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And with that

Post #786 • May 9, 2006, 8:11 AM • 62 Comments

I'm gone like your wisdom teeth. Thank you, Miami, for everything. You people take care of yourselves. There's something strangely poigniant and appropriate about writing my last Miami post while sitting on the pavement, using the wireless seeping through the locked doors of the local library. Miami never stops being a tabula rasa, awaiting the next exploit. It's part of its charm.

If you think of it over the next couple of days, hoist a colada northward. I'll be saluting you southward, with a plain cuppa joe, from a Greek diner around the corner from my new digs. (The diner looks like it's been around for a while. Up on the wall, they have an autographed photo of Pythagoras.)

Next:, The Boston Years. Starts Friday, same time, same channel.




May 9, 2006, 9:08 AM




May 9, 2006, 10:11 AM

I will give you the benefit of the doubt, dArren, and assume that the typo is a word pun.



May 9, 2006, 12:39 PM

Best wishes to you guys!! Have a safe trip, and eat a spanakopita for me along with that plain cup of coffee...Although since we can keep up with you through artblog, it's almost like you're not actually leaving. I hope you and Boston are good for each other.


Marc Country

May 9, 2006, 1:57 PM

Wisdom teeth are basically useless, often hurt, and nobody misses them once they're gone.

I think you might have been more like the 'eyeteeth' of Miami, Franklin.


Godless Roach

May 9, 2006, 2:33 PM

Have a good voyage. I'll be up there one day and phone you.



May 9, 2006, 4:41 PM

Good luck. Keep in touch.



May 10, 2006, 2:45 AM

Man, I've been such a fan. You offered such well considered and intelligent takes on art and "the art scene". And I loved your writing. Miami's got a little dumber. Hate to see you go but totally understand. I did the same. Hope you also continue to keep a foot in Miami and it draws you back as it hopefully develops (in so many ways it needs to). I'll google you every now and then to see what you're up to.
A Fan/Miamista/John


Marc Country

May 10, 2006, 12:28 PM

Maybe 'Boston Franklin' will post on this story:

Brandeis University Takes Down Palestinian Youth Art Exhibit Mounted by Israeli Jewish Student

... bound to stir up some heated debate!


Mark Gottsegen

May 11, 2006, 3:08 AM

Franklin -- If you think Miami is provincial, wait'll you look around the Boston scene! I was first there more than 30 years ago and even then the local art moguls where whining about Boston not being NYC.

However, screw that. Look up Richard Raiselis at Boston University -- great guy, good painter.




May 11, 2006, 10:12 AM

Drive-by Best Wishes



May 11, 2006, 12:36 PM

Who’s going to critic the shows in Miami now? I always enjoyed your reviews. They were the most sincere and truthful in town.
Anyway, I wish you the best …great move!



May 11, 2006, 5:32 PM

Just heard that you moved :o(
I wish all the best.
Don't be a stranger see you @ ARTMIAMI (just kidding)
Keep on painting :o)



May 12, 2006, 7:31 AM

Well it's early morning Franklin and I got up because I have a sleeping problem - early mid-life stuff so I've been told. I've been thinking a lot about skipping town, however I'm not about to yet.
I like the flowers here, and I have done the 'up north' winter cabbage thing.
I can't have a baby, so I'm a bit sour, and have been for some time.
My home has gone up; yet I'm not concerned with real estate.
I'm still painting though - every day.
Some students I know think that their 'gonna make it', (whatever that means), while others yearn to have recognition.
I'm musing over a contemplative change.
Perhapes I'm going to start an unaccredited school...
But I'm intimidated by Bert's supperior genius so I think that I might join a 'cell' instead.



May 12, 2006, 7:38 AM

hibiscus for cabbage ?



May 12, 2006, 9:06 AM

Hibiscus tea is delicious, Jordan!



May 12, 2006, 2:55 PM

So, Franklin, is that "Friday" as in 11:59 PM, or "Friday" as in a few minutes from now?

I'm trying very hard to be patient and not refresh all day.



May 12, 2006, 3:07 PM

Hernan Bas beats the high estimate by 50% in the latest ART SWEEPSTAKES held at Phillips de Pury. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.




May 12, 2006, 4:26 PM

Going by the linked image, this Bas piece is mediocre even for him. The word negligible comes to mind. Still, I expect that's one more major collector off the waiting list and happily set with his or her little trendy trophy. There's probably some survival advantage to being so easily satisfied, I suppose, but there's gotta be a more fiscally responsible way of accomplishing that.



May 12, 2006, 4:45 PM

All the world's a jpeg.

I finally saw a bunch of HB's smaller paintings here in NYC, they looked good to me, but then what do I know I'm a painter not a critic.


Marc Country

May 12, 2006, 5:11 PM

Come on, George, you're just being modest... As your many comments can attest to, it seems you're at least as much a critic as you are a painter....



May 12, 2006, 6:01 PM

they looked good to me, but then what do I know I'm a painter not a critic

George, someone like Britto could make the exact same statement and even genuinely mean it. Need I tell you how much weight it would carry with me? I didn't think so.



May 12, 2006, 6:13 PM


I am neither modest nor a critic. I know what I like but that doesn't make me a critic.

I also know how hard it is to make art, art of any kind, so I tend to be more forgiving open minded about what I see. I didn't see the Hernan Bas painting that was auctioned but I did see some smaller works recently. They were better than a lot of other paintings I saw that day in the Chelsea galleries. In my opinion he's a pretty good artist. My lead in "Local Boy Does Good" says exactly what I meant. It is good for Miami when a local artist is recognized, it validates Miami's art scene, and if one is an artist in Miami how can that be bad?



May 12, 2006, 6:16 PM

Jack, You should shut up and make a painting, see if you can do something better that all the stuff you crap on



May 12, 2006, 6:31 PM

Very good, George. I feel duly chastened. Now, next time you make any criticism of, say, George W. Bush, you should accept his response to the effect that you, or anyone else who, uh, craps on him should just shut up and try to be president. Makes perfect sense to me, and I'm sure W would welcome such a convenient expedient.



May 12, 2006, 6:35 PM


You are absolutely right I should have never suggested that you try and make a painting, what I should have just said is "you should should just shut up"



May 12, 2006, 6:38 PM

No I don't stutter, the two "shoulds" were just for emphasis.



May 12, 2006, 6:44 PM

George, you should know better. Know better than to get pissy with Jack, who you know is not a painter and should be able to vent without being told to shut up. And know better that that Bas painting is a real dog, BFA show level, if that. I mean, that is a sorry looking painting!

If you are a painter it has to be obvious to you and it makes what you are saying sound disingenuous. If you can't see it you should find another line of work. Be as "open minded" (God, I am sink of that self-righteous "open minded" BS!) as you want but open up your eyes, too.

If this is the kind of stuff it takes to "validate" our "art scene" I will take my leave from it right now.



May 12, 2006, 6:46 PM

You get better all the time, George. It's good to pare things down to essentials. More elegant, or at least simpler. I'll pass your advice on to the White House. They should be thrilled with such an all-purpose retort to anything they don't like. Yeah, that's the ticket: "Never mind about such-and-such. You should just shut up." Brilliant. Your ambassadorial appointment should be in the mail any day now.



May 12, 2006, 7:01 PM


No I am not being disingenuous. My original post said what I meant precisely

"LOCAL BOY DOES GOOD" = A Miami artist does well (in a recent art auction)

Hernan Bas beats the high estimate by 50% = the high estimate was $60,000 and his painting sold for the price quoted in last weeks Barrons which was $90,000.

…in the latest ART SWEEPSTAKES held at Phillips de Pury. = You will note I capitalized ART SWEEPSTAKES, which was a joke at the expense of the auction house because it seems like a lot of artworks are selling and at unimaginable prices.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. = an obvious compliment.

Even in my following comments I never said anything about the BAS painting which was auctioned, I have not seen it and I DON"T TRUST JPEGS. I have seen some other works and I commented on them.


Rene Barge

May 12, 2006, 10:57 PM

A lady I know told me she has 3 studio/loft/condo's that she bought as an investment and want's to hang on to for some time, she told me the unit's have been ready and is interested in "renting them as fully furnished and decorated," and she asked me for a good place to purchase art because everything she want's to purchase "has to be of value as an investment." She asked me if I knew a "good place to start since, you're an artist." I said "yeah!, the department of transportation has liscence plates that read Floriduh, State of the Arts!"



May 12, 2006, 11:22 PM

Well, Rene, at least she seems to make no bones about what she's about or where she's coming from, which is more respectable than essentially equivalent but less candid approaches. The classic, of course, is the "I only buy what I love" spiel, coming from people who curiously love precisely what they're supposed to according to the prevailing trends, and practically never stray from the official fold.



May 12, 2006, 11:34 PM

By "Friday," I mean "Saturday." Sorry, today turned out a little differently than planned. Very pleasantly, though.



May 12, 2006, 11:57 PM

Seems like you picked up a little of that "cuban time" habit while in Miami.


Marc Country

May 13, 2006, 12:40 AM

"I am neither modest nor a critic. I know what I like but that doesn't make me a critic."

Ok, fine, so you're not modest, have it your way... but, not a critic? Really?

1 a : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique b : one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances
2 : one given to harsh or captious judgment

Are you really none of these things, George?



May 13, 2006, 1:21 AM


Franklin, I wish you'd posted Friday; it would have been great to avoid this rehashed stupidfracas.



May 13, 2006, 7:07 AM

Not genteel enough for you, KH?



May 13, 2006, 7:23 AM

KH has a point. 1. George cites Bas for whatever reason,. 2. Others jump on it because while Bas is usually better than a lot of the utter dreck out there, he's still not that good. 3. George takes this as evidence that said others are not open minded. 4. We go there again.

I don't know why we're talking about Bas, the picture at the link is a dog, and I can't believe that one of my regular commenters told one of my other regular commenters to shut up. Next time, could we just cite the guidelines? That's what they're there for.



May 13, 2006, 9:45 AM

I have a questions for all of the regular contributers:

Who in your (superior) opinions is good and from Miami?

I can list numerous artists, but will wait untill I hear from the peanut gallery.

It seems as if anyone who receives a little (or a lot of) recognition, locally, nationally or internationally is shit, while all of you unknown regular contributers to this site are Brilliant artists, all given god's personal seal of approval to "practice" the fine arts.

I have been reading this blog daily for over a year and it is really amusing to read the spoutings of a bunch of bitter underappreciated crybabies.

Face the facts, most creative people toil away in obscurity. Due to some wierd karmic reason occasionally a creative person is rewarded for their efforts ie. Bill Gates or Hernan Bas.

Thanks for the great blog has been a real laugh riot.
Good luck in Boston.



May 13, 2006, 10:46 AM

There can be many causes for dissatisfaction with works of art, Nobody, but it is not within your powers of judgement to determine what they may be. Agree or disagree, but please do not characterize, call names and give motives. Read the guidelines.



May 13, 2006, 11:12 AM

Who in your opinion is good and from Miami and has received recognition?

I was hoping for a response to my question not a criticism of my post.

No one here is willing to recognize the merits of others.

As usual, questions are not directly answered, questioners are criticised and typos are laughed at.

Who in your opinion is good and from Miami and has received recognition?

Salvatore La Rosa?
Bob Thiele?
Dara Friedman?
Luis Gispert?



May 13, 2006, 11:45 AM

Get off your high horse, Nobody. No one is obliged to comply with your needs.

I think the artists who showed in the "Real Painting" exhibit during Art Basel are good, but most of them have received little recognition. (

I cannot think of any artists who have arisen in Miami and gone on to real prominence whose art I think much of.

Others can say what they think. What do you think?



May 13, 2006, 12:03 PM

Firstly, I ain't got no horse.

What about Duane Hanson?

I looked at and all of those paintings would look real nice in a dentists office waiting room.

They are the creative equivalent of a root canal and they are certainly "imbued with the rich tradition of western painting ".

rinse and spit.



May 13, 2006, 12:27 PM

I don't know Sal's work very well. I Like Bob Thiele's work quite a bit. Dara Friedman's is awful - really boring. Gispert can be intriguing, although I don't think he's outdone his cheerleader works from a few years ago. Duane Hanson I find unsophisticated and unsatisfying.

Somebody who went from a busy career down in Miami to another busy career in New York was Sandy Winters, whom I respect a lot as an artist. She used to be with Snitzer until she moved up there, I think in the late 90s or so. She does these cartoonish biomorphs that I find likable. I also enjoy the work of Arturo Rodriguez, who showed recently at David Castillo, and he's widely recognized.

Address the writing, not the writer, Nobody.


Marc Country

May 13, 2006, 1:12 PM

It seems Nobody's opinion is "superior" as well... Gee, I suppose maybe we're all entitled to view our own opinions as the most valid, when it comes to art... go figure.
Well, at least we can agree, we all find some comments amusing... too bad they're not the same comments.



May 13, 2006, 1:14 PM

There is no obligation to agree with what other people (no matter how many) like, recognize, praise to the skies, or what have you. None. There is no obligation to justify, let alone apologize for, disagreeing with those people. An artist's fame, fortune, and reputation mean nothing to me if his or her work doesn't work for me. I don't need my taste validated by what "major" collectors, curators, critics or some other presumed authority may buy or promote. That's them, and I'm me.

Anybody who frequents this blog knows that the evil, nasty regulars not only trash what they don't like but also praise what they do like, and that has certainly included local artists. The fact that the "regulars" don't bow and scrape on cue before any artists who gets sufficient official recognition simply means their taste is much more about them than it is about being with-it. Others are free to have different tastes and/or priorities and to act accordingly, but they should never presume that the "regulars" need or want their approval. Chacun à son goût.


that guy

May 13, 2006, 1:41 PM

Sign me up for that dentist, who should be so bold as to show real paintings.


Marc Country

May 13, 2006, 2:02 PM

Way back on the post about the Danish Muhammad Cartoons, I suggested that Art Spiegelman might want to enter Iran's holocaust-themed cartoon contest... Well, looks like he's almost done just that, writing and illustrating on the topic, in the June issue of Harper's



May 13, 2006, 2:44 PM

Me too, Guy. Dentist offices do not have that kind of painting at all. It was a stupid rejoinder.

I think Duane Hanson is fun because of the "startle value", but it doesn;t amount to much as art. La Rosa seemed kind of interesting last time I saw it, which was years ago. Thiele's work is too anemic for me. Bedia's stuff (which want not mentioned) just seems grotesque. Sandy Winter's work is respectable but it is heavy and overworked and the color is no good. The rest are not worth looking at.

There is a lot of good art in the world, but it still is a tiny fraction of all the art made. I find that I can go through the auction records on Artnet and get through en entire auction sometimes without downloading even one image that is visually worthwhile, for example, the recent Phillips/DePury auction of contemporary art.

If you go around shrugging your shoulders and liking every other thing, making excuses for it, being talked into it, which is how I most of the art crowd seems to work, you are not using your eyes and you are not getting much out of art. You are not seeing, you are just inhabiting the same space and making noises.



May 13, 2006, 2:54 PM

I love Duane Hanson. Probably for all the wrong reasons. It functions like fetishized outsider art, like the bloke in CT who makes those screaming little girls. But it always, always makes me look twice. In one way it's one liner, but in another, it appeals to the lengths an artist will go to realize his or her Hanson's case, what resembles a demented desire to recreate the world as if seen through a Flemish painting.



May 13, 2006, 2:59 PM

I understand what you are saying EC; there is much to admire about it. I like it, too. The craft is exceptional, for example. I just don't think it holds up as art, pure and simple.


Marc Country

May 13, 2006, 3:35 PM

As I child, my family would often travel to Vancouver Island in the summer, and one of my favorite vacation stops was the "Royal London Wax Museum", especially the gruesome "Chamber of Horrors"... Maybe I'm missing something, but I see little difference in the wax figures and what Hanson does (except perhaps in terms of setting)...



May 13, 2006, 3:55 PM

And Bob Thiele was a Duane Hanson model.....what a small world.

....and regarding

I was wrong to say the works belong in a dentists office waiting room.
What I meant to say is that those works were breaking no new ground. They seem to be regurgitated acts of abstract wankerism. Gobs of paint, gobs of very expressive paint, a sublime convergence of color, expressing nothing and everything.

Those artists should Donate their paint and brush money to an organization that helps to feed hungry that's a novel idea.



May 13, 2006, 4:17 PM

If you want to break new ground, Nobody, take that shovel you are ladling the BS with and dig in.

Do you really thing those artists you admire are "breaking new ground"? And do you really think that "breaking new ground" is what makes art good?

Think about these things a little before you shoot off your mouth.


Marc Country

May 13, 2006, 4:35 PM

Well put OP... I was riding that wavelength with you, but I couldn't work up enough interest to bother with nobody's ignorant, transparent antagonism (or "stinky bait" as KH might put it).
You spared me the trouble.



May 13, 2006, 4:56 PM

I never claimed to admire anyone I mentioned...I was merely citing examples of Miami people who have been recognized nationally and or internationally. ( Actually Salvatore La Rosa is a local treasure)

Friedman, Gispert, Bas, et al are all to young to form an opinion on, perhaps in 10 or 15 years we will see what works holds up and are considered "important"

I admire many local artisits some paint, some draw, some make film and video, some do nothing, yet they make you think.

oldpro, what makes good art o wise one?

I personally believe "good art" should make you think. Yet alot of art being made is just "eye candy" or it is tired and boring and looks like something that was already made 50 years ago.

Breaking new ground is finding a way to address personal and universal concerns in a way that can inspire others to see things in a new and different way. For example Tim Hawkinson.
or a traditional Tibetan sand painting.

Just doing something cause if feels good or right is no reason to make morning bowel movement feels good and right yet I don't post it on the web or try to sell it in a gallery.



May 13, 2006, 5:33 PM

Nobody, you need help.

You don't "wait 10 or 15 years" to find out if an artist is "important". You look at it make up your own mind. Good grief!

I cannot say "what makes good art". No one can. I have said this numerous times on this blog. If anyone knows how to specify "how to make good art" please contact me and we will patent it. Of course, judging by today's market, it would hardly be profitable.

"Thinking" is precisely what "good art" should stop you from doing. Art is a pleasure, your morning bowel movement notwithstanding (thank you for that one!), and the pleasure is the vehicle for the "profundity" or whatever "deep meaning" art has for us. Thinking is what keeps art at a distance. Thinking is what makes someone like you think art is something you keep in a cage to see how long it lives.

How in the world does Tim Hawkinson, or any artist, teach you to "see things in another way"? And who cares?




May 13, 2006, 6:37 PM

OP, let the windmills spin on, for that is what they do. It's of little use trying to reason them out of spinning. Even Don Q eventually accepted that.



May 13, 2006, 7:00 PM

Oh, Franklin! PLEASE post something new! PLEASE, before "what makes art good?" explodes all over the comments?

I am not even going to offer to help cleaning up after that mess!



May 13, 2006, 7:05 PM

I guess we just have to agree to disagree.

I believe good art should provoke thought and you believe that it should induce pure pleasure, and disengage the viewer from thinking.

I guess to you good art and good beer accomplish the same thing.

Thanks for the thought provoking afternoon.



May 13, 2006, 7:09 PM

I was just having some fun.
No harm intended.



May 13, 2006, 7:28 PM

No need to get spastic, KH.

They don't accomplish the same thing, Nobody, but they are both there to be enjoyed.

No harm intended, none inflicted. No problem.



May 13, 2006, 7:53 PM

I personally believe "good art" should make you think.

The inimitable Jerome du Bois once rightly said that "making you think" is only a virtue when thinking is not your normal state.

New post, coming up.



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