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Post #377 • October 1, 2004, 7:51 AM • 25 Comments

Ladies and gentlemen:




October 1, 2004, 3:22 PM




October 1, 2004, 3:35 PM

this looks like a good idea, but for some reason (I am no computer geek) a 14 MB PDF file takes forever to download on my Mac G4. If everyone has this problem, it is a problem.



October 1, 2004, 3:42 PM

A 14.5 MB document coming down over a 28.8 kbps dial-up ought to take about eight and a half minutes to download. If it's taking much longer than that, let me know.



October 1, 2004, 4:42 PM

I am on an ethernet connection, so it is faster than that, but even so, as a practical matter, if readers have to wait even half that time to download it is a severe impediment. Everyone is impatient. Maybe have the review in the blog and the pictures available as links, or put it up on the web.


Jerome du Bois

October 1, 2004, 5:36 PM


I love it and I'm in on it. I put five in the tip jar. I think I see what you're doing here. It's an in-between thing, a phantom magazine, almost with page feel. Greater design flexibility, and everything right there, no linking. And the reader can print it out, too. That's why I think oldpro misses the point here:

Maybe have the review in the blog and the pictures available as links, or put it up on the web.

I have a G4 (eMac) with a cable modem. I clicked the download at 7:10, and by 7:12 I was looking at it; that includes Adobe Reader launching.

Damn, now I have to learn Adobe Reader, too. You're a hard man to keep up with, Zendog.

With a big grin,



October 1, 2004, 6:25 PM

Jerome, thank you, and Catherine, thank you - you guys are awesome.

Yeah, I think the official term for this is "screen-based pdf." I like being able to control the layout and typography, and most of all, type quality. I want to throw up whenever I see this page on a PC. And being able to zoom in on the images and text - you can't beat that.

Seven minutes over cable is still a bit slow for my taste, so I'll see how to get the file size down. My DSL did it in a couple of minutes. (And, well, if it took seven minutes over cable, then my 8.5 minute figure above can't be correct, and sure enough, an alert reader has just informed me that the number might be off by, oh, an hour. It should take about a half hour over 56.6 dial-up. That really is too slow.)

But thanks for being the first to donate - that means a lot to me, and I'm not talking about the money. I'm glad it works for you, and I'll work on making it work better.


Jerome du Bois

October 1, 2004, 6:48 PM


You're welcome, man. I don't know where the seven minute figure came from, or if it applies to me. To be clear: the thing downloaded in less than a minute; the other minute was Adobe launching.




October 1, 2004, 7:38 PM

Um, right. Y'hear that, folks? One minute! Not seven. One. Don't drink and blog.

Franklin performs sub-optimally on fewer than six hours of sleep and he will attempt to remedy this shortfall within the next couple of hours.



October 1, 2004, 8:52 PM

this rocks bro. keep comin w/ this stuff it will make a difference.



October 1, 2004, 9:16 PM

OK now i got it to work. Downloads in less than a minute. I have not yet figured out how to save it, becasue my "save as" does not open for a PDF, but I can probably figure it out or get someone who knows what they are doing to help

This is real slick, fer sure. It is great to actually see good pix of the art. The general comments you make about the show seem accurate - the consistency and such. The total all-out rave was hard to swallow; the pictures are very stylish and contemporary and good to look at but they didn't grab me much beyond that. Nice to see the Scully - a handsome painting if not a great one. I think it was Jack who said it was the only worthwhile thing in the whole place.

Will this be regular, scheduled, intermittent?



October 1, 2004, 9:29 PM

Erg. Um, sorry Franklin, but I'm not into it.

I think you've been seduced by form. I can tell you put a lot of effort into how it looks, but the writing doesn't stand up to the effort. What you've written is so anecdotal compared to the labor you've put into the package.

It did take about four minutes for me to open as I didn't save it directly to my HD. I also use the full version of Acrobat, so it opened up all the tools, which could have added time.

I continue to be completely at odds with your opninion of MAM's permanent collection (though I may not yet have actually mentioned it to you). However, I suspect that because I have a long relationship with many of the works, I am aware of them in a different way; I have seen the works in the context of many different pairs of eyes and education levels, while I think you only consider your own--as many people do; I'm not suggesting you are a poorer person for that . . . the collection simply does not suit you, and you say so.

That is part of the void of my care for your publication, I suppose. It is a publication of Art Criticism, sure, but the whole measure of the criticism you present is whether or not Franklin likes it. I know that anything can be a publication, but it seems that the blog medium is much more suited to the I like this/I don't like that type of critique, while the pubication you've proffered today , with its pamphlet/brochure aesthetic implies that what is within ought to carry a tone of significant responsibility. I feel that there is sense of Greater Authority inherent in the form, but your writing is not official, yet not very explorative, not very informative, not historical, not authoritative, and not really journalism; it is bloggy, especially after the second page.

Basically, the form and substance are at odds. I'm sure you can work that out.



October 1, 2004, 9:42 PM

Kathleen, the whole measure of anyone's criticism should and must be "I like it". You can talk about art endlessly and interstingly (as we all do on this blog) but you got to go with your own take on what you see. I did not agree at all with Franklin's rave, but there is nothing wrong with him raving if he wants to. All you have to do is say "i disagree". If he starts adopting a "tone of significant responsibility" I don't think I am going to have anything to do with it. What a dreary thought!



October 1, 2004, 11:25 PM


On my DSL connection at work, the first page pops up in a manner of seconds, and then the rest of the publication stays well ahead of any reasonable reading or browsing speed. I'll try dialup download tonight and report.

The homepage looks funny in Windows Internet Explorer 6, and I didn't see a tip jar link.

The article looks beautiful, though I'm going to wait to get home to read it.


Jerome du Bois

October 1, 2004, 11:33 PM


I think you're intimidated.

your writing is not official . . .

What the hell does that mean, commissar? You mean he didn't sign up? Where? With who? You?

And how can you write a phrase like "the void of my care"? That's almost not English.

Franklin is offering an option, and he's right: this is unique in the art blogosphere, and kudos apply. Give the guy his due. Reason is always on the side of options.


Jerome du Bois


that guy in the back row

October 2, 2004, 12:03 AM

The format is rocken. I'll keep sending a link to someone else each weekly/monthly/as available so as to continue to be a freeloader according to your fee schedule. (I'll pay when I can)

Kathleen, I tend to agree with Jerome here. You got to cut your allegiances with that shag carpet-sporting joke of a place and fast. Then just open your eyes and enjoy.



October 2, 2004, 12:04 AM

It's OK, Jerome. Franklin got my permission, and I am making up a Certified Art Critic & Artist (CACA) badge and certificate for him.

Henceforth he will pass everything before my committee.

We can't have people just saying whatever they think.



October 2, 2004, 12:56 AM

Franklin, I don't have DSL and this doesn't seem to work for me. Surely you can provide a link to the text of the review (I saw the show and don't need the pictures). Also, this new option should not preclude your linking to the relevant local reviews for the preceding week, which is a good feature that should not be dropped. You need not and should not link to everything that purports to be an art review around these parts.



October 2, 2004, 1:13 AM

Last year when I applied for the Consortium, I made it down to the post office just in time to see the worker lock the door. I scrambled down to another post office that I knew was open an hour later and got the application in. This year, I got to the first post office with a half hour to spare, and just got back. I want my fellow procrastinators to know that reform is within your power if it is within mine, me, a lifetime procrastinator to the marrow. Boy, I really need to get some sleep.

More, Eddie: thank you.

Oldpro, glad you got it to work for you. If you downloaded it, it is saved. Double click to open, drag and drop wherever you like on your hard drive to store. The text was probably overly kind, but that's sort of a tradition with me - to start positive. I think I'm going with intermittent for now - I want to make sure I have daily content for the blog, so I'll leave wiggle room for Ab.n/p, as I'll call it so I don't have to keep typing it.

Kathleen: Thanks for the feedback. The format may take some getting used to. Believe it or not, one of my models for it is Goodnight Moon. Go look if you have a copy around - same horizontal layout, and the same typeface on the copy (Futura, the most beautiful typeface in the world).

I realized after page two that if the image is right there, there's no need to describe it, so I started talking about the artist instead. Bad move - it sounded like a wall label. So I scratched that and started giving my opinions, along with any information that might not be obvious about the image by looking at it. That felt right. One could look these people up if one needed info about them. (In fact, one ought to be able to do it on the museum website, but one can't, and that's too bad.) So, it's a picture book. Like Make Way for Ducklings, but with an art critic writing in first-person as the main character. I think I know what you mean about it being about what Franklin likes - that's all I write about, really, but it doesn't usually sound so obvious because there's more verbiage than in this publication. I suspect that the quantity of words relative to the number of images needs adjusting, not the tone, which I won't change anyway for reasons that other commenters have been pointing out. (That said, there's a page in Goodnight Moon that is blank except for the words "Goodnight nothing". I admire the openness and terseness of that. That page may have been my introduction to Zen, at age one.)

Oop, more comments...

Alesh, thanks. If you could e-mail me about the details of Windows IE 6 looking funny, I'd appreciate it. A link to the donation page from the publications page would be, um, totally sensible. (slaps head)

Guy, thanks. (To be fair, the carpet is not shag. It's, I dunno, museum carpet. Hey, leave the carpet out of this. I like the carpet. The put it in right before the Martin Puryear show and it looked great under the work.) (To be fair some more, MAM really does seem to be getting its act together. I chose this show as the topic for this first publication partly to honor that. This is three positive reviews in a row from me for them. Doh! Wait, excepting the Jac Leirner blog post. That wasn't positive. Shit, does one person really do all this writing?)

Oldpro, come up with a design and I'll post it.

Jack, not working for you in what respect? Couldn't download it, didn't want to try, downloaded it but didn't like it? Roundup got knocked to tomorrow due to the Ab.n/p launch but will return to its Friday spot next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel. Okay, kids - nap time.



October 2, 2004, 1:17 AM

Sent you an optimized (under 2 meg version) to save bandwidth for everyone.




October 2, 2004, 2:40 AM

Franklin, on my system, the download is excruciatingly slow, though I managed to tough it out long enough to see a few images. I think it's promising, but again, for me, it's just not functional as it now stands.

There's no need to say the obvious, but I will: you may review anything in any way you see fit, just as anyone who reads your review may react to it any way s/he sees fit, short of breaking the law and/or one of your limbs.

I, too, found this MAM show a pleasant surprise, no doubt partly because I'd been conditioned to have lowish expectations. However, I was more impressed by the overall package (or curatorial packaging) than by the individual parts, with certain exceptions--chief among them the Scully, which, of course, is far better live than in a reproduction. I duly commend Cheryl Hartup, but her involvement with the Leirner show, and especially the "pivotal figure" comment attributed to her, remains rather troubling.

Anyway, I'm off to the Centro Cultural Espal in the Gables for what may be an interesting group show. Later.



October 2, 2004, 3:07 AM

I love it.

It's exactly what I've been looking for in art reviews. Photos instead of descriptions, and concise personal observations instead of discursions. I love the feeling of seeing far-off art vicariously through the eyes of an informed viewer. I'm only sorry there aren't more pages!

(My only question is whether the fonts might have been smaller, since they're quite large when viewed at real size, which appears to be half the size of an 8-1/2x11 sheet. Maybe it's just me.)

But ... uhh ... what's with the halo on the self-portrait? (Gotta dig those flowers on your shirt, tho.)



October 2, 2004, 5:02 AM

Okay, the low-rez version, weighing in at 1.7 MB (nearly a tenth of the size of the full version), can be downloaded by clicking here. Thank you Dimitry. Warning - the picture quality suffered markedly, but all you dial-uppers can at least have a look.



October 2, 2004, 7:51 AM

I only saw it in the low-resolution version, but the image of the Scully painting does the original little if any justice--it looks like a very faded, watered down, enervated version of the real thing, so GO SEE IT LIVE(including you, Oldpro). Sunday's good, since it's free admission then.

And now, for another review, of a show that opened tonight at the Spanish Cultural Center, with no visual aids and definitely no fancy technology, so brace yourselves.

It's a very good space as such, one of the nicer ones in town, even though not as well known as it should be. It was packed with people, including Cheryl Hartup, Joel Weinstein and Alfredo Triff. The Bacardi bar was very busy. Excellent catalog, far better than what one usually gets (assuming there IS a catalog), but I guess the Spanish government was paying. Some live entertainment too, which I ignored, but it got the crowd temporarily away from the art, so I could see it much better.

OK, that's the opening-as-social-event angle. Now for the art. The show is called "De ida y vuelta" (Coming and Going). Eleven artists of Cuban origin, who all came to South Florida by way of Spain. Hardly any of the work looks "ethnic" or is overtly Cuban or "Hispanic." Two pieces per artist; all works on paper; various media (acrylic, oil, watercolor, pencil, mixed media, etching, photography). Nice variety, interesting stuff.

Highlights (mine, naturally):
Gustavo Acosta's large-format graphite drawing of a brooding, desolate cityscape, with truncated buildings that might be prisons, punctuated by cypresses, the trees of death. Acosta is a fine draughtsman, and he can do a lot with just a pencil. If only more people could draw well (or at all).

"Fuji-San," a lyrical colored etching by Baruj Salinas, a Cuban Jew inspired by Oriental (in this case, Japanese) art. A delicate, subtle, refined landscape, best appreciated up close for the poetic details.

Two untitled watercolors by Arturo Rodriguez, of a young boy and girl, respectively, both nude. I read them, without reference to the catalog, as Adam and Eve. "Eve" was stronger, artistically and otherwise; sternly aloof, even severe, 12 going on 40, and apparently not inclined to take the blame for the Fall. Echoes of early Picasso, Francis Bacon, and even Lucas Cranach (though not in spirit). I really wanted to take Eve home.

Pretty much all of the remaining work was worthwhile, certainly by local standards. If nothing else, a welcome change from the usual suspects.


Fresh Paint

October 3, 2004, 9:30 PM

Nice overview. I don't know the museum, but I love to look at gorgeous pictures. The Scully looks yummy as does your own picture. (I'm a painter who just can't seem to get a lot of paint on a surface no matter how much I try).

FYI, I'm blessed with a fast WI-FI connection (which I recommend to everyone -- cheap for the card and free in a lot of places, indispensable on a laptop), so it only took a minute or two to download the piece.



October 4, 2004, 1:40 AM

fresh paint: Use acrylics, gel mediums and flexible spreaders. You will have gobs of paint in no time.



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