Friday, August 12, 2005


Diana Al-Hadid, originally uploaded by Bromirski.
Alessandra Torres is one of the artists participating in WPA/Corcoran's Seven and photographer James Bailey has just posted an interview with her on Black Cat Bone.

Diana Al-Hadid is showing at Irvine Contemporary until September 3rd. Richmonder Suzanna Fields is in that show too. Diana is also included in the MFA Graduates Exhibition at the Arlington Art Center.

Other recent VCU grads in that MFA Graduates Exhibition are Sarah Bednarek, Megan Biddle, and Timothy Michael Martin. I had thought JT was saying some good things about Mike Martin in his review but he backed way off in his comment to my post here. Sorry, Mike!

I'm a little confused about what JT thinks now because it sounds like he's saying he doesn't really like Mike's work but thinks that "priced at a mere $1,200" it is a good buy. I'm especially confused because back in the fun comments of this post JT seemed to be arguing that Jim Houser's work was priced way too high at $2,000 (Houser was having his fourth solo show at Philadelphia's Spector Gallery). Now I have no idea how JT decides something is priced well if he isn't basing his decision either on how much he likes the work or what an artist's track record is; $1,200 for a painting by an artist just starting out is too low but $2,000 for one by an artist with a good reputation having his fourth solo show at a large city's well-regarded gallery is too high? I don't get.

Coming up in DC is that prestigious MFA show Options 2005.

P.S. - not DC but Sarah Bednarek is also included in Cynthia Broan's summer show which just got reviewed on artnet. Unfortunately Sarah's piece was not one of those mentioned, but I was glad to see the reviewer enjoyed Melanie Stidolph's two photographs.

Commenter Peter - do you have any response to the James Westcott review?


Anonymous said...

"Coming up in DC is that prestigious MFA show Options 2005."

ha ha

- wwc

J.T. Kirkland said...


I can't believe I just found this post. I'm sorry you are so confused by my comments... I find them to be very straightforward. Let me help you along.

I like Martin's work just fine. I don't like all of the glitter but given how young he is and the style of his work, I believe he COULD become a very big deal. The work included in the Arlington show is quite significant in size. I don't have actual measurements but his paintings were about 48" x 48" x 6". That's a major size. $1,200 for something of that scale and that well executed (for what it is, not saying I love it). Now, when I look at Houser's work I see fine work. But a painting measuring 16" x 20" (I don't see this painting on the site any more but I referenced it previously) is hardly significant. Now, don't go simple minded on me, there are probably dozens of million dollar paintings that measure 16" x 20". But let's look at the data... Martin is fresh out of school (a great school at that) and has been picked for a show juried by Dr. Binstock and included in the Arlington show. He paints in a very contemporary style (I wouldn't be surprised to find his work in Chelsea priced at $5k for that matter).

What we're talking about here is speculation. According to you Houser has a great exhibition record and his work is priced "cheap." However, it's not selling after four solo shows... This leads me to believe the market either hasn't recognized his talent or perhaps there is no talent to recognize. Jury is out on that and will be for decades to come probably. Martin, on the other hand, is an untested artist. He's making serious work and early indications are all positive.

So, now let's go back to my quote in the review:

"Should any speculative collectors be interested in Martin's work (he's in Strictly Painting now too) then his three large paintings in this show are steals. They measure (a guess) 48" x 48" x 6" and are priced at a mere $1,200. Should his career take off eventually we'll look back and wish we had bought these pieces at these prices."

I state "speculative collectors." I follow that up with "should his career take off..." So I hedged my bet very well. It's a big risk to buy Martin's work (or practically any artist's work) for investment purposes. But after seeing these paintings and comparing them to what I saw at Strictly Painting, I think these are high-risk, high-reward pieces. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a price of $3,000 on them here in Arlington.

In conclusion, I've been forced to write entirely too much on this. Look at Houser's apparent selling record (provided by you). I look at his work (which you said you didn't really love either) and I'm not impressed. Maybe I have it wrong... maybe in a couple of years Houser's work will start selling like hotcakes and Martin will end up being a waiter. Who knows? I certainly don't. But if I had to invest in one artist or the other, it'd be Martin in a heartbeat. That's all I said and that's what I believe. I don't see where confusion could come into play.

And to be clear, I was saying good things about Martin in my review... I just wasn't saying that I loved his work personally. I think it has great investment potential. For example, let's use Starbucks. You may not like their coffee, but there was a point when it was a brilliant investment.

Oh, jesus christ, I just read my old comments about Houser more closely. My statement about his prices was: "Granted it's no where near what they would be priced in NYC, but $2,000 for a 20" x 16" painting is hardly a drop in the bucket." How does that equate to me saying it's overpriced? Looks like I just said the price wasn't insignificant... and by extension that I didn't think it was a steal. Nor did I say or imply it was overpriced.

The more I respond to your post the more confused I get. Care to elaborate how you got so confused? I just can't find any evidence to support your reading of my comments... at least those you linked to above.

On another topic, the quote that WWC pulled from above was very funny. If you intended for it to be a joke calling Options an MFA show, then big kudos to you. That's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

J>T KIrkland thinks is he is Gods gift. End of story.

Anonymous said...

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