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Post #760 • March 24, 2006, 6:55 AM • 30 Comments

"I have had art critics say to me, 'What you are talking about is what we feel when we look at a painting.' I don't know where the dialogue goes from there. If we leave that aside, for me there is absolutely nothing left. I am not interested in what I can elaborate afterwards, if the first impulse is not one that is emotional. It's impossible. So, yes, I'm very uninterested in looking at that. As a way, also, of saying this belongs to us all. This is how we used to look at art and this is how we have the right to look at art again - I like it, I don't like. That's where we start." Alberto Manguel, interviewed by Robert Birnbaum for The Morning News.

We could really do something with the tech behind this: "In my case about 400 pictures were uploaded. I was presented with a view of facial thumbnails of everyone in my photos. Riya asks that you begin to educate it by telling it who the people are... it then very quickly starts to auto-tag pictures with a surprising level of accuracy. Riya also recognizes text in photos, and lets you select any area of a photo and tag that as well. For instance, you could select just the Eiffel Tower in a photo and tag it as such. Within moments, everything of importance in all of my photos was tagged. And more importantly, it was searchable." (Kottke)

"It is my conviction that art has nothing to do with politics or dissent." Max Liebermann, reviewed by Grace Guleck.

Jing Ying Hua paints a panda on a single strand of hair. (Reddit)

"Any love you can send our way would greatly be appreciated. We'll even take hate. But if you just ignore us, we'll stalk you. Thanks, Franklin!" So said the e-mail from Calling Marcel, "where artists, writers and performers go for the information they need to get ahead." Or, well, one place they could go. If they need information. About, like, stuff you can apply for, not how to make art or anything. Seriously, the site is handsome and looks useful. There's a joke in here somewhere: what happens when you call Marcel?

Kinetic sculpture blames you for crimes against society. Personally, I don't take that kind of shit from art, but the backstory is interesting. (Digg)

"'Well that was a complete waste of money,' I heard one elderly Geordie complain to another, walking out of a conceptual art exhibition for which admission was free..." James Delingpole for the UK Times. (AJ)

Gurdy Leete, art professor, switches his classes over to Linux (Ubuntu distro) and GNU software. Freedom reigns, thousands of dollars are saved. (Reddit)

Rene Barge has a new website. Rene, what's up with that domain name?

Department of Skills: The careful arrangement of one's desktop image can create interesting effects. (Reddit) Also, time to start working on those push-ups again.

Tonight at the Gables Books & Books, 8 PM, Alfredo Triff will present his collection of essays from the New Times. Fred Snitzer and MAM curator Lorie Mertes will be in attendance. They will dance. Or something.




March 24, 2006, 10:00 AM

Re the Books & Books event, Mertes and Snitzer will not just be in attendance; they are part of the talk, as in a panel. It's Triff's book, so if he were speaking on his own, for and by himself, as a presumably independent observer with no institutional or commercial agenda, that would be fine. However, the inclusion of a museum person and an art dealer does not sit well with me. If they want to hold forth, let them write their own books. Whether this was Triff's idea or the bookstore's, it was poor judgment. In my opinion, it compromises the proceedings.

That's why I suggested earlier, in connection with the proposed art blogging symposium, to keep everybody but the bloggers out of the panel. I'm not interested in any form of PR from anybody not essential to the matter at hand, nor am I interested in how the establishment sees the Miami art scene, let alone how it sees itself. I can figure that out on my own, and I don't buy it.



March 24, 2006, 11:04 AM

Oh no! I'm going to miss it!

I'm going to a Heat game tonight. Anyway, seeing Wade play is more exciting and inspiring than the trio at Books & Books. Go Heat!



March 24, 2006, 5:11 PM

Jack, I can see your point and understand it. It was my call. 1- It's my book, 2- my tenure at the NT is over, and 3- both Fred and Lorie are personal friends. Some essays in that book are very critical of both MAM and Snitzer's exhibitions. But no matter what I say, you may still not be persuaded. We have to learn to live -as Paul Ricoeur says -"in an era of relentless suspicion."



March 24, 2006, 10:57 PM

Sorry AT for coming in late but what I caught of the talk seemed to be interesting. I am seriously curious about the content in the question that I had; why is their not any co-hesion between the Wynwood galleries. Is this attributed to why many artists figure this town out and then leave? I appreciate your insight but am sad to see some friends go. This is a story that I've heard for over ten years that I've been here. This town will be full of retirees and kids - or those who will attend shows and those who will get their first shows.
Fuck this...



March 24, 2006, 11:08 PM

Went to Books & Books. Triff would have been better off to go it alone. Mertes and Snitzer diluted things too much. A single, focused voice and opinion would have been more interesting and would have made more of an impression, as opposed to a bland, vague blend. Turnout was good, but I didn't see any of the high-profile big collector types, for what that's worth. The book is paperback and sells for about $20.



March 25, 2006, 12:22 AM

I have many condos on Byscayne Blvd. avail. for rent - ( I'm looking out for my wife and myself from now on as this is what I've learned to do here; I used to be a Marxist thinker but... ) I'm waiting to here something from 'Reedy' ( which won't happen) and 'That Guy in the Back Row' ( which possible will).



March 25, 2006, 12:25 AM

Jordan & Jack, thanks for coming. I had a good time.


lowly student

March 25, 2006, 1:46 AM

wow, are we really that bad? you and franklin are two of the best faculty at our school. Who wouldnt appreciate what you, franklin, mary,(and a rare few others) have done for us? I know I personally have expressed gratitude for everything you have helped me with, and, Im sorry but gratitude is all I have to offer back right now.
Im sure theres more to you wanting to leave than just us ungrateful students. I guess I understand, Im just sorry that were part of the cause.
So now you've got one foot outta miami, franklins BEEN gone....
Class is really gonna be a drag.It's bad enough the bulk of my classmates are unpassionate, stupid, fashion-driven teenyboppers. But for you teachers who are giving up on us (your not the only one, jordan, i notice it in a few more of the vis arts faculty, too), it's really disappointing.
now i can look forward to spending my $3000 a quarter bieng shat on till I graduate.



March 25, 2006, 7:32 AM

And I apologize for not making it. I had planned to attend, but movement finally happened on the house, and duty called.

Lowly, I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss teaching in general and you guys in particular. (Right now in the studio I'm working up images of students drawing at easels.) Students at the school have been getting noticiably better every quarter, and we now have some rockstars. My resignation has nothing to do with you and everything to do with my personal and professional situation - the iron is hot in several respects, and I'm striking it. As for you, you have some great faculty down there who believe in you. Throw yourself into your art and they will help you both developmentally and materially. No pooping upon you will come to pass. Jordan will get over the disaster from a couple of weeks ago, but definitely don't take him for granted. Work your buns off, take your art seriously, be a pro about it, and you'll find that your teachers won't be able to stop themselves from assisting you in any way they can. They're like that.

So am I. I will never stop being your teacher. Feel free to e-mail me with any concerns or requests for feedback, such as I can give it remotely. You find yourself up around the northeast, drop me a line. Your homework is to have a show up there. You get an extra point if I review it.


lowly student

March 25, 2006, 9:59 AM

thanks, Franklin. Really gonna miss you.

Jordan is not happy with us, and he's one of the best, involved, passionate teachers we have at our school. I guess I cant help but take his attitude (at the moment) personally. I hate to be seen as ungrateful.

But your right, Franklin. My work will prove im not like that. It has so far (to some of the faculty at least). So, I'll just calm down, for now. Thank you again, franklin, for your advice.

and jordan, for what its worth, thank you for all you've done for me. i cant speak on behalf of the rest of my fellow classmates, but i do appreciate it.


caveman incorporated

March 25, 2006, 10:55 AM

MIU will not shine as bright without Franklin...he is an incredible teacher.
As far as know who loves you...shine on J.



March 25, 2006, 2:25 PM

Wait a minute here - my comments have nothing to do with my MIU situation - which keeps my life exciting. I am concerned about opportunities for my student friends in the future. I came to Miami despite warnings from my teachers that "there is nothing going on there". I had decided that it was best for me spiritually to try to help 'build' an art community here - I am an idealist that wonders what to do next all of the time. I am greatfull for having help from Dorsch, Leonard Tachmes Franklin, and Alfredo Triff regarding my own art career. Yes I would like the MIU students to do well - as the New World students seem to. Fred Snitzer is brilliant at helping his student artists and he is a roll model for me as a teacher. (However I secretly would like to be selling my work all of the time...) My comments were based on frustration regarding the art galleries and Musems in town - for example Leonard Tachmes is not considered to be part of Wynwood becase his gallery is a block away apparently, thus he isn't allowed to be on the map. People tend not to evaluate the quality, content and excecution of artwork as much as they evaluate the artists personallity, look, style, age, and other social/psychological issues outside of the artwork. I never thought that looking like an artist was just as important as making strong art; drawings, video, sound or whatever. I've recently spoke to a local developer who supports local artists and he mentioned that he was uninvited to Wynwood meetings despite the fact that has many great ideas about nurturing local artist sucesses, creating a solid confident collector base here, and offering exhibition opportunities.
Perhapes I should just say/write nothing, but then my mind may just eat itself and the current path of my artwork would suffer.
Everyone here should buy Triffs book if they care about this art community - whether they like it or not, agree or disagree, it is a much needed document of recent years in this town.



March 25, 2006, 4:42 PM

Thank you, Lowly and Caveman. Keep making art - our paths will cross again.



March 25, 2006, 5:49 PM

Jordan, maybe I'm hypersensitive about any hint of a guilt trip, but no matter how appropriate or useful Triff's book may be, people can decide for themselves whether or not to buy it.

I had the same response to a comment last night by MAM's Lorie Mertes to the effect that people should support the local art scene by, among other things, getting museum memberships. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. I felt like saying, "Lady, either you're just spouting the party line, which is predictable enough, or you simply don't know Jack." I don't give my support just because it's wanted; I give it if I feel it's deserved, and I'm not exactly a pushover. As in, get a clue.



March 25, 2006, 5:58 PM




March 25, 2006, 6:01 PM

I guess you would call that your latest period, right George?



March 25, 2006, 6:02 PM




March 25, 2006, 6:23 PM

You mean clarification Jack.


that guy

March 26, 2006, 12:34 AM

Jordan, I haven't really felt the need to write about the grand "Books and Books" symposium.

But since you asked, I'm pretty much with Jack. It was a couple of insiders telling their story from their perspective. I congratulate Triff on his book, but don't share your enthusiasm for it being an accurate portrayal of the "Miami art explosion", which I think is the title of his collected "New Times" essays, compiled in book form. (Canadians and non-floridians should equate the "New Times" with your local free street mag with lots of ads for call girls on the back pages)

I did enjoy seeing Fred Snitzer and Lorie Mertes squirm about, worried about the future of the arts down here. It validated for me what I've seen coming for years. That the little shit tower they've created for themselves is starting to dry out and large cracks are forming beneath their feet. If these people would ever read a bit of history they might have planned accordingly.

I asked them if they thought it might be a bit hypocritical to ask the public to support all the art-schools and all the art museums in Miami when they hand select only a few shooting stars to showcase, while 99% of the students end up holding the short end of the stick. Their response that most of them become designers rang a bit hollow and bordered on pitiful.

I also thought it was ironic that they write off most of the residents of Miami for not being supportive of the arts, when most of the art they do hand select for museum shows is lacking any cultural or aesthetic weight. "Umm, why can't we get the public to at least visit our poop collection? We've kept this show open for nine months, they must have heard about how wonderful our turds look when you turn the AC on and keep the humidity just right? We've even hired professionals to make sure a spot light was on each little dropping. I'll call my friends and see if they have any answers."

Who are these numskulls? I'm convinced now more than ever a lot of these people must live in a Bush like bubble, but without all the flags.

Triff just looked on and flailed about enthusiastically like he hadn't got the memo. Lets give him a break, this was your day. Congrats Alfredo, may your words forever be read and deciphered and reread for clarification.


jack it

March 26, 2006, 5:28 AM

O.K. - squirm, call girls, shooting, end of the stick, poop, Bush,etc. I'm gonna jack it until I...



March 26, 2006, 9:05 AM

Guy, when you say that they worry about the future of art in Miami, what specifically are they worried about? I'm surprised to hear them express the sentiment.


that guy

March 26, 2006, 12:16 PM

The MAM crowd seems genuinely concerned about attendance numbers. For all their recruitment efforts and PR they really don't have a leg to stand on.

Snitzer's is most concerned about the fallout that is bound to happen when the Basal circus leaves town for greener "more hard hitting" art pastures. He realizes that the Miami art scene is viewed as the proverbial red headed stepchild in the global art market, and worries that finding the next profitable big thing might not be so easy to spot now that all the cheep real estate is bought up. As far as I could deduce from his demeanor and attitude he appeared ready to pull the rip cord and start looking for that next big thing himself. It wouldn't at all surprise me if he left Miami while the getting is good. His allegiance is to the green back and not to the artists he says he supports.



March 26, 2006, 12:31 PM

I didn't get the sense that Mertes and Snitzer were particularly worried.

Snitzer said something about the hurricane situation being a potential problem for the Basel fair, and he complained that out-of-towners are apparently more interested in Miami artists than locals are, but he also said he's doing a lot more business now than 5 years ago. He no doubt said other things which now escape me, but he's not exactly a riveting speaker (which of course is not his job).

Mertes more or less congratulated the audience, and by extension the people of Miami, for investing in the future, or something like that, by passing the notorious (to me) Bond Issue #8 to pay for Museum Park and the new MAM facility. She did not mention that the wording on the ballot, which is all that most voters knew about that bond issue, most curiously said nothing about Museum Park or a new MAM, but did talk about things like Head Start programs for kids and similar warm-and-fuzzy items. She also said nothing about the dubious behind-the-scenes maneuvers to get the bond issue passed, detailed after the fact in a long New Times article. And, of course, she said nothing about things like MAM's paltry permanent collection and very undistinguished (to me) track record, and how that squares (if at all) with getting major big bucks for a new museum. Let's just say I did not find her exactly, uh, persuasive.



March 26, 2006, 12:56 PM

It may be relevant that Guy was sitting in front at the talk, very close to the speakers, while I was at a prudential distance at the periphery. He was probably paying closer attention than I was, at least as the event went on. I certainly wasn't scrutinizing body language, facial tics or what have you. I was there like a kid who's been assigned to watch something for school.


that guy

March 26, 2006, 1:32 PM

Yeah, I was that guy in the front row Friday night. Maybe thats why they were squirming about.



March 26, 2006, 3:18 PM

Jack and That guy, do you recall what was the commentary on Kendall was about ?


that guy

March 26, 2006, 3:41 PM

yeah, it was kind of funny. Fred said that an art scene couldn't form in Kendall. Depending on your definition of an art scene, I thought the comment was off the mark. If your notion of an art scene is getting 3 rich families together to buy warehouses to store their art, you might be right. If you want a fertile area to market and sell good quality work you'd be wrong. A large portion of my sales are to Kendall residents and their friends tell their friends and the cycle goes on. He's after the art super market, I'm after the mom and pop shop.



March 26, 2006, 9:41 PM

I'm almost glad I wasn't there, even though I wanted to go, I've been a little under the weather, medication and all...I think I might have ended up making a fool of myself.

Why would Snitzer see anything wrong with the art "scene", what changes would he want , he's rockin and rollin', isn't he?

It's a shame the collectors that buy the work from the Snizter Gallery can't trust their own instincts.



March 27, 2006, 2:55 PM

Franklin, what happened to your Muniz show review?



March 27, 2006, 4:27 PM

It appears next week in the SunPost.



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