It is great to have a verbal, literate, elegant first family in the White House. It is great to have a thinker as president. It is great to have a man who knows how to do the right thing and has his own ideas about how to execute them.
Well, until recently.
Pres. Obama is last season, last year, maybe even last millennium on the "modern art" additions to the White House.
Read the Wall Street Journal piece. Here is an excerpt: The Obamas are sending ripples through the art world as they put the call out to museums, galleries and private collectors that they’d like to borrow modern art by African-American, Asian, Hispanic and female artists for the White House. In a sharp departure from the 19th-century still lifes, pastorals and portraits that dominate the White House’s public rooms, they are choosing bold, abstract art works.
Can an artist get a break! Pres. Obama, you built your entire campaign on the people. You built your campaign chest a dollar at a time because every day people sent you money like clockwork, like paying a monthly bill. Every artist I know celebrated your image. Don't you think that all those images of you also raised the consciousness of voters? Those paintings, drawings, prints, photos, sculptures, and cartoons were produced by LIVING artists!
We are here and would love to donate work for the White House. We are doing contemporary relevant art work every day! We are not drug addicts like Basquiat, whose remaining art works are earning multimillions for his estate. We are not crazy like poor William H. Johnson (I certainly understand how being an artist drives one over the edge). We could benefit from exposure in the NEW White House of CHANGE!
Mainly we are ALIVE!!!!!
How about a national jury allowing artists to submit websites for selections...there are museum directors, gallerists, professors, arts advocates and others in D.C. who could make the choices, rather than going to the top to reward the ones who supported you from the bottom! You could also ask arts advocates from across the country to look at the submitted websites, make their selections than send a limited choice to the final arbiters. I am sure they will also be happy to set up a rubric for a national juried call for art!
Above portrait is in progress, by Joyce Owens, 2009