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who can turn the world on with their artblog?

Post #99 • September 4, 2003, 5:45 AM

The Tears of Things surveys Artblogistan and finds it wanting.

One of the things I like about artblogs is that they sanction a wider range of emotion than most art criticism. ToT is the perfect example – Jerome du Bois’ “How I Narrowly Escaped Becoming the New Phoenix New Times Art Writer” is a scream, and is something that you will never see in any other medium. Catherine King’s hamstringing of Beverly McIver is a fine example of well-aimed vituperation.

Now its knife is trained on the art blogosphere. This shoe fits, so I’ll wear it:

Most art bloggers are not asking big questions or advancing new notions. They pick nits. They have gotten excited about the spatial tension in Morandis still lives, charmed by Modiglianis tilted necks, all studious about what ol Clem really meant, and angry about leaky roofs in the houses of that odious misogynist, Frank Lloyd Wright.

I didn’t get involved in the wrangling over Wright and missed the Modigliani raves. I plead guilty to expressing excitement about the spatial tension in Morandis still lifes, and mine is the only blog around that mentions Greenberg on an occasional basis, so I guess that’s referring to me. This is fine; I wouldn’t be blogging if my feelings weren’t just about bulletproof. My response is: And? I’m thinking about Greenberg these days. I’m reading Volume 4 of his collected essays, lent to me by a buddy whose abstract paintings I admire. Clem was a longtime friend of Walter Darby Bannard, who was one of my teachers back in grad school. Since this blog is the chronicles of an artist in the world, that’s what ends up on the site.

I wonder about this:

I wrote about the vile Santiago Sierra without mercy, with a lot of anger, with chapter and verse, and even with a list of questions. I got an unhelpful, private email from one art blogger (who should be called the third blowhard), but nothing else.

I see four comments on that page, one of them from me, expressing solidarity. (Waitasec – I’m the only art blogger on that page. Am I the ‘third blowhard‘? Naah. I didn’t send an e-mail. He must mean somebody else.) If four comments is ‘nothing’, what kind of response is Tears of Things expecting?

I submitted Artblog.net to my host’s Site of the Month contest, which is peer-reviewed. Right now I’m running a 4.62 out of 10, and have received two comments:

dtobias: “Decently done as blogs go… I guess if somebody is interested in its topic it would be interesting.”
gbdk: “Not much to say, as there’s not much to see. It doesn’t attract any attention, and it didn’t spark my interest. One plus: it has a clean layout, though it lacks navigation and context.”

Of course, it would lack context if you can’t tell your gluteus from your olecranon when it comes to art. But this demonstrates to me that I’m preaching to the choir. No surprises there. I’m content to rant to my readership, and let my big, new thoughts percolate slowly as I think about this and that. I enjoy the discipline of posting five days a week. That anyone cares to watch me do it is a marvel for which I’m grateful.

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