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the madness continues

Post #362 • September 8, 2004, 6:56 AM • 30 Comments

Even Jide and Cinque are feeling the September Madness (Cinque got a precocious start). Nothing going on in the studio except bone-wrenching artistic failure but reading this paragraph by Takuan Soho helped me get back on track:

As for Kannon, to what purpose would it have a thousand arms attached to one body? This form is made with the intent of pointing out to men that if their immovable wisdom is let go, even if a body have a thousand arms, every one will be of use.

I compose this haiku in Takuan's honor:

The struggling artist
Finally sees shoelaces
All entangled. Duh!

The season commences. Design District on Thursday, Locust on Friday, Dorsch re-opening Saturday.

New (to me) art blogs: Fresh Paint, Zeke's Gallery, Modern Kicks, Proprioception, Thinking About Art, Rodcorp, The Space In Between, Carol Es's Bloggie, MugsyTheBear, Aesthesis. I think I missed someone. I owe a lot of you people e-mails. I will rectify all in the near future. Right after the madness leaves.

And this morning I received word about a new magazine, Miami Art Guide, a rather smart-looking effort that I have not evaluated in person yet. Nice website though.

Oh, and remember that arts effort I was talking about at one point? It's about to happen.

Miami begins again in September.

Comment

1.

Zeke

September 8, 2004, 4:27 PM

Howdy!

Thanks for the props! I hope that I can live up to your standards.

Play Ball!

2.

J.T. Kirkland

September 8, 2004, 4:39 PM

Thanks for the link Franklin! I enjoy your blog a great deal and I'm glad you found mine.

Feel free to comment on anything that strikes you.

J.T. Kirkland
Thinking About Art
http://thinkingaboutart.blogs.com/art

3.

oldpro

September 8, 2004, 8:39 PM

I will never give you motives, Franklin, but if you were showing us these blogs to point out how not to do a blog site I would have to say you succeeded admirably. How many times can one say "me" and stay interesting?

One of them had a quote which "sucker punched" the blogger:

I pursue no objectives, no system, no tendency; I have no program, no style, no direction. I have no time for specialized concerns, working themes or variations that lead to mastery. I steer clear of definitions. I don't know what I want. I am inconsistent, noncommittal, passive; I like the indefinite, the boundless; I like continual uncertainty.
--Gerard Richter

It "Sucker punched" me, too. Ouch! I have seldom read anything quite so pompous, disingenuous and flat out dishonest.

4.

Please...

September 8, 2004, 9:09 PM

While the Richter quote does blow, I must say that oldpro's comment seems a bit hypocritcal. Why does he speak so much from the first person? And who knew that blogs couldn't be personal... I thought that was the point. If I want news I'll go to cnn.com, my newspaper's web site, artnet, etc.

Oldpro - what is your contribution to the post? Give us more than opinion. Give us substance. Did you look at more than the first post on each blog? Do you dislike autobiographies as well?

I like any blog about art and that gives an opinion. Thanks for sharing Franklin.

5.

oldpro

September 8, 2004, 10:08 PM

Hi Please.

I am puzzled why you you use the word hypocritical, or what is wrong with speaking from the first person, or what is wrong with opinion, or what you mean by do I look at "more than the first post", or why I should "dislike autobiographies".

I will be happy to provide substance. What do you mean by substance? I am serious, I am not sure what you mean. Frankly, except for agreeing with me that the Richter quote sucks, I can't understand much of what you are getting at, except that you are clearly disturbed by something.

I think Franklin's blog does a clear, straightforward, well-designed job of putting out ideas and encouraging & managing a more or less high-level discussion, and I think the most of the others do not, at least from what I saw. That was my implcation, anyway.

My contribution to the post is what i have contributed to it since June. Look back and see.

6.

Fresh Paint

September 8, 2004, 11:11 PM

Thanks for finding me! Have been writing mostly about politics lately, but now that the art season is upon us, will try to get out and see the Chicago area shows, and do more of my own stuff.

If you've been following the art-fair fiasco scene that Iconoduel is all over, we picked up one of your art fair organizers and it sounds awful. Any thoughts on Art Miami (NOT the good one, Art Basel/Miami)?

Fear is that Chicago won't be an art destination any more (Terra Museum is closing this October) for the "big art", which tends to lift the small/young art.

Glad I found your blog.

7.

Please...

September 8, 2004, 11:40 PM

Your comment just stated that you found the blogs lacking. You put down people's hard work. Your comment just stated an opinion. You didn't suggest how they could improve their blogs. You said they spoke too much about "me" although that's the point of blogs... to be personal.

You're right, Franklin does a good job regurgitating some bit of news and offering an opinion on it. It's good high-level reading. But is there nothing to be gained from reading a more personal account? For instance, the guy/gal that writes Thinking About Art published something today about the creative process and the development of their work. It was very "I" and "me" focused, but could it have been any other way? I actually found it interesting to read about the development of his/her work.

I was disturbed by your generalization... and then not offering constructive criticism. Especially after seeing that two of the writers read Artblog.

8.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 12:00 AM

That's right, I just stated an opinion. No, I didn't offer anything constructive to help them make their blogs better. Why should I? I'm not a blog doctor. If were to make a suggestion, I might say "make your blog more like Franklin's", but it is none of my business to tell people, including Franklin, how to run their blogs, so I don't.

You say the point of blogs is to be personal. I say the point of blogs is for people to say whatever they want to say. That's what I did. That's what you did.

9.

Please...

September 9, 2004, 12:51 AM

But, in your first comment you said, "...to point out how not to do a blog site I would have to say you succeeded admirably." Then you say the point is to say whatever you like (by definition - personal). I'll assume that none of the writers are being forced to write their content. So, which is it? Are doing it right or not? If not, how can they improve?

You aren't a blog doctor, but don't be a complete waste and selectively make comments. Either jump in fully or not at all. Truth be told, very few of your comments have made much sense on here. This one adds to your legacy.

10.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 1:07 AM

Aimless personalized nastiness gets nowhere. If you have an accusation, back it up or shut up.

11.

Franklin

September 9, 2004, 1:41 AM

Back to your corners, folks.

Oldpro: blogs hit some kind of balance between reportage and diary over time. Those that favor the latter can grow old in a hurry, but even they have their moments. I like the idea of a community of art bloggers and think something good would come out of it. A few of them show particular promise. As for the Richter quote, yes, Richter is a veritable font of high-sounding claptrap. Perhaps we ought to go over to TSIB and say so, and spread the conversation around.

Please: Oldpro's contribution is his opinions. I welcome yours too. People have a bad track record arguing with Oldpro about his opinions - I'd suggest offering your own as a counterpoint instead. Which you did, but moreso, I mean.

Ms. Paint: You're welcome, thank you, I think of Art Miami as a flawed effort that can't compete with Art Basel on any level, and damn, but I like those little landscapes you paint.

12.

Zeke

September 9, 2004, 2:05 AM

Howdy!

Oldpro, would you tell me what you think of my blog?

Thanks Tons! and Play Ball!

13.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 2:16 AM

Zeke: It may be my machine, but it took me a few minutes to get to it because of the blizzard of popups. Then when I got there it seems to be just a straight commercial product site, nothing to do with what we talk about here. Why even ask?

14.

Franklin

September 9, 2004, 2:23 AM

Sounds like you got a bad case of spyware, Oldpro. Not sure what to do about that - I'm a Mac user. Any tips, anyone?

15.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 2:35 AM

Yes - when I opened the URL at the top of this page I then got an art blog which I looked at as well as I could but a lot of pages did not come through - probably my ancient machine - which added to the confusion I had digging through what was what on a very busy page. I am a big fan of total simplicity and obviousness on any web page, so that bothered me some. I will take another look tomorrow on my work computer.

16.

Please...

September 9, 2004, 5:50 AM

I'd guess that oldpro is one of those guys who has never lost an argument.

My point has been made. I'll gladly sacrifice myself to improve oldpro's unbeaten record. Well done!!

17.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 5:59 AM

Please: A lot of arguments have been lost on this blog altogether by everyone when things got so confused no one knew who was talking about what.

Anyway, I'm sorry about the blog comment, It did not have to be made. I am a fan of the way Franklin handles this one or I wouldn't bother posting on it, and the others just looked comparatively self-centered,fussy and trivial. But, as Franklin says, it is good to try to build up a community, whatever your opinion of the individuals.

18.

eddie

September 9, 2004, 6:27 AM

well, Beware! all this talk about a blogging community and franklin's great management of this site, has inspired me to start my own blog. clik on the url if you want to check out although you may want to wait a few days as all i have posted right now is an introduction.

19.

that guy in the back row

September 9, 2004, 8:48 AM

Eddie: glad you got a blog. Lets see what you are working on.
Oldpro: whenever "Aimless personalized nastiness" shows up, so do I. If only I could throw rotten fruit from this virtual back row.
Franklin: The madness in the studio will go away once you figure out what you want. Its easy to say as I've had a mild case of studio madness for months. In my experience encouraging words about my own paintings freaks me out more and I start questioning the one doing the praising. What is the best way to motivate an artist? Something I generally refrain from doing.

I think the most motivating comment I've heard about art was:"That painting isn't worth the canvas its painted on."

Maybe I'm just a sucker for reverse psychology but boy did it make me want to paint.

20.

Franklin

September 9, 2004, 1:31 PM

Eddie - congrats and welcome to the club.

Guy - for me, the challenge lies in finding the intersection between what I want to make and what I want to look at. The latter outnumber the former by a lot, but I forget that as I try to push my work to new levels of achievement. Suddenly I find myself unmotivated and lost until I remember what I feel like doing. Reverse psychology - any psychology - doesn't seem to work on me for this problem, but reading old martial arts manuals does, apparently. To each his own.

21.

alesh

September 9, 2004, 2:35 PM

I'm late to the discussion, but i wanted to say that the blog that the Richter quote came from, "the space in between", is wonderful. I discovered it about a month ago, and though it's updated infrequently, I found Oldpro's criticisms not to the point as far as it goes.

I'm not sure that your reaction to Richter's quote was that different from the writer's. I think her reaction to it was that it SEEMS inconsistent with his work. I take it by your reaction that you do not consider his work worthy of serious discussion/consideration.

22.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 4:01 PM

Maybe you would like to tell us what is wonderful about it, Alesh.

23.

that guy in the back row

September 9, 2004, 4:21 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by "new levels of achievement" Franklin. Thats what you must sort out I imagine. Good luck

24.

Zeke

September 9, 2004, 8:01 PM

Howdy!

oldpro, sorry to hear that your computer is infected, and as a consequence makes the internet difficut. I hope that you get things fixed in a timely and easy fashion.

Play Ball!

25.

oldpro

September 9, 2004, 8:43 PM

Zeke: Take a look at this URL

http://www.http.com//zekesgallery.blogspot.com/

When I click the URL on your message I get this address and a commercial page with a lot of popups. I have a Mac G4 here at work which has not had this problem before - looks like some parasite is piggybacking your site.

26.

Zeke

September 9, 2004, 9:00 PM

Howdy!

Ah HA! Said the blind man!

The correct URL is:

http://zekesgallery.blogspot.com/

Notice, no "http://www.http.com//"

My guess is that you computer is fine. The automatic adding of stuff (the "http://") in the comments section is what was causing me to enter it in incorrectly.

Play Ball!

27.

stacy oborn

September 10, 2004, 2:14 AM

thanks for mentioning my site. a little funny that so much conversation has evolved concerning a quote i had happened to come across...do some people have too much time on their hands and feel the need to play web-critic-for-the-day?

maintaining a blog is sometimes weird terrain. for whom are you writing, yourself or an audience? for whom are your experiences, yourself or an imagined group of readers, vicarious gallery goers? there are indeed many sites that stay up-to-the-first-friday abreast of things, and i appreciate them for providing information, images, critiques and links to things i do not have the time (or sometimes inclination) to find myself. but i realize that mine cant be about that. it does, however, make me strive to think more critically and fully about what i do see, read and take in, and then the act of translating these thoughts into written reflections further elaborates the original impression. this, i think, is an inherently good thing, and in that respect i wish id started such a blog years ago. for the moment, it will be taken up with extenuations of what im reading and thinking about what im reading. probably linking to work made thirty years ago or more. im glad you found the site, and thought to mention me. i don't update every day, or even every other day, but instead when i have something to say or work out in a form other than conversation or idle thought. i've always liked the idea of the commonplace book, a 19th century convention of a book that's part journal, part visual, part of the daily erratta, readings, quotes and clippings that the author came across and informed him/her.

yes: i'll say "me me me" as much as i like. it's my fucking blog (not directed to you, obviously, but others who feel the need to impinge on the act of being gasp! personal in a personal web blog).

28.

stacy oborn

September 10, 2004, 2:14 AM

thanks for mentioning my site. a little funny that so much conversation has evolved concerning a quote i had happened to come across...do some people have too much time on their hands and feel the need to play web-critic-for-the-day?

maintaining a blog is sometimes weird terrain. for whom are you writing, yourself or an audience? for whom are your experiences, yourself or an imagined group of readers, vicarious gallery goers? there are indeed many sites that stay up-to-the-first-friday abreast of things, and i appreciate them for providing information, images, critiques and links to things i do not have the time (or sometimes inclination) to find myself. but i realize that mine cant be about that. it does, however, make me strive to think more critically and fully about what i do see, read and take in, and then the act of translating these thoughts into written reflections further elaborates the original impression. this, i think, is an inherently good thing, and in that respect i wish id started such a blog years ago. for the moment, it will be taken up with extenuations of what im reading and thinking about what im reading. probably linking to work made thirty years ago or more. im glad you found the site, and thought to mention me. i don't update every day, or even every other day, but instead when i have something to say or work out in a form other than conversation or idle thought. i've always liked the idea of the commonplace book, a 19th century convention of a book that's part journal, part visual, part of the daily erratta, readings, quotes and clippings that the author came across and informed him/her.

yes: i'll say "me me me" as much as i like. it's my fucking blog (not directed to you, obviously, but others who feel the need to impinge on the act of being gasp! personal in a personal web blog).

29.

stacy oborn

September 10, 2004, 2:18 AM

sorry for the repeat; i don't know how i did that.

30.

alesh

September 10, 2004, 3:00 AM

what i think is wonderful about stacy's blog is the way she writes about art. Funny; i didn't find it particularly self-involved. Her writing strikes me as an example of Franklin's definition of good art criticism: she writes about art from her own very specific perspective, often describing her feelings standing in front of the actual work.

I haven't seen, and won't see, any of the shows she describes (though I have seen, and fallen in love with, Masao Yamamoto's "A Box of Ku" (apparently it's pretty rare; Peggy Nolan has a copy down at the FIU photo lab)), but i nonetheless found her wiring about them interesting. Sublime, actually.

Oh well - it's a young blog, and hasn't been updated in over a week, which doesn't bode well for its longevity. May go the way of http://haardvark.blogspot.com/

Quote the wise man, :-(

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