Thursday, October 15, 2020

More bad news: Art In General is closing


More bad news. Just got this email, posting it below:

Dear Joseph Borzotta,

After careful deliberation and long discussions over the past six months, the Board of Directors and the Executive Director have arrived at the difficult decision to close Art in General, upon reaching the milestone of our 40th anniversary. Although we have taken critical measures to adjust to the new normal, the financial constriction due to COVID-19 has proved formidable, severely affecting our ability to fulfill our mission of presenting new work by emerging and mid-career artists to the New York area.

In this difficult time for us all, we offer our sincere thanks to you our alumni artists, guest curators, visitors, former staff and donors for your passion and dedication, interest and support during the last forty years. You made this amazing journey possible. In particular, we would like to thank our founders, Martin Weinstein and Tereza Liszka, for their generosity over the years, as well as our former directors, Anne Barlow and Laurel Ptak for their innovative programming that defined our organization. In addition, we would like to express our gratitude to Mana Contemporary for offering great support to Art in General, including an incredible lifeline: office space, studio space for artist residencies, and exhibition space.

We would also like to offer sincere thanks to our Board members, Roya Khadjavi Heidari, Mary Lapides and Maria Spinelli for all of their efforts and expenditure of resources in trying to sustain Art in General over the years, and particularly of late. Thanks also to our Executive Director, Irene Mei Zhi Shum, who joined us right at the start of the pandemic, and labored mightily to keep us afloat.

Since 1981, Art in General has proudly shown over 2,000 artists who have gone onto greater success, including Dorothea Rockburne, Joan Jonas, Kay WalkingStick, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Glenn Ligon, Byron Kim, Elizabeth Peyton, Marina Abramovic, Gabriel Orozco, Paul Pfeiffer, William Pope.L, Pipilotti Rist, Francis Alys, Walid Raad, Sharon Hayes, Patty Chang, Allora & Calzadilla, Pierre Huyghe, among many others. Our roster of artists reflects our deep and long-standing commitment to diversity and equity in the arts. To secure this legacy, we have donated our archives to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, where students and scholars may find materials about our past programs, as well as founding documents and the entirety of Holly Block's papers during her 18-year tenure as Art in General's pioneering first director. To complement the papers at the Smithsonian, we also donated a complete set of publications by Art in General to New York University Special Collections Fales Library, Downtown Collection. Our remaining inventory of books and printed materials were gifted to Art Resources Transfer, a nonprofit organization committed to the egalitarian access to the arts and literacy. Through their Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program, A.R.T. will disperse Art in General's publications free-of-charge to rural and inner-city public libraries, schools, prisons, and alternative education centers nationwide.

We are proud to present our last New Commission, Project 270: Signs of Change and online exhibition Dropped By and Found You: #DroppedByAiG.

Project 270: Signs of Change is an ambitious, national effort to increase voter awareness and turnout, particularly amongst Millennials and Gen Z — voters between the ages of 18 to 38 — who represent the future of our country and nearly 40% of the electorate in 2020. By flooding the country with Get Out The Vote (GOTV) images, posters, billboards, and other art in the three weeks prior to election day, Project 270 will get critical information into the hands of individuals and organizations in a creative form that will motivate young voters and reflect the collective consciousness of the United States. To do this, we are partnering with outstanding graphic and street artists from each state, DC, and Puerto Rico to create posters that speak to the issues of their specific locales. To maximize the reach and overall impact of the project, all imagery created will be made available to the public for free, via digital distribution and local voting organizations.

Project 270 is a collaboration between This Is Our Moment, I Vote BecauseMana Urban Arts ProjectGary Lichtenstein EditionsJonathan Mannion PhotographyArt in General, and Murals for Humanity. This group came together in August 2020 realizing the urgent need to compel young voters to participate in the election. Our distribution partners include Vote Save America, Voto Latino, ACLU Ohio, Occupy Democrats, Fair Elections Center, League of Women Voters San Francisco, and the Campus Vote Project. The participating artists are diverse and reflective of the American populace.

Dropped By and Found You: #DroppedByAiG is an archival exhibition published weekly on Art in General's social media accounts. Accumulated from 2003 to 2017, the contents reflect the rhythms and interests of our organization over the last fifteen years. While perhaps not pressing, what remains here was essential and is preserved.

Though our last day of operation will be October 31, 2020, Project 270 and #DroppedByAiG will continue and conclude on their scheduled end dates, November 3, 2020 and December 31, 2020 respectively. Despite our closing, we look toward the future with excitement, because New York City always attracts the best new creative talent. Artists and the arts define and drive our vibrant city.

With thanks and gratitude,
Leslie Ruff
President, Board of Directors
Irene Mei Zhi Shum
Executive Director

Monday, September 28, 2020

Insight into big $ artworld machinations via a new artist from Ghana

This is a fascinating insight into the rise of an artist from Ghana named Amoako Boafo. It starts with a big break from Kehinde Wiley. What follows is like a John Grisham novel full of intrigue, wheelin' dealin', promises made and broken, accusations, and big bucks.

The Lemon Bathing Suit (2019)

If you're curious about how an unknown can meteorically rise in the art world, this'll give you an insight into a situation that's not atypical. Much like the scouring of woods in the deep south for "outsider art" years ago, the same is happening now particularly for figurative art of black people by black artists. 

Much has been written about the long term effects on an artist's career when their prices skyrocket suddenly. But it's difficult not to seize the opportunity and make more money than dreamed possible, especially when it happens fast and the people playing this game are highly skilled at it. It seems like getting swept up in a tornado. Will you end up in Oz, or crushed by a falling house?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Good and Bad News

Two articles today from Artnet, let's go with the bad new first and end on an upbeat. Big layoffs at the Met in NY:

And over at Rockefeller Center, 192 artist designed flags were unfurled, the best part being that only 13 were by "name" artists, the rest by "unknowns." Gallery Guy is glad because it's the "unknowns" who need every bit of help to get eyeballs on their work now. Not Jeff Koons (who by the way, applied for and got a massive amount of relief money. Granted he at times hired up to 100 people according to the article I read but no idea how many at the time the application was made.) For an artist who can sell a single piece for 7 figures, why not use money from ONE sale to cover costs for your employees during quarantine and leave that government relief money for others? and how did he even qualify??

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Artist Residency in Hoboken NJ!

Announcing the 2020 Project Studios Visual Arts Residency and Solo Exhibition at PROTO GOMEZ Gallery in NYC


The Project Studios Residency is a work-only visual art residency focused on production of new artwork within a very well-equipped suite of studios located in Hoboken, New Jersey. The artist or artists chosen for the residency will be awarded a solo exhibition at PROTO GOMEZ Gallery in New York City in Spring of 2021. The exhibition will be featured on the PROTO Gallery Artsy page and all social media for PROTO Gallery and PROTO GOMEZ. One to three artists will be selected for the residency and solo exhibitions. Artists working in any media are eligible.

The residency will take place November 15, 2020 through January 15, 2021.

Application Fee:
• For Applications Received 7/25/2020 to 8/15/2020: $20.00
• For Applications Received 8/16/2020 to 9/15/2020: $30.00
Click here to apply

Although the focus of the residency is to produce new artwork in a mostly self-guided manner, there will the availability of consultation and light instruction regarding safe and effective use of the tools and materials within the studios as well as opportunities for studio visits with independent curators and area gallerists, performed in-person or virtually, including Will Hutnick (Ortega Y Gasset Projects and Wassaic Project) Nicholas Cueva (Underdonk) Jen Hitchings (Studio Associate) and Krista Scenna (Ground Floor Gallery), as well as Enrico Gomez and Nick De Pirro of PROTO GOMEZ. These studio visits are intended as a dialogue opportunity about the work being created in the residency with individuals working in the emerging arts field.

The shop spaces at Project Studios are very large and have been configured for optimal social distancing. Project Studios is an active creative community, so depending on availability, artists selected for the residency may be provided with an individual, shared, or common studio. Studio configuration will be developed on a case-by-case basis depending on need and availability as well as safety and comfort. The default space provided will be a college-style semi-private studio within one of the large studio suites. Masks are required. Use of the studios is subject to future directives from New Jersey state government and Hoboken city government related to COVID-19.

Previously, this program was focused on ceramics, and only one artist was awarded a residency. For 2020, when many artists have seen opportunities significantly reduced, we decided to reduce our application fee and broaden the scope and award up to three artists, working in any media.

There is no cost for the residency itself, however artists are expected to acquire their own materials and consumables. If available, a larger private studio beyond what is provided can be rented on a monthly basis at a significant discount. Clay and metal can be purchased via Project Studios.

The studios are located a few blocks from the Hoboken PATH Train station, an easy connection to Lower Manhattan via various subway lines to WTC PATH, or from Brooklyn via the L Train to the 14th Street PATH Station. The studio also has free parking on-site.

Details about Project Studios can be found here:

Please note that this residency is work-only. We do not supply housing for artists-in-residence.

Artists awarded the residency will receive:
• 24-7 Access to the Clay Studio
• 24-7 Access to the 2nd Floor Gallery and Critique Space
• 24-7 Access to the Photography Studio
• 24-7 Access to the Printmaking Studio
• Daily access to Welding Shop
• Daily access to Wood Shop and Spray Booth
• A Studio Space (private or semi-private depending on availability) 24-7 Access
• Use of Glazes and Glaze Formulating Chemicals and Glaze Formula Library
• Opportunities to Participate in Raku Firings
• Free Parking on-site
• Studio Visits
• A Solo Exhibition at PROTO GOMEZ Gallery, a ground-floor storefront gallery located in the Two-Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

T H E   S T U D I O S

Clay Studio:
• 2000 sq. ft. Studio
• Bailey Oval Kiln
• Skutt KM1227PK Kiln
• Olympic MAS1823HE Kiln
• Small Test Kilns
• Custom-welded Amaco-Brent Extruder
• Walker Pug Mill
• 60 Gallon Air Compressor
• HVLP Spray Gun
• 2 Brent B Wheels
• 2 Brent C Wheels
• 2 Brent CXC Wheels
• Randall Kick Wheel
• Bailey Slab Roller
• Various Tools

Metal Shop:
• 1000 sq. ft. Studio
• Miller GMAW welder
• Miller GTAW welder
• Portable GTAW FCAW welder
• Miller Plasma Cutter
• Eagle section bender
• 60 Gallon Air Compressor
• Band Saw
• Various power and pneumatic tools

Print Making:
• Intaglio Press
• Vinyl Cutting Printer
• HP DesignJet 500
• Mac OS and Windows Computers
• 11 x 17 Scanner
• Various Tools

• 500 sq. ft. Space with Walk-in Spraybooth
• Sawtrax Panel Saw
• Bandsaw
• Compound Miter Saw
• 100 Gallon High-output Air-Compressor
• Sandblaster
• Paint Sprayers
• Various hand and Power Tools

• 650 sq. ft. Photography Studio
• 8' Foba Camera Stand
• Four Speedtron Strobes (one power supply)
• Seven Broncolor strobes equipped with Hazylight and Manfrotto boom (three power supplies)
• Two Broncolor Lightbox Strobes
• Wall-mounted Seamless Backdrops
• Varios Stands, Diffusers, etc.
• Apple MacBook Pro.

If you would like more information about Project Studios please visit:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Chris Lee "R.I.P. SAMO and Other Stories, The Semiotics of Basquiat"

Palette Online ArtSpace presents: "Chris Lee: R.I.P. SAMO and Other Stories, The Semiotics of Basquiat" 6/15-7/7/20
Christopher Lee, a grad of RI School of Design and currently residing in Jersey City NJ, has created this series of Basquiat (and Warhol) inspired works for this show. Check out the statement on the exhibit page.

Please note: Palette ArtSpace was my gallery in Asbury Park for 5+ years. I turned the website into an online gallery during covid19 to present 3 week solo exhibits to help artists during this difficult time.  I'm not charging artists any fees or commissions, buyers can reach out directly to the artists.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Another loss from the art world: Christo

 Our last post was about the passing of Susan Rothenberg, today we celebrate the life of Christo.
Below is a link to an article on Artnet about his death. A true original, hard-working and inspirational if for nothing else than the audacity and tenacity it took to get these projects done.

I was fortunate enough to experience one in NY (below w his wife). Below that photo, I mean, the dude WRAPPED AN ISLAND!! Think about it...