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on the road

Post #641 • October 7, 2005, 4:29 PM • 38 Comments

I'm hitting this. Y'all be good.




October 7, 2005, 4:36 PM

A new RISD MBA graduate, Ramon Fernandez-Bofill, is having a show opening at Dorsch this Saturday evening. I liked his work before he went there; we'll see if RISD was good for him or not.



October 7, 2005, 4:38 PM

That's "MFA" to the uninitiated.



October 7, 2005, 4:39 PM

Actually, even if he graduated with a Master's in Forestry he'd still be a hell of a talent. Go see it.



October 8, 2005, 6:27 AM

(Franklin has scrapped this post because it violates, severely, the address the writing, not the writer guideline, and because he doesn't appreciate it when people put up this kind of nastiness when he's on the road. Got me?)


that guy

October 8, 2005, 8:26 AM

wow Jack, now you can take part in this petty name calling, somehow I thought it was reserved for oldpro and I! I think this is why Franklin cautioned everyone to behave. Analizer, are you some psycho who can just grace us with your presence once Franklin has left the building? Go F-off yourself.



October 8, 2005, 8:50 AM

(Franklin has unlinked this post and altered it to ask a question of his persistent Indian comment spammer: how do you say "get lost, you son of a goat" in Hindi?)



October 8, 2005, 10:48 AM

I have no idea what #4 is referring to, but I don't suppose it matters.



October 8, 2005, 1:00 PM

Even if it was intended for me I would have no idea what it was about. Sounds like mistaken identity all around.

We have drive-by shooters, now we are getting drive-by shitters.



October 8, 2005, 10:14 PM

A special message to my persistent Indian comment spammer: I just rewrote the script so that urls in comments link via a redirect on my site. Please go piss off now.



October 8, 2005, 10:15 PM

By the way, I am having a very nice time.



October 8, 2005, 11:28 PM

I don't know about RISD, Jack, but Ramon has not got t together. The black charcoalish pictures are OK but the diagram stuff is weak and indecisive. Too bad, because he has talent.

It's interesting how these pomo times separate the wheat from the chaff.



October 9, 2005, 2:43 PM

I'm not sure what to say, Oldpro, though I know what I want to say.

About 3 years ago, I participated in the annual fundraising raffle at Locust Projects. There were works there by practically every known active Miami artist, including just about all the luminaries in the local firmament (like Hernan Bas and other Snitzer-Rubell-MOCA types). Buying a raffle ticket guaranteed going home with something, but what one got depended on what was still unclaimed when one's ticket was pulled at random from a bowl. My ticket happened to be the first one picked, meaning I could have had anything I wanted. I chose a piece by Fernandez-Bofill, who then had no MFA and was hardly a "name" in the local scene. I suppose the with-it crowd there thought I was nuts, maybe even felt sorry for me. I didn't care. I didn't want a name; I wanted his painting. I'd bought another piece by him before.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to seeing his new work, even though I feared some degree of contamination from exposure to "advanced" and "relevant" influences during his time at RISD. What I saw last night at Dorsch might as well have been done by a different person. Of course his work was bound to change or evolve, but while it's now better suited for the art mags and the Basel herd, it no longer works for me. I am fully aware whose notice and approval is more desirable for various reasons; I'm simply stating my personal position: this new work did next to nothing for me.

His pre-RISD abstract paintings attracted me because of his way with color and his gift for decorative (in a good way) pattern, which reminded me of people like Klimt, only rougher and more robust. Going by the new work alone, nobody would take him for a colorist; it seems that aspect has been suppressed, as if it were somehow frivolous or quaint. The formerly exuberant and vibrantly organic patterns, a stimulating cross between Art Nouveau and expressionism, are now saddled with diagrams reminiscent of technical manuals or blueprints. The effect on me was alienating, dreary, and dull. Only the still vigorous deployment of the black paint or charcoal reminded me of what I'd once enjoyed.

The work is now much fussier, drier and less direct, less immediate. It feels stuffy and over-analyzed. I assume it's deliberately supposed to be more meaning-ful, more complex, at least conceptually. Unfortunately, the visual element, in my opinion, has been compromised significantly, and when presumably visual art doesn't work for me visually, it doesn't work, period. I see this development as a denial, not to say betrayal, of this artist's real, natural talents. With so much pseudotalent out there, it hurts me to see such a waste. If I'd never seen his previous work, I would have simply gone "Not for me" and moved on, but knowing better, I was very disappointed. Maybe RISD should be renamed RISK.



October 9, 2005, 5:02 PM

I am sure our opinion will be in the minority, Jack, but so what else is new.

This seems to be a classic case.

Having actual talent is, ironically, a real impediment when it comes to following trends, because talent keeps busting through, as it does in this show, in some of the black paintings and even in some of the diagrams, listless as they are. You can feel real stuff here; it doesn' t have the lackluster insipidness of the truly inept, which we see everywhere im Miami.

Someone should tell Ramon that you can't keep your eye on on your work when you are looking over your shoulder.



October 9, 2005, 5:30 PM

I agree with Jack & Oldpro. His older paintings have a robust quality that was engaging on several levels. These new ones seem overwrought and purposefully muddy; like he 's denying his naturally lyrical gifts. What's wrong with pretty anyway?



October 9, 2005, 5:38 PM

The problem with "pretty", or "beautiful" or "good" or any such term is that they have been art world cuss words for several generations now, since AE times at least. You are simply not permitted to make art that such words can be applied to. That's why doing so can now be an act of rebellion.

But his earlier work was not all that pretty. It merely had the stigma of being "just painting". You know, too "narrow".

The art world has its head up its butt, and all it can see is, well, what's there.



October 9, 2005, 9:03 PM

Yes, it was just painting, too "narrow" and anachronistic, at least according to that unimpeachable authority, Trista Dix, Curator-at-Large. She smokes Gauloises, after all, so she must know the score.

I don't think of his previous work as pretty; I thought the best of it was alive and kicking, not more or less inert wall hangings, and that it was a natural, spontaneous expression of him, not something for those curatorial types that like art requiring an instruction manual.



October 10, 2005, 9:55 AM

The sheep should see the work before dissing



October 10, 2005, 10:04 AM

Everyone who has commented has seen the work, Herder.



October 10, 2005, 3:18 PM

speaking of on the road, did anyone catch the npr bit about kerouac's stint in florida and the book about it? pretty interesting that otr was finished here, and dharma bums written here as well. altho my fave was subterraneans. interesting piece about his life at the time, traveling here with his mother, living in a shed/cottage with no a/c, not a pot to piss in. then boom instantly famous overnite with one rave review of otr which basically started the whole beat thing.



October 10, 2005, 3:20 PM

franklin, any chance you know my risd friend jeff bye?



October 10, 2005, 3:25 PM




October 10, 2005, 3:58 PM

mek, you may want to get the latest Harper's Mag... it's got an interesting bit on Kerouac in its 'readings', on his army medical records.

To all, I just came across this link:

"Daily Constitutional is an artist run project consisting of the publication of a magazine in four themed issues, the first of which will be released December 2005 at the Miami Art Fairs."

They're looking for submissions of writing and artwork... thought some here might be interested.



October 10, 2005, 4:09 PM

MEK I heard that NPR program. I was acquainted with Kerouac years ago; my best friend's father was his publisher and I got one of the first copies of OTR and was totally knocked out with it. I still have a couple of the "blind poems" we made by writing a line and folding it over and passing it to the next person.

The Beat thing went back to the 40s; I was friendly with Gregory Corso in the mid 50s on trips up to Harvard when he was there bumming off people and later in the village, and later still several times a bunch of them came down to Princeton, where I was living, to read, and stayed at my house: Corso, LeRoi Jones (as he was then named), Ray Bremsner, and others. In retrospect it seems like a great time. So much was welling up and beginning to happen.



October 10, 2005, 4:38 PM

oldpro you are so cool. with all of your life experiences so far, why are you blogging and not writing a book? you have so much to say so why not reach a grander audience?

i know beat went back to the 40' dad has made me full aware. i just meant in the published literary (popularized) sense.

matty, thanks for the harper's tip. i used to subscribe and miss looking for it in the mailbox...

two snaps up...



October 10, 2005, 4:54 PM

MEK I have written books. All kinds of books. I am also a very good writer.

But no one wants to publish them. I have no idea why, except that I have no talent for promotion. It's just the way it is, I guess.



October 10, 2005, 5:48 PM

Oldpro said So much was welling up ...

Watched the Bob Dylan documentary last night. Stuff was "welling up" in the 60s too. In that period culture was still down but on the way up. Today it is up on the way down. Thus not much welling up to glom onto, rather shrinking down that must be coped with. Persistent preservation is about the best anyone can do. The environment is not rich enough for anything else.

Well, keep a candle burning in your window and hope for a long life.



October 10, 2005, 11:38 PM

Harpers, August 2005 issue page 89 look at the art...
Look familiar?



October 11, 2005, 5:32 AM

Bofill makes Art better than most of you Miamian Dorsch Gallery asskissers. Hernan the 'Palistinian' Bas is the best artist that your stupid town has to offer.



October 11, 2005, 5:50 AM

that might just be the most ignorant comment ever posted.



October 11, 2005, 7:33 AM

Actually Ramon's work, the better work at Dorsch, is, in fact, a lot better than most of the drek around Miami, and it is still wide-open and can change. It isn't dead, intrinsically limited or peaked-out, like, for example, that artist who knits imitation real objects (I forget her name).

I think what we have been expressing here is disappointment in what seems to be denial of natural talent in a particular instance.



October 11, 2005, 8:26 AM

Lol, it's definitely up there. Analitical, go read the Assume Community guideline.


ms quoted

October 11, 2005, 11:29 AM

One of the pieces of art that I viewed at a gallery opening this weekend was created by a Miami painter. I thought it was lovely. The painting even entered my dreams which is usually a good sign (it wasn't a nightmare).



October 11, 2005, 2:23 PM

Harpers, August 2005 issue page 89 look at the art...
Look familiar?

Doesn't look familiar to me... but, I'm not very familiar with Hernan Bas' work.



October 11, 2005, 9:50 PM


I know what you mean when you say that Fernandez-Bofill has talent, but could you please spell it out for me so I can understand it better?

Thank you.



October 11, 2005, 10:29 PM

Paula, If you know what I mean, you already understand it. Talent is something you recognize just as you recognize quality in art, though experienced intuition. You don't make a list.

To follow up on a comment I mead earlier above, one thing is clear about his work, and that is it has qualities of rough energy and recklessness and lack of "finish", in the sense of a limited dead-end "style" or "gimmick". This, in itself, is not talent per se, but it is a clue that there is life there and that he may have what it takes to do a lot better in the long haul. I am much more interested in a vigorous failure than a lifeless, compromised success.



October 13, 2005, 8:07 PM

I am much more interested in a vigorous failure than a lifeless, compromised success.

Oldpro, I'm surprised nobody's jumped on you for that comment, yet.


that guy

October 13, 2005, 8:26 PM

yes Matty, how true it is. I think people don't know exactly what it means so have a hard time responding. I think it is a spot on observation.



October 14, 2005, 12:32 AM

And it really does apply to Ramon. I sympathize with his quandry. I just don't care for the art that is coming out of it right now.



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