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Friday roundup, Monday edition

Post #1102 • December 17, 2007, 3:31 PM • 24 Comments

Thank you JT.

I support this. You should too.

Studio 360 on Maira Kalman and MacDowell.

Anonymous painting attributed to Caravaggio. (AJ)

No comment except that this correlates to my anecdotal data. (Reddit)

Roberta Smith on Lucian Freud.

Brook Dorsch makes WaPo.

I'm just saying.

Sony Bravia ad outperforms much contemporary art. Interesting related discussion chez Thompson.

Michael Currie Schaffer critiques the new US passport. (Dave)

KQED does a gallery crawl in Second Life. Not permalinked.

Department of Skills: Artie Shaw.



J.T. Kirkland

December 17, 2007, 4:14 PM

No problem, Franklin. Though one of the smallest paintings in the show, it certainly grabs you. I was happy to see one of your pieces in person finally.


Marc Country

December 17, 2007, 4:32 PM

Did you know Ron Paul doesn't "believe" in the theory of evolution? I'm just saying...



December 17, 2007, 4:33 PM

Good for JT. He liked Bethea, too, so he must have some kind of eye.

Of course we don't know what he bought at SCOPE, which I heard was really dreary.


Marc Country

December 17, 2007, 4:38 PM

Is there a conceptual meaning intended behind your eerily recursive US passport link?



December 17, 2007, 5:28 PM

Oh, Scope wasn't dreary, OP--not exactly. The ambience was actually quite pleasant. It was nicely set up, and the crowd (unlike NADA's) did not strike one as cartoon characters on parade (though the fact I saw Scope on Sunday may have been a factor, since by then most of the 'toons had probably come and gone).

The problem, unfortunately, was the great majority of the work on display, which I addressed in the last Roundup (comment 16). I did see some small abstract works on paper which caught my eye at the booth of a Paris gallery, and they should have been fairly affordable, since they weren't framed or even mounted, and the artist was not a "name," but I resented having to ask the price. I guess I'm just not major collector material.


J.T. Kirkland

December 17, 2007, 5:54 PM


Thanks. I bought work by the following two artists:

Grant Haffner (

Aurora Robson (

Of the three pieces I purchased (3 paintings... 2 by Haffner), none of them are on the respective artists' web site.

Haffner's work was hanging in the back of the booth in a storage container that opened up to provide additional wall space. I saw a 24" x 24" painting that featured a bright blue sky. It immediately caught my eye and pulled me into the booth. I enjoyed the abstract nature of road and the boldness of color. The abstraction used on the road served to create the sensation of motion, but it also had the feeling of "what the hell, I'm going to do some abstract stuff here." I lost out on the blue painting because I didn't put it on reserve. The artist (a young and friendly guy) went and grabbed another that featured and split in the road. That seemed different for him and I loved the piece (sorry, no image). He also had a smaller piece that featured pink skies. I'm not typically a pink guy but it struck me as well composed for its size and tranquil.

Robson seems to be a jack of all trades. She had a small painting on the other side of the Haffner that caught my girlfriend's eye first then mine. She packs a lot into a small package. I enjoyed the depth she created in her composition and her confidence with color. When I got home I looked at her Web site and she appears to be a jack of all trades. I would love to see her newer, larger paintings in person (i.e. "Shebang" and "Polaris"). She shows some ability on paper too ("Salvo" catches my eye) and also with collage (i.e. "Balance Transfer"). I think the paintings show the most consistency but some interesting things are happening in the other work. The sculpture and installation seem to be what probably gets her the most attention in today's market (found/reusable materials and such) but the painting seems strongest to me.

Sorry for writing so much about these artists. It was just great to find such solid work amidst the rest of the stuff and I haven't had the chance to write about it yet.



December 17, 2007, 7:22 PM

Well, all I can say is you could have had an Einspruch and a Bethea.


J.T. Kirkland

December 17, 2007, 8:08 PM

And I could have gone without dinner for the next month or two! I think the Bethea was priced at about $4,500 if I remember right. I definitely looked. Franklin's piece was priced right but I have a hold up about buying self-portraits or any portrait for that matter.



December 17, 2007, 9:43 PM

Links are fixed.

Paul's campaign has responded to constituents that he does believe in evolution. Not everything on his platform is perfect, but he's strongly anti-war and pro-civil liberties, and I believe his social conservative positions simply won't come to pass.

Thanks for the interest, JT. As it happens, I learned from the gallery this weekend that the piece sold.



December 18, 2007, 5:29 AM

When it comes to figure painters, self-portraits are especially desirable, as that tends to bring out something extra and better that almost always tells.



December 18, 2007, 5:37 AM

Another thing Ron Paul is against is the "war on drugs", which is just is as costly and socially ruinous as the war in Iraq, takes place right here and shows no sign of ever letting up because hardly anyone ever questions it.


J.T. Kirkland

December 18, 2007, 6:03 AM

Congrats Franklin! It deserves a good home!

Jack - I agree. I really enjoy self-portraits and can see the quality in them. But I tend to not to want to look at some stranger all the time (not that Franklin is a huge stranger to me, but you know). In my collection there are few figures to be found anywhere. And those tend to be in photographs. It's just not a focus of what I buy.

Again, there's no getting around the fact that the piece (Franklin's) is wonderful. It just wasn't for me.


Marc Country

December 18, 2007, 7:50 AM

So, Paul himself clearly, unequivocally says that he doesn't believe in evolution, but then his "campaign" says to his rightly shocked supporters that, oh, wait a sec, he actually DOES believe... good try for a save, there, I guess, but it's bullshit at worst, and at best, I believe the correct term is "flip-flop".

But, hey, if you want 4 more years of fantastic Republican rule, who am I to argue?... just a nosy Canadian wearing a Dennis Kucinich t-shirt...


Marc Country

December 18, 2007, 7:52 AM

... not that I'd prefer one of the other GOP psychos getting the nomination, of course... yeesh...US politics is like a gruesome train wreck, and here us bystanders stand by, horrified, but unable to look away...



December 18, 2007, 8:47 AM

It's bad enough one has to deal with politics at all. I certainly don't want to deal with it here.



December 18, 2007, 1:31 PM

What Einspruch painting is being discussed above?



December 18, 2007, 1:39 PM

This one.



December 18, 2007, 3:58 PM

The colors are better in person. The photo makes them look a little cold and clammy.



December 18, 2007, 6:15 PM

a mug only a mother could love. no seriously that was a good painting as i mentioned before when it was first presented on the blog. one of your best.



December 18, 2007, 7:55 PM

So tell us, Franklin, did your portrait go to someone in Miami, or perhaps some out-of-towner or foreigner visiting for Art Basel? Will you be keeping company with Hernan Bas at the Rubell emporium, or hanging out at some similarly major outfit? I mean, they could do worse, and certainly have, but you're just not exotic enough. Maybe if you changed your first name to Ulrich, or took up homoeroticism (preferably with some new twist, if there is one).


jordan massengale

December 18, 2007, 11:47 PM

One of the worst things that an artist who has a personal vision can do is walk, with a date, down Lincoln road in Miami Beach past the Brito store... a xmas picture for 38k will turn a romantic night into an explaination is a pending monetary reality at best.



December 19, 2007, 8:09 AM

is there a photo of sanchez's or bethea's paintings from the show


J.T. Kirkland

December 19, 2007, 10:24 AM

Here are my photos of each:




These are as I captured out of the show and I think represent the work pretty well.



December 19, 2007, 4:09 PM

Franklin, I really liked that painting of yours at Brook's. But then, you know I like your work. :-)



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