First I signed multi-faceted artist/writer/curator Cara Ober. Cara is now my new best friend. Not only is she a wicked smarty-pants, but she is dialed in to everything and it seems everyone. First thing she did after signing was to send me countless e-mails of people I "had" to look at. I have the tendency to listen to what my artists tell me, and she has a great eye. You will find Elena Volkova and Isabel Manalo on my exhibiting list. Isabel has two paintings in the hallway leading into the space and Elena, whew! Elena set a gallery record for having spent the shortest amount of time on the wall before she was bought by a collector (2 hours). You can see Elena's new "Airscape" in the next show opening on June 23rd.
So. back to Baltimore. The show closing tomorrow "industrials" features Michael Sandstrom and Jackson Martin. Both of them are going to impact the region for years to come and both are in Baltimore. Michael, although off to Berlin on a Fulbright will come back in a year with new insights and Jackson...I am grinning ear to ear as I write this...you keep looking for him here. His ideas and the way he marries the natural and the man made is both provocative and down right cool.
The main reason we see such an amazing collection of artists in B-More is, well, MICA. That, and tons of warehouse space at cheap prices, offer optimal conditions for working. That and a fun nightlife, hell, if it was not for the nasty commute, I'd be there.
So it leads me to my B-more trip this week.
Last week at Anonymous III I saw a painting that I absolutely loved. Tar on Wood panel. A fine line of intricate shapes and designs. I knew it would be sold and it was. I went back after it was closed, jotted down her name and started my search. The next day, I found her, took a look at her website, sent her an e-mail and told her it was a necessity that I meet her ASAP cause the hairs on the back of my head were telling me she is the real deal.
I met Lu Zhang on Tuesday in her way cool apartment in the center of Downtown Baltimore where I was greeted by a 4'x8' work on paper that blew me away. And there was sweet, petite Lu, about as wonderful to talk to as can possibly be. We talked for 2 hours and I look forward to spending some more time talking. You may have read Rachel Beckman's article on the Anonymous III show in thursday's post, she mentions Lu's piece.
Baltimore. Who would have guessed it. I thought it was just a place with a cool Aquarium.