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Post #436 • December 23, 2004, 10:02 AM • 12 Comments

I send sincere congratulations to the sites included in Art In America's recent write-up about art blogs. No, was not included, but keep in mind:

1. This constitutes a watershed moment in the history of online writing about visual art, and

2. With a URL like mine, I can't not get publicity when someone discusses the topic of artblogs.

Off to clean up the studio in preparation for an afternoon of heavy aesthetic lifting.



James W. Bailey

December 23, 2004, 6:51 PM

Dear Most Honorable Sir,

It is with great sadness and tribulation of the spirit that I write to offer my condolences with regard to the matter of not being included in the Art in America Top Ten list of art blogs.

This clever omission of your site from this list by one of the most respected art journals in the world of art is an art crime in the first degree. advances a challenging dialogue with a rapier wit; you deserve to be included.

To not recognize the contributions of such regular posters as Mr. Old Pro is tragic. Mr. Old Pro offers a unique take on the classic virtues of elitism. There is nothing wrong with this at all; it keeps the rest of the complacent art world Artfanistas on their toes. One can not expect to step into the squared circle with Mr. Old Pro and fight the battle of good art versus bad art with an out of shape body, undeveloped mind and woefully inadequate body of knowledge about art.

Mr. Old Pro is one of several on your site who keep the battle honest.

In Mississippi, where I am from, this premeditated slight to one's honor would be responded to by a formal invitation to a duel.

I am leaving this very afternoon for the genteel Magnolia State to spend Christmas Day embraced in the bosom of my Southern family and would be more than happy to broker such a fire-armed encounter between and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Art in America upon my return from Mississippi. I have long been partial to the Beretta 9 mm. At 50 paces it is dead-on accurate.

Just give me the word, sir.

I do offer this thought for harmonization and reconciliation with the divine big picture of art and the art media: The conventional art media operates like the police. The police dont discover crime and stop crime; they react to crime. If you want to find a criminal, youll have to risk your life and travel to them, live among them and become one of them. If you want to find a cop, youll need to go to Dunkin Donutsor Starbucksdepending on how much the cop makes.

Art in America doe not want to walk down the dangerous path that leads to the art criminal neigborhood that surrounds the home of

Your site is the refuge of good art criminals who are intelligently writing their hearts and minds out on subjects that they all are obviously passionate about. I may not agree with everything that everyone posts on, but if there is one thing I can not abide in my life it is a lack of passion.

As we say in Mississippi, Yall just keep on doin it like you been done done it.


James W. Bailey



December 23, 2004, 7:08 PM

Thank you for your gracious offer. As for weapons, I have more training on Chinese straight sword (gim) than guns.

But no, no duels. The tide will raise all the boats, including this one.

Thanks for what we in Miami call mad props.



December 23, 2004, 7:38 PM

Well, Franklin, first of all, consider the source. It would appear from nearly all of the blogs chosen that AiA's criteria included a major host site (artforum), location and its perceived significance, and, more generally, blogs with a slick, busy, art-industrial look or feel--in other words, blogs that resemble art mags like AiA far more than It figures.



December 23, 2004, 7:44 PM

I like Mr. Bailey's proposal, Franklin. Go get your gim and get 'em.

Jack's point seems reasonable. might also suffer from some of the very strong anti-establishment views expressed on it. But that is its strength.


curio cat

December 23, 2004, 8:28 PM

I have not seen the AiA list.
Would you list it?



December 23, 2004, 8:41 PM

Cat - click the link in the post above.


curio cat

December 23, 2004, 8:52 PM

all thi sholiday egg nog & cat nip has me spaced out.



December 23, 2004, 11:24 PM

In case someone had a dying need to know, the list compiled by Fresh Paint above is missing an entry.
A profusely illustrated on-line diary by New York art student and budding graphic designer Keren Richter. The diary is mostly devoted to Richter's musical likes and and [sic] career moves, but the site is worth a visit for her stylish, Aubrey Beardsley-meets-Karen Kilimnick drawings.



December 23, 2004, 11:44 PM

Thanks, Hovig, for adding further evidence to my theory. The site you mention appears to be a purely personal, not to say vanity-type, affair. Regardless of how one feels about the drawings, I can't see how this site could possibly be in the top 10 art blogs in the country. It may be NY-based (which no doubt made a huge difference), hip, cute, whatever, but this is lightweight, fluffy stuff (however trendy, which no doubt also made a difference). Again, it figures.



December 24, 2004, 1:23 AM

Looking at those sites and others I have checked out I have noticed a heavy component of "vanity". Even when "serious" and inviting comment most of them are just sounding boards for the blogmaster, and some of these people are on the spare side of educated and literate. No shortage of opinions, however. And no shortage of pet topics and buddies to talk about.

None of them seem to have the give and take, fierce disagreement and effort to come to terms with interesting questions this one has, and part of the reason is because Franklin makes a habit of putting up something to look at every day and then stays out of the way, barring an opinion or admonition or two.

Blogging is and should be a completely free and wide-open enterprise. I would never tell any blogger how to manage a site. But when I see that "list", and see that this one is left off, I can only assume it is either poor judgement or mutual backscratching.



December 24, 2004, 2:51 AM

FWIW, this is the introductory paragraph which precedes the list.

It's no secret that the number and influence of on-line Web logs, or blogs, have grown dramatically over the last couple of years. Although the contemporary art scene has yet to produce a blog as consequential as has been for the poetry world or in politics, there are now quite a few interesting art-related blogs. Here is a list, briefly annotated, of some that I've found to be worth regular visits. -- Raphael Rubinstein

The term "top ten" appears nowhere in, near, around or next to this list. There are in fact twelve listed. (Thirteen if you count the online magazine, as mentioned in the annotation for artopia.)



December 24, 2004, 3:48 AM

Your clarification is pertinent, Hovig, but the chosen blogs are obviously the ones that were found to be of greatest interest, which presumably relates to perceived merit or most worthwhile nature in the chooser's opinion. It is clearly implied that the blogs picked are the ones most deserving of regular visits, so it makes no difference to me whether the designation "Top" 10, 12 or 13 was actually used or not.

The magazine is tacitly recommending these blogs to its readers as the ones they should be checking out. It's not so much that Franklin's blog was not on the list, but that many blogs in it (notably the one you brought to our attention, which to me is worthless) are not necessarily compelling, must-read material, however slick the format.



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