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Post #364 • September 10, 2004, 8:30 AM • 21 Comments

Michael Spring, while introducing the show of Cultural Consortium winners at MAM last night, reported that Elisa Turner's condition has improved, but I didn't get any details. Tonight and tomorrow I'll hit the openings with a get well card for her in hand - if you see me, come over and sign it.

Last night a MAM insider confided to me that MAM provided many financial details to Celeste Fraser Delgado for a piece she wrote about Museum Park that I have cited a few times, one that indicated that the Museum Park gang was not willing to share or didn't really know such details. You can now read the numbers, briefly outlined, on MAM's site. They added this information recently, since the last time I wrote about Museum Park in July. Although seemingly newfound, I applaud their candor and clarity, which will convince me above all else that the project merits doing.

I present a special two-week roundup since last week's blew away.

Omar Sommereyns for Street Weekly: A Giant contradiction: Street artist Shepard Fairey's critique of consumer culture has really paid off for him.

Carlos Suarez de Jesus for Street Weekly: Toys art us: No one would accuse FriendsWithYou of making Mickey Mouse art. They just market it that way.

I hereby can Indie Spotlight for further appearances on these roundups unless something decent appears. Yeesh.

Alfredo Triff for the Miami New Times: Public Spaces, Private Lives: Miami Beach's Art Deco hotel lobbies are really social laboratories.

Somebody (I assume Michael Mills, but I don't see his name anywhere) for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Art by the Square Foot: At the Art Marketplace, you can pick your theme, then match your living room décor.

Somebody again for the Broward/Palm Beach New Times: Artbeat.

Beth Feinstein-Bartl for the Sun-Sentinel: Artists shed light on Florida's beauty.

Gary Schwan for the Palm Beach Post: Uruguayan artist brings humor to the everyday.

See you there: On Friday, Snitzer, Locust, and the new Ingalls space (125 NW 23 Street, practically next to Locust). On Saturday, Snitzer, Dorsch, Rocket, DOT 51 (51 NW 36 Street), Octopus Building (169 NW 36 Street). (Those of you with websites look unprofessional when you don't keep them updated.) I won't post comments about these shows until my piece about them appears on the New York Foundation for the Arts site, but don't let that stop you. I especially look forward to the Alexia Stamatiou work at Snitzer.

After the summer lull I feel glad to get back into the art openings.

Comment

1.

that guy in the back row

September 10, 2004, 4:44 PM

Small time, low brow art strikes Miami-Dade again. News at eleven.

The art supermarket story was hilarious however.

2.

eddie

September 10, 2004, 5:05 PM

looks like Locust are the only ones keeping there site update. I love the Dorsch Gallery but man they have got to work on that site!

Anways, intersting article on Shepard Fairy's art and how his success has contradicted his work. Personally I'm happy for him, yeah merchandising seems lame and commercial but he came up as a bomber. Bombing in essence is commercial. The whole thing is based on exposure and selling your image. In graffiti, a bomber's main goal is fame.
I'm looking forward to checking some of these shows, but with the Hurricane Game tonight, I probably will only go to Saturday's openings.

Saw a bit of the dorsch show last night, some pretty cool still life paintings in the back by the bar. it's hard to make still life cool nowadays. But these depicted a bedroom with a TV or in one instance a row of sneakers painted in rich, glazed colors. It was different, also check out a couple of paintings of rings which I thought had a great loose unfinished approach.

3.

Jack

September 10, 2004, 5:26 PM

There's a small but potentially rather interesting show opening tonight (Friday) at Books & Books in the Gables. It's work by a reclusive, not to say hermit-like, young Cuban painter who's into Eastern mysticism. His name is Heriberto Mora. Check it out (especially you, Franklin).

4.

Jack

September 11, 2004, 7:30 AM

I didn't go to Wynwood tonight. Again, even if nobody cares, I find it therapeutic to say it. I'm done going to shows as if it were my duty or obligation or job. It's the job of the galleries and artists to earn my interest. From now on, it's put up or don't waste my time. I'll probably backslide occasionally, particularly with the new and totally unknown, but I'm through giving third chances. You want my attention, then you satisfy me--or at least give me reason to expect you can. Real simple.

5.

Franklin

September 11, 2004, 3:10 PM

Jack: Mark Fox's installation at Kevin Bruk merits a visit. I rather liked the photo-collages at Ingalls's new digs but doubt you will. Raymond Saa's work at Locust will compensate your time assuredly. And you're coming to Dorsch tonight to see my students' work. Oh yes you are. I've liked Alexia Stamatiou's work in the past - odd, charming drawings not unlike Brian Reedy's or Edward Gorey's - and she opens at Snitzer tonight.

6.

Jack

September 11, 2004, 3:58 PM

Franklin, installations are largely for people who can add extensions to their houses to get more exhibition space. I am not Rosa de la Cruz. Ingalls is a lovely woman, but she's had her third chance. Saa is OK, but I'll stick with late Matisse. Quirky drawings? If I even hear "Royal Moose Lodge" again, I'm going to start convulsing--or having Rocket Projects flashbacks, which may be worse. As for your students, I'll think about it. I'm very, very irritable these days. Being had too many times will do that.

7.

oldpro

September 11, 2004, 5:34 PM

Jack: As you know I sympathize with your suffering, but my long experience in the art business and my short experience on this blog have pounded home the fact that you simply cannot expect high standards in art and art commentary to be maintained or even entertained by the Miami art world. Artistic ambition, the ambition for the best, has been largely replaced by a bunch of kids with attitudes playing in a sandbox, doing aimless, mindless stunts for the crowd, and the crowd itself is content to be mildly amused and move on. Nothing burns, nothing sings, nothing soars. It is like a school board meeting in Hallowe'en costume.

I think it is necessary to hold on to your standards but lower your expectations. Otherwise you are going to get an ulcer. Think of it as panning for gold: an endless boring search punctuated by a few nuggets. I have been in the habit of tackling every one of Franklin's Roundups with a rousing kvetch or two, but it gets tiring and discouraging, and it stirs up the New Philistines to furious response, which should be fun to answer but seems always to disintegrate into personal obliquy. Even as Franklin tries to be enthusiastic about some of these shows I hear little more than reluctant hopefulness behind the words. I agree that most of what we are going to see should never be put forth in the name of art, but we have to inure ourselves to it.

And, as I have said before, I miss your "reviews"!

8.

Jack

September 11, 2004, 9:15 PM

Off-topic reply to Hovig: I heard the "Caro nome" clip; thank you. It's lovely, but not to die for. Gilda, ideally, should sound very young, virginal and vulnerable; Claycomb sounds a bit too ripe. I highly commend her care over piano singing, but she milks it a little too obviously, which sounds calculated. Generally speaking, her approach is more studied and less rapturous than I'd like. She has a beautiful voice, but even though this is not a real coloratura showpiece, her technique seems a tad cautious. I'm thinking of the young Sutherland or Tetrazzini in her prime, the kind of singing that's not just beautiful but literally amazing. Still, Claycomb would be more than welcome in Miami.

9.

eddie

September 11, 2004, 9:38 PM

Back row guy: the art marteplace was hilarious but also very very sad.

10.

that guy in the back row

September 11, 2004, 10:21 PM

Eddie: It is really no different than a Worhol. Only more honest and packaged in a strip mall. The funny part is that people actually shop there. These stores pray on the fragility of taste. As connoisseurship is placed on the alter of what sells we'll see more of this.

11.

eddie

September 12, 2004, 12:17 AM

yeah but atleast warhol started out with a statement on consumer culture and pop idolatry. this marketplace horde of peter max's is just depressing. whatever, maybe i'm just jealous i wouldn't mind making the kind of money this place probably makes.

12.

that guy in the back row

September 12, 2004, 1:00 AM

Eddie: I'm not sure how silkscreening a soup can is a "statement on consumer culture and pop idolatry" as you claim but you can go on believing it as long as you like.

13.

oldpro

September 12, 2004, 1:13 AM

Eddie: Warhol was not making a "comment" on pop idolatry, he was courting it.

14.

Jack

September 12, 2004, 1:47 AM

Warhol WAS a great artist--con artist, that is. The problem is not what he did, which he was perfectly free and entitled to do, but that so many people, supposedly serious art people, swallowed it hook, line and sinker. They're still at it. He's not to blame, except perhaps for being a shameless (and brilliant) opportunist, but that's a moral issue, not an artistic one. It's not as if he was truly dishonest, either--it was pretty obvious what he was about. He was practically laughing at his adoring fans the whole time, and they kept right on drooling over him and throwing money his way. Why shouldn't he have taken advantage of them, when they were begging for it? No, he's not to blame; THEY are.

15.

that guy in the back row

September 12, 2004, 2:08 AM

good point Oldpro and Jack.

16.

Hovig

September 12, 2004, 2:29 AM

Jack - Since "young Sutherland" refers to an era that arguably ended around the year Franklin and I were born, I'll have to take your word for it. (I'm not counting recordings.) Myself, I've seen about 50 shows these past six years, between here and the Met, with ladies from Fleming to Gheorgiu, Mattila to Swenson, and Behrens to Upshaw, with other "names" in there too. (If you want to throw in mezzos, let's put Bartoli, Blythe, Larmore and Graham in the mix too, among others.) This is not to brag, just to say I thought Claycomb held up more than admirably to her famous colleagues, in fact exceeding most of them in my view. By comparison, while Fleming's Countess (1998) was one of the finest things I've ever heard on stage (the memory will never fade), her Traviata here (2003) was atrocious (and that memory will never fade either), yet Claycomb hit the target quite squarely all three times. I really do hope you have a chance to hear her in person, as I'd be interested in your thoughts.

17.

eddie

September 12, 2004, 2:40 AM

yeah, you guys make good points. It's just that I give warhol a little credit for implementing logos into painting in a way that hadn't been done before atleast not so straightfowardly. And logos are obviusly what consumers react to. We walk around the supermarkets like robots swiping into our carts the most popular name brands, Cheerios, Coca-Cola, and surprise, Campbell's Soup cans! Just go to any public place and look at everyone's T-shirts with Miami Dolphins or Polo or Gap across the front, they've all been branded. I buy into it too but that's what I see when I look at some of Warhol's work.
Anyhow, I don't completely disagree with your disdain. I was just trying to say that the franchise of ART MARKETPLACE should refer to themselves as Frame-Mart or something. But instead they elude to being something of a gallery and that's a little depressing, that's all.

18.

oldpro

September 12, 2004, 3:00 AM

Yeah, Eddie, but if they called it "frame mart" it wouldn't have that ART cachet any more. Don't you know eveything is ART these days?

19.

eddie

September 12, 2004, 3:13 AM

very true, oldpro

20.

Jack

September 12, 2004, 7:06 AM

Well, Oldpro, I agree with what you say in #7, but I'm still cutting back on my former must-see-everything-just-in-case approach. The yield is simply too low. If I were doing it for image or social reasons it'd be different, because then the quality of the art would be beside the point, but that's not my game. It's like the opera--I love it, but because I love IT, not the non-musical stuff associated with it, I'm not interested unless it's the genuine article. If it isn't, I feel cheated, or at least put-upon.

As for reviews, I may write one now and then, but more often than not I feel it's better to say nothing. I have strong opinions, and I'm rather hard to please. In many cases I'd just sound cruel, and I'd probably hurt people. Sometimes I think it might be better to have lower standards, because that would mean greater satisfaction and less frustration. But you're right, it's more practical and sensible to expect very little, though that's not exactly a cheerful prospect.

21.

oldpro

September 12, 2004, 4:04 PM

Jack: By maintaining your high standards (which, by the way, seems like something one can't help anyway; you either have them or not) you are keeping high expectations anyway. You are always on the lookout automatically, by default. Like you, I feel compelled at times to voice my disappointment at the very low level of art found around here. I just think we have to develop some protective attitude so that the pain doesn't consistently overwhelm the pleasure. If and when you come on the latter I hope you will continue to report on it.

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