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Art Courage — Ann Aptaker, independent NY curator, selected the art for N*des-of-the-Month September 2010. During the selection process she talked about trying to establish a “personal relationship with the pieces.” Aptaker started with the requirements of skill and vision as a given, but said that really good art has something more, and that something is courage. She compared Flavors of Drapery by Jean Marcellino to Ingres, calling it a “fully realized vision.” She noted the dramatic scarf, lighting, and pose. But where Ingres would have used a perfect, young beauty, Marcellino imbued her imperfect, older subject with grace and dignity—a fitting expression to launch the month of September, and the 2010-2011 New York art season.
Aptaker thought An Artist Friend by Tai Lin, “Beautifully looked at and seen.” She loved the warmth of the work. Net by Tim Woodhouse was another hit. “A terrific idea, wonderfully executed,” she said. “The artist took the fetish of net stockings which indicates sexuality, and extended that icon logically and expertly to the broader body.” When she saw Mark Beheme's Fresh Breath, she laughed out loud. “Hilarious—wonderful imagination!” she said. “Gotta be in your show. Ignore me at your peril!” She seemed to be quoting. Apparently, Beheme's work took the initiative and established a personal relationship with her—quite remarkable. Rounding out the selection of the Curators' Choice nominees was Alone by Sharon Sieben. And here, the mystery we call art was in full force. She pondered over the image for a while, finally saying, “I don't even know what it is about this piece, but it grabs me and I just want to keep looking at it.”
Aptaker really seemed to enjoy the process. “I love looking at art, and I look at a lot of art.” Aptaker's standards of selection are very high. She is a savvy, New York curator. She knows her art and her business. All of the artists selected for September 2010 N*des-of-the-Month should feel justly proud.The 30 artists represented in September, 2010, in day order are: 1* Jean Marcellino, 2 Merrill Brace, 3 Susan (SZN) Kraft, 4* Tai Lin, 5 Tony Lee, 6 Christopher Smith, 7 C. Charles Wang, 8* Tim Woodhouse, 9 Tim Brian McSweeney, 10 Mary Ann Martinez, 11 Jeremy Holton, 12 John Luce Lockett, 13 Mollie Kellogg, 14 Joseph Mays, 15 Kathy Ostman-Magnusen , 16 Haydee Torres, 17 Terry Hinkle, 18* Mark Behme, 19 Jennie Rosenbaum, 20 Tim Duffy, 21 David Michael Hollander, 22* Sharon Sieben, 23 Jacqui Morgan, 24 Donelli J. DiMaria, 25 Roy Shifrin, 26 Anthony Gordon, 27 Guadalupe Herrera, 28 Gary Paul Stutler, 29 Donna Cleary, 30 Victoria Coyle.
*Curators' Choice nominee. Nominees for the N*de-of-the-Month were selected by the guest curator as Curator's Choice. All barebrush curators have an opportunity to rank the Curator's Choice in their own special poll. Winners determined by a statistical combination of the curators and popular votes.