i'll have the grapes, please, extra sour
Post #183 • January 6, 2004, 6:45 AM • 5 Comments
The Miami winners of the 2004 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship Program include Martin Oppel, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, George Sanchez Calderon, Odalis Valdivieso, and Clifton Childree. I have written somewhat negatively about Oppel's work and quite negatively about Sanchez's already. Rodriguez's work, which I have seen at Casas-Riegner, hasn't inspired me to write about it, but if pressed to do so I wouldn't praise it. I have only seen one piece of Valdivieso's and withhold judgement on her work. Childree is a filmmaker; I wonder whether he submitted visual art for the fellowship, or if this was some kind of category-busting choice that doesn't belong here.
My letter from Department of Cultural Affairs had this to say:
Please note that you were among a group of less than fifty artists whose works were forwarded by the regional panel for the national panel's consideration.
Which rejected it, obviously. (That's fewer, not less.)
So that you may be encouraged to apply again, your name will be kept on file.
Thanks, but I'm not sure I should bother. You see, I'm 35, and older than all of the above artists. Why don't you just send me my walker and a box of incontinence garments and we'll call it a career?
I'm doing the one thing you musn't do upon receiving a rejection letter: read meaning into it. I'll get over it (in fact, I'm over it now; writing does that for me) and apply next year. For now, I extend my best wishes and congratulations to the awardees. But I have some concerns here - that certain tax-funded cultural entities are going to consider me ungrantable when I reach the ripe old age of 36; that my friend Juan Carballo, who is living on the fiscal edge and painting his ass off, is never going to get the financial help he needs because he's doing straightforward figurative work that has as its only "issue" its beautiful success; and that the above list represents a homogeneity of taste instituted by, whom, New Yorkers? Screw that.