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edit her, editor!

Post #4 • May 6, 2003, 8:08 PM

Elisa Turner of the Miami Herald reviewed the show I curated, “Abstract Miami,” on April 27. I’m glad she came and enjoyed the exhibition, and I would like to make some suggestions to her editor. Fails in the first sentence sets a misleading tone for a positive review, and fails to is not synonymous with does not in this case. Landscapes to love is a forced alliteration. Using a hyphenated phrase to put hard hit near hardiest was not worth orphaning vocabulary at the end of the sentence. This sentence is both preceded and followed by another with an internal rhyme, to strange effect. Hewn means “roughly shaped, as if with an ax;” therefore hand-hewn is a redundancy and slick before it is a contradiction. One does not nourish a peril. Insouciant means “coolly unconcerned” and doesn’t fit the sentence. No sense of the word patter fits the sentence and spatter or splatter seems to be called for.

I sympathize because I’m a major alliteration junkie and I love a fifty-cent word, but I was fortunate to have the former editor for Helen Kohen review my writing before it went onto the Miami Art Exchange. She used to throw knives at my work when I did this stuff. I’m still grateful to her. Your editor’s job is to save you from yourself, and Elisa’s editor isn’t doing his job.

For a show of abstract painting, she found a surprising amount of irony: lark, wry, insouciant, flip, wannabe. I take that as a sign of how prevalent irony has become in the art world. Irony may now be a frame through which most art is viewed, because it works so much of the time. Too bad for sincerity, though.




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