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ambrosino continued

Post #410 • November 16, 2004, 6:53 AM • 18 Comments

"There's Nothing Wrong With Being Beautiful," says the title of the group show at Ambrosino Gallery, but by itself it won't get you respect. The work in it seemed pleasant enough, but none of it blew me away. James Lecce painted the first one below. I usually like his work quite a bit, but this one didn't speak to me; I prefer his more intensely colored pieces. I lost the piece of paper that had the names of the following two artists. I'm not going to feel good critiquing them until somebody supplies their identities.

Ambrosino has taken over the old Ingalls space, so he has the room to put up a third show. A.A. Rucci is now incorporating men into his pieces, belying the notion I've heard kicked around that his work has a misogynistic angle; he has turned headlessness into an equal-opportunity affliction. While I wonder how much gas the whole decapitation theme has in it, it seems to be moving along for him at the moment. These images had a disturbing, delightfully oddball attitude and I enjoyed the garish use of color.

These two shows and Wharton's shared similar traits: precision and polish that one might characterize as "slick," palettes that surfed the frontiers of taste, and mild edginess. My tolerance for these qualities is waning as I associate them more and more with local vapidness. I can take pleasure in this kind of work, but after a protracted run of it I often wish for something greater.

Or even just something forlorn or troubled. Anybody know where I can find a Giacometti nearby?




November 16, 2004, 6:02 PM

I think you are just yearning for some art that has a little more substance than this limp, attenuated mannerism. This stuff is the esthetic equivalent of stone soup.


Jerome du Bois

November 16, 2004, 6:41 PM


I agree -- the decapitation theme is cutting a bit close to reality these days, but that doesn't stop these artists. Still, it's a short sharp shock that oughta stop.




November 16, 2004, 7:02 PM

yes, I guess this is what they mean by "cutting edge". Pretty sharp stuff, but mindless.



mon ami miami

November 16, 2004, 8:08 PM

Ambrosino is a grump and his gallery stinks!


#1 fan

November 16, 2004, 9:01 PM

franklin, the green collage in Ambrosino's "Beautiful" show is by Michael Loveland. the other work, i;m not sure who did it. However i'm a little disappointed that you did not bother to mention the strongest works in the "Beautiful" show by raul mendez. They were the 11 or 12 small framed drawings at the front left of the gallery. I think they were very well executed and intelligently layered, both technically and conceptually.



November 16, 2004, 11:13 PM

To be fair, Rucci was working with headless figures long before decapitation became popular with the motherf Islamofascist fighters.

#1 - Thank you. I couldn't get decent photos of the drawings or the photographs next to them because they were under glass. I hate seeing my self-portrait in work I'm trying to shoot, and I doubt that the artists would like it much either.



November 16, 2004, 11:35 PM

"seeing my self-portrait in work I'm trying to shoot" sounds like an idea for your next show.

I'm glad you corrected the incipient obscenity in your comment above, not because it was obscene but because the image was too horrible to contemplate.



November 17, 2004, 12:38 AM

As a mother myself, I must say that I am in favor of motherf***ers.

But not fascists of any stripe.



November 17, 2004, 3:29 AM

Gosh, a lot of jealousy and bitterness seems to be emanating from this blog crowd. Isnt there a better outlet than personal attacks on peoples popularity, appearance, or demeanor? Ambrosino has been an ardent supporter and innovator in the Miami microcosm/art world, and has given first Miami shows to many artists whove gone on to show in major museums and other important international venues, including the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale.
Mon Ami, if I had to guess, you appear to be someone who felt rejected when Ambrosino didnt like your work. The recent backhanded poke by Betty about Ashlee Simpson was also clearly a catty/jealous reference by someone whose career isnt achieving the same international curatorial and media attention Annie Wharton seems to be experiencing.
As someone whose loves art, it is troubling to see so much envy in what is set up to be (Im guessing here, but Franklin Einspruch seems to be simultaneously shrewd and fair, and has obviously done his art historical homework) a valid art dialogue. If you spent an equal amount of time evaluating and improving your own works as you spent blogging, maybe your careers wouldnt be so sad. I know can great outlet to anonymously jab at your competition, but jealousy can definitely be read between the lines.
Best of luck to you all, I hope all the good artists succeed and that there will be a bit less covetousness and more constructive criticism in future blog topics.
Envy breeds ugliness and bad art. Peace.



November 17, 2004, 4:46 AM

Charles, thanks for your input. Your defense of Ambrosino is well taken, but your suspicions about professional envy don't wash. I know the identities of some of these commenters, and they're doing fine. Even if I didn't, though, you don't seem to want to consider that they might not like the work on its own terms.



November 17, 2004, 8:14 PM

Franklin is right, Charles. There is no evidence or even any indication that anyone here is writing out of spite or envy. Even if they are, it is not up to us to impute motives.


another miami artist

November 17, 2004, 10:13 PM

agree, getting inside one's minds is a lost case, but explaining why people do what they do is game. when an artist uses her or his anonimity as a shield for innuendo or to insult someone, blog or not blog as the reason, it is wrong. i've seen pretty nasty exchanges in this blog, not to mention generalizations and very frequently the caustic jab of those who pretend to know too much. can i say those statements seem bitter because of issues that aren't resolved? i think so. aside from franklin setting a good middle course, it takes our own optic to be more open minded and generous of other's success. peace.


mon ami miami

November 17, 2004, 10:33 PM

Charles: I'm not an artist and I'm entitled to my own opinion.



November 17, 2004, 10:33 PM

Another: Those who post on the blog are free to say or seem whatever or however they please, within the very broad and clear rules of the blog itself (such as, you can't post with another bloggers name). I can admonish Charles about imputing motives because I think it is the worng way to proceed (along with personal insults and much else) but he is free to do it all he wants. Nasty exchanges, generalizations, caustic jabs, bitterness, all come into play, like it or not. If we don't like it we can say so, or get off the blog. or both. Anonymity and freedom of expression are the foundation of blogging. We may not like the all of the consequences, but I certainly do not want to change the conditions.



November 17, 2004, 10:40 PM

And I think Mon Ami is entitled to express his opinion as well as to have it. If you disagree with his opinion, I would say the right way to go about answering him would be to say that Ambrosino is a delightful, friendly person and his gallery is the best in Miami, not that Mon Ami is speaking out of spite or bitterness.

(Just for the record, although I don't think much of the art we see here, I have no opinion about Ambrosino or his gallery).



November 18, 2004, 3:14 AM

Thanks all, for putting me in my place...imputing motives could almost bring me down to the level of those I was criticizing for their nasty comments.

For the record (which seems an oft-used term here), I do agree to disagree with others on their aesthetic biases and/or tastes. One of the things that makes this country great (despite our terrible president) is our freedom to express our beliefs, and the colorful reality that exists when there are many (differing) points of view. It was definitely not my intention to not "seem to want to consider that they might not like the work on its own terms." I was specifically referring to 2 snide comments that had nothing to do with art. (Ambrosino being called a grump and Wharton being compared to Ashley Simpson).

MonAmi, I'm not an artist either, and you are of course entitled to your opinion, I just don't see any point in your comment and found it to be rude.

I applaud Another for his "when an artist uses her or his anonimity as a shield for innuendo or to insult someone, blog or not blog as the reason, it is wrong" comment, much better put than my own.



November 24, 2004, 9:12 AM

Regarding the suggested theme of decapitation in the Rucci paintings - they are more headless in the sense of a Shonibare figure/grouping than decapitation victims. The earlier work exhibited and the narrative texts invited the viewer to participate in the dramas. Rucci was for years successfully making performances and environments, these paintings are performative and Stills all the same. Related: See "Oh, Charley" at the Rubell's. The digital drawing is by Michael Salter (Raleigh). I suggest talking to the artists, reading their statements or even talking to the gallerist if you want to discuss the merits of individual artists or works. At least go see the shows and consider contacting the artists and/or curators with comments/criticisms. Or even find out their emails and invite them into the dialogue. Do any of them know of this discussion group?



November 30, 2004, 3:57 AM

the empty interior space with the double male-ended plug is mine, Michael A. Salter.



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