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Post #777 • April 18, 2006, 8:08 AM • 43 Comments

Interesting (good) developments regarding the sale of my house may have bumped up my date of departure from Miami. Consequently, I must address moving, and all that it entails, immediately. For instance, I need to go find a place to live.

While I don't want to put on hold completely, I think we should expect that it will publish on Mondays only for the next few weeks. Full operations will return May 15. Comments will remain open. In the meantime, in addition to relocating, this will give me time to bone up on my Python chops, which will have happy implications for under the hood. I also bought a bad-ass three-button mouse and plan to take another crack at Blender, which will be nice because I can make art without creating a new object to move/store/give away, and because SIGGRAPH is in Boston this year.

I also want to mention that I have moments, no, stretches, when my self-critical function redlines, causing me to doubt pretty much everything I'm doing. It's no problem, just an unpleasant part of the creative process. The next time it happens, I'm going to comfort myself with this. Thank you, J.T.

Talk at you Monday.



J.T. Kirkland

April 18, 2006, 8:46 AM


Good luck with everything you have going on. It'll all be worth it, I'm sure.



April 18, 2006, 9:23 AM

I need to go find a place to live.

Any new thoughts on where you're looking at?



April 18, 2006, 9:42 AM

We're increasingly settling on Boston as the place to land temporarily - we can afford to rent if not buy, and being in the city proper or nearby will make it easier to get into the mix of things. After renting for a spell, I'm looking further afield to buy. People keep raving about Portsmouth NH to me. Providence has a bit of a network already in place. There are a ton of other little places around too, and I'm going to check them out one by one while I rent over the next 6 - 12 months.

I'll definitely be coming in to DC, too. I'll drop you a line.



April 18, 2006, 9:44 AM

Shit - saw JL, read JT. You'll be getting a visit even sooner, JL.


J.T. Kirkland

April 18, 2006, 9:54 AM

Fine... I'll take JL's sloppy seconds.



April 18, 2006, 10:17 AM

People keep raving about Portsmouth NH to me.

I hear good things about Portsmouth as well, though strangely I've never been there. Being on the coast probably mitigates the hellishness of winter that far north. Easy driving distance to both Boston and Portland doesn't sound bad, and the North Shore would be even closer. Providence is good, too, of course. Whatever you do, don't get too settled into renting. Strickly for suckas. Like me.

On the computer front, don't forget that the Boston Cyberarts Festival will be coming around again--hm, in 2007. I thought it was happening this year. Oh well.



April 18, 2006, 10:25 AM

As a follow-up to my comments on the Ukiyo-e thread concerning the Kenny Scharf show at Kevin Bruk's, go here and have a look at the centerpiece of the show:

A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.

P.S. Don't expect a life-altering experience.



April 18, 2006, 11:11 AM

Well, while I could certainly visualize the Scharfmobile parked at the Rubell Collection, I suppose it's not frightening enough, or rather, not frightening for the right reasons. Of course, the fact that anyone ostensibly serious about art would take this brazenly stupid joke, I mean masterpiece, seriously is pretty frightening to me--but I'm out of touch, as George would certainly contend.

If this kindergarten wet dream is substantially any different from the schlock Britto cranks out, for the life of me I don't see it. It really sucks when you're just not advanced enough, or so I'm told.



April 18, 2006, 12:06 PM

Who told you that, Jack?

Movin' on: I think the Scharf show was interesting in that it shows that he was one of the precursors to a lot of the accumulative, deco-mishmash aesthetic currently on the move. I imagine him responding to a lot of the recent shows with this work at the KB gallery and a sassy "Oh, yeah? Check this out!".


Marc Country

April 18, 2006, 12:34 PM

Being on the coast probably mitigates the hellishness of winter that far north.

... and after you've toughened up there for a while, maybe you can come visit ahab and I... don't forget the dogsled (Kenny's Caddy's fancy, sure, but if you're stranded, can you eat it?).

Silly Jack, don't you know that making bad art isn't a problem, as long as you can say you were one of the first to do it in your particular fashion? Of course you don't, you're not with it.



April 18, 2006, 1:13 PM

I know, Marc; I'm resigned to being out-of-it. It could be worse, though; I could be with-it enough to genuinely find Scharf's laughable nonsense interesting, or at least call it so with a straight face. But you're right: being a precursor to reams of ghastly dreck is no doubt an accomplishment by current standards. If nothing else, it's so, you know, reassuring, not to mention validating to so many people who follow such leads.

Lest I seem too deviant, I confess I once tried to be PC, but the heartburn was so bad I was becoming an antacid junkie. I also applied for a diplomatic job at one point, but the HR people involved were laughing so hard it kinda freaked me out. I figured it probably wasn't right for me, after all.



April 18, 2006, 2:11 PM

OK, I feel bad now. I apologize. I should have resisted the urge to go after Scharf. His stuff is way too easy a target. I suspect even the "in" people snicker at it, however furtively (except, of course, the ones who've paid serious bucks for it, who can't afford such honesty). I shall try to elevate my sights to more formidable sacred cows. I expect they bleed better.


John Sanchez

April 19, 2006, 2:09 AM

Thank you Franklin and thank you J.T.



April 20, 2006, 7:00 AM

In the interest of semihiatus-level content provision, allow me to direct your attention here. This has been a psychologically gratifying week for your author.



April 20, 2006, 10:00 AM

You're keeping us on a very slow drip here Franklin. Have you developed the patch yet?



April 20, 2006, 11:07 AM

Yeah, sorry. This apartment hunting stuff is time-consuming, though, so I'm glad the hiatus is on. Here's something: read the recent Ken Johnson review of Andrew Wyeth; count the ways in which the author blows it.



April 20, 2006, 1:00 PM

A dumb, meandering review. Mr Johnson reports the astonishing fact that Wyeth is a rich guy but misses the obvious ironic comparison of the airplane picture to "Christina's World".



April 20, 2006, 2:19 PM

This link's for Jack:

The caddy.



April 20, 2006, 3:22 PM

Thanks, KH, but seeing the thing myself was more than enough. I certainly don't need anyone's description or commentary on it, which is a waste of print space. It's like going on and on about a painting of dogs playing poker. It's a joke, all right, and a mighty stupid one, no matter how much sociopolitical spin somebody concocts for it. As always, when a piece of presumably visual art fails me visually (and this fails miserably), the game is over. No amount of talk or text will make me buy it.



April 20, 2006, 3:55 PM

This link;s for Jack, too

The dogs



April 20, 2006, 6:05 PM

Ooo! Jack. You should totally buy that caddy and drive it around town. While you're at it, get one of those droopy dogs and put a banker's visor on it at a rakish angle. The dog should be in the passenger seat with its head hanging out of the window for maximum effect. Maybe you could sport a Britto t-shirt too. Wegman could photograph the whole thing.

I'd buy that photo!



April 21, 2006, 12:30 PM

From the NYTimes:

"A show by Mr. Youngerman's slightly older near-contemporary, Jules Olitski, 84, at Paul Kasmin is, technically, a midcareer event, with work from the 1970's. As one of the art critic Clement Greenberg's pet Color Field artists, Mr. Olitski gained wide exposure with spray-painted abstraction in the 1960's. In the following decade, he changed styles, beefing up his surfaces with slathered-on paint the color of ghee and molasses, and turned his hand to sculptures that looked like Serra's "Torqued Ellipses" in the bud. Mr. Olitski was in his 50's at the time. He had done a lot; he would do a lot more. It was a vital moment."

Link here:



April 21, 2006, 1:35 PM



April 21, 2006, 2:26 PM

At least the critic knew what clarified yak butter looks like, a fact well beyond the educational level of most of them.


Andy Verol

April 21, 2006, 6:58 PM

[Oh. It's an ad. - F.]


Marc Country

April 22, 2006, 1:43 AM

I guess you could say Olitski's a "ghee wiz"...


canadians harbour terrorists

April 22, 2006, 3:50 AM

Culturally, our identity and society has been 'mal' - our tax dollars are paying for mystified Art objects that have little or no relevance to us in this ever-changing world. This is not how working citizens and tax payers here think that it should be and how our money should be spent on Art. How are some American made Art things going to make our lives better? By telling us about American idealism?
Lets clean out our museums - gone should be the shit that tells us not of our own bilingualism, independence and integrity. I pay tax so that museums here harbour mystified U.S. banality? This American stuff filling our museums here is propagandistic. For us it seems as 'bien mal acquis ne profite jamais'. Ill is American Art in our faces.



April 22, 2006, 7:58 AM

Is #25 an ad?

CHT, you've hit on one of the annoying problems of state-supported culture - that the state will use your money to invest in culture that you don't believe in. Even apart from the possibly pernicious influence of the American art world on Canada, institutions have made proportionately bad calls about art as the art world has become more pluralistic. The pluralism isn't a problem, but the bad calls are. I addressed this in an essay called Academy, Marketplace, and the End of Institutionalized Taste, which may interest you. (As a side note, the Goldman mentioned in the essay decided to make his space a downtown branch of the Miami MoCA, and seems to have relinquished input into the exhibition programming.



April 22, 2006, 9:12 AM

I hear that being a "ghee whiz" gets you "mo lasses", Marc.

Franklin, your essay is excellent but I think it will be pretty much lost on CHT, who evidently sees art as a political vehicle



April 22, 2006, 10:25 AM

I think he may be objecting to art as political vehicle. Maybe he can clarify.



April 22, 2006, 12:30 PM

#25 is points to a kind of Celine-esque (not Dion, but Louis-Ferdinand) screedy site which refers to women in an especially crass way. Some racist words are used as well, and the overall tone is incendiary and violent.

Yeah, it's an ad. The writer wants some attention.



April 22, 2006, 12:30 PM

i am new to art blog. i was wondering if anyone had advice about how i stay up on art events in miami. i try the newspaper but i was wondering if there is a better way. sorry to intrude on your forum. thank you!



April 22, 2006, 2:35 PM

Went to the juried Student Art Show at the Lowe. Of course, given what one gets at the typical BFA or MFA show, not to mention the typical show at a major gallery, I didn't expect much. My favorite pieces were a couple of small collages by Jamie Tao, vaguely reminiscent of Ukiyo-e work, only more abstract, with lovely delicate coloring and subtle patterns. There was a nice pale green ceramic bowl by Alicia Sumner, and an interesting linocut by Karl Jiang (Moment in the Clouds). I also liked an AbEx-meets-Jasper Johns silk screen by Petrina Folsom (which could have been mounted rather more effectively). The rest, or some of it, had its moments but didn't hold my eye as much.



April 22, 2006, 3:17 PM

Many excellent pieces were not included, Jack, which is often the case with an externally juried student show.

There will be a "salong des refuses" at the CAS Gallery on campus with a closing reception on the 28th. I am not sure if the mechanics of the show automatically include all the rejects but it will be an interesting comparison.



April 22, 2006, 3:21 PM

"Salong" is an obscure Southeast Asian language. I meant "Salon", of course.


Marc Country

April 23, 2006, 11:49 AM

Mistakes happen, Oldpro... I was just scanning the comments, and when I saw your bit about "the mechanics of the show..." I thought maybe you all were still going on about the Scharfmobile.



April 23, 2006, 1:22 PM

Yes, I understand his mechanics are all tattooed in color.



April 25, 2006, 6:58 PM

A new show opens at MAM this week devoted exclusively to Miami artists, the first such show there since 2001. It appears to be a high-concept enterprise, which no doubt relates to who's in it and who's not. In other words, the decisive factor seems to be that the work fit into the curator's (Lori Mertes) concept ("Miami in Transition"), not necessarily the level of quality of the work as such apart from conceptual considerations. We'll see.

The artists included are:

Daniel Arsham, Natalia Benedetti, Vicenta Casañ, Xavier Cortada, Patricio Cuello, Andrés Ferrandis, Mark Handforth, William Keddell, Leila Leder-Kremer, Nicolas Lobo, Michael Loveland, Glexis Novoa, Martin Oppel, Placemaker, Tao Rey, Leyden Rodríguez-Casanova, George Sánchez-Calderon, Tina Spiro, Ivan Toth DePeña, Thomas Brian Virgin, and Purvis Young.

I may check it out this weekend, assuming I can find street parking (I'm not paying the county $5 again to use its garage to go to MAM). If so, I plan to report in more detail. Protective clothing may be in order.


Mark Gottsegen

April 27, 2006, 3:03 AM

I don't think this will make you happy, Franklin, but maybe you'll allow it anyway -- it advances the conversation ...

In reference to posts 16 and 17 about the NYTimes review of a Wyeth show in Philly: Johnson's writing is laugh-out-loud funny, and right on point. Nonetheless, he at least credits Wyeth with sticking to his guns and going his own way. I suppose Mr. W. can afford to.

However. I have it first hand that in spite of Johnson's claims for Wyeth's exquisite technique that the entire modern Wyeth family's ouevre needs constant attention from conservators (AW's father was a good technician). I know the conservator, and I've seen some awful examples of shoddy technique using inferior materials. So much for role models.


Mark Gottsegen

April 27, 2006, 3:05 AM

Speaking of incompetence, I got my own URL wrong in that last post. D-oh!



April 27, 2006, 7:49 AM

"Make Franklin happy" simply refers to making sure that we're enjoying the functionality of, and not, say, making me go in and clean up bad HTML and crap like that. Disagree away.

The Johnson piece was a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose review. He comes down on AW for his lack of populist sentiment and authenticity in the older works, but when AW paints the view out of the airplane, it's supposed to be a damning admission about this family's wealth. I don't buy it. That's a bummer to hear about his craftsmanship - I thought egg temperas tend to fail immediately if they're going to fail at all.



April 27, 2006, 9:26 AM

I found nothing to "laugh out loud" about in the review, Mark. It was the usual half-baked discussion of subject matter, by which most observers praise or damn Wyeth. And, as I noted above, he did not even note the obvious ironic parallels of the airplane picture to "Christina's World".

It takes a real eye to be able to see that Wyeth's "exquisite technique" adds up tp paintings which are very weak esthetically. This is why it is seldom discussed.



April 30, 2006, 10:26 PM

[Speaking of adult dating, do you have any idea how little comment spammers get? Pasty, pimply diminuitive specimens of humanity, every one.]



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