Wednesday, July 30, 2008

N*des-of-the-Month August Calendar

Commitment to skill -- When the Morris Museum Exhibitions Curator, Ann Aptaker, sat down to select the barebrush August calendar, she noted the general loss of skill in the art world over the last 30 years, but thought that maybe this was starting to turn around. Happily, barebrush artists pleasantly confirmed her hopes. "There is a lot of talent here," she said, "and the artists are taking skill seriously."

Aptaker chose Jennie Rosenbaum to launch the month with her sweeping use of space. She praised Donna Cleary for her "fearlessness," and Guenter Knop for his wonderful humor and composition. She thought Sara Swan showed simplicity, understanding and beautiful choices. Aptaker called John Luce Lockett's painting "unusual and a lot of fun," and Jim Van Kirk's drawing "sensitive." Aptaker thought Haydee Torres showed an understanding and sensuousness of line which makes her piece "very sexy." A. Galban also used "strong and very graceful lines." Overall, she was "happy to see the artists enjoying themselves," and commented that "really fine art requires both skilled labor and inspiration."

The 31 artists represented for August 2008 (with day of month) are: Sylvia Cheung (4), Donna Cleary* (14), Donelli DiMaria (17) , Carmiah Frank (16), Charmaine Frost (10), A. Galban (19), Rene Hinds (10), Guenter Knop* (8), Tony Lee (20), Serge Lis (30), John Luce Lockett (27), Lucinda Luvaas (15), Jean Marcellino (24), Peter Matthews (12), Dan McCormack (3), Mercadoocasio (28), Michael Mooney (31), David Moreschi (22), Linda Moses (25), Angelique Price (11), Jennie Rosenbaum* (1), Chanit Roston (13), Charles Schindler (6), Sima Schloss (21), Sara Swan* (5), Ilene Skeen (23), Suhas Tavkar (2), Haydee Torres* (26), Jim VanKirk (29), Ariel Velez (7), Judy Volkman (18).

Each of the artists selected for the calendar receives two (2) complimentary listings. Five artists, indicated by asterisks (*), are nominated for the Curators Choice Awards (box at right on the calendar page). Each nominee receives 8 additional complimentary listings and is in the running for cash prizes as well. YOU CAN VOTE NOW. Winners announced September 1st.

Check the 'New Art' to see the entries in the "Art Log". You can also enjoy the art offline with the free printer-friendly version and weekly planner (click on the tiny calendar icons, next to the month/year, on the calendar page), or shop for barebrush gear including the calendar on shirts and bags. Click on the logo above for more about the the Morris Museum.

The N*des-of-the-Month August 2008 calendar goes live to the public on August 1.

Barebrush Artist in Kingston, NY Show


I wish to let everyone know that I will be exhibiting 25 pinhole camera images in a show opening this Saturday, August 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Muddy Cup Studios at 516 Broadway Suite # 2, Kingston, NY 12401. The exhibit will be open daily from August 2nd to the 30th.

Dan McCormack

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kid Porn -- Barebrush Contributor Against "Fabricating A Moral Panic"

Paul Rapoport is the publisher of "Bodies and Souls: The Century Project" and an early and avid supporter of barebrush. Here is the article he wrote for the national post (Candada). Thank you, Paul.

Paul Rapoport on Nude Children in Aussie Art: Kids need protection, but art isn't porn

Two recent Australian fiascos are edifying for North America. At issue in both: photographs of naked children by well-known art photographers.In May, Bill Henson found that police had raided and closed an exhibition of his work at an art gallery in Sydney. The catalyst: the picture of his on the gallery invitation, of a nude pubescent girl standing in near-darkness.

In response to the furor over that incident, the magazine Art Monthly Australia created another. Its July cover features a nude six-year-old girl sitting on a rock. Her mother, Polixeni Papapetrou, made the photo. Her father, Robert Nelson, also an art critic, painted the background.The public response was frantic. Hetty Johnston, director of a child protection group, declared that Bill Henson “has a tendency to depict children naked and that is porn.” The police went to other galleries in Australia that possessed similar photographs by Henson and advised them to keep the works in storage.....

The goal of protecting children should have no argument. But making children afraid of all nudity doesn’t protect them. It makes them anxious, insecure and more susceptible to poor body image and other problems, including abuse....

Australia’s insidious media frenzy in these fiascos may seem exaggerated to us. But the censorious attitude is also found in North America. To develop real child protection and teach teens about responsible sexual health, we must stop misconstruing photographs, oversexualizing children and fabricating a moral panic.

Dr. Paul Rapoport is professor emeritus in the School of the Arts at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., editor of the magazine Going Natural / Au naturel and a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

For complete article and large version of the controversial image, click here

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Barebrush Artist, Solo Show in Melbourne

Media Release

Trisha Lambi
Kerala Gallery
283 High St Northcote
July 18 – August 16

Trisha Lambi lives in Karalee, a semi-rural community west of Brisbane in Queensland. Her work has not only been exhibited world wide, but has been selected in the top finalists and as a prize winner of many prestigious art awards. Trisha’s work has been described as sensuous, dramatic, evocative and moody. She is a self-taught artist who is inspired by light, particularly on the female form. Of her work, Lambi says ‘Light and its effect on form is my inspiration and whilst I don’t particularly aspire to convey a conscious emotion in my work it seems to emerge of its own will.’

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Barebrush Artist at Brooklyn Bakery

Barebrush artist, Jean Marcellino writes:

I wanted to let you know that I'll have some work on display at a bakery (of all things) from this weekend on, throughout the month of August. If you happen to be in Brooklyn, do stop by to see it....

The Brooklyn exhibition will be at: Margaret Palca Bakes, 191 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: 718-802-9771


They say the rugellah is the best in the city, and worth the trip, artwork aside.

The bakery is open every day, Monday through Friday from 7 until 7, Saturday8 until 7, and Sunday 8 until 4.

Stay cool,


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Purity -- barebrush Artist in Australia show


3 August - 8 August
Opening: Sunday 3rd August 2pm

Strikingly Minimilist, Jennie's impasto nudes are carefully crafted, line after line, to create an ideal harmony of shape, form and function. These pieces have a high texture with sharply engraved lines, reminisent of calligraphy. Jennie's impasto nudes maintain a sense of motion and abondon combine with purity of line.

More about Jennie at

Join the Artist, Jennie Rosenbaum, for Afternoon Tea on Sunday the 3rd of August from 2-4pm

Box Hill Community Art Center Gallery

470 Station St, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia 9895 8888
Hours: Sunday August 3: 9am - 5.00pm
Monday August 4: 9am - 10.00pm
Tuesday August 5: 9am - 10.30pm
Wednesday August 6: 9am - 9.45pm
Thursday August 7: 9am - 10.00pm
Friday August 8: 9am - 5.00pm

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Update on the N*de Cover Controversy

Australia -- In a split decision, the Classification Board reviewing the art magazine which showed Olympia aged 6 on the cover, has given an unrestricted M rating.

This means it can be sold to persons over the age of 15.

The minority wanted to ban sales entirely but couldn't decide which of the images to ban -- in addition to the controversial cover, there are images inside.

The photo above shows Olympia, now 11 and her family (all dressed and looking quite "normal"), with the controversial picture behind them. Her father is an art critic and her mother is the photographer who took the picture.

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No N*des in Seattle

Someone in Seattle is losing sleep by keeping advertisements for nude models off Craigslist. Artists and photographers have noticed that these listings are flagged and deleted within 15 minutes of posting. They are posting their ads in the "adult gigs" section where theoetically they should be viewable without problems. They have written to the company but have not received any help.

In Craigslist, if anyone objects to any particular listing, it can be flagged. Listings with too many flags are automatically removed. No information is a available as to how many are too many and whether "adult gigs" ads have a higher flag threshold than others.

Since the ads for nude models in other Washington state cities do not seem to be affected, maybe it is the campaign of a particular person (probably male) in Seattle who doesn't want another particular person (probably female) to do that kind of work. Or maybe a parents' group campaign. Presumably talks with the presumptive model have broken down and the flagger is at his wits end -- truly sleepless.

This story was reported by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee in site called "The Stranger."

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nude Kid Pic Strikes Australian Nerves, Raises Questions

Art Monthly Australia published this picture on their July cover. The girl, Olympia Nelson, now 11, was six years old when her mother took the picture.

It excited the wrath of Australian politicians with both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Brendan Nelson each trying to outdo the other with their objections and condemnations.

This after police shut down the Sydney exhibit by Australian artist Bill Henson (also roundly condemned by the politicians). The Australian court ruled that Henson's work was NOT pornographic and ended that row.

Now the Australian Classification Board, with the power to stop the sale of the magazine entirely, is being asked to rule on the magazine's right to sell given the fierce opposition to the cover. They are also to come up with "guidelines" on the subject.

The magazine editor, Maurice O'Rierdon, stated that the cover was selected to "validate nudity and childhood as subjects for art".

The girl's mother is an art photographer and her father is an art critic. Olympia, perhaps poised beyond her years, has expressed indignation over the negative comments in a press conference.

Early articles on the Internet show the image you see above, but later ones have a small black square blocking off part of it. This gives newcomers to the controversy the idea that the picture might be more revealing than it actually is. Thus the doctored photo is more provocative than the original.

Except for a small group of voices saying "what's the big deal?" the opposition to the photo seems nearly universal. Some condemn it for the "adult" pose, while others condemn any lack of clothes as child abuse out of hand.

The issue for Art Monthly Australia is further muddied by the fact that the magazine is supported by tax-payer funds.

Trying to separate the many strands of this controversy is like trying to separate grains of salt and pepper with a tweezers -- more tedious than rewarding:

  • From the artistic view: the picture is okay, but certainly can't be called great art.

  • From the child porn view: the fact that both parents are solidly supportive, that her mother took the original picture and that the girl is now five years older than she was when the picture was taken speaks to the wisdom of the parents not to expose a six-year old to this ordeal. Maybe they waited until they were sure she could handle the pressure or maybe this was the first occasion they had to publish the artwork.

  • From the magazine point of view: they certainly made the case and got the attention they were seeking -- too bad they are fed from the public trough. When you take money from the government til, money expropriated from taxpayers, you exist not by right but by permission -- and sometimes the taxpayers (and the politicians who have to be attuned to the sensitivities of their constituents) withdraw that permission. Why should you be surprised?

  • From the taxpayers point of view: All funding of art from the public trough is expropriation of some group by another group. There is no justification for any of it, just the old demagogic, "might makes right." Public indignation over this art is more the expression "These people are not one of us so how come they get to have this art published at our expense?"

  • From the political point of view: In today's world, the astute politician is the one who can figure out which way the mob is headed and get there first.

  • On the subject of guidelines: Nothing is less conducive to creativity and innovative cultural vision than government proscribed guidelines.

  • Bottom line: Most people hate the idea of child abuse and child pornography, and that's what makes this subject so controversial. The problem is that no one is willing or able to offer an objective definition of the offense. Is unclothed equivalent to pornographic? Is unclothed equivalent to abuse? Some say yes, others (including me) say no. Can the age of consent be fixed only by government decree or is it a matter of parental judgement? Common practice in other matters (like drinking & marriage) say that the age of consent is fixed by the government in Western societies. Should this be different?
Unfortunately, I don't have any answers here, just a lot of questions. I applaud the parents for waiting until Olympia was 11 and not publishing the photo when she was six, but why not wait until she was 16? Why now? What is accomplished? The magazine's goal appears to have backfired, but Olympia is now famous and a lot of other people are angry, and the bloggers like me have something to write about. 'Nuf said.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Art Opportunity, July 23 Deadline: N*des-of-the-Month August 2008


SUMMARY: invites all visual artists to submit art of the nude for the August 2008 N*des-of-the-Month calendar contest. Prizes. Deadline July 23, 2008.

New York, NY – July 3, 2008. invites all visual artists to submit art of the nude for the August 2008 N*des-of-the-Month calendar contest. Prizes. Deadline Wednesday, July 23, 2008.

Ann Aptaker, Curator of Exhibitions at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey will serve as guest curator. Her most recent exhibitions at the include a retrospective of the 1960s through 1980s avant garde work of May Wilson, and a retrospective of John Evans’ 40 years of daily collages.

Aptaker holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where she was a teaching fellow. Prior to her position at the Morris Museum, she worked in galleries and museums in San Francisco and Florida, and has been an independent designer. She lives in New York City, her hometown.

When asked to comment about curating the August calendar for barebrush, Aptaker wrote:

In renderings of the nude, as in any work of art, I look for that sublime
combination of skill and vision. Moreover, the nude—whether classically
rendered or vigorously abstract—is part of a long tradition of art history,
of human expression itself. I want to see that sensibility.

The mission of the Morris Museum is to elevate the cultural consciousness, excite the mind and enhance the quality of life. Founded in 1913, the Morris Museum explores and celebrates the arts, sciences, and history through exhibitions, educational programs, performing arts and special events.

Further details (link)

Ilene Skeen
ILS Designs, LLC
372 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7D
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 917-806-7992
dedicated to the art of the nude

Link to PDF

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Art News: N*de-of-the-Month Recalls Michaelango

"Woman Turning in Chair" by Jacqui Morgan Wins N*de-of-the-Month

New York - announces the N*de of the Month, June 2008. The winning painting, a watercolor, Woman Turning in Chair is by New York illustrator, fine artist and author, Jacqui Morgan. The painting, a strong and twisting back view, recalls Michaelanglo's famous "Studies for the Libyan Sibyl" in the Metropolitan, but without in the least borrowing from it. "Woman Turning in Chair" will grace the front page of the barebrush website until the end of July.

Jacqui Morgan's art has been exhibited world-wide and her work is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute. Her posters include: The Electric Circus (1967), and The Tap-Dance Kid (1884). Her clients have included most of the Fortune 500. Morgan is a Featured Artist at

Barebrush founder and CEO, Ilene Skeen noted that Morgan's book, Watercolor for Illustration (1986, Watson-Guptill) "has been a favorite on my art shelf for years."

"I recall walking into Spring Studio one day early in the life of barebrush, and seeing Jacqui's nudes on the walls," says Skeen. "I was astonished. I knew it was Jacqui's work even though I had never seen a single nude of hers before. I am tremendously proud that Jacqui is participating on barebrush."
To see the barebrush blog entries of that time, click here (Spring Studio show) & here (reception).

The June 2008 N*des-of-the-Month calendar was curated by Bart de Koning Gans, director of the Christopher Henry Gallery in Nolita. De Koning Gans also selected the nominees for the Curators' Choice Awards. Previous barebrush curators were sent ballots to rank the selections. The poll opened for public voting on the nominees June 1st and closed June 29th. The winners were determined by a statistical combination of the curators and popular vote. All nominees receive complementary listings. First, second and third place are also awarded cash prizes. The results are below:

1st: Woman Turning in Chair by Jacqui Morgan

Woman Turning in Chair by Jacqui Morgan


2nd: Liability by Donna Cleary

Liability by Donna Cleary

3rd: Eva's Nether Regions by Jean Marcellino

Eva's Nether Regions by Jean Marcellino

Honorable Mention: Cubismn 1 by Guenter Knop

Cubismn 1 by Guenter Knop


Honorable Mention: Drive by Serge Lis

Drive by Serge Lis


Congratulations All!

To see the June 2008 N*des-of-the-Month calendar and further details, click here.

To see the archives and all the barebrush curators, click here

To see the early barebrush entries about Jacqui Morgan:
Sept 10, 2006
Sept 18, 2006

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