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Miami artblogging panel discussion

Post #748 • March 8, 2006, 7:41 AM • 79 Comments

Denise Delgado, Curator for the Miami Dade Public Library System, has organized a panel discussion of art bloggers to take place Thursday, April 6 at the Miami Beach Regional Library auditorium, 7 - 8:30 PM. The discussion is entitled "Looking for a Forum: Art bloggers and artists on writing art and culture in Miami." Topics include:

  • The impact of blogging and online communication on critical discourse around art and culture in Miami - why is it significant?
  • How writing about the art of a community helps create that community's sense of itself - or does it? Including comparisons between print vs. web formats
  • Addressing and identifying the different arts sub-communities in the city
  • Cross-pollination - how blogs are creating a space where people in the same city interact who might never do so in real life
  • Bloggers'/writers' role in documenting the local art scene
  • Blogs as artistic infrastructure
  • Accessibility issues - are there barriers to participation in these conversations?

Participants include Franklin Einspruch (, Alesh Houdek (Critical Miami), KH (The Next Few Hours), Onajide Shabaka (Miami Art Exchange), and Alfredo Triff (Tu Miami Blog). The discussion will be moderated by Helen L. Kohen, Director of the Vasari Project and Art Critic Emeritus for The Miami Herald.

The library is located at 227 22 Street, Miami Beach.



Cinque Hicks

March 8, 2006, 8:41 AM

Hey Franklin, this is great! Do you know if there will be any kind of transcript made? I assume you'll post at least a summary...?



March 8, 2006, 10:12 AM

A transcript would be nice. Denise?



March 8, 2006, 12:42 PM

Let's just hope this turns out to be a considerably more useful and productive exercise than the art criticism symposia held at Dorsch and Snitzer in the past. Actually, that's being too ambitious; more interesting and stimulating will do.



March 8, 2006, 1:08 PM

You have any particular suggestions, Jack?



March 8, 2006, 1:19 PM

with dynamite words and phrases like

critical discourse
art of a community
sense of itself
Addressing and identifying
role in documenting
local art scene
artistic infrastructure
Accessibility issues

How can you lose?



March 8, 2006, 1:22 PM

The limiting factor, as always, will be the contribution of the participants involved and, to some extent, the person(s) directing the proceedings or setting the agenda-format. All of that will be what it will be. The general area to be covered certainly seems to have greater potential for yield than the state of conventional print art criticism in Miami, which is largely a dead horse, as far as I'm concerned. It should prove interesting and reasonably stimulating; let's put it that way.



March 8, 2006, 1:59 PM

Thanks for posting the info, Franklin. Jack, the participants are all being asked to provide input on the agenda/format of the discussion, so it will be as interesting and stimulating as they make it. And yes, a transcript is definitely do-able.

BTW, that list of topics had been provided to participants to give them an idea of the kinds of things we might talk about, and hadn't yet been edited or tidied up for public posting. But you get the general idea. I'm also open to suggestions from readers as far as discussion topics and what people might like to see come out of this, if anything (a series of discussions, a project, etc.).



March 8, 2006, 2:20 PM

In fact, I would encourage the dubious among my readership to make specific suggestions so that we do have a good conversation.



March 8, 2006, 2:51 PM

Avoid too many topics and/or topics that are too unwieldy. Less is more, and more can be done with less. The list posted above needs to be trimmed and more firmly focused. Stick to what is most practical, tangible, and relevant. Do not involve any gallery or museum people or "major" collectors except as audience members. Once a tentative agenda is available, post it for feedback from blog readers in time to make changes before the actual event. Discourage participants from going off on theoretical or other tangents and stick to practical considerations and concerns relating to what is being done and/or could be done now.



March 8, 2006, 4:02 PM

Last week Franklin had shown me stats indicating140 people reading this blog at one time - I think the discussion should include ways to get more of these readers to contribute - hey, I have'nt the brightest things to contribute here all of the time, but it would be nice to read more varying viewpoints from different people - and I know that they are out there...
Jack what's with the cliche? More is also more and less can be too little.



March 8, 2006, 4:20 PM

but it would be nice to read more varying viewpoints




March 8, 2006, 5:37 PM

George, please help me with what you mean by ROTFLOL.



March 8, 2006, 5:42 PM

What I said, Jordan, was being applied specifically to the matter at hand, and I stand by it in that context. It was not being issued as a general directive to be applied to all things in all circumstances. If you read it that way, you misunderstood me.



March 8, 2006, 5:42 PM

This should help. I think George is laughing sarcastically at something. Hard to tell exactly what, though.



March 8, 2006, 5:50 PM

Surely, Franklin, you know George better than that by now. If you ask me, though, he really should be more careful at his age. He could hurt himself that way.



March 8, 2006, 6:05 PM

I totally concur with George's comment number 11. Absolutely, completely ROTFLOL! OH, man!

Jordan, you are unwittingly playing the straight man in this here comedy.

The laughter isn't sarcastic, Franklin, it's just . . . I mean . . .

. . . you guys really don't know why more people aren't commenting?


bob ross

March 8, 2006, 6:41 PM


Keep OP away. he's too dominant and this audience is too prone kissing his arse (some excluded...).Or the very least keep him away from the topic of what good art is..



March 8, 2006, 6:51 PM

By all means, keep me away. By force, if necessary, although i don't think it will be. I have too many strong opinions and that would ruin the whole thing, I think.

No, KH. I don't know why more people do not contribute. You seem to be on to something secret and exciting. Perhaps you can enlighten us?

As far as the panel in concerned, yes, I agree with Jack. Get specific and keep it simple. The list above is too vague, too general and covers way too much territory. Of course it is in the nature of such things to be this way. They are never meant to actually get anything decided.



March 8, 2006, 7:06 PM

Oh, lovely. A call for overt censorship. The ACLU should be interested. I assume a detailed statement of approved dogma will soon follow for our edification and improvement, or is that rehabilitation? Any old-time Stalinists around? I'm sure they'd know, and they'd have some great suggestions to boot. Actually, I think Oldpro really needs to be sent to a gulag; it's the only way to assure he will no longer infect the minds of our youth with subversive propaganda. Our youth are so fragile, after all; they can hardly be expected to make up their own minds when faced with such dangerous notions. Name a blog commissar, I say, and bring this place into line with all the proper and correct blogs. They're far more numerous, which means they must perforce be right (not that it matters: conformity is the thing).



March 8, 2006, 8:21 PM

Almost all of the people whom I know (in person) either don't know what a blog is, or only vaguely know what one is but would noway-nohow feel comfortable jumping in with a comment. Hell, I had no idea what a blog could possibly be good for until last summer when I noticed my wife chatting with her little internet buddies, as I mockingly referred to them as.

But as I started trolling around desperately myself for some proof that I and half a dozen others I knew weren't the only ones who saw that it was important to hold to the knowledge we had of experiencing really good art, I came across quite a few blogs. I dismissed the first time I opened the page because the topic was "miami newspaper blows" or something like that. But after a discussion with a fellow artist who had also been surfing for art info, I came back and have stuck around. No blog other than Artblog has stayed on my 'bookmarks' for more than a month or two.

In the meantime I've tried to make the handful of local print publications that claim to feature art-icles regular reading, but thanks to the painful, weak and blind writing that predominates, the effort has been a miserable, uninspiring experience. I tried to contribute to local art coverage by writing it myself, but for whatever reason it was ignored. The combination of published inanity and unpublished substance has forced me into the corner with the likes of Franklin and the Artblog.netters.

Reading and commenting on Artblog has been a blessed opportunity to practice what I think, and to test it against what other people write that they think. So now I'm publishing my own blog, and though it has its own problems, it is a decent outlet. Doesn't hurt that can be free and doesn't require succumbing to advert-culture. Too early to tell whether it is a worthwhile effort but what's to do but try?

A comment like this is probably overly personal, not to mention long. But I'd be willing to bet that many readers' worry about commenting is how totally vulnerable they feel putting their ideas out into the public domain for any old bob ross to poach. And when there is talk about how large the audience is getting it doesn't get any easier to comment.

My personal history here relates somewhat to the suggested forum topics, and I hope it's helpful if not actually interesting.



March 8, 2006, 9:23 PM

That comment is not overly personal. Not at all. You do not seem to have any trouble commenting. Neither do Jack, George, MEK, Kathleen, Marc and a dozen others. Why should anyone else? "Vulnerability"is mitigated by anonymity ; that's why I have always been such a strong advocate for it.

People who behave decently and openly and straightforwardly really have nothing to worry about anyway. We have strong opinions and are inclined to sarcastic asides often enough but this is a forum for opinions, for crying out loud. Grow up, folks.


Marc Country

March 9, 2006, 12:22 AM

Testify, brothers and sisters...



March 9, 2006, 9:20 AM

The laughter was quite mirthful, not merciless in any way!

This is why it is funny: the culture of this blog is intimidating, dismissive, and overwhelmingly like-minded. It did not used to be so, as much, but it has congealed.

I understand that you collectively feel that artblog is a space of liberation, a space to freely explore the beliefs about art which are so dear to you.

There are very few regular dissenters. mek and I are two, George is another. Once in a while Alesh or Hovig returns, and the rest seem to be occasional "drive-by shooters". [not that we always dissent, either]

Dissent here is hardly welcome; it is more of a trial-by-fire event. As ahab pointed out, many people are uncertain as to what a blog is, and what commenting means. Most of the blogs out there have a very different culture from this one, so even if someone is accustomed to commenting elsewhere, it would not have necessarily prepared them for dealing with this gauntlet.

After the first smackdown, they are disinclined to stick around, and the culture of artblog seems to the rest of us to be pleased with this situation--hence the humor of trying to get a greater diversity of viewpoints on artblog!



March 9, 2006, 9:41 AM

Ahab, that was beautiful. I promise to continue to work to justify your attention. I too started writing when it hit me that the art world was on the goofball train and I wanted to get off. I figured, also, that I couldn't be the only person out there who felt that way. Now has an audience of people who value the approach I value: intuitive aesthetic judgment and heavy salvos of common sense. I'm hoping even more people get into it. Thanks, Ahab, and good luck with your blog as well.



March 9, 2006, 9:56 AM

I'm a regular though infrequent commenter.

I disagree with the 'locals' regularly.

The commenters who get 'the smackdown' usually
aren't ones who disagree or hold a different
point of is usually those 'drive-by-shooter'
types that aren't really thinking about what
they are writing.

The time it takes me to write a [good] post is the main
thing that keeps me from posting more often...
Blog time falls in a catergory somewhere
between procrastinating real work and free

*see AccenMiami Magazine. ;)



March 9, 2006, 9:56 AM

Some (mis)translations:

Consistent: Predictable

Uncompromising: Intimidating

Diversity: Different views, as long as they're in the correct ballpark

Rejection of BS regardless of source: Dismissive

Self-determined and secure about it: Congealed

Just trying to be helpful.



March 9, 2006, 10:03 AM

See what I my haste I made a typo.

A bad one that I should be made fun of...;)

Gotta get to work.



March 9, 2006, 10:27 AM

Sorry, FRC, I didn't mean to forget about you.

Jack, I suppose your (mis)translations make the culture more tenable?



March 9, 2006, 10:49 AM

They make the culture more clear, KH.



March 9, 2006, 11:44 AM

I couldn't agree more with KH on #23. I know of a few people that would lurk in the past, but have just gotten tired of the attitude of this blog and don't even bother lurking.

I sometimes enjoy the “locals”, but after a while you can only take so much.

It is sad, because I feel KH is right when she says that culture of artblog is intimidating, because I think that is completely against what Franklin is trying to accomplish.

But artblog has taken its own course out of Franklin's intent, and I feel he is trying to put it back on course, but you may never get back some of those Lurkers. But maybe that's a good thing. People will come and go and some will stay that is he nature of Blog's

Good luck Franklin.


a voice from the past

March 9, 2006, 11:47 AM

Dear KH,

I posted to this blog frequently about a year ago under the handle of "flatboy". Jack, especially, worked his negativity overtime constructing things to hang on me because I have a mild (very mild) interest in Marcel Duchamp. I was not intimidated. I looked forward to seeing what he might come up with each time he pounded his keyboard, and valued the fact he relished me as a target. I still drive by (but don't shoot) occasionally just to see where his wit goes next. The guy is a national treasure, and has a lot to say that is of substance.

There was another commenter who attempted to identify me with Hitler, as I vaguely remember. That was so far off the mark it became just a bunch of dots on my computer screen. When comments wander that far from reality, I don't believe thinking participants take them seriously. How do nutty statements intimidate anybody? If they do, then you are right, this is an intimidating blog, but very few of them come from the "regulars".

The plain fact is most people who lurk in places such as this don't ever post. That's just how it is. I don't think it means much, other than being a fact of life on the net.



March 9, 2006, 11:49 AM

To comment or not to comment
For Franklin: the stats as an activity graph.


a voice from the past

March 9, 2006, 11:50 AM

I could have addressed #31 to clubby too. This thing about intimidation is just a molehill discussed as if it were a mountain.



March 9, 2006, 11:51 AM

I used to comment much more and still check back from time to time but have finally realized that having a debate here just amounts to a lot of wasted time. i've just decided to agree to disagree with OP and Jack and Marc and the rest . none of my feelings about art are going to change what they believe in and vice-versa.

which is just fine, you know, i'm not knocking anybody here, i'm just saying. but the feeling of rigidity, of opinions being set in stone on this blog is not encouraging for someone out there who is reading it and may really want to comment or question or have a dialogue.

anyway, thanks for keeping me interested and i agree with Marc, the cattiness has been turned up to bust around here lately.


a voice from the past

March 9, 2006, 12:03 PM

Ah, #451 was a very good topic. A vintage discussion if there ever was one. Thanks for the graph, George. Now, back to my regular life.



March 9, 2006, 12:13 PM

Intimidation is a molehill if you're one of the few who is both willing to brave and capable of braving the gauntlet. If not, then it is an impenetrable mountain.



March 9, 2006, 12:18 PM

You know, Flatboy, I truly was thinking about you with all this talk of who posts and who doesn't and who stays and who leaves. I'm sorry you don't come around or don't post as you used to; one good participant is worth any number of drive-by types. And yes, the "intimidation" business is mostly a crock, or no more than an overblown molehill. Actually, it's an attempt, by way of a guilt trip, to make people censor or deny themselves, so that they'll be more palatable and easier to swallow to those who want or need soft food. Thanks for the nice words, and don't be a stranger.



March 9, 2006, 12:40 PM

I don't think anyone is trying to censor the responses. The idea is to have a dialog, and a dialog needs two sides. A response which is a dismissal of the topic, or of another viewpoing of a topic, eliminates the dialog. I'm assuming Franklin's readership has increased over the last year but the dialogs are in a decline. Either Franklin's topics are seen as not relevant or the readers just don't see any point in responding.



March 9, 2006, 12:44 PM

I also miss you Flatboy. We had some dynamite arguments. I think they were intelligent, well argued, informative and interesting. I wish you would come back, and FRC and all the rest. The more the merrier.

BTW it certainly was not one of the "rigid regulars" who compared you to Hitler. That is a stupid drive-by comment if I ever heard one.

And speaking of "rigid" - this is not a term to be applied to the hard-nosers like me and Jack and Guy and to some extent Franklin and Marc and Ahab. When you accuse someone of being rigid you are saying that they are inlexible and nonreactive, not that they have strong opinions and the ability to support them.

Craig, you write that us "rigid" types make it "discouraging for someone out there who is reading it and may really want to comment or question or have a dialogue." But we are aching to have people comment and engage in dialogue. That's the whole point of the blog. I get the feeling from these comments, quite directly from KH above, that what you are all complaining about is not rigidity - I think everyone can dismiss that quite readily - but your ability to carry on articulate debate. Let's face it, this simply amounts to saying that you can't hack it and are afraid to comment. This is a perfectly legitimate reason not to comment, but, please, don't try to take us to task for it. If someone tried to slap you down, slap back, for crying out loud. Really, it's only words, you know!



March 9, 2006, 1:01 PM

OP, would a valid (mis)translation of this:

I get the feeling from these comments, quite directly from KH above, that what you are all complaining about is not rigidity - I think everyone can dismiss that quite readily - but your ability to carry on articulate debate. Let's face it, this simply amounts to saying that you can't hack it and are afraid to comment. This is a perfectly legitimate reason not to comment, but, please, don't try to take us to task for it.

be: the probelm is not that we are rigid, but that you are inarticulate and also chicken, which is fine, but don't blame us for it




March 9, 2006, 1:02 PM

(mis)translated poor spelling excepted, of course . . .



March 9, 2006, 1:20 PM

OP sez ...but your ability to carry on articulate debate. Let's face it, this simply amounts to saying that you can't hack it and are afraid to comment.

OK, let's consider this. Is it a "debate" or a "dialog". OP wants to win the debate, to be "right" To me a dialog is more of an investigation, less concern for being "right" or "wrong" than an inquiry into the topic itself, its strong or weak points, its sources etc.

Moreover, the people who might benefit most from such a dialog, younger artists for the most part, are probably less sure of their both their ability to lucidly frame their comments and potentially less sure of their critical position. So remarks like "a ton of blue ink" puts the whole dialog back in the classroom, you get an F stupid, just what they are trying to escape. If a comment is unclear it should be an avenue for further exploration not a reason for dismissal.

As directed by Franklin, this blog has a critical position it wants to advocate. The question to my mind is whether or not it is doing so effectively. Are the readers (commenters or not) coming away with some fresh ideas, a different point of view towards their own practice, or are they just reading what's here and thinking "that's another critical position I don't need to worry about"?

Now I'm sure that some are thinking, that's fine, we don't care about those people. Here we are at the start of the 21st century, art has been commodified and stratified in a way which potentially allows inclusion of all critical viewpoints when they are expressed in the context of the current cultural moment. This means that "formalism" or "modernism" (whatever) can be viewed as a valid critical position but that the critical arguments must also be advanced in the current context, not one 30 years old.

Frankly, I've quit commenting here, because in my view, the discussion never seems to advance not because I can't "hack it"



March 9, 2006, 1:22 PM

By making this comment and asking this question you are asking me to accept a rewording of what I said which sounds much more aggressive and accusatory than I intended it to be.

I can understand why you are doing this, but I see no reason why I should participate in it.


that guy

March 9, 2006, 1:23 PM

here here! Glad to have Flats and FC back. Its like a family reunion without all the plaid trousers. I have to second ol' pros stance that this thread exposes how woefully inadequate the "dissent" (and that's using the term loosely) has been. It has been that way since Franklin got this thing off the ground. If someone can't hack it, they leave with their tail between their legs and run home for some good ol motherly coddling. This is a good thing. The last thing we need is vapid incoherence by some mumbling disgruntled scab. They and the blog are better off because of it. The disciplined educated will then elevate the debate by having to be more articulate. I dare say that those whining could solve some of their problems by looking at more art. It would also help if they had some vague notion of what it is they are defending or arguing for. This may never happen but I will keep wishing you good thoughts that it might.



March 9, 2006, 1:28 PM

I lurk and only a couple times have posted. Not being in Miami I can't talk about the local stuff, but mostly I'm quiet for the reason FRC stated above - it takes too long to write a post that will be a meaningful part of this conversation. Maybe that's respect for the level of the conversation, and maybe it's a little being intimidated. mostly it's lack of time... I think you guys can be pretty rough, but it's all in the service of the discussion, and the only real smackdowns I can remember have come from folks driving by. I kind of like how when someone gets rude here they get totally demolished.



March 9, 2006, 1:31 PM

I commented on art soldier's blog yesterday on very nearly the same topic:

And it seems to fit here too: "...I kinda think it is the varying opinions, even the emotional ones, clashing with one another that provides the most effective shifts in those very same opinions. I, for one, learn lots when someone disagrees with me. My problem is not with opinion... but with any refusal to respect or even entertain an opposing opinion, which is what gossip and polemics amount to. I learn even more when someone respectfully disagrees with me."

All anyone has to do to forward the discussion here is state what they think, or even just what they think they think. The ensuing responses and reactions (strong, opinionated, hardnosed or whathaveyou) are exactly the things that are so valuable to the advancement of a dialogue. If there were no disagreement or argument, then it truly would be a sterile, hermetic and distasteful environment.

There is no hierarchy here. There are no power struggles. Anyone who doesn't comment out of fear is simply fearful, not oppressed.



March 9, 2006, 1:38 PM

#43 was in answer to KH, obviously.

George, my comment obviously sidesteps you because you comment and argue all the time.

When we engage in debate we argue the sides out and, depending on the context, someone "wins" sometimes. However, the point is not to win the debate but to have fun, make your points articulately and further (or qualify) your point under the pressure of opposition. This is common knowledge and procedure in schools and debating clubs etc. and I see nothing wrong with it.

Furthermore, lots of people have come on the blog for various reasons and do not engage in any debate but just talk over the topic or reply or give information and such like. Lots of people come on and have opinions which are not opposed or are mildly opposed. Some of us do not like what we perceive to be bad thinking, bad logic, bullshit and the like and we take exception to it. The fact that this very often results in the person who stated the opinion backing down or shutting up is not a matter of "winning" but a matter of demonstrating that the opinion or statement did not hold water. No one, no one at all, is restrained from replying to anything I say.

Now, this may very discourage comments. That is another matter. But, given the large readership Franklin apparently has, doesn't it seem odd that a great throng of art world mainstreamners have not poured in here to demonstrate once and for all that I (and the other "rigids") are full of shit?



March 9, 2006, 1:54 PM

OP ....given the large readership Franklin apparently has, doesn't it seem odd that a great throng of art world mainstreamners have not poured in here to demonstrate...

No it doesn't seem odd, they just think it's not relevant enough to bother commenting about.

On another topic, some "old style" paintings here in NYC:
Ron Erlich at Stephen Haller Gallery. I saw this show, the paintings are "nice" but not very interesting to me

and Ed Moses at Jacobson Howard. I know Ed from my LA days so I thought I'd give his show a plug, I havn't seen it yet. BTW, JH also had a show of Larry Poons while you (OP) were in town, did you see it? you didn't mention it if you did.



March 9, 2006, 2:09 PM

George, that is precisely what I expected you to say. And it is probably true. But I hope you will accept that "relevance" and "fashion" are synonymous in the current art world. "relevance" just sounds more respectable

Ehrlich's and Moses' paintings are very nice, but neither makes me want to run to the studio. Poons is an artist of enormous talent and accomplishment who is wildly underrated right now. I find his recent work incoherent, however.



March 9, 2006, 2:12 PM

Hey everyone... longtime reader, first-time commenter...

I just wanted to remark, for the record, that I am nothing like Flatboy

Play nice, kids.



March 9, 2006, 2:15 PM

Flatboy will be pleased to hear that, Adolf.

I heard you were living on a chicken farm in Argentina.



March 9, 2006, 2:32 PM

Yes, it's true, but what you probably haven't heard is, I'e taken up painting again! It's so nice to get back to my love of art, having left it behind for so long. I'm drawing too (Franklin, thanks for the great tip about Mt. Vision pastels... I would have commented about it on that thread, but sometimes, the dialogue here is so, well, intimidating... all the nasty and dismissive language... just dreadful!)

Oh and Franklin, sorry about that letter you received from the CAA.... we had a board meeting to decide whether to send it or not, but I got outvoted.



March 9, 2006, 2:47 PM

OP #49 sez But I hope you will accept that "relevance" and "fashion" are synonymous in the current art world

Not as I see it. I'll accept the existence of "fashion" as a characteristic of almost any period style.

What I mean by "relevance" is how the art talks to the current cultural moment. Not just stylistically, but contextually, the world is vastly different than it was 30-40 years ago but at the same time it is also similar.

Artists working today, are not working in a vaccume unless by choice. We know what happened 30, 50, 100 years ago, our precedents and regardless of our own tastes or visions we follow a practice which is an extension of the past. There is no way one can make the 1st abstract painting a la Kandinsky, we already know about it and as a result our vision becomes an extension from a particular reference point.



March 9, 2006, 3:04 PM

I think we need a new corollary to Godwin's Law.



March 9, 2006, 3:42 PM

Well, if we are managing to intimidate Hitler, I guess we are being a little too tough.

George, when you come up with hummers like "how the art talks to the current cultural moment" you leave me behind, for sure.

I am not and never will argue for things staying the same. It is impossible and it will never happen. But we have, in one generation, completely overturned and abandoned the concept of visual esthetics that had been the bedrock of art for hundreds of years. I have nothing against art running off in 10 different directions, but I do have a problem when I have to listen to people rant that painting and the esthetic viewpoint are "so yesterday", outmoded, useless, almost immoral. Stuff came up in modernist art that was never properly developed and should be, and would result in wonderful art oin the hands of talented artists.

Eventually it will all shake out and every inclination will go its own way and have its own audience. At least I hope so. Right now everyone is crammed into the same old gallery/museum system and fighting over that little slice of territory.



March 9, 2006, 4:06 PM

OP re #55 ...but I do have a problem when I have to listen to people rant that painting and the esthetic viewpoint are "so yesterday", outmoded, useless, almost immoral...

Well, Painting is Dead dontcha know?

It's like Emeril says, "I don't know where you get your water but mine doesn't come seasoned" sprinkle sprinkle. While I think there is a contingent that thinks painting is dead, it's just that a contingent of artists promoting a different medium. To the contrary there has been for several years (4-5) a renewed interest in painting, to the point where it's become somewhat academic in it's manifestation. But, painters are continually arguing approaches to the medium, in particular the formal vs content issues. I think there is a concern for "meaning" which is an outgrowth of the MFA mills but this point of view is not taken to the exclusion of the visual, on the contrary it insists on the visual. I do think there are some painters questioning the hegemony of the marketplace by trying to upset the applecart so to speak.

Another recent exhibition of abstract paintings was James Siena James Siena at Pace Wildenstein's
25th street gallery. Most of the paintings were modestly sized and favorably received. An extension of earlier minimalist work like Stella or aborigine painting from Australia. Whatever, they had presence.



March 9, 2006, 4:13 PM

Well, you are right, George, I was overstating, probably. I guess I just see the non-visual approach as very ill-advised.

This does not advance the dialogue any, but, judging from the web pix, I think those Siena paintings are awful.


Marc Country

March 9, 2006, 4:17 PM

To the contrary there has been for several years (4-5) a renewed interest in painting...

Who's interest has been 'renewed? Artists, dealers, collectors, curators? Oldpro, have you noticed your interest in painting being "renewed" during the last 4 or 5 years? Franklin, you? How about you, George? Have any painters out there felt their interest being especially renewed in the last half a decade or so? Or is this just something you read about in art magazines? What if this "renewed interest" starts to wane again? Whatever will the painters do?



March 9, 2006, 4:26 PM

Marc, you obviously don't have a clue.



March 9, 2006, 5:05 PM

George, that response is not very "dialogue advancing".



March 9, 2006, 6:11 PM

OP, yeh you're right, but he is misinformed.



March 9, 2006, 7:16 PM

He may be uninformed, but then so am I, and i keep pretty close tabs on what's happening. I don't think the visual & esthetic ever went away, but I have seen no evidence that it has made some kind of dramatic comeback, either.

Can you give me some kind of example? I mean, outside of the market, which has always favored the purchasable over the perishable.



March 9, 2006, 8:40 PM

You mean #59 really was from George, and not some impostor? I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you! Such dismissive arrogance! Of all the nerve! Poor Marc must be devastated, or at least seriously intimidated. Why, he may become a lurker now, and who knows where that may lead? Commercial partnership with corporate decorators, at least (and not for Fortune 500 companies, either). I mean, the trauma could lead him straight into inflatables--Yes, Jeff Koons retreads (as if the originals weren't bad enough). Really, George, you ought to be ashamed.



March 9, 2006, 8:49 PM

"Most of what 'everybody knows' is wrong." - Batman



March 9, 2006, 9:37 PM

I knew it as "if everyone knows it, it must be wrong", many years ago. I remember, because I liked using it on my father whenever he invoked some wisdom of the ages on me.

I always thought Churchill said it, and this is probably right, because apprently no one knows it.



March 9, 2006, 10:26 PM

George, in regards to the alleged revival of painting you're not thinking of that paintersNYC blog are you? I'm sure you might know a number of that group personally.

I checked the site out a month ago when you plugged it on Some commentors there were indeed insisting that painters painting paintings with paint are the only source for real meaning in life - at least as good as mushrooms or ecstasy. But following the threads through and commenting myself, I realized how little looking anyone was actually doing, whether at the jpegs or the actual paintings. Instead, many (most) were merely invoking cliches like "you've got to see in person" and "go back and look again" as setups or putdowns in a self-aggrandizing game of "which gallery owner is your favourite e-dealer". Who you knew and how many has-been painters you could name were the only commodities I could see being traded on that blog.

The host of paintersNYC obviously tries very hard to give every painter in New York a plug regardless of style or -ism, and as a result uncovers some alright painters. This in itself is some scant scatological sign indicating intent interest in painting, but the head-blogger makes no comments in the posts, and very very few in the threads, so the place becomes a sort of public stall where every visitor can anonymously write the phone number of an enemy artist on the bathroom walls. Talk about unhealthy comment culture.

I wouldn't blame you for not wanting to send anyone back to that site - as exhibitA for your theory that there is renewed interest in painting - in case they read the comments and realized how non-visual that interest was.



March 9, 2006, 11:18 PM

I looked at the painternyc blog for 10 or 15 minutes and saw nothing I would want to see again. If this is the mighty comeback it should just leave again.



March 9, 2006, 11:38 PM


What I said was "To the contrary there has been for several years (4-5) a renewed interest in painting, to the point where it's become somewhat academic in it's manifestation"

As a painter I am sensitive to the climate for painting, is there an interest in painting? or is the interest elsewhere? A few years back, partly helped along by Saatchi, among others, painting came back into visibility. There was a renewed interest. This remark doesn't say painting was renewed or some other such judgement others tried to implicate. Only that people were seriously looking at painting again. Everything has to start somewhere and this was the point. Additionally I feel that the problem is that a lot of painting has become academic, not just OldPro academic, in general academic, as in, it is all cut from the same cloth

FWIW, I wasn't thinking of paintersNYC at all. I don't know, at least I don't think I know, any of the commenters there. Most seen like green artists right out of MFAdom and are still thinking and talking the basic academic line, not very interesting. I comment over there every once in awhile as "Anonymous" mostly one liners. It's good if you are a student and want to get a feel for what's going on. The "dialog" is low level, mostly chat and not usually conducive to extended comments (as you found out)

The selections are made by the blogger, he seems like a nice guy and the choices reflect his taste or interest. I don't think he is trying to "plug" anyone, I think he is very sincere and wants some kind of dialog or maybe just company, who knows.

The comments are usually a waste of time except yesterday, the thread on Zak Smith was fun. I've looked at his illustrations for Gravity's Rainbow, there is a lot of them and I think they are very good, others here might have a different opinion.


a voice

March 10, 2006, 12:05 AM

Thanks OldPro, Jack, and Guy for the invitation. Problem is I don't have that much to say anymore. I would rather just paint.


Marc Country

March 10, 2006, 1:30 AM

I'm misinformed? I wasn't even stating an opinion George... I was merely looking for some clarification to your previous point.... geez, touchy!

Obviously I don't have a clue, George... that's why I asked the question in my post #58... I take it from your post #59, unfortunately, that you don't have one either.

Somehow, a "renewed interest" is to be understood as some disembodied phenomenon, apart from someone experiencing that interest... oh, no wait, there it is, at the Saatchi Gallery... Finally, says George, "painting came back into visibility"... Uh, I hate to ask, but Whose Visibility?... I'm just afraid that I can already guess the answer... something to do with "The Hunt"...

Poor George, out there, dazed, in the Big Apple... someone farts next door, and he feels the Winds of Change...



March 10, 2006, 3:31 AM

#52 - lets have a sledgehammer fight - I'll even let you swing first...



March 10, 2006, 9:26 AM

RE#70 I know you are trying to sound smart but unfortunately you can tend to make assumptions not supported very well by the facts. At best it makes you appear bitter, at worst, like a barnyard animal.

Yes, I live in NYC which allows me to see a lot of artworks first hand, it's a plus. I don't read art magazines but I do use the web to get an idea of what is going on with art world wide. True, most of the work has been filtered through the commercial gallery screening process but any artist, anywhere in the world (Hans is a great example) can keep fairly well in touch with the current state of affairs in a way which wasn't possible 5-6 years ago.

I look because I am interested in what other artists are doing and to the extent I have time to comment here, I try to share ideas which might be of interest to other readers. Of course I don't expect everyone to agree with me, artist are constantly in disagreement. I think it is pathetic to suggest that because I attempt to offer another, often contrary viewpoint, that I am allowing my own practice to be influenced the whims of the marketplace.

I'm sorry if you were offended by my suggestion that you are misinformed.



March 10, 2006, 11:52 AM

George, I must protest your dismissive and intimidating use of invective. "Barnyard animal," indeed. Just because we're not as prim and proper as some blogs doesn't mean you can stoop so low. It's bound to shock those sensitive visitors who are used to more advanced dialogue. I'm sure OP agrees with me; he's probably too stunned to say anything.


Marc Country

March 10, 2006, 12:01 PM

George, you're making very little sense.

My comment #58, which you have very weirdly had such a bad reaction to, doesn't present ANY OPINION for you to judge as informed, misinformed, or otherwise. It is completely comprised of questions, posed to you, seeking to clarify your previous (and continuing) statements. Go ahead... re-read it... notice all those question marks after the sentences???
I don't care if you think I'm misinformed, or bitter, or animal-like. Your opinion of me is irrelevant. Your characterization of me as "misinformed" was not offensive... it just didn't make any sense.

"I know you are trying to sound smart but unfortunately you can tend to make assumptions not supported very well by the facts."
Does this sort of talk work in the schoolyard back home? Well, I'm rubber and you're glue...



March 10, 2006, 3:04 PM

Jack, I am stunned, stunned, I tell you.

In my circle of hell our punishment is to follow, snow shovels in hand, a large herd of diarrhetic bulls.I had no idea Marc was part of that herd.

George has done us a service. But what a letdown. For shame, Marc.


Marc Country

March 12, 2006, 1:55 AM




March 12, 2006, 5:14 PM


oh, and um..

me too.



March 12, 2006, 5:47 PM

Jakeebs, you too what? On the panel?



March 14, 2006, 7:47 AM

just a general agreement, and count me in kind of "me too"

i will not be on the panel, but would like to know what transpires and, i think one the best things about this(blog) is that i could comment on it after the fact, we dont actually have to share the cup of coffee at that moment.

say hi to bs11 and pr07, (my prefered pcs in the mdpl)



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