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ci vediamo

Post #473 • February 9, 2005, 1:38 PM • 171 Comments

I may as well sign off for the week here. I'm on deadline at the New Times for a full-length review to appear next week, then tomorrow early morning I'm off to Upaya for that calligraphy retreat that Tigertail gave me the grant for. Be safe, be well, go see Tyler's show, and I'll be talking back at you on Tuesday.




February 9, 2005, 11:25 PM

When you come back, maybe you can let us in in why we should see that show.


that guy in the second to last row

February 10, 2005, 1:33 AM

I think its strictly for the promotion of boredom oldpro. If their website is any indication it really works.



February 10, 2005, 2:44 AM

OldPro and That Guy: Those artists are simply trying to do something "significant", as in "significant for significant's sake". Their blurb writer agrees. Singh might have something going for himself outside of that little trap. de Beaufort can draw. So?

I have commented on paradox before. That's what is missing in this work. It is all spelled out; their art is an illustration of "significance". Nothing more, but on the other hand, nothing less.



February 10, 2005, 3:46 AM

Flatboy, everytime you go away for a while you come back with some sort of indecipherable pronouncement. Certainly these artists are straining at every seam to look, or be, 'significant, but I can't figure what in the world "paradox" has to do with it.

Most of is it just silly and pretentious (what else is new), and, though I risk being chased into the night by torch-carrying villagers, just plain ugly. I don't think Beaufort can draw, and I can tell you he shades and models at a pre-BFA level at best (it's evident even from the tiny JPEG, everybody). I have no idea what Singh is up to or even what medium it is but it seems to be yet another overwrought monster picture of some sort.

I am curious what Franklin will say. For someone who damns a relatively skillful "real" painter like Eliz. Peyton, for all her weakenesses, this is a surprising recommendation. Maybe this Tyler is a friend or somthing.



February 10, 2005, 3:56 AM

This Tyler is a cool person who is making her debut as an independent curator down here.


that guy in the second to last row

February 10, 2005, 4:14 AM

Maybe she shouldn't give up her day job just yet.

on Beaufort's draftsmanship: do a google image search on him and you'll find he has lots in common with that Antonio Gattorno character from yesterday. My favorite is Lost Prophet, which depicts Morgan Freeman going snorkeling with his pet snake.



February 10, 2005, 4:43 AM

Hey, Franklin, I thought you were going away, so we could rag on you.

I noticed that similarity too, Guy. I will check it out just for fun.



February 10, 2005, 6:19 AM

A paradox is a self-contradiction, if you carry it all the way out. If the significance were paradoxical it would contradict itself from time to time, go against itself in a way that was richer and more complex than the linear stuff I saw at work on that site.



February 10, 2005, 6:25 AM

cool or cold?



February 10, 2005, 7:31 AM

I'm interested in that Paula Celman piece that was posted last week - hope to see more from her. I know I'm late, sorry.



February 10, 2005, 8:21 AM

I thought it was interesting too, Martin. There's not much on Google. Maybe one of the show organizers knows more.



February 10, 2005, 2:51 PM

Try her website:



February 10, 2005, 3:42 PM

Where is the The Backward Path exhibition? I've been to the site and found a date and a time, but no location.



February 10, 2005, 4:18 PM

I found the address- its on a scroll bar on the site. Its in the Newton Building in the Design District... 39th and NE 2nd.


Chad Harris

February 10, 2005, 10:22 PM

This show looks the Y100 of the Miami art scene. Did anybody read the awful text on the site? It's all so neat and professional. Oh well ...

I agree with flatboy (sorta) - it's all important-ized. Like everybody's going through the motions.

The work could, maybe, somehow, possibly be half-way decent in person - but it's dressed up and "relevant" and easy and so artly presented it makes me want to vomit.

Constant shit-talking is a drag.


Chad Harris

February 10, 2005, 10:34 PM

The "Backward Path" ??? This shit is so MAINSTREAM. How is it Backward???

I am not trying to be a dick, but I want to say, for the record, that I am annoyed by shows like this for totally different reason then you all. (flatboy, oldpro, guy) I am not a careerist and I have nothing to hide or defend.



February 10, 2005, 11:04 PM

Maybe the mainstream is backward, Chad.

You may have different reasons but as far as I am concerned you are coming to the right conclusions.



February 10, 2005, 11:34 PM

I'm sorry if someone has brought this up on another comment thread, but hey! The mystery of Franklin's recent "research" has been revealed. It's an article for NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Interactive about Miami's art scene--kind of addressing and sorting out the hype. Check it out.

(The perennial resource person in me is also compelled to mention that NYFA Source, their database of national arts opportunities, grants, etc. is also pretty extensive and helpful, if anyone isn't already familiar with it.)


Your Mama

February 11, 2005, 1:22 AM

That was a nice little article by Franklin, but unless there's challenging art being made, the miami art scene is always going to be in the shadows. There's too much of this trophy-art shit, (don't you agree?), which I admit I do, so it doesn't matter if work gets exhibited in boxes, warehouses, or commerical galleries. Frankly, we look like an outdated art community, not an emerging one. If artists would sincerely care about art, we wouldn't see a lot of this fucking crap.



February 11, 2005, 2:14 AM

" If artists would sincerely care about art, we wouldn't see a lot of this...crap"

This is not only true but it is true in a realistic, practical, almost mechanical sense.

When any group of artists form a community where making art as interesting and good as it can be in an urgent, competitive way is the central obsession, the art gets better by leaps and bounds. This has happened reapeatedly for centuries.

On the other hand, in a circumstance where artists know or care little about past art, have little practice making art, where values are considered laughably outmoded and where making it in the fame/money market comes first...well, there you have it. You look at the art mags, toss a bunch of "concepts" together, stick it in a gallery and hope for the best.

It doesn't work. And it is not working in New York either.



February 11, 2005, 3:58 AM

Actually, I realy like shadows, especially when cast by practitioners from Art His(story).



February 11, 2005, 6:44 AM

Jordan (and everybody), there's a new show from Spain at the Norton in West Palm Beach which includes paintings from Spanish collections by Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Velasquez, Goya etc. as well as an important large Bernini bronze. At least some of these works have never been in this country before. The show also includes things of lesser artistic interest, such as armor and goldsmith's work, but I'm sure the paintings are worth the trip. I saw a photo of an El Greco new to me that looked really, really choice--it practically said "Yes, I am a great painting, so learn from me, that your taste may be refined."



February 11, 2005, 7:52 AM

Thanx Jack, I'll check it out.


Chad Harris

February 11, 2005, 6:46 PM

I saw the Backward Path thing last night. The linen maze was cheesy, excessive and fun, like serving bagel rolls and green apples at openings - totally appropriate and "Miami Style". Beaufort's paintings looked all right, there was some interesting expressive, marbleized-looking brushwork on the one pictured online that is only possible to see in person. Although it looked to me as if they were rushed or something.

Pepe Mar will impress me once he starts using "pogs" in his work. (am I right? I'm right.) It's about time already, at least he'll be ahead of the game.

Ah well.


Chad Harris

February 11, 2005, 7:11 PM

Jack: El Greco is undeniably wonderful but : "Yes, I am a great painting, so learn from me, that your taste may be refined." - seems to me like so much elitist, academic zombification. Why is it in West Balm Beach? Did ANYONE see this maze show?



February 11, 2005, 7:28 PM

Chad, all truly great work says that same thing to me. There's nothing "academic" about it, and certainly no "zombification". The one who decides and chooses is always me, for me. One of the purposes of seeing great art is to refine or improve one's taste, to elevate standards and help one judge better, see better. If that's elitist, I'm not worried about it.



February 11, 2005, 7:42 PM

If you are really interested in art you are by definition an elitist, Chad. Anyone who hopes for and goes for the best is an elitist. There is nothing wrong with it.



February 11, 2005, 8:00 PM

Thank you, Denise, for the link to the article Franklin wrote about Miami.

Just like everything else in life Miami has pros and cons.

I think living in Miami during winter to concentrate on making art would be very nice because of the physically comfortable climate. Then you can take off with what you made during winter. That would be my ideal.

Most artists work to make a living. For me there are plenty of jobs in NY I can take without much effort. I would just use the subway to go to work and take the subway to come home. Not like being stuck in Kendall Drive or I-95 for a long time. I hate looking for a parking spot in Miami when I go to stores too. The lack of reliable public transportation in Miami is making everything difficult. Rent in NY is high, but there are so many ways to support yourself in NY without speaking Spanish. But for me, NY is just a money making city.

It perhaps does not matter where you are if one is not after trend or money. After all, the cheapest one-way ticket from Ft. Lauderdale to NY is $65. Getting away from Miami once in a while is not that hard.



February 11, 2005, 8:09 PM

I enjoyed the Backward Path last night. I think the selection of works was pretty cohesive.

I may have some pogs left over that an elderly architect I used to work with gave me. He used to collect them, for some reason. On second thought, I probably threw them away.


kenneth cohen

February 11, 2005, 10:51 PM

Yep ,pog art will be a total hit in the near future, hopefully someone will paint a photo realistic pog., making everyone on this blog convulse in joy.


Nathan Vuong

February 11, 2005, 10:59 PM

i saw the labyrinth last night.
i only got to run through it.
in response to the online artists' statement concept:
i didnt really "feel" any real nightmares?
the idea seems too loose for me.
"haunted by remnants of art and myths"? no.
some things were eye-candy.
Phoenicia's sound exhibit was interesting and makes u kinda question whats going on.. but i thought there should have been something more to the room to fill the senses. or added to the music like if we had to step on things that we didnt think we'r suppose to .. but then
in the end it was just plain confusing...



February 11, 2005, 11:49 PM

For what it may be worth, little if any of the work that has been praised on this blog qualifies as photorealistic, assuming it's even figurative. No particular mode or approach, be it realism, abstraction or whatever (painting or not) guarantees anything in terms of quality. It always comes down to how good the individual artist is at whatever it is s/he does.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 12:47 AM

For what this is worth jack, there is nothing wrong photo realistic pog paintings,,, other then no one has made them yet. And I hope you where being funny about the No particular mode or approach, be it realism, abstraction or whatever (painting or not) Do you guys read what you write. Nothing wrong with discussing painting, { in fact since I know very little about painting I find this blog helpful.}but dont fool yourselves about what this blog is mostly about.


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 12:52 AM

I didn't think it was confusing at all Nathan, rather, woefully straightforward. I felt like I was being marketed to. But, seriously, we should futher discuss the pog phenomena. That was a weird couple of months, huh?

Oh, and to further add on to Kenneth's comment: to me a formula for making great art is to take something really common; paperclip, coffee mug, and make an exact copy from scratch. RIGHT? There's an art stereotype that WORKS!


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 1:02 AM

As long as the mundane pog object is framed correctly/light rightit will be well received.. Hell Lets all put together a pog art show imagine the pieces that would be submitted unfukinreal. And yes I to was very confused at the labyrinth show.


Nathan Vuong

February 12, 2005, 1:23 AM

i guess i was really just talking about the back room with music as confusing.
i dont know what kinda audience Phoenicia was working for.
i just know those guys just make music because they love it and
from pure experimentation and imagination.
i guess they really didnt have anything to do with the physical room itself.
but ..ya..

the only few pogs i fully remember were the power ranger pogs.
taz. because taz had that show on fox kids. and fox kids magazine
had an article on pogs and its origins and hawai'i and blah blah...


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 1:31 AM

Great ,,, Pogs started in hawai',,, thanxs for the info nathen. And im sorry to say this but Phoenicia does not make experimental music. Anyone else have any interesting facts on pogs,,, {old pro im talking to you } Franklin leaves for a few day and the rhetoric goes straight to pogs and experimental music what does that mean



February 12, 2005, 1:48 AM

Some please tell me what a "pog" is.



February 12, 2005, 1:50 AM

And, Kenneth, please tell us what we should not be fooling ourselves about.



February 12, 2005, 2:07 AM

I guess you guys don't know either so I looked it up (below). Why is this interesting?

The game of pogs originated in the 1920s on the Hawaiian island of Maui. There dairy workers played the game during breaks using simple milkcaps. Almost 70 years later, a Hawaiian schoolteacher reintroduced the game and mass appeal soon followed.

Pogs, (an acronym for a popular Hawaiian drink made from Passion fruit, Oranges and Guava juices) is played with disc-like object which have pictures on its face side. Each player would take an equal number of pogs and would stack at least four pogs one on top of another with the faces down. One of the players would then take a different-sized disc (called a slammer) and would strike a stack of the pogs with it. Whichever pogs landed faceup would be retained by that player. After each player had taken their turn(s), the one with the most pogs was the winner.

The pogs came in many colors and styles with various emblems, symbols or pictures on their faces. Originally, the game gained popularity through word of mouth but as it reached the mainland of the United States, its popularity went through the roof. With a low price tag and multiplicity of styles and colors, the pogs became a very popular collectors item which children traded back and forth. By 1995, the game had reached the pinnacle of its popularity. While this put smiles on the faces of children, not everyone was happy with the fad. Some school systems banned the discs because of dangers with throwing the slammer and because of overly aggressive play by some of the children.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 2:43 AM

Jeez the legendary Old pro responds to Kenneth about fooling folksthat comment was made because for some reason jack thinks that this blog is interested in glamorizing all medias including painting. Of course thats not true. Dont pretend please.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 2:44 AM

and thanx for even more info on pogs,



February 12, 2005, 2:52 AM

Kenneth, the part of my comment you quoted did not refer to this blog but to artistic practice in general, as I see it. This blog was started and is run by a painter, so it is hardly surprising if painting is of special interest or if it attracts people with a strong interest in painting. Other types of art are neither off-limits nor being somehow conspired against. It's simply a matter of what Franklin and those similarly inclined gravitate to most frequently. A blog is not supposed to be all things to all people; it should have a focus or a personality, which will never suit everybody.



February 12, 2005, 2:54 AM

You're welcome.

I didn't think Jack was glamorizing or pretending anything or pretending. It appeared that he only said that no medium has an edge and that it pretty much depends on the artist how good the art is.

I could mount a debating-society argument to this if I had to - I think mediums and circumstances and much else has a lot more to do with art than we think - but it is not a far-out or disingenuous point of view.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 3:17 AM

I dont think there is a conspiracy on this blog. Moreover I dont think there is such a thing as conspiracies altogether of course this blog should and does reflect upon its creator.. {like any other work of art} That being said a lot of local artist read this blog religiously,, and not all of these readers paint. Imagine if more of those readers would comment,, now imagine a way to get these readers to comment. Dont any of you want that. HOLLLLERRRR



February 12, 2005, 3:25 AM

To clarify, Oldpro, I meant that any given medium, mode or approach, even if it could be proven intrinsically superior to or more likely to succeed than another, will not result in great art unless it's employed by a great artist who is particularly suited to the medium or mode in question. There's no recipe or formula or prescription that can guarantee success (artistic success, that is) if the artist lacks the requisite talent. Of course you know this, but I'm not sure my meaning was clear enough.



February 12, 2005, 3:43 AM

I particularly welcome the new blood coming into the blog. I myself have recommend it to some. Why not? Things change and morph. New people have other interests. The blog can be more than what its creator intended it to be. And Franklin canbe smart enough to adapt to the needs of others without changing the original import.



February 12, 2005, 3:47 AM

Yes, Jack, going at it from that direction it is entirely clear.

On the other side of the coin I have seen that sometimes artists of apparently moderate talent happen into a lucky "style" and produce a few great paintings before fading away (look at most of the Fauves) and conversely some quite talented artists can come to maturity at a time that supresses excellence, which I see happening now. Because we must assume that raw talent appeards at a constant rate we have to therefore assume that the periodic character ("movements", if you will) of great art depends on external circumstances. I find this fascinating.

Kenneth it would be great if more readers would comment. Franklin once told me (quite a while ago) that he had about 1200 hits a day. Obviously only a very small percentage comment. Too bad. What to do?


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 4:01 AM

IM not really sure about talent and art making. In basketball you jump high and or are tall, thats raw talent. In art what constitutes talent, long fingers to reach different frets on a guitar. Determination may be a word I can understand to describe artist who make stuff that I really love.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 4:04 AM

I agree that some artist are better suited toward different mediums.



February 12, 2005, 4:15 AM

Well, I don't want to get into a discussion about defining characteristics, but talent in anything, including basketball and guitar playing, is a lot more involved than that.


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 4:29 AM

This might be too late, but I meant the pog comment in regards to Pepe Mar's work which is, you know, all funky nostalgia monsters. Pogs are this little circles of colorful cardboard that constitute the basis of a moronic game. They were a big deal when I was in middle school (or high school?) and therefore are retro. You all know how retroness is more cutting edge the closer it is to the present..? like the 70's - 80's are very lame now and the early 90's are in (sorta). All this factors into contemporary Miami art in a big way.

Either way, the joke was really clever, I swear to god. We need some young blood on this blog so my ripping on art is better understood.

That being said, probably all these folks in this show are really nice. Actually, I know some of them are.

Yes Kenneth, genre music is intrinsically non-experimental. However, aren't all artworks a series of successful experiments?

What can you do, eh?



February 12, 2005, 4:36 AM

"...aren't all artworks a series of successful experiments?"

Nice idea, but "successful" has to be removed to get close to the truth.


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 4:38 AM

I swear to god I was going to change that. How very un-oldpro of you.


doing more

February 12, 2005, 4:59 AM

experimental is such a bad word to use to describe the type of work that excercises unspecific practices, notions, processes, etc. it (experimental) implies some thoughtless explosion, as this wise teacher of mine put it. at any rate, when you do stuff over and over again, it's not an experiment's more like just practice. uncertain art could probably be better; though that could easily become something else. then again, what doesn't?
and about that show, labyrinth...more than awful it was not at all experimental. a lot of practicing that makes people run through the space, awful display, terrible gimmick of presentation, and regurgitated work seen a million times over..
i don't want anyone's hatred for being sincere. like chad i think everybody's real nice...
they're just not too thoughful in their art-making notion.
(yikes, i know i'm in trouble now!)
keep bloggin'!



February 12, 2005, 5:13 AM

I think what Chad was trying to say (but did not actually end up saying) is that a work of art is a series of experiments, not that the work is "experimental" which is just a dumb cliche. Picasso - though I am recalling this incorrectly - said "we don't make experiments, we make paintings".

Every work of art consists of doing things you know how to do and trying other things which may not turn out. These smaller constituents of art-making could certainly be called 'experiments".


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 5:29 AM

Doing More, when I think of word "experimental" I think of it's scientific usage: as in, an action performed with one variable and some constants. I think the word is good, as long as it does not denote a genre or style - rather, an exploration of unknown variables.

I guess you have to define your constants, whereas all experimentation can take place on a canvas (the canvas can be seen as infinite) for others it could take place in any form. Maybe chance operations, a disregard for audience, a disregard for all history (including personal), making art with instinct - maybe these are experimental procedures. Or, maybe this is all short-sighted .. Also, a scientific experiment is used to determine something - I'm not sure how this applies in art-making.

My favorite definition is one I just got online: a tentative procedure or policy



doing more

February 12, 2005, 5:30 AM

by the way oldpro, your pog research has mad me an oldpro fan. seriously! thank you.


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 5:49 AM

Experimental art is not a dumb cliche. Not everyone is delusional. Also, it should be that art is a series of edited experiments. Let's not forget that we mostly look at finished products and many things are left out. Art is not always a record of mistake upon mistake, success upon success - although it maybe should be - it is plastic, a piece of concrete communication. I mean, for the most part, because it can be finished

This is why Yoko Ono never finished everything (don't say she was lazy) because in finishing it you have an art product. Unfinished, the object still has it's own life - it isn't completely subjugated by the artist's artistry.

I don't know, there's got to be a gleam of sense in that - something to chew on, maybe?

Yeah, oldpro is a lot of fun.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 5:57 AM

i think duchamp said we think in words and images, not paint.and of course duchamp is way better than picasso



February 12, 2005, 6:55 AM

Chad, I was trying to help you out of your own confusion. Gimme a break. I gave you credit for making the distinction between art as experiment and art made with experimental means. I guess I shouldn't have. In any event none of it has anything to do with "delusional".

Duchamp Is way better than Picasso, Kenneth? Maybe that has something to do with delusional. Or you are joking. Whatever. Duchamps unbelieveably overblown reputation, such as it is, is nothing but a sign of the delusions of the art business and almost everyone in it.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 7:01 AM

Um ok. I was kidding about being better than,,, I hope the stick that measures that ill never understand. That being said slow down with the duchamp bashing.. cause he is the best


Chad Harris

February 12, 2005, 7:27 AM

oldpro: I wasn't calling you delusional, rather, I was saying that experimental artists are not. Thanks for the credit and sorry for the misunderstanding. Relax, I'm more or less on your side even though I don't agree with you on anything.


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 7:35 AM

Wait second, art buisness, last time I checked picasso had his own designer after-shave lotion. {within his own life time}



February 12, 2005, 7:53 AM

Chad, I never for a minute thought you were calling me delusional. There was no misunderstanding. And of course "experimental artists" are not delusional (unless they happen to be). Delusional had nothing to do with the discussion except that you inserted it for some reason.

Kenneth if you think Dechamp is the best all I can say is keep on looking.

As for Picasso's "own brand of shaving lotion", his daughter Paloma puts out a line of colognes & perfumes. He never did. Check these things out before you say them..



February 12, 2005, 9:15 AM

Oldpro, the issue or idea you bring up in #48 is indeed very interesting and worth reflection. To an extent, possibly a very significant extent, the prevalence or proportion of great art produced in a given period relates to what the relevant art public expects and/or encourages during that period. Something like demand creates supply, or at least stimulates it. If the public is content with mediocrity or worse, either because it knows no better or doesn't really care, that has to have a detrimental effect. It obviously reduces incentive for better work and lowers the standards, allowing inferior work to proliferate and become the norm. Sound familiar?


kenneth cohen

February 12, 2005, 5:05 PM

Oh my bad, hes the one who by making 200000000 paintings, basically made a carcature of himself,



February 12, 2005, 5:38 PM

What the public, that is, the public that looks at art, expects is a large part of the equation. As art evolved during the Renaissance patrons made their demand on artists but those demands were mostly in terms of skill and subject matter, that is, the artists had to be better in fairly straightforward painting ability and they had to put the patrons in there with a bunch of saints and the like. None of this got in the way of painting a good painting because the diection from the patron was what to paint rather than how to paint. An artist with proven skills was not impeded in the all-out exercise of the craft.

In the 19th C. social changes allowed many more people to have the money to buy art and these new buyers - for complex social reasons - wanted art that was not only skill ful and impressive but art that was painted in a certain way, and we got the kind of dreary salon painting that Manet rebelled against to begin the modernist movement, wherein the status of the artist changed from craftsman to "lonely genius" and the best art became separated from popular taste. We are still in that phase of modernist evolution, Postmodernism being the latest stage.

But Modernism, because of its concentrated emphasis on "genius", and therefore innovation, together with what became a self-conscious rejection of the public taste, has created a plethora of new painting "styles", and these in turn have created periodic "convegences", where certain kinds of aritstsd seem to thrive for a short time beyond their talents, or so it seems.

I mentioned the Fauves. This was a movement inspired by the art of Van Gogh and Gauguin and the divisionists which lasted only a few years and produced a great flush of wonderful painting by just about every artist who engaged in it. Some, like Matisse, kept up the quality for a life time. Others, like Braque, went away from Fauvism and did something else marvellous. Others still, like Vlaminck, Dufy, and most notably Derain, who could to be said to have started it in the first place, became pretty much hack painters.

So here is a case where artists make the style and then the style makes the artists. This, and similar patterns, occur in modernist art over and over again. Today we have a socially induced and widely accepted attitude of ironic rejection of craft excellence - or excellence of any sort - which is having a corrosive effect on talent. I am sure there are plenty of talented artists out there who are either brainwashed by this attitude or whose work is suppressed by it.

And these are just the obvious examples. But I don't want to write a book. Too much else to do, like paint unacceptable paintings.



February 12, 2005, 6:24 PM

If you are going to respond at least try to be coherent.



February 12, 2005, 8:41 PM

A "martry complex" is almost necessary if you want to be an artist. In moderation, it is a great attitude to take towards life too. Not too much, not too little, just a modest amount of stigmata each and every day. Suffering is where it's at.



February 12, 2005, 8:58 PM

"the modernist movement, wherein the status of the artist changed from craftsman to 'lonely genius' and the best art became separated from popular taste."

The obvious question is, was this a good move, ultimately? Judging by what it's come down to, it would appear not. I'm not an artist, but if were, I'd think more about this. There's a difference between appealing to the lowest common denominator and appealing to what people genuinely care about and respond to. Matisse is a good example of this. There's no merit in being difficult, far-out, obscure, different or "daring" UNLESS there's real talent involved--otherwise it's mostly posturing or self-delusion. I don't need some tortured, alienated, rage-against-the-world type for its own sake; I need or want good art. If the artist can't provide that, his personality, philosophy and so on are beside the point.



February 12, 2005, 11:26 PM

Once again. flatboy, your wisdom is beyond your years. Are you really a mere grad student?

It doesn't seem like a good thing, Jack, but it's what we've got. Art is just too damn popular. Everyone is an artist; everything is art. And it shows no sign of slowing down.

If plumbing was all the rage like art is we would have weirdos running around brandishing roto-rooters and wrenches, climbing in and out of sewers and writing incoherent articles about pipe systems.

And none of our our toilets would work.



February 12, 2005, 11:36 PM

Thanks, OldPro. Yes, last time I checked, I was a "mere" grad student. A "non-traditional" one, though. And the place I rent, the toilets don't work all that well right now. Must be the Pomo Plumbers have already established a beach head.



February 13, 2005, 12:14 AM

Nothing more to tell, for/3ver



February 13, 2005, 12:24 AM

Well, I went to the Lowe today to see Gattorno for myself. The stuff does look better live, at least somewhat less cheesy and plasticine, but it's still nowhere near deserving of the claims made for it by the "Gattorno Project" website. My earlier comments about Gattorno still apply. The best pieces are from the 1930s: a fairly small and unpretentious painting of a young peasant couple ("Despues del trabajo", or "After Work") and a couple of watercolors ("Paco", a portrait, and "Woman and Child at Window"). The surrealist work from the 1940s is mostly laughable, though one piece ("Italian Landscape") was reasonably successful in terms of composition and color. The pieces from the 1950s and beyond, when he added an expressionist element with lurid coloring, are pretty awful. Basically, he got progressively worse as he went. Nevertheless, 4 different posters from works in the show are on sale at the gift shop.

My spirit of self-sacrifice was rewarded, however, by another new show at the Lowe, "Classic Posters of the Belle Epoque", taken from what is evidently a major collection of its kind. There's a room full of original Toulouse-Lautrec posters, which alone is worth the trip. There are also works by Jules Cheret, Mucha, Steinlen and Jacques Villon (the brother of Mr. Urinal himself), among others. Recommended.



February 13, 2005, 1:21 AM

we/ve been over this befor3: The last I checked Tony Chimento was producing greeting cards of Bart Simpson. Ah, the common denominator.(In fact he's been in this holding pattern for more than a a state subsidized studio for 15+ years on Lincoln Road.)

"the deification of impressionists is so cliche... manet started modern art? yah, sure. yellow paintings of churches and lillies are great, but pretty hard to tell from the stuff came before" --are you confusing Manet with Monet? pretty hard to tell from the stuff before? Um, history painting and portraits of royalty? Yeah, I'd say that everyday life as fitting subject matter was different.

I agree that there is a celebration of the mediocre, for some reason this is what is being fed and swallowed.



February 13, 2005, 2:18 AM

You're a braver man than I am, Jack. Thanks for the report.

Chimento's work is only better than Kinkade or Bob Ross and their ilk by virtue of somewhat greater skill and clarity of rendering. That's something but definitely not enough.

I don't think befor3 had any idea what he was talking about. Bob. I wouldn't waste time trying to figure it out.



February 13, 2005, 3:08 AM

I am always amazed at what people find, Quoth. I never "deemed subject matter irrelevant to the quality of art". I didn't do it here. I never have done it. I don't think I ever will. But, somehow, you saw it.

Equal to any "Dutch Master"? Vermeer? Rembrandt? Go to a museum and look a little harder. Take some of these other guys with you.

Everything is in the eye of the beholder. Some people see coherence and some can't. If you want to start riding that ancient horse again we can segue right back into the good old "why have art in the first place" routine we have gone over a dozen times on this blog. I am willing to go at it once again but it is getting tiresome.



February 13, 2005, 3:10 AM

Bythe way, Quoth, if you read some art history along with your museum visit you can pick up some info on why the Lautrec posters have collector value.



February 13, 2005, 4:01 AM

Is anybody going to bring up "The Gates"? Anybody seen it in the flesh?



February 13, 2005, 4:10 AM

You thought a lot of things, 3 some. Time to start thinking them through and getting them right.

Mayor Bloomberg was beaming out of the NYTimes, Fboy, because the Christos paid for it all and NYC stands to gain mightily.

If anyone gets there please report.



February 13, 2005, 5:21 AM

Okay, everyone. I put five pictures I took this afternoon. Enjoy!

The Gates



February 13, 2005, 5:34 AM

People had different opinions here in New York. Some think it is silly and a waste of money, but many think it is cool.

Let me tell you what I thought later. I am really busy now.



February 13, 2005, 5:54 AM

Thanks momoko.

It doesn't seem to have the haunting quality of the running fence, which was my favorite. But the orange running through the trees in the distance is nice.



February 13, 2005, 6:04 AM

Momoko: Thaks for the pix. They confirm what I experienced when comparing the video to his drawings - the drawings look better than the video. Christo is a great drawer. The objects themselves, with the drape hanging down slightly past half mast, are not proportioned well. But when Christo draws 'em up, he camoflages that problem and he can draw, period.

In the run up to final, the rows of 600# steel anchors, sans anything else, looked nice too. (As seen in the slide show offered on MSN.)

But it must have been a great experience to walk amongst the moving, flapping orangies. The sheer gesture of it, all that color, all that material, lavishly squandered, just for the visual fun of it, must be a gas. Central Park without any foliage is a very good "background" too, the gray dull winter pushed aside by all the orange (saffron, I know).

Christo always pays for everything himself. No grants. That is a good thing, too. He is beholden to no one. He does not suffer like the rest of us.



February 13, 2005, 6:08 AM

Damn OldPro, "Running Fence" was my fave too. The proportions were perfect between the distended billowing and height and "snaking" across the barren hills. "Haunting" is a good word, especially in the best cuts from movie. Makes me want to love "conceptual art". Or "installation" art.



February 13, 2005, 6:49 AM

Just out of idle curiosity, how can this guy afford to pay for these projects all by himself? The costs must be quite high, given the scale involved. Where does the money come from?



February 13, 2005, 7:15 AM

A quote from their site.

"As Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always done for their previous projects, The Gates will be entirely financed by the artists through C.V.J. Corp, (Jeanne-Claude Javacheff, President) with the sale of studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models, earlier works of the fifties and sixties, and original lithographs on other subjects.

The artists do not accept sponsorship or donations."



February 13, 2005, 7:24 AM

Jack, I found this for the answer to your question. Copied from the site:


Christo creates preparatory drawings and collages showing what a project will look like. Those are works on paper which are sold by Christo and Jeanne-Claude directly to museums, private collectors and galleries. No gallery has ever represented the works by Christo. Early works of the fifties and sixties they have kept in their art storages are also sold to help pay a project. With the money Christo and Jeanne-Claude can do what ever they want, it is their own money, or they can chose to build projects, and they can pay for the life size tests, the wind tunnel tests, the materials, the engineering, the legal fees, the labor, the insurance etc.

WHY do Christo and Jeanne-Claude want to pay all the expenses with their own money? Why do they refuse sponsors?

Because they want to work in total freedom. They want to do WHAT they want, WHERE they want it, HOW they want it, but not always WHEN they want it.
That is WHY they refuse all sponsors and grants.
“The Gates” project was started in 1979. The permit was refused in 1981.
It is only in 2003 that the permission was granted, by a 43 page contract between the City of New York and the artists.



February 13, 2005, 9:05 AM

Sure, flatboy - a lot of conceptual and installation and the like is enjoyable. I have just found that most of it falls short when taken as art.

Good info Momoko. I knew they financed it with various asles but did not know the details. They must sell a lot for good prices, for sure.



February 13, 2005, 4:05 PM

Bloomberg is also smiling because he now has two new Christo drawings; drawings he didn't have when he took office.



February 13, 2005, 6:31 PM

What was inchoherent about what "wrong, wrong..." said, other then he didn't agree with you? I am not sure I agree with either of you, but your comment sounds like the put down category that usually starts something like this: "If you had any intelligence you would agree..."



February 13, 2005, 7:12 PM

Read it again, Jane.

I have no problem with people disagreeing. It is fun to argue things out. That's what we do here. But that reply was just an incoherent rant. It started out saying "wrong" 5 times and then did not go on to say what was wrong and how it was wrong.

I used to try to answer that sort of thing by first trying to articulate the other person's point of view and then answering it, but then I would just get another rant. It's pointless.

If you want to pick up anything you think he said I will be happy to discuss it with you any time.



February 13, 2005, 9:42 PM

I second the motion for incoherent rant.



February 13, 2005, 10:11 PM

if you have something to discuss, lets discuss it. Otherwise it is just a pissing contest and a waste of time.



February 14, 2005, 12:25 AM

I find #69 above justified. Neither ranting nor incoherent. Five negations is language. I take it for "am emphatically disagreeing with you oldman." Then the writer offered some counterexamples to your long 400 plus word rethoric immediately above (not very coherent in my view). To top it off you win with 28 out of 100 entries. Relax a bit would you?



February 14, 2005, 1:03 AM

You counted?

I am just trying to get some kind of intelligent conversation going here. It isn't easy.

I did not find anything worth responding to in #69. He said Caravagggio got in trouble for what he put in his paintings. OK, fine. So what? I know that. He mentioned "the deKoonings of the day who's stuff was burned during their lifetimes"; ??? - none of de Koonings stuff was burned that I know of. He mentioned Manet and then "yellow paintings of churches and lilies" - this also made no sense, as someone else pointed out.

Then he mentioned a "period of incompetence", whatever that was, and something about how people had painted like that before, and that there were always 'styles", and so forth. None of this seemed to have anything to do with anything nor was it in response to what I said.

Then he quoted what i said about a rejection of craft excellence and gave an example of a painter whose craft excellence is apparently accepted, which does not in any way contradict what I had said (if it was mean to) because I made no indication that what I was describing is a universal circumstance. And, as others also pointed out this is an artist who is not at much more than a greeting card level. (Iknow, I know, it is a "matter of opinion" blah blah blah)

In other words, it was incoherent. I assume all of you went to college and read about art etc.. Why do I have to waste all this time pointing it out? And why do you all care so much?

Pick up anything he said and tell me what you think in specifically and I will be happy to respond. Obviously befor3 didn't care to.

Please, let's talk about art insterad of whether you like what I am doing or not doing. As i said, it is a waste of time and it is boring. OK?


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 1:55 AM

Look, I'm talking about art.

I think Christo is art textbook material because he makes such big-ass ostentatious things. I haven't seen anything in person, so I should not say much, but I did love when his giant vinyl lilly-pads killed a bunch of aquatic vegetation down here. Whatta douche. It's all very tacky somehow. Did anyone every see pictures of Trump's home? That reminds me of Christo. Also, what kind of name is Christo anyway?

I guess the good thing about his work is it is so generic, bordering on selflessness. This is important, I think, for public art. It is more about experience than meaning, which is somewhat refreshing.

Either way, it's all about the whims of kooky, Europeans with enough money to buy islands.

.. and why, oh why, SAFETY ORANGE? Life preserver? First aid kit?


Ross Harris

February 14, 2005, 2:07 AM

I don't really think it is "safety orange," Chad, it is probably supposed to reference Buddhist saffron robes, which is totally pretentious, but whatever.



February 14, 2005, 2:10 AM

"I am just trying to get some kind of intelligent conversation going here. It isn't easy." Is this sentence arrogant or hollow? Well, considering the unintelligent audience, you certainly try pretty hard. Keep enlightening us...



February 14, 2005, 3:06 AM

Chad: Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, Bulgarian-American, born June 13 1935. (his wife j& collaborator was born the same day, same year, for you astrology buffs). They are master promoters & sales people - really, really good at it. They sell drawings, plans and various ephemeral from their projects for lots of money, in the hundreds of thousands.

It is "saffron", which is the dried stigma of the saffron flower and perhaps the most expensive spice in the world because it trakes abut 100,000 of those hand-picked tendrils to make a pound. The robes of Bhuddist monks are traditionally saffron colored.

As for pretention, I won't disagree.

I will try to keep enlightening you, pseudo. Maybe something will work.


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 4:14 AM

Whoa did anyone notice that this 3ffec/ted person has fucked up Franklin's site by striking out everything below that strikeout post. WOW! Wonder if I will be struck out ...

All right, I'll bite comment/er/in/3ff3cT:

--Yes, this is public art that costs a lot of money and time. Everybody understands this. Ok, how does this add to it's "scope"?

--I heard from a better source than yourself that he killed a bunch of plants. Doesn't matter, because his stupid umbrellas totally killed a couple of PEOPLE in the US and Japan. Christo = murderous eurotrash. (that was a joke)

--Minimalism, really are you SURE?? Because, you know, I have NO IDEA that giant flapping monochromatic safety orange gates were minimal. Thanks for telling me. The Trump comparison totally fits, it's ostentatious, so there.

--He said the pink vinyl Miami piece was his "Water-lilies". Yuck.

--Not that they buy island but that they are very wealthy ...

--Color wheels? You sir, are an art dork. Wow, a new low for this site.

Well that was a waste of time. I'm sure everything I wrote will be struck out anyway ...


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 4:16 AM

PRESTO! I saved the day!


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 4:17 AM

Did this work??


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 4:18 AM

I'm try to get rid of this strikeout... hmmm...



February 14, 2005, 4:24 AM

Good deal, Chad. Now that you & trifecta are going at it I can go to dinner.


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 4:31 AM

Enjoy. This strikeout only shows up in Safari. It's clean in IE. Am I crazy, or is someone else seeing this?


kennetg cohen

February 14, 2005, 5:48 AM

this is



February 14, 2005, 6:43 AM

I see it Chad not sure if Franklin knows about it, he may still be in a trance like state up on a mountain out west.



February 14, 2005, 6:44 AM

Man, Franklin is gone for a couple days and the whole thing goes to pot.


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 7:22 AM

Yup. The mystery man with the 3's in his name has busted


mental health professional

February 14, 2005, 6:07 PM

hey, the goofy one. you put your name as you ain't/s33n (seen?) and hit the "enter" key 1 5 8 t i m e s or kept pressing it for a long time in the message window. then you don't know how it got posted? what were you on when that happened?


html ghost

February 14, 2005, 6:10 PM

this blog does not process html codes very well.



February 14, 2005, 6:10 PM

This is a mess. Can anyone fix it?


html ghost

February 14, 2005, 6:22 PM

testing testing testing
testing testing testing
testing testing testing


html ghost

February 14, 2005, 6:25 PM

can you describe the mess, oldpro? everyone is using different computers, different operating systems and browsers, and what you see as mess may not be seen by others on their screens.



February 14, 2005, 6:31 PM

Hey html. I looked at the source code and it seems our genius #3 jackass opened a strike tag before he said "yikes.." Doesn't that mean that any closed strike tag would only apply to that particular post and not the thread. In other words I think the tag will have to be closed from the server side.


html ghost

February 14, 2005, 6:38 PM

the puzzling part is that i am not seeing what oldpro is complaining about. probably because i am on a pc but not on microsoft browser.



February 14, 2005, 6:39 PM

Y'all sit tight. I'm going to come through this evening and clean up. Most of #3's posts are going to disappear in the process.



February 14, 2005, 6:43 PM

I'm seeing the strike out of all text after 107 including the Cezanne quote. I'm using Safari on os x.3.8 . seems to work on IE for mac. Franklins back, hip hip hurrah!



February 14, 2005, 7:09 PM

all I am seeing (I am not compute-savvy like many of you are) is a huge blank space and a lot of people thinking the page is messed up so we don't talk about anything else.



February 14, 2005, 8:17 PM

I'm using firefox on a PC and the strikeouts were corrected long ago, after Chad's second post, post strike-out.

I like 3's comments. Including the big blank one. Weren't we just talking about minimalist art? I thought it was very nice. Certainly less offensive than other things we've seen here previously.

I could say more about Christo and Jeanne-Claude, but I have to dash . . . . just wanted to contribute concerning the appearance of the site and 3's posts.


the/3 person

February 14, 2005, 8:57 PM

Wow! Thanks for the support, Kathleen. There is a word for what I've been up to:
shenanigan. I will admit that I crossed the line once or twice above, and for that I am sorry. I'm glad some people found some value in some of my . . . err.. activities. I would also like to point out that this was at the tail end of a 4-day old thread. is a little silliness really so bad?

1. Copy/paste entire thread somewhere for reference before it gets wiped out. (perhaps could host a mirror?)
2. Get ready for a stern talking to and possible disciplinary action from Franklin.



February 14, 2005, 9:17 PM

Silliness is fine. Destructiveness is not.

Kathleen you should know better



February 14, 2005, 9:29 PM

what about capriciousness?



February 14, 2005, 10:19 PM

I am back to Miami with extra two pounds, being greeted by two Latin friends of mine at the airport.

Normally I do NOT enjoy watching sports at all. Basketball, baseball, soccer, football, and hockey are all the same to me, but the Artblog Pissing Contest (APC) is an exciting sport to watch.



February 14, 2005, 10:20 PM

oh, and what about pompous, deluded, self-important lecturing?



February 14, 2005, 10:37 PM

Listen, 3PO, when Franklin was making his rules - which became necessary because people like you were making garbage out of the blog - I urged him to make them to limit self expression as little as possible, to be as allowing as possible. I still think it should be this way, but your example here is surely straining the limits.

Your comments are riddled with typos to the point if illegibility (I make them too, but at least I try not to), nonsensical, wiseass, unresponsive, ad hominem, and occasionally plain insulting. You refuse to support your own statements and inisist instead on attacking the other commentator. You are still at it, obviously.

Then on top of that you screwed up the blog, spoiling it for everyone else. I don't think Franklin even anticipated that when he reluctantly made his rules.

There are probably other blogs and chat rooms and web slums where you can do this kind of thing all you want. Go there.



February 14, 2005, 10:42 PM

3's points concerning the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude are good ones. I can add that they try to make sure that all materials used in the project are recylclable or reusable, and that all people working on the project are paid, not volunteers, and that they are paid fair wages, often set by unions, depending on the position.

C&J-C are wonderful artists. The works absolutely transform public space, they are massive in scale, yet are completely ephemeral. A significant point of the work is that it shall exist in the future as memory and documentation only. The scale of the efforts spans 25 years or so in the planning stage, 16 days in its execution, and a lifetime in the memories of those who see it. Plus, they are amazing collaborators, which I tend to admire; I like examples which put the lie to the stereotype of the miserable, self-centered, troubled artist.

I've noticed that it is somewhat a fad to be dismissive of C&J-C, and that frequently, the dismissal is someow tied to money. People wonder how the projects are funded, how C&J-C live, and because they cannot imagine the truth, they assume that somehow the projects are impure, giving them free reign to be cynical. Even my own mother is guilty of this. I quizzed her about it the other day, in fact. The discussion went something like this:

Me: "I know you don't like the work of C&J-C . . ."
Mom: "It's not that I don't like their work, it's just that they get all these grants and public money to do it"
Me: "Actually, they fund all of the project themselves, from the sale of drawings. They don't even take money from t-shirts or hats or whatever, the've donated that to some environmental group in NYC"
Mom: "Oh. I didn't know that".

Another thing I've had to point out recently concerns the injury and damage caused by the works of C&J-C to humans and the environment, and that point is that there are individuals and corporations responsible for far more damage than C&J-C. If one really cares about such matters, please research corporate overfishing (Tyson Foods), chemicals in the environment (IBM, Union Carbide, Dow), local developers who want to move the Urban Development Boundary, (see: etc. etc. etc. (Carlyse Group, Lockheed Martin, Monsanto, and on and on and on . . . ). If one's criticism of the duo amounts to (paraphrase): 'fish were killed and the umbrella impaled someone', then I venture to say that you should turn your attention away from C&J-C toward better targets, where you might do the world some good.



February 14, 2005, 10:51 PM

On the subject of 3 her/himself, many of the things that OP has just denounced occur regularly on Artblog, though they appear as written discourse. I think 3 has more of a slapstick approach toward the same. Really, the gigantic blank post was like a pratfall, a very neo-Jerry Lewis approach. I found it especially funny as it was linked to the statement "you aint seen nuthin", which 3 then proceeded to show us.

Perhaps I have become accustomed to the type of converstations which occur around here, but I don't recall getting the impression that 3 was being particularly obnoxious as far as ad hominum attacks or the general dismissal of other's ideas go.



February 14, 2005, 10:55 PM

Sorry for three comments in a row, but, even though 3 portrays him/herself as a h4x0r, is it really true that 3 was responsible for messing up the site? Couldn't any of us have done it had we tried the strikeout and left off the last part of the code?



February 14, 2005, 11:04 PM

I understand what you are saying about the Christos, Kathleen, and I don't take issue with it. They should
not be condemned because they scrounge the money for their projects, they should be commended for it.

What their projects amount to as art is another discussion. But excusing their fatal blunders by saying Tyson Foods and Union Carbide do worse is not plausible.

Inserting a huge blank space in someone else's blog is destructive and invasive and spoils it for others, "Jerry Lewis pratfall" notwithstanding. If he came to your studio and threw everything out the door you would not be making excuses for him.


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 11:08 PM

You are right Kathleen, my bashing on Christo based on his $$$ was fairly useless. .. and yes, anything that counteracts the artist as solitary genius routine is refreshing. Also, it's great that nobody really owns this stuff besides the public - more or less.

We all know corporations are responsible for such mayhem, however, I still think these two are responsible for the consequences of their whims. That being said, there are much better targets, you are right. Well, I don't really buy any big corp products anyway, so I'm in the clear (maybe?).

Kathleen is cool. Keep blogging.


Chad Harris

February 14, 2005, 11:12 PM

Also, for the record Franklin, Mr. "3"'s mention of the MSG NEWNESS site is nonsense. The group isn't responsible for this strikeout crap.



February 14, 2005, 11:17 PM

OP said:

"Inserting a huge blank space in someone else's blog is destructive and invasive and spoils it for others, "Jerry Lewis pratfall" notwithstanding. If he came to your studio and threw everything out the door you would not be making excuses for him."

Posting a long, blank comment on someone's blog is not akin to throwing all of someone's supplies, artwork, and other property out of their studio. It may be annoying, but the 3 p3rson hasn't really damaged anything or incurred any substantial expenses. It might take a few minutes for Franklin to select and delete a bunch of unbroken space tags in the HTML, which would be a pain, yes--or he could just ignore it, and all of the other pages and subsequent blog posts would still work perfectly well.



February 14, 2005, 11:23 PM

So I overstated it. So what. If it was my blog I would be pissed. It shouldn't happen. OK?



February 14, 2005, 11:26 PM

And furthermore we are not talking about art. The blog is here so we can do that. Instead we are talking about each other's behavior because some people are misbehaving and because other people don't like my attitude.

Let's stop, for crying out loud!


Three hundred/thirty thr33

February 15, 2005, 12:23 AM

Kathleen: "ephemeral" is the exact word i was thring to remember; thanks for saying that. The only thing I disagree with is the "corporations are worse" defense. That's no excuse. I think if C&J-C's artwork is killing vegitation, that's ok. Killing humans is probably ok too - there's so many of them! If someone had reasonable evidence that their work was causing harm to ANIMAL life, that would be something else.

By the way, you make a great observation w/r/t "you aint seen nuthin", which 3 then proceeded to show us. . . . I wish I could take credit for being that clever, actually the pun was not intended.

The open tag issue is something Franklin himself mentioned awhile back; I'd assumed it was fixed.

Aren't you starting a blog? C'mon . . we're dying out here. What can we do to help?

Oldpro: i don't think the blank space is the end of the world... you have a scroll bar on your computer, don't ya? Use it. It's not like i'm doing it every day. Maybe I should insert bit empty comments on an as-needed basis???!?!?!?!?!

Chad: you're not responsible for big corporations?? Get real- you are responsible for everything. EVERYTHING is YOUR responsibility. This via Jean Paul Sartre.


not to m3ntion

February 15, 2005, 12:24 AM

i was talking about art. you started to whine about my disagreement with you. that would be how the whole thing got . . . um . . . sidetracked.

like Chad, you need to accept responsibility for what happens.



February 15, 2005, 12:25 AM

This is like food critiques talking about a photograph of a cake that they have not tasted. The big piece like that has to be “experienced” to know what it is. It is about the expression of people who walk through the gates and the conversations you overhear while you walk though, not just the physical pieces. In that sense, The Gates is pretty much like a cake. You cannot possibly know it through pictures.

The Gates will be there till Feb 27th. If one has such a strong feeling, either positive or negative one, about artists or their art, it only takes one day to go there and look, though it may be very tiring since it involves a lot of walking.

Here is the cheapest way. has $69 one way from Ft. Lauderdale to JFK. 7-day advance purchase is required. Sale fare must be booked by Feb 18, 2005. Take AirTrain to “Station A: Howard Beach”. ($5 or $7)Then take a subway “A” ($2) which will take you there.

NYC Subway Map
AirTrain in JFK

Wear a good pair of walking shoes!


Ross Harris

February 15, 2005, 12:29 AM

My father actually saw the Christo NYC thing and was impressed mostly with the scale and intensity, which is what impresses just about everyone about Christo's massive, showy things. Murderous euro trash is just the most horrible description possible! I love it!

Saturday I saw a lecture on Louise Bourgeois at MOCA from the curator at the Tate Modern. It was quite interesting and the show was GREAT, Ellen Gallagher also had work which impressed me far more in person that it does in books in magazines. She also had a really interesting video. Good show to check out.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 2:46 AM

Mr "3", I'm responsible for EVERYTHING? I'm assuming history too, right? Maybe not even my own? Sounds like some kind of privileged, white liberal guilt tactic to me! Furthermore, it is a useless notion as it produces nothing - no positive action or thought. I can't go back in time to change what my great-great grandfather did, so I guess I'm damned. Ah, well.

Louise Bourgeois is my hero. Those lovely art muppets of hers move me to tears.



February 15, 2005, 3:05 AM

Thanks for the helpful info, Momoko.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 3:44 AM

Why am I responsible for big corporations? Really. Your response should illustrate what's on my mind.



February 15, 2005, 5:25 AM

Kid your game is irresponsible. We don't need that here. You're becoming the very thing you criticized in the oldman. It's difficult to beat him, but you're almost winning.



February 15, 2005, 6:07 AM

To be clear, I wasn't excusing deaths or environmental damage. I was pointing out that it if your criticism of the works of C&J-C mainly addresses that, then you are not talking about the quality of the art. If you think that death and environmental damage is bad, then be more constructive with your criticism--find the right targets.

I suppose if one of Yves Klein's naked ladies slipped in the blue paint and broke her leg, then it would be a bad work of art? I don't think that's good enough. It may be an unsafe work of art, or a poorly constructed work of art, but let's not introduce "did any life form die or get injured because of this work?" as part of the formal analysis. It can get crazy. People got VD because they had sex while listening to the Doors? BAD ART. You went crazy while listening to 4'33"? SUCKY ART. One of Goldsworthy's stones slipped out of forrmation and landed on a sheep? CRAP.

Thanks for the compliments, and as for the blog, working on it . . . working working working . . . . .



February 15, 2005, 6:13 AM

Christo's NYC is more like a shower curtain convention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



February 15, 2005, 6:56 AM

Okay, I feel better. For future reference, Many of the above posts were in response to a poster who used various aliases, all with the e's replaced by the number three. We will refer to him or her hereafter as Potato H3ad. Potato H3ad violated several of the guidelines, namely this one, emphasis added:

"Make Franklin happy. I'm happy when we're having a good chat about art, or at least a good chat about something. I'm not saying to agree with me - on the contrary, I get more out of the debates. I'm asking you to do your part to make sure that I spend as little time as possible mopping up interpersonal, legal, and HTML messes on this blog. I reserve the right to delete posts that undermine my efforts to make this a clean, inviting intellectual commons."

Let me add here that anyone who puts me through said mopping up may find some of their other posts get deleted in the process. This happened to Potato H3ad's posts above.

Kathleen: Really, the gigantic blank post was like a pratfall, a very neo-Jerry Lewis approach. I found it especially funny as it was linked to the statement "you aint seen nuthin", which 3 then proceeded to show us. I look forward to seeing Potato H3ad's contributions to your blog, then. I don't think you'll find the results terribly easy to read or informative, but hey, it will be your blog.



February 15, 2005, 6:57 AM

let me help you out, franklin~

from 9 to 5 today i was at work. so all those /3 comments in that time frame are mine, too. might as well take them out.



February 15, 2005, 7:16 AM

Kathleen, that was hilarious. Re: the Gates--I'd been hearing so much about it, and the photos look entirely different than how I'd imagined it would look. I thought the fabric would reach the ground, or at least be longer, so my initial reaction (again, to the photos) was underwhelmed. They reminded me of some curtains we have at home that are supposed to reach the floor, but turned out to be too short.

However, my reaction to the wider-angle shot that Momoko posted (thanks, btw)--where you can see the rows of gates stretching out across the park--was very different. When I picture the park full of people walking around, crowds of tourists and families and students and joggers and people going through the park for whatever reason, walking through and under and around the structures and billowing fabric, I imagine it must be very beautiful.

I have also felt that Christo and Jeanne-Claude's body of work can be overly grand and pompous. At the same time, there's something to be said for the fact that this project created jobs (even if temporary)--so many people, including many non-artists, were employed through this project. And how often do we hear so much media coverage (much of it positive) about the creation of a work of art? I think that's good.



February 15, 2005, 7:27 AM

OK. One of the things oldpro says a lot is "look again," as though looking was all there was to understanding art. And C&J-C's art can be appreciated that way. But I think, from the perspective of post-conceptual art, it is too narrow a perspective. The planning, the PERMIT process, the fundraising, and all the logistical tightropes that had to be navigated can be perceived as not just the process of creating the work, but PART of the actual work itself. OK so far?

(Now, one of the things that makes art ART, in the way that most of us understand it today, is that EVERYTHING is important. Your painting can have green skies if there is a reason for them to be green. Or, my favorite example, David Hirst has been offended by discussion of his shark piece (hey, i'm going to try to recite the title from memory: "the impossibility of death in the mind of someone living") deteriorating. To paraphrase, "you people think I used formaldehyde(SP?!?!?!) to preserve something? no way - I used it for it's meaning!" i.e. how does a shark get into a tank of formaldehyde?)

Now, Proctor and Gamble kills lots and lots of bunnies. I guess they put toxic chemicals in their eyes? The upside is that we get pretty women with nice fake eyelashes, and as a society we think that's a pretty good deal. It's about pragmatism.

Art in the contemporary context, though, can't engage in that kind of calculus. Everything counts. Now, if an umbrella falls over and kills someone (nice shot!), that's an accident and can be declared unforseen from all angles. On the other hand, killing the seaweed for the sake of a piece of art, even if successful efforts were made to minimize it, falls into the equation of how you evaluate that piece of art.
. . .

Standby while I think about how this relates to hurting animals to make a movie.
. . .

UPDATE - brace youselves - Franklin has begun deleting "undesirable" posts, making OTHER very reasonable posts on this thread make LESS SENSE.
. . .

further update: this very message has now been deleted three times. . . . i think? wtf?



February 15, 2005, 7:36 AM

What do you mean by WTF, Potato H3ad? Do you actually need this explained to you further? What part are you having trouble understanding?

You come here and create work for me, and then bitch that your opinion and participation isn't getting respected? It's a good thing I just got back from a Zen retreat, otherwise I might be getting upset about this. Instead, I see you as one of those people that can't seem to clue in no matter how hard they try. Good luck to you.



February 15, 2005, 8:17 AM

The Gates was like tasting a good Tiramisu. The unusual view makes you forget what you were worrying about just for a while. People there became Tiramisu, and you hear Tiramisu talking to each other or calling their friends and families on their cell phone, reporting that they are Tiramisu. Lots of Tiramisu people walking on a cold day in a gray city was my version of the Gates.


Mr. Potato/H3ad

February 15, 2005, 8:20 AM

Ok franklin. it's your site, i suppose you'll do as you please. as long as you allow this post to live, let me make a few points, done up bullet style:

~ you're now letting post #151 (previously post #154) stand, after deleting it at least three times. i suppose it'll stay, now that YOU have replied to it. how are the other people, who have tried to make sense of what I'd said, going to feel, now that the posts they were responding to are gone?

~ Kathleen is probably the smartest person who's EVER posted here (btw, i have no idea who she is in real life). She's worth a hundred oldpros and jacks. Her support means a lot to me, and i think you would have been better off giving it a bit more weight in your deliberations.

~ The long empty post was an experiment that was intended to stay at the "preview" stage. I hit "post" accidentally, and then appologized more then once for it. (The strikeout think is a bit more difficult to defend, but suffice it to say that i'd assumed that you'd fixed that problem, and further, the operant word is "shenanigan")

~ You've deleted some of my posts and not others, based on server information, i suppose. Pretty arbitrary, and you've deleted a lot of stuff that made some sense to lots of people, and in the process . . .

~ rendered this thread incomprehensible

Your choice. You know who I am. In fact, anyone sharp has probably picked it up, too. I've made skant effort to hide my identity. I used to approach the blog seriously, and the bone-headedness that prevails around here made my soul hurt doing that. So now i've tried to make some points in a lighter way (at the tail end of a four day old post). This is the result.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 8:49 AM

This is probably too late .. but Kathleen said:

You went crazy while listening to 4'33"? SUCKY ART.

I don't even thing Cage himself wanted that recorded. It's not about that. It is not music, but rather a statement about actually listening to things. A tad presumtious, yes, but wholly valid.

You should listen to Indeterminacy: New Aspect Of Form In Instrumental & Electronic Music a piece he did with David Tudor on Folkways records. Actually, if Franklin hasn't heard this he really should too. Probably could find it in any library.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 8:50 AM

Why do these posts sometimes create large spaces between lines? Now that Mr 3 is gone, I sort of miss him ...



February 15, 2005, 8:55 AM

Bullet one, Potato H3ad post: I weighed the value of your contributions against disrupting the flow of the thread. You can see for yourself which one I decided on. Smart readers will be able to figure out what happened from context. (This starts to make that disemvoweling idea look attractive.) By the way, I didn't set out to delete that post three times - it just so happened that you were trying to put it up repeatedly as I was resaving the file. Why was I resaving the file over and over again? Cleaning up your shit, Potato H3ad.

Bullet two: I do know who Kathleen is in real life and I value her opinion. I also disagree with it, not infrequently. Like in this case.

Bullet three: you want to run experiments, go do it on your own blog.

Bullets four & five: you seem to be implying that I ought to carefully go over each of your posts so that if I delete them, I at least not do it arbitrarily, heaven forfend. Guess what isn't going to happen this evening? See bullet one regarding incomprehensibility. I understand it fine.

Items last: you were making points? It looked to me like you were taking advantage of my absence to junk up my blog. I give out about as much respect as I get, maybe a little more. So do some of the other frequent commenters that hurt your soul, and long may it ache. Bottom line, some people, like Kathleen, can take a contrary position to the prevailing tone and make it stick. You want to be one of them, you're going to have to get a lot smarter than what you showed, or used to show, above.

Chad - thanks for the recommendation. Re: the spaces - e-mail me - I don't see it.



February 15, 2005, 6:28 PM


When you were making the "rules" one idea you had was to insist that those who comment stick to the subject. I thought that was too restrictive, but this thread is a clear indication of the chaos that can be wrought by one disruptive person, particularly when so many others follow along so compliantly.

Your phrase above, "disrupting the flow of the thread", may be broad enough to work. It would be a dangerous rule in the wrong hands, but i am sure you would be properly sparing in the application.

I can understand a sympathy or identification with the kind of juvenile, frat-boy chaos we endured over the weekend - I indulged in that kind of thing myself as a kid - but it does not work here. And there are plenty of places on the web for it. I think Mr 3 and his friends would be a lot happier someplace where they can do their thing without worrying about people who insist on reasonable and orderly, if often contentious, art talk.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 7:36 PM

The spaces are a Safari thing apparently, I'm not seeing them in IE. The Cage album is insightful for someone interested in Zen practice/theory, please do check it out.

I thought this whole post was most entertaining. I'm glad everything happened the way it did.



February 15, 2005, 7:48 PM

I appreciate the good words concerning me. Thanks.

I must say that there are finer lines between support, observation, and agreement than what are frequently recognized.

Kind of like the issue of free speech; I believe in one's right to say something, whether or not I agree with it, and even if I do agree with it, I still believe that one's right to say it stops at the edge of another's freedom. That is to say, if one's actions or statements are bothering or offending another, it is time to stop.

3, though I appreciate your antics and perspective, others clearly do not. I appreciate, but am not necessarily supportive. Do not persist in offending our host, or in insisting that you be heard on your terms.

It is Franklin's right to delete your posts. Now you may consider your performance to have been ephemeral. You could not have done it without him. Perhaps you should offer our host a gift.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 8:03 PM

Kathleen is right and great.



February 15, 2005, 8:03 PM

Free speech does not stop at "bothering or offending", Kathleen.


Chad Harris

February 15, 2005, 8:06 PM

O'pro and Mr 3 should really be best friends. This must be a love/hate situation. Ephemeral! There's your art word. How come we don't use it that often?



February 15, 2005, 10:41 PM

When a pissing contest is on, we can all sing this. It is ranked #56 in the "Top 100 Hits of 1960":

Official Song of Artblog Pissing Contest (APC)



February 15, 2005, 10:54 PM

Very good. Momoko.

i think the closing refrain is "tinkle, tinkle. tinkle..."


doing more

February 16, 2005, 4:55 AM

what is it with your defensive stance on posting? it seems to me franklin is doing a commendable job and that we hardly endured anything over the weekend; what was so disastrous for you? if franklin bitches it's because he has to clean up after morons, like my friend potato h3ad. also, for being so appauled you managed to post an awful lot while all this stuff was going on...tell us the truth: you loved every minute of it and couldn't wait to see how franklin was going to freak out about the whole thing. anyway, i'm glad franklin is back and that he has the power to censure. long live ARTBLOG! see you all at the tsunami benefit at dorsch tomorrow.


Chad Harris

February 16, 2005, 5:27 AM

I'm telling you, oldpro and Mr Potato 3 should be buddies. Yeah, oldpro, can't wait to see you at Dorsch tomorrow. I'm 6'3" with a port wine stain birthmark on my forehead and I'll probably be wearing sandals and cheap clothes. Say hello to me, I'm very nice.



February 16, 2005, 7:09 AM

whatz @ dorsch tomorrow?



February 16, 2005, 7:15 AM

I had no idea I was being defensive, Doing. I think Franklin is doing a commendable job too, and i have never said otherwise.I only meant to comment on a possible refinement of his rules, nothing else.

Actually I guess it looks like my 3rd paragraph was directed at Franklin. I apologise abjectly if that is the impression I left. I meant it to be directed toward those who were aligning themselves with Mr. "3", not Franklin.



February 16, 2005, 7:37 AM

TSUNAMI BENEFIT ART AUCTION & hopefully not another pissing contest
Dorsch Gallery Feb 16th, 2005 Bidding 1:00pm to 9:00pm
Refreshments generously supplied by Dewars 12 – 6:00pm- 9:00pm


Chad Harris

February 16, 2005, 8:00 AM

Yes L8R, what Momoko said. I guess oldpro isn't going. I'm disappointed.



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