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Post #461 • January 25, 2005, 10:16 AM • 42 Comments

If you're an artist and you don't live in Miami (you live in New York City, for example), does it ever occur to you to come down here and throw your lot in with the Miami art scene? Do you have the impression that Miami has an up-and-coming kind of art world going on in it? How easy do you think it would be to find studio space, galleries, and collectors relative to your current locale?

If you're an artist in Miami, how much are you paying for studio space? How frequently do you sell your work? How do you feel about our scene in general?

This is all for a good cause, to be revealed early February (next week-ish).



The Anonymouse

January 25, 2005, 10:09 PM

Come on, people--you can post anonymously, you know! I'm curious. Talk!

I'll go first.

I don't rent studio space. I use a small room in my apartment as my studio.

I don't really sell work, so far. I've been working in a different sort of mode, more project-based, and supporting myself through teaching, freelancing, and other types of art-related and non-art-related work.

I feel the scene here is interesting and has potential, but apathetic in many ways. Selling your work is important, of course, but there's not nearly enough of the grassroots efforts, camaraderie, DIY ethic, social awareness, and general OOMPH that would help drive the type of scene I'd really like to see here. It doesn't have to be all about the collectors, all the time.

And maybe Miami isn't nearly as expensive as New York, but it's still not cheap.

One thing I've always wondered: how prevalent is it here in Miami for young artists going to school or recently graduated to still live at home, and/or not have to pay for rent or other significant living expenses?



January 26, 2005, 12:08 AM

It's pretty sad how the commenting here is few and far-between unless it is to make ideological hash out of one's opponents.

I'm local too. No studio space for me either, no selling except at shows for Charity . No representation. Not a lot of time to make work in the face of having to make money. Some nice non-charity shows.

The Miami scene is strange these days. Most folks seem a little jaded lately. Some years ago (four?), I felt a great sense of DIY and independent spirit, establishment/authority be damned! I was nostalgic about it just the other day. After the museums and the magazines jumped in, and the northerners started coming down (remember those occasional stories about no-name NYC artists who moved to Miami Beach and who were trying to splash the pan big time but who just disappeared?), the scene started to feel a little tight. People were perhaps more cautious, more obsequious. Then poof! The Rise of the Collector! Collectors are allright, but they came to be treated as royals around here, and it felt wrong (remember the occasional stories about some-name NYC collectors who moved down here and seemed to rag on Miami as "provincial" in every article in which they were quoted?).

Miami feels like the naive and sexually open girl that everyone wants to party with but that no-one wants to court. She's been acting like she doesn't care that they've been having their way with her, but she secretly wants to find true love and settle down.

Art Basel feels like a date rape. Just because AB paid for dinner doesn't mean AB should expect Miami to put out. Especially if she's not going to be respected in the morning.

She is our home, and we should tend to her and help her recover from her unhealthy relationships. She needs more community, she needs to stop obsessing about herself and whether or not so-and-so is going to call--volunteer-work is always theraputic!


carlos de villasante

January 26, 2005, 4:13 AM

I am not represented by a gallery in Miami, I sell a bit here and there. I have a wonderful studio that my friend Walid lends me. I teach to nourish my brain and my bottom line.

I have a gallery in Spain, in Montreal, and in New Orleans. I would like to have one here but it just has not happened. That being said I see it as my job to branch out. Other cities, alternative spaces, group shows etc.

Many of my shows I have put together and did most of the work myself. I also keep the percentage that normally goes to a gallerist (who in my estimation earn their 50%). It is a trade off like anything else, but I find the challenge a good one though. It has forced me to be more organized, creative and outgoing than I might otherwise be.

Its like you Franklin, this blog is your doing, your contribution to the art community of Miami. Both the scene here and you benefit from it.

I say that if you think opportunities in Miami are lacking, roll up your sleeves and start something, both here and in other places. It is a large world and there is sure to be a few galleries any of us would fit in with, it is our job to find them.


that guy in the back row

January 26, 2005, 7:54 AM

Franklin: you know my stats so if you have any questions shoot me an email.

Anonymoustache: I don't think Miami is New York's little whore. New York isn't such a clean lady herself, besides both towns are looking provincial in terms of taste. I think a lot of artists in Miami have a huge inferiority complex and are always trying to prove something. There is a core group of great artists here and its time to start acting the part. That should go a long way to gain the respect that is deserved. Sure life issues such as rent/studio space cost a lot, suck it up, thats the going rate. You can always get a sugar daddy like Carlos de Villasante did.

Those are some flimsy ass paintings by the way Carlos, no wonder you don't have a gallery here, try those down in Key West they'll go over well.



January 26, 2005, 8:04 AM

lucas blanco, be nice.



January 26, 2005, 3:39 PM

I don't think New York is a fair example of a Non-Miami city, especially w/r/t art. I do wonder, however, how people in places like Boston and Atlanta see the Miami art scene. If that post by the guy from Chicago we saw recently is any indication, Miami is doing pretty good, despite the frequent whining by posters on this blog.

As for my own experience, I haven't been serious about art until relatively recently, so the modest success I've had has been pretty encouraging. Because of the nature of what I do, my appartment is all the studio I need.

Guy~ Strong words for someone who doesn't reveal his identity or work himself. I've seen Carslos' work in person, and it rocks.


carlos de villasante

January 26, 2005, 5:26 PM

thanks alesh,
guy, fuck off and die


carlos de villasante

January 26, 2005, 5:26 PM

thanks alesh,
guy, fuck off and die



January 26, 2005, 5:56 PM

Hey, that was a familiar name!



January 26, 2005, 6:08 PM

I came here from Los Angeles, London and New York.
Compared to those places, people and things are very accessible here regarding art related issues.
I have only been here 1 1/2 years but found it easy to access people. I am in Wynwood and it is 10 - 12.00 sq ft for raw warehouse space.
The problem with Wynwood is that the buildings are crap.
Almost everyone I know had major leaking and not just during the hurricanes. Also my space had to be painted, plumbed, electrical, air etc. A huge investment in another's property.

There is NO walk-in traffic in Wynwood just in case you thought you would open a gallery without a major mailing list.
The artwalks bring lots of bodies but few buyers.
I sell my work in other places for 2 to 4 times what people want to spend here so I don't sell much here.

Great place to work though.
I like the commraderie and like the earnestness of the people I know in Wynwood. People are serious and really trying to do something.

I like the weather. The art scene is a bit too trendy for my taste but that may change as more serious people arrive. I'm not saying there aren't serious people here, just that they don't get that much attention at this time.

Art Basel, the whore she is, was good to me. Made my rent for the year in 2 days from her overflow, but, all the work went to L.A. and N.Y.

There is a lot of factionalism between the different institutions but I doubt that is different from any city. You can avoid it by just enjoying them all for what they have to offer and not get involved in the back biting.

Basically I think it is a great place if you are just starting out. It is very friendly to the new and young. It is expensive but any city is...
For old timers or mid career, I would say, think long and hard...



January 26, 2005, 6:48 PM

Just an amendment.
Those were the rates in Wynwood when I signed my lease.
I understand it is more like 12.00 - 15.00 sq. ft. now for leasing space there.



January 26, 2005, 6:48 PM

I love being in Miami now, much more than 10 years ago, but I think that it's 20% what you do and 80% who you know. This is an estimation, but I think it's more or less accurate. I also think that the ratio applies to all fields, all over, not just in Miami.



January 26, 2005, 8:47 PM

Guy, a naive, sexually open girl is not the same as a "little whore". Perhaps to you, but not to the girl. What you said about Carlos was disgusting. You are obviously a prick.



January 26, 2005, 9:57 PM

Why do the majority of threads on Artblog bog down in name calling? It's like high school all over again.

I agree with KT about the work vs politics issue in the Miami art scene. It's about cliques, again very high school.

I think it's difficult to get local representation in Miami. Dealers are flush with artists since there are so many to pick from, that is if they do show work from artists in Miami. Many artists like Carlos --and others before him - have put together shows as a way to circumvent the gallery scene. And we need more of this. (It would be interesting for to have floating shows - i spoke to Franklin about this concerning his Drawing project)

But doesn't every city art scene deal with these issues?



January 27, 2005, 12:35 AM

I guess New York is the only place that shows "local artists". Most other places think they need to look elsewhere.
It is a common problem.
So the key is not to look locally for representation.
Crazy though....



January 27, 2005, 12:37 AM

I agree about this infantile behavior of late...
It is a bore for the rest of us, some silliness can be entertaining, but beyond that it wastes our time.
I don't know about anyone else but I barely have time to read the blog and that just gets in the way...
Maybe Franklin will put a reign on it before we lose good participators.



January 27, 2005, 5:09 AM

No reins, please, Bookworm. A blog is just about the only place in the world where anyone can say anything and where anonymity encourages one to react to what is said rather than who said it. It may be the last bastion of truly free speech. Let's not mess it up.



January 27, 2005, 6:25 AM

Guy, that was just meanspirited and totally uncalled for. This topic was introduced to discuss our experiences in Miami and bashing someone is clearly off-topic. That type of behavior discourages people from participating in these discussions for fear of being attacked.



January 27, 2005, 2:56 PM

Personal attacks behind another name is cowardice!



January 27, 2005, 7:22 PM

I agree with you in pricipal. Reins may have been too strong a word.
I'm sure everyone can defend themselves against attack but it seems to be a waste of time on a blog.
Civil disagreement is one thing, disagreeing about one's ideas, but the personal attacks, though therapeutic for some, are annoying to the rest.
I say to them, go find a therapist ....



January 27, 2005, 7:29 PM

I apologize for calling Guy a name; saying I was ticked off is not much of a defense.



January 27, 2005, 7:50 PM

Bookworm: A little is ok, and sometimes it can be amusing, but most of the personal stuff is pretty childish and unimaginative, and it tends to squelch discussion.



January 27, 2005, 7:53 PM

By the way, Guy is pretty rough sometimes, but I didn't think in this case what he said deserved quite the torrential reaction it got.


that guy in the second to last row

January 28, 2005, 5:28 AM

thanks oldpro, Anonymoustache,
This site rarely stays completely on topic, if it did we would all be pc and dull and the site would surely fail. If someone uses a url, its par for the course as far as I'm concerned. Why else would Franklin offer the option.
I still think the car hoods are crap as art. hows this for a haiku

sugar daddying
befouling carlos' wife
painter gets free rent



January 28, 2005, 7:22 AM

Right. When someone posts a URL to their work, they are inviting public comment. "Flimsy ass" art is hardly in the same league as "fuck off and die". One is a reaction to art work, the other is the ultimate personal attack.



January 28, 2005, 3:30 PM

"Befouling Carlos' wife"? Christ on a bike, Guy, I just wrote the woman a letter of recommendation. There's nothing untoward going on with Carlos's studio space or his relationship. What exactly are you adding to this discussion?



January 28, 2005, 3:43 PM

I take it there are two "Guys"; one in the back row, and another in the second to last row. I take it that Franklin is addressing the "guy in the second to last row", not the "original" guy.



January 28, 2005, 3:45 PM

Or, are these both the same "guy" who occassionally changes rows?


that guy in the second to last row

January 28, 2005, 5:06 PM

I needed a seasonal reference and the german romantic in me thought an illusion to some springtime rite might be just the thing. Granted, it was a stretch.



January 28, 2005, 5:43 PM

This is confusing, folks. I don't know who the people are being maligned or what row Guy is in, or what.


carlos de villasante

January 28, 2005, 10:23 PM


I don't care what row you are in ,atch your back (lucas blanco)
you have been warned



January 28, 2005, 11:06 PM

I think expressing a dislike to certain art pieces may be acceptable, but mentioning of someone’s sexual orientation, religious or racial background, and other personal matters, needs to be completely avoided. A review or opinion should focus on art pieces only. After all, how well someone can paint or make art has nothing to do with the person.


that guy in the back row

January 28, 2005, 11:19 PM

your right Momoko, I'll do that

Alright carlos bring your knee pads. Anytime.



January 28, 2005, 11:21 PM

Franklin -

Mr. de Villasante is making what appears to be a physical threat, using an outed name supplied by another blogger. This is way beyond anything I have seen on this or any blog and may be illegal. Allowing this kind of response to mere verbal abuse (if it was that) will certainly get me off this blog in a hurry.



January 29, 2005, 12:12 AM

I don't care what he thinks of my work.
I don't care if he likes my work or not
I object to personal insults

1. key west comment (actually I have shown there at the museum when I won the consortium)

2. homophobic sugardaddy comment

3. bringing my wife into it

I don't know what I ever did to him
I don't even know the guy

It is not hard to figure out who he is, he comments on being a german romantic, on his cv it states he has a ba in german and spent some time studying there.

so mr blanco and I are going to have a talk
If he wants to make it personal,
then we have to meet in person



January 29, 2005, 4:11 AM

Oldpro - Carlos made a statement that would occur to me to make as well if someone ever denigrated my wife (should life ever deliver me one) in a public forum, and I would feel like a hypocrite countering it, except to say that Carlos knows better than anyone that violence is not going to solve anything. As I've said already, I have no great stake in protecting anyone's identity. I doubt anything he said was actionable.

Guy, the original purpose of this post was to get information for an article I'm writing. You did little to help that and a lot to hinder it. I already have people telling me that they don't come on here to comment because they don't want to get into it with the regulars. And nearly every problem I have here with comments - I consider it a problem whenever we're not having a good chat about art, or at least something - has to do with someone using their anonymity for ill. I now find myself in a position where I'm obliged to say this:

I condemn the homophobic sentiments expressed above, and hope that my gay readers, to whatever extent they honor me with their presence, will continue to read I want to tell everyone that I live uncomfortably with a trade-off between freedom of participation and quality of participation - that I support the former knowing that the latter might degenerate at any time. I apologize to anyone whom this keeps off of the comments boards. I also condemn statements that turn this site into a forum for personal threats and personal denigrations, and hope that everyone will use their freedom of participation responsibly. The only reason I'm not pulling down the offending comments is to remind everyone just how FUBAR things can get around here when people don't.

Back to you, Guy - if you support what I'm doing here at, you're going to participate in such a manner that creates an environment in which I generally feel all right with my decision on the side of freedom of participation. Because every time I have a problem with comments, of any kind, we get closer to registration, monitoring, and other rigmarole that generates work for me - work that has nothing to do with providing good content here or making my own art. Or, eliminating the comments and conducting discussions through e-mail, like Andrew Sullivan does, or some other solution that isn't going to favor freedom. That would reduce the quality of the site to some extent, but at moments like these I don't feel that I'm getting the quality I want anyway. Now, I have to go smoothe some things out with some people. An apology for that haiku above would help me out a lot with that.



January 29, 2005, 4:18 AM

Mr. de Villasante has crossed the line. Is this something the authorities ought to be made aware of?

Suddenly this blog seems like a good place to avoid.



January 29, 2005, 4:32 AM

Homophobic? Sugardaddy refers to an older man who exchanges gifts for sex, either with a younger girl or a younger boy. More or less completely gender neutral with respect to the object of his affections. The gender specific part is the gender of the sugardaddy himself, the sexual orientation can be anything you want to make it to be.

Wow people. Looks like physical threaths are one way to get your way here. Or seemingly.



January 29, 2005, 4:56 AM

Right, gender, or more specifically, sexual-orientation-neutral. Except that Guy's haiku, to the extent that I can unpack it, implies that the Sugar Daddy relationship "befouls" Carlos's wife. Then there was that previous mention of Key West. Yeah, it's starting to sound homophobic around here.

I'm not overjoyed about the "watch your back" comment, either. But Carlos's last comment says that he and Lucas are going to have a talk. That's not a physical threat. In fact, I don't see how Carlos is getting his way here, as you seem to be saying, except to agree with him that insults to his wife and manhood don't cause our conversation here to progess in good ways.



January 29, 2005, 4:58 AM

If everyone enjoys this blog as much as I do
on a regular basis (this thread excluded),
please read Franklin's last post (#36) very

Let's respect Franklin, his blog, and each other.



January 29, 2005, 6:22 AM

Carlos backed off somewhat from what he said, but his original comment (with slight corrections) was

"I don't care what row you are in watch your back, you have been warned"

That was a physical threat and it is a different order of statement from the others, whether or not is is actionable. I have taken the brunt of some pretty rough treatment on this blog - although not of this particlar kind - and it never once ocurred to me that I thould physically threaten someone.

This whole thing is precisely why i suggested that you post a tentative "rules" section, whether or not the rules can be enforced, and have a discussion and guidelines. You don't seem to care if someone exposes another's alias out of anger; to me, on the other hand it is a major "blog crime". Hence the value of a discussion.



January 29, 2005, 6:28 AM

By the way, Franklin, i have a suspicion that some of the people who do not want to get on the blog because they "don't want to get into it with the regulars" is simply because they can't hack it. I don't particularly want to ease up the pressure so they can come back in and babble. If they don't like the heat they can stay out of the kitchen. And no one who has acted straight and sincere and really participatory has gotten any bad treatment, not from me, anyway.



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