Just wanted to let you know about a couple of things going on.
Tomorrow there is a group photo show that I'm in at the Wind-Up Space called The Fourth Wall and will also feature the work of a bunch of the usual suspects including Joe Giordano, Sam Holden, Eldon Baldwin, Rob Perry, Josh Sisk, et al.
The opening is starts at 7pm and is located at 10-12 W. North Avenue which is right at Charles Street, directly across from New York Fried Chicke.
And NEXT WEEKEND, Saturday and Sunday 19 - 20 July ...yes, Artscape weekend.
Flux Studios and Metro Gallery are joining forces with a show called Sinerama: That's Exploitation!
Though I had observed Werner Jampen many times before when passing through Dupont Circle and while I now do not recall exactly when it was that we first conversed, in Dupont Circle, I have always remembered him since that first conversation (perhaps a year or so ago) as the artist who spoke of Dallas and Houston as places that he was planning future exhibitions.
So when passing through Dupont Circle on Wednesday afternoon, 2 July 2008, that he suggested that I return with him to his art studio / apartment in Georgetown to view and discuss his "What's Inside The Pants?" collection which he is currently in negotiations with galleries in NYC, the Hamptons, Boston, Dallas, and Houston for future exhibitions ... after joking that I've heard that "... come up and see my etchings ..." line before we took a leisure walk from the Dupont Circle, west on P Street to the rear of his apartment building in the 2500 block of P Street, NW.
During which time he told me a little more about himself. Now 69, originally from Switzerland, when Werner Jampen moved to WDC from NYC in 1972, one of his first exhibitions in WDC was at the Swiss Embassy. Which is where he has exhibited many times, over the years. As well as at other locations throughout the city.
Nearing the rear of his building on P Street he told me of Finnish photographer, Karl Sonio, who held an exhibition of 'out of focus' images projected onto mirrors and glass ... as a means by which to express the fact that the creation of art does not always have be an expensive production but can come from the simpless of the things in life.
And, as an example of his creating art from the simpless of things, once inside his artist studio / apartment, the first works that Werner showed me was his newly started project that involves pouring a small amount of water onto a collage of tissue paper or paper towels that have been embedded into the back of a plastic picture frame that onced dried will then serve as the canvas as well as frame for an abstract oil-painted work of art.
And though I did not photograph nor video-tape the first few minutes of the impromptu get-together in the process of him showing me not only his large collection of "What's Inside The Pants" series but other collections as well ... since such documentation of an artist in his /her studio is amongst my ongoing themes, particularly, when it is my intent to refer the artist to galleries or collectors ... I insisted that I video-tape as much of my visit as possible with him discussing his art.
Currently in the final stages of negotiation with The Main Contemporary Gallery for exclusive representation and exhibition rights to his work in the Dallas and North Texas markets an in discussions with the Leslie/Lohman Gallery in SoHo NYC for future exhibitions, Werner Jampen will be traveling this summer to NYC, The Hamptons, Boston, Houston and Dallas for summer 2008 exhibitons and to finalize plans for future ones.
Having founded the Werner Jamper Foundation in 2007 which will curate his large collection as well as develop creative avenues by which the work of unknown but talented artists may be introduced to the world, Werner Jampen can be reached by telephone at 202-965-1503.
To get a glimpse of what's inside of Werner Jampen's pants ... you, simply MUST, FIRST, EXPERIENCE HIS ART!
Born in Costa Rica in November 1933, 75 year old Wadey, also known as Marilyn Monroe was a fixture at Mr. P's which opened in 1975 or 76 as the first gay bar in the Dupont Circle area at 2147 P Street in NW WDC.
In fact, Wadey would inform me during our brief conversation in Dupont Circle on Wednesday evening, 2 July 2008, that he began working for George Dotson and Gene Newsome ... the first owners and operators of Mr. P's ... on the first night of its opening in the coat check.
At the time, working full-time at Helman's Company in the accounting department it was not until after his retirement at 62 that, on a dare, he began to perform in drag at Mr. P's as the infamous Marilyn Monroe. Who, along with James Dean and Elvis Presley, he has always had a fascination with.
Regarding himself as a very patriotic American, Wadey says "Marilyn, Elvis and James Dean" personifies the true America. The America that he fell in love in 1956 when he, his mother and father would visit Washington DC for the wedding of his sister.
Born of wealth to a Lebanese mother and an Italian father who sent him and his sister to private schools in Costa Rica as children, he was much closer to his mother than his father.
It was while she was attending a private University in Washington DC that his sister met her future husband.
While his parents returned to Costa Rica after his sister's wedding in 1956, Wadey did not. Since then he has lived in Washington DC and until recent years would revisit Costa Rica at least once a year.
In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, now 75, Wadey recently suffered a stroke. Which he as all but recovered from.
When I asked why he chose Marilyn Monroe as his drag persona he replied that it started on a dare shortly after his retirement when a drag party was to be held at Mr. P's. Having had a fascination with Marilyn for many years who he and his mother actually met at a train station when they were traveling in the late 50's or early 60's ... his friends who thought that he had a resemblance to Marilyn suggested that he should go in drag as Marilyn.
And, so he did.
Reminicsing about the good ole days, Wadey spoke highly of George Dotson and Gene Newsome who he said 'took care of and respected people'. While he did not speak badly of John Mako, he expressed that the last owners 'were just into it for the money'. And did not care about the people nor respect him the way Dotson, Newsome and folks of his day did.
When Mr. P's closed its doors in January 2006 or 2007, many of his dresses and other valuables were left in the apartment that he rented above Mr. P's with the understanding that when he recovered from his stroke and other ailments he could pick-up his things. But, unfortunately, in the process of renovation his things were misplaced or disgarded by the contractors.
Thursday, 10 July from 21.00 to 22.00 at Cafe Örnäs Friday, 11 July Blues Breakfast at Cafe Örnäs from 9.30 to 11.00 Friday, 11 July Blues Train (next to Bluesterminalen) from 15.00 to 17.45 Saturday, 12 July Blues Train (next to Bluesterminalen) from 13.00 to 15.45
I would not have revisited the 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival had it not been that I wanted to pick-up two official 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival tee-shirts (one for Richard and the other for me). Which after much searching over the past two seasons I have not been able to locate at its Folkways online store.
Returning home after my 4 July 2008 photo walk through Dupont Circle and along P Street I ran into a lady who lives in my apartment complex that mentioned that she was just getting in from an almost nine hour day of volunteering at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's Market Place. It was during that conversation that when I inquired if the tee-shirts were available online that she informed me that they were not.
It was then and there that I decided that I would revisit the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Sunday, its closing day, to pick up a couple of tee-shirts.
I'm almost sure that my Sunday visit would not necessarily have been an 'in your face' direct action' had I not received the email that I did from a white man whose book I am in the process of reading who tried to tell me that, perhaps, my perspective about racism is not what it is.
And, as I subwayed to the Festival I reflected on my experiences over the past 40 some years when others had tried to convince me of the exact same thing. Only to realize years later that what I had expressed or suspected at the time that it was or was not was more true than the lies or misconceptions that they had misled me to believe.