Huffpost Arts
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A Painter and a Poet Walk into a Bar...

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In Katie Roiphe's recent article "The Allure of Messy Lives" about Mad Men this past Sunday, Roiphe speaks of the current fascination and wistful awe for a world where stylish men and women think nothing of three martini lunches, smoking while pregnant, and falling into bed with strangers. She wryly notes the difference in our attitudes today:

"Try telling a group of young parents in a Draper-like milieu that you have decided to give your baby non-organic milk instead of paying $4 for organic, and see what sort of unbridled shock you can elicit."

The transformation and institutionalization of the art world over the last few decades, to be sure, is hardly different. Many artists I know, including myself, have awoken hungover on its well-manicured lawn, littered with Murakamis and MFAs, tended and fertilized by the pre-recession boom. There we go, herded from exhibition to exhibition to museum show, onward and upward as we climb the ladder toward art world heaven.

So it is with a particular thrill that I introduce a new kind of exhibition-- a game called "7 Rings", exclusive to the Huffington Post, conjured by painter Rebecca Campbell and poet Nicole Walker. Each week the painter and the poet will create a work of art to begin the game. Each week they'll then invite 5 more artists from a variety of disciplines --writers, artists, musicians, etc.-- to join the conversation by making a work in turn, just as in a game of telephone. Artists will have 24 hours to respond to a previous artist's work or "Ring". Everyday on the arts page, you will see a new work of art branded as 7 rings.

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The first ring is a painting by Rebecca Campbell, inspired by the headline "Wake Them When It's Over," a piece about Afghanistan by Jason Linkins for the Huffington Post. Nicole will respond with a poem the next day, and the next artist will respond to the previous artist's work, and so on and so forth.

Welcome to the first of many artist experiments to raid the Huffington Post. Let's get messy, shall we?

About the Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker

Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker met in 1984 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They began a 25 year long conversation about art, poetry, politics, food and everything in between. They began collaborating together on the school art and literary magazine and expanded into experimental films, community arts festivals, and artist's books. Originally from Mormon families, their bar was the Painted Word and the Tap Room where they concocted projects railing against the dominant local culture. Recently, and amongst themselves, they started an artist's game of telephone. Nicole emailed a poem to Rebecca and she responded with a collage. The exchange continued with work ranging from homage to critique. Like most games it made sense that the more players the more fun. Creating, transmitting and reacting to ideas is the heart and soul of the Huffington Post, so it made perfect sense for them to bring it to the arts page where they will be continually be inviting other artists to play the game.

Participating Artists (So Far):


Rebecca Campbell
is an internationally celebrated artist represented by LA Louver Gallery in Venice, CA and Ameringer-Mc Enery-Yohe in NYC. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Gagosion Gallery, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, and Art Basel. Her work has been featured in publications including Art News, Los Angeles Times, Art Papers, X-TRA, Artworks Magazine, Art Ltd., the Huffington Post and Artnet, and is in the collections of The Phoenix Art Museum, Creative Artists Agency, and the Scheringa Museum of Realist Art. Along with Nicole Walker, Rebecca Campbell created the online exhibition 7 Rings, for the Huffington Post.

Nicole Walker is an American Poet. Her collection of poems, This Noisy Egg, was published this year by Barrow Street Press and was awarded a fellowship from theNational Endowment for the Arts and, along with Rebecca Campbell, created 7 Days, 7 Artists, 7 Rings, for the Huffington post.

Nancy Kienholz is an American pop installation artist, her work included in the collections of the Centre National d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Nick Flynn American writer, playwright, and poet. Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins. Previous books include a memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, and two collections of poetry: Blind Huber, and Some Ether, which won the inaugural PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Kenichi Hoshine is an artist born in Japan and currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally. He is represented by J. Cacciola Gallery in New York City and he will be teaching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn starting this fall.

Ned Brower a drummer, singer, songwriter for the Los Angeles pop band Rooney, recently released his solo debut "Great to Say Hello" and 3rd full length Rooney album "Eureka!"

Antonya Nelson, Writer, short stories have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, Quarterly West,Redbook, Ploughshares, Harper's, and other magazines. They have been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. Notable Books: In the Land of Men (1992), Talking in Bed (1996), Nobody's Girl: A Novel (1998), Living to Tell: A Novel (2000), and Female Trouble (2002).

Kristin Calabrese is American painter. She has upcoming exhibitions with Susanne Vielmetter and Brennan and Griffin in New York and has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including Gagosian Gallery, Leo Koenig NY, and Michael Janssen Cologne. Her paintings are included in the collections of the Armand Hammer Museum, Neuberger Berman and Saatchi.

Terrance Hayes is a prize-winning American poet. His most recent poetry collection is Lighthead(Penguin, 2010). His second collection, Hip Logic (2002), won the National Poetry Series and also was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and runner-up for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

Tomory Dodge, is an American artist based in Los Angeles, California, Dodge is represented by CRG Gallery in New York, ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, and by Alison Jacques Gallery in London, UK. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

Michael Martone, Writer: Author of five books of short fiction including Seeing Eye and Pensées: The Thoughts of Dan Quayle (Broad Ripple Press, 1994), Fort Wayne Is Seventh on Hitler's List (Indiana University Press, 1990), Safety Patrol (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), and Alive and Dead in Indiana (Alfred A. Knopf, 1984).

Iva Gueorguieva
is a painter and has had solo exhibitions at Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Outline, Amsterdam, Netherlands; CA; Heriard Cimino Gallery, New Orleans, LA; and Stephen Stux, New York, NY.

Don Bachardy renowned portraitist, has had many one-man exhibitions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston and New York and his works reside in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institute, and the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

Kimberly Brooks is painter represented by Taylor De Cordoba. Her recent exhibition, "The Stylist Project", featuring portraits of style-makers styling themselves, received international recognition. Her work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions including curators from Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and LACMA. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Art Ltd., The LA Times, Vanity Fair, Vogue, New American Paintings and Daily Serving.

Doug Harvey is an artist, writer, Art Critic for LA Weekly, and experimental musician. His curatorial projects include the First and Third Annual LA Weekly Biennials at Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles, and his diverse oeuvres were recently the subject of the survey exhibition Untidy: The Worlds of Doug Harvey at LA Valley College.

Natalia Fabia is an artist whose work has been featured in Angeleno, LA Weekly, Juxtapoz, and New York Arts and was featured in LA WEEKLY's best of L.A. people 2010.

Lia Halloran is a painter and photographer represented by DCKT Contemporary in New York whose work was included in a traveling group exhibition "Space is the Place" which was curated by Alex Baker and Tony Kamps for Independent Curators International

Erin Cosgrove is an artist and writer whose artwork has been exhibited at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art and has received grants and fellowships from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and The Creative Capital Foundation.

Susanna Coffey is an artist who has work is in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Academy Museum, and The Weatherspoon Museum and has received awards from; The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and National Endowment for the Arts.

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*If you have a special event/performance/exhibition to share; if you wish to contribute as a blogger; if you have a story; or if you know of a great blog we should be reading, please go to this link and tell us about it. - Kimberly Brooks.