Friday, December 08, 2017

ABMB Week: Thursday - Chuck Close!

Two Washington Huskies smiling for the camera as I got to meet the great Chuck Close at Context Art Miami! We both went to the same great art school at the University of Washington in Seattle...

He asked me when I attended, and when I told him, he laughed and said that he graduated 20 years before I did....

Chuck Close and Lenny Campello at Context Art Miami 2017
Chuck Close and Lenny Campello at Context Art Miami 2017

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Art Scam Alert!!!!

Beware of this mutant trying to rip off artists!
Subject: Form Submission - New Form - ARTWORK
Name: Patrick Walter
Email Address:
Subject: ARTWORK
Message: Greetings, 
My name is Patrick Walter from Ohio.. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes your piece of work, I'm also impressed and amazed to have seen your various works too,You are doing a great job. I would like to receive further information about your piece of work and what inspires you.. Kindly confirm the availability for immediate sales..
Thanks and best regards..

ABMB Week: Thursday report

Today was the best day so far at the Context Art Miami fair for attendance and sales (at least for us)... sales by Erwin Timmers (plus a commission), Audrey Wilson, Elissa Farrow-Savos, and me!

And the curious case of people taking selfies in front of my interactive piece "Your portrait in a gallery of portraits" continues!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

ABMB Week: Wednesday

One of the odd things that one notices at art fairs - mostly in Miami and seldom in New York - is the fanfare of provocative clothing, shoes, and appearance by the visitors to the fairs... and selfies with artwork.

At this Context art fair, one of my pieces, the massive 40x60 inches "Your portrait in a gallery of portraits", an interactive piece where your image becomes a temporary part of the work, has been quite a magnet for the selfie crowd, and the below photos are a small sample of some of the people taking a selfie in front of the work - essentially they are taking a photo of themselves inside the artwork, as recorded by an embedded spy camera, that puts them "inside" the work.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The big dance starts! VIP Preview at Context

And tonight was the VIP night at Context - the usual (by now) of impossibly skinny women in dagger-sharp high heels and handsome young men in tight jeans, as well as elderly gents with refined ladies by their sides, followed by someone wearing Mickey Mouse antenna hats...

I got to meet the great Joe Namath, and even take a picture with him! I remember watching Broadway Joe do his magic for the Jets in 1967 when I was a kid. He was the nicest guy too! Super friendly to all the people who kept bothering him for a pic!

That's me, Broadway Joe, and Edwin Baker III, a terrific young Florida artist whom we're sponsoring and mentoring during the fair.

Edwin Baker III, Lenny Campello and Joe Namath
Edwin Baker III, Lenny Campello and Joe Namath
Here are some pics of the main booth...

Outside wall with Erwin Timmers and Dulce Pinzon

Erwin Timmers

Audrey Wilson and Laura Beth Konopinski

Davin Ebanks

Tim Vermeulen and Amy Marx

Elissa Farrow-Savos and F. Lennox Campello

F. Lennox Campello

Matthew Langley and Amy Lin

Outside Wall - F. Lennox Campello

@contextartmiami #contextartmiami

Monday, December 04, 2017

ABMB Week - Monday

The Context Art Miami fair opens tomorrow.

Yesterday we hung most of the booth, and thus today we slept in and arrived around noon just to finish hanging and to put the labels.

When we get there, artist Amy Marx has already arrived, pleasantly surprised to see that Audrey Wilson had already hung her work the day before.

Matthew Langley is also already hard at work - this is the second year for Langley at Context (Photo by J. Jordan Bruns)

Soon I discover that I didn't bring all the labels - no idea where they are, so I now have the task of printing labels back at the hotel - also ran out of extension cords - also left behind at home.

Tomorrow the fair opens to VIPs and the biggest art dance in the world begins.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

ABMB Week: Delivery day - Sunday

Delivery of the artwork to the Context Art Miami fair came somewhat easier that I had imagined... after all this is a new spot, and over the last few years we had the old Wynwood location all figured out.

I arrived around 8 AM and was allowed to park right on site, while Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers (both of whom are showing their work with us in booth C225) drove the rented giant cargo van hauling my work, Ric Garcia's, Elissa Farrow-Savos, J. Jordan Bruns, Amy Lin, Amy Marx and Dulce Pinzon.

Needless to say, even that giant beast from planet Enterprise was full to the gills... all photos either by Jordan or Audrey.

The big vans and delivery trucks first have to go to the Marshaling Yard, about 4 blocks away from the actual fair site. After the security check-in the trucks file into the actual fair site, and the unloading dance starts - by the way, Audrey scores a primo Doris Day parking spot, right by the entrance!

We begin to unload, and then to hang. To start, Laura Beth Konopinski is unpacking and hanging Amy Lin's work, Audrey is hanging Davin Ebanks work, and I am hanging my own.

About 12 hours later, most of the booth is hung, around two PM, J. Jordan Bruns had arrived from the airport, quickly put up his work and then began to help everyone else... teamwork.

At the public spaces wall, our sponsored artist, Edwin Baker III is also working hard hanging his work. I swing by together with fair director Julian Navarro and we give Ed some good constructive criticism - he's hung the work waaaaay too high.

EBIII is a good learner (and an excellent artist, and clearly a hard worker) and he begins to un-hang the work, lower it, and re-hang it.

Back at the booth, LBK begins to set up and hang the shelves upon which her amazing work will be displayed. Once they're up for the first time, they have to come down too... the "two high" bug bites again - all part of the learning process. BTW, those gorgeous figurative pieces are Audrey Wilson's new work.

Audrey then hangs all the work by Amy Lin - super easy job for a hanging pro like AW.

After the first day, I head out to Miami beach to check in on my aunt - on the way I pass through a Sunpass check-point, which are like cash collection points for non-Floridians...

Small bill coming from Sunpass, giant bill coming from Enterprise, who tacks on a huge bill to the Sunpass charge... not sure how they can get away with that.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Diego y Frida

Check out what I am bringing to Context Art Miami - come see it in booth C225

#contextartmiami @artmiamifairs #CONTEXTartmiami #contemporaryart #museum #art #artfair #artshow #modernart #color #lifestyle #beautiful #gallery #artcollector #artcollection #collection #architecture#travel #saturday

"we are The Same measured This Way"

This year the gallery will also be bringing the work of one of the DMV's newest arrivals and already making a name for herself. 

The image is "we are The Same measured This Way" by Laura Beth Konopinski, and yes the caps are on purpose, a new DC area artist who's about to make big waves in Miami at the Context Art Miami fair - booth C225.

"we are The Same measured This Way" 

#contextartmiami #miamiartfairs #artbaselweek #modernglassartists #artists#DCartists #artglass #sculpture

Day One - ABMB Week: Epic fail for Thrift Car Rental

The travel day heading to Florida yesterday was a nightmare, made especially worse by the inexplicable disaster of Thrifty Car Rental at Ft. Lauderdale airport. 

It starts with the fact that their counter was closed at 11 PM even though their website says that all their airport locations are open 24/7. 

And then, their remote support video kiosks all had a problem reading credit cards. Therefore, thrifty referred all their customers to the neighboring Dollar Car Rental counter, which of course, had a huge line. After over an hour in line, a car was finally assigned. "Follow the counter to your right," said the pleasant young man at the Dollar counter, "and someone will be there to give you your car." 

When I got to the parking garage, I noticed two things: It looked pretty empty of cars, but it was full of people, waiting for cars. 

By the time I took the picture below, I had already been in line for over an hour, waiting for a car. What made things more egregious, was the fact that the Thrifty employees on duty, seemed to be completely overwhelmed and unprepared to respond. 

One of them was a nice guy named Wesley, the other one lady, was a nightmare, always arguing with customers, yelling at them, and completely presenting the ugly side of customer service. What shocked me the most, is that in 1 million years of renting cars, whenever the company runs out of your size car, they just upgrade you to the next size. That appeared to be not the case to thrifty, at least last night, and it wasn't until the customers almost had a riot (which is when I took the photo below, and those are the just people behind me, as the line was just this long in front of me) that eventually someone made the decision to start doing this, and the line finally began to move, as cars were being brought in from other levels, or dripping wet after being washed. 

About an hour after I took this photo, I finally got a minivan, and upgrade from my midsize.

This was a giant epic fail for Thrifty. Later on I will expand this post with yet another example of the illogical logic of airlines' rules and logic, as the Spirit Airlines flight from BWI to Ft. Lauderdale had its own epic fail!

@thriftycars #thriftycars #fortlauderdaleairport #carrental #autorental