Post #523 • April 25, 2005, 12:47 PM • 48 Comments
One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten over the last year came from someone who's so smart and so on the ball that I feel honored just to be in contact with him. It went like this:
Miami has the lightest of lightweight art scenes. You are wasting your time getting involved with it unless it is providing significant income. It is and can be nothing more than a day job. I have no place to suggest as better. But it could be deadly to suppose Miami "has potential" or some similar drivel because it isn't going to go anywhere except where the art system has already gone and thoroughly worn out. If you continue to work in Miami just work there, as opposed to "belong to its scene." It will just soak you up and give you nothing of durable value in return.
As has probably been apparent from the lethargy, forehead-clutching, and ennui about art when compared to life on this blog, I've felt pretty soaked up these days. The man was right. I have fun being involved, but as my psychic resources have been in short supply as of late, I have come to notice how much of them are consumed by producing Artblog.net.
At one point I pledged to review more shows to make up for the dearth of coverage in print. I had a good run of doing so during Basel and since. But my bottom line is that I'm an artist; the fact that I write is an accident of my intellect. The first design of this blog prominently featured the tagline: the chronicles of an artist in the world. I feel a need to get back in touch with that. So for a while at least (maybe a good long while), we're looking at fewer reviews, and fewer negative reviews among them. If a show doesn't call to me, I'm not going to fool with it. If the art world does something goofy and crass, as we've come to expect it to do, I'm going to remind myself that art is not a world and go back to painting or writing about stuff that interests me.
Like my new camera. This baby has a 2.5-inch LCD display, a quick if not instant shutter, a portable size (I got tired of carrying around that brick I had before), xD memory (Sony Mavica's CDs, while cool, never caught on and didn't work all that well in some respects), 3x real/4x optical zoom, 5.0 MP interpolated. I won't be eating for the rest of the month but at least you'll finally get to see the gaijin calligraphy.
Miami is a beautiful place in many respects - it is pretty and bright. Summer heat and hurricanes notwithstanding, we enjoy a lot of physical comfort here; it ought to be as pleasant of a place as any to make art. If you live in Miami, when you read about how painters left Paris to work in the south of France, you understand that instantly. It is also quite insane. No, let me not call it insane, let me instead call it ignorant in the way that Buddhism uses the term - mistaken or uninformed about fundamental aspects of reality. (Although a city that necessatates the existence of this organization makes you wonder if the standard definition applies.) You don't combat ignorance - you offer wisdom. The Dhammapada, not exactly a recent document itself, calls this idea "ancient." Thus I look forward to using the blog for something different. Beloved Marcus:
A little flesh, a little breath, and a Reason to rule all - that is myself. ... As one is already at the threshold of death, think nothing of the first... The breath, too, what is that? A whiff of wind; and not even the same wind, but every moment puffed out and drawn in anew. But the third, the Reason, the master - on this you must concentrate. Now that your hairs are grey, let it play the part of a slave no more, twitching puppetwise at every pull of self-interest; and cease to fume at destiny by ever grumbling at today or lamenting over tomorrow.
I agreed with someone recently that we've hit a wall around here, and I think the wall is that the bitch-fest finally played itself out. Should no bitching be added to the guidelines? Well, I'm adding it to mine. As recent personal events have underscored, vita is just too damn brevis.