Art in Oils. Lube and Transmission, Too.

Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik has been called “elitist” so often he probably prints it on his business cards, like a title.  Mr. Gopnik had the effrontery to write that decorating cookie-cutter fiberglass animals is an unworthy expense of public art funds and probably illegal, too. He criticized an enormous exhibition by amateurs as, well, enormous and amateur; his name was thereafter uttered like that of a Marvel Comics super-villain: Gopnik the Elitist.

In this Sunday’s Arts section, Mr. Gopnik writes about a painting in the collection of Gary Zhu. Mr. Zhu generously shares this 40-foot masterpiece with the public en plein air or alfresco at 14th and R Streets, NW.  The title: AYT Auto Service; the artist, A Hispanic Guy Named Frank. Mr. Zhu maintains that the painting, on the outer wall of his auto repair shop, is an advertisement, but Mr. Gopnik writes convincingly that it is art – I mean, Art.

No matter what you have heard, Mr. Gopnik believes that good art is where you find it. Read and enjoy. Then take a drive and look for some art. And listen, too. Engine sounding rough? See Mr. Zhu.

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