers embedded in his piece.


© Sean Hennessy

Perhaps you’d like to see some photography. Erin Antognoli reappears with a marvelous installation of her signature holga panoramics printed in contact print form. Diminuitive is bold.




All © Erin Antogloni, and yes, my photographs suck, there is a lot of glare at artomatic.

OK, I tire.  So I’m just going to expound briefly on the democratic nature of the artomatic.  People say, it’s not curated, it’s not juried, there is so much shit there.  Yes, there may be, and it is precisely this that I love.  It makes me feel better about myself, I must admit.  Do admit, you feel the same way.  And there is some stuff there that while not technically good, is so beautiful and soulful you want to cry.  Case in point the series of paper lunch bags with cartoons written on them, that a recently divorced dad created every day for his son so that he would know that he was loved and cared for.  I really hate most of the nude photographs, for me it is really so tired.  And there is an inordinate emphasis on tatooing and tatooed people in photographs.  I could live without all that.  Also the HDR.  The best was the photographer who did the triumvirate for me of contemporary photo cliches: the HDR-Canvas-Gallery Wrap. Could it get any worse? But people, the audience eats it up.  Reminds me of one of my mom’s first artistic investments: an uninspired oil painting depicting a wintry New Hampshire – a five feet stretch of canvas two shades away from that born-again boozer, Thomas Kinkade (would’ve been cool if it was TK – kaching, that shit would be on the secondary market right now!) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the audience is no bargain either.  So give the people what they want.

For my own part, I would just like to leave you with photographer  Will Mallon‘s inspired work, Stuffed Animal Crime Scenes, it’s like low-rent Furry Kama Sutra by Michael Cogliantry.  It really just doesn’t get any better than this:

Mousetown Massacre © Will Mallon

Mousetown Massacre © Will Mallon

The Passion of Snoopy © Will Mallon

The Passion of Snoopy © Will Mallon

More to come . . . .


5 thoughts on “ARTOMATIC: STUFF I DIG

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Susan. I am humbled and honored.
    To clarify, it is indeed a llama. The old spanish word “llama” is translated as “sheep”…the word “ovis” means sheep. I liked the title as a play on words. 🙂


  2. hey – I just saw your stuff at artomatic today and tracked you down on the internet. initially it was the eudora welty that excited me but I really enjoy quite a lot of your work. I am a sometimes photographer who also loves to make pictures at fairs and carnivals. I applaud your choice in subject and the quality of your work – it gives me lots to aspire to.

    anyhow – I also liked artomatic. didn’t make it to all 9 floors but saw the majority of things in 2 visits.

    I thought there was a fair bit of interesting photography. and a lot of uninteresting and out of focus junk. also makes me happy to see DC as a subject.

    and yes – the lunch bags were beautiful and heartbreaking.


  3. Pingback: A Photo Editor - The Democratic Nature Of The Artomatic

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