CALLING ALL REJECTS: The history of art has been defined as much by rejection as acceptance. One such instance, considered an historical turning point, was the Salon de Refusés, an unprecedented public exhibition held in Paris in 1863 to show work refused by the selection committee of the official Salon (which was then a biannual affair constituting the only public art exhibitions in Paris). The Salon de Refusés drew huge crowds, who came mainly to ridicule the artists who had protested so strongly--a roster which included such loud-mouthed, workaday talents as Manet, Cézanne, Camille Pissarro and Whistler.
Though their works were not well-received, the Salon de Refusés itself significantly undermined the prestige of the official Salon, and paved the way for artists to organize, for the first time, their own exhibitions (most notably, the Impressionists in 1874).
What does that have to do with the local art scene? In a much less political celebration, two small galleries with grand intentions are presenting their own Salon, concurrent with the Tucson Museum of Art's Arizona Biennial 1997, a prestigious statewide juried exhibition. Organizers Beth Wachtel of Bero Gallery and Jerre Johnston, manager of Etherton Gallery, are calling their spin-off exhibit the Salon de Célêbration, a "party of artists" to showcase the talents of those artists whose works didn't make the museum's cut.
"It's non-political, even though it sounds political," says Wachtel, who was inspired to do this impromptu exhibit after hearing how many prominent Tucson artists, many rejected year after year, once again would not be in the statewide show.
Though they're borrowing the Salon theme, Wachtel is emphatic: "We're not thumbing our nose at the museum. We just thought this would be a positive way to recognize some of the unrecognized talents who submitted to this year's show."
The roster of artists continues to grow, with all artists who submitted and were rejected encouraged to call Bero Gallery for information (792-0313).
Tentatively, the show, to be housed in the neighboring Bero and Raw gallery spaces on Sixth Avenue just south of Congress Street, will open the same day as the official Biennial, on June 20. "Depending on the number of submissions, the show could continue through mid-August," says Wachtel. "We'll rotate the works until all the artists who want to have had a chance to exhibit."
MALE BONDING, ANYONE? Perusing the racks for ever-more enlightening fodder that takes less time than a TV sitcom to sift through, we were struck by a shiny, metallic object affixed to the front of a relatively new mag called P.O.V., which celebrates its one-year anniversary with the June/July issue ($3, on the newsstand until July 31). Interest in shiny, metallic objects being our especial forte, we grabbed it immediately (though when we noticed the cover had Jeff Goldblum holding the world between two fingers resembling a peace sign, we nearly dropped it...and stepped on it...like a pesky prehistoric bug that just wouldn't die).
Not being very manly by the usual anatomical standards, we were curious what men's magazines were up to in the post-Popular Mechanics competition for consumer readership. The shiny metallic object beckoned: "Forget GQ, try P.O.V. Adweek's start-up of the year!"; and there emblazoned in red at the very top, "The Men's Magazine With The Smart Point Of View." Oh boy, educational reading.
Inside this "Guy's Survival Guide" (another cover hit) you'll find a helpful hair-removal chart on how to "shed your back," a skin-deep investigative report from the front lines. There's also "Father's Day Made Easy," which solves the gift-giving challenge with three toll-free numbers, whence your "old man" can receive monthly doorstep deliveries of premium cigars, frozen "gourmet" pizzas (really, a misuse of the term--how discriminating can you be over America's laziest source of semi-nutrition?) and, of course, beer: "Dad gets a 12-pack featuring three trendy microbrews." Want the number? Dial 1-800-TRY-A-SIP. We wouldn't print it if it wasn't true.
The glossy, 111-page bimonthly celebration of all things manly and mainstream includes that "smart point of view" on challenging romantic comedies about boys in love with lesbians, profiles of career upstarts like college drop-out turned Princeton Review franchise mogul Matthew Rosenthal, "Wynton Marsalis' Jazz 101," mixing the ultimate cassette to impress your fellow commuters, and of course, the web. Lots and lots on the web. And something about Jeff Goldblum, which held about as much interest as that new Miller Lite ad campaign with the "unfinished" look by that "guy you might have seen on TV." Whatever.
An intriguing column called "When I Was 25," a retrospective by those who "made it," this month features Chicago lawyer and best-selling novelist (you'd be surprised how few novels it takes these days to become a bestseller), Scott Turow (Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof). The climax of his experience begins with the sentence, "I was really on the fence. By that point, I had taken the LSAT and I had no idea what I was going to do." Boy howdy, that's scary.
P.O.V. will also tell you the 10 trips to take before you die, a travel article by NPR's pithy Marketplace travel commentator, Rudy Maxa. We don't know if we can trust the opinions of any writer who begins an article with the sentence, "The advertising guys know how to capture it in a phrase: Just do it. You only go around once. Grab the gusto," but you be your own judge. He's definitely a "been there, done that" kind of guy, which is just the sort P.O.V. likes to employ, and manly readers like to read. Fan mail from none other than CNN's principal anchor Bernard Shaw reads, "Thank you very much for running the piece on me and the others in the truly interesting 'When I Was 25.' I must tell you, Mr. Editor, you have a new reader." Who says narcissism is out of style?
ANOTHER QUICK FIX: Offended or amused by last week's blurb on the White House response to the death of "heroin-chic" fashion photographer David Sorrentino? For a truly tasteless follow-up, check out The Onion's online opinion poll at http://www.theonion.com/onion3120/index3120.html. Click on "Heroin Chic" under the Editorial heading, and you'll find actual dubious quotes from sincere fictional people like systems analyst Sheila Cobb, who says, "We need to educate young people about the dangers of heroin. For example, don't buy from my uncle, because he cuts it with roach paste." If you have trouble finding it (the poll, not the illicit substance), make sure you're looking in the June 4 issue.
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