Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Convergence of the bad....

Any regular visitor to this blog knows how much I love invisible threads and hidden parallels. When talking about the Armory Show extravaganza of this past weekend, it’s impossible to avoid comparisons to ArtBaselMiami. One connection between the two whacked me over the head and simply demanded to be blogged.

It’s unusual to find a work of art that stands out in a big pond like like Miami, but there was one that was just head-an-shoulders below the rest in terms of badness. [Photo here--it's not for all audiences] It just reached a little too far in trying to be sensationalist and landed in the zone of the annoying--like a child in mid-tantrum who really really wants you to pay attention to him and winds up creating the opposite desire. Seldom do my friends and I all agree about all aspects of art but they were unanimous their sympathy for me needing to sit in a booth next to that horrible thing--doubly so since Bridge Miami was so dead there were no customers to distract me. I'll always remember that piece, but for the wrong reasons.

Back in New York, I'm gallery surfing in Williamsburg during the art fairs. There's one gallery that sits head-and-shoulders below any other in terms of ridiculous and annoying attempts at sensationalism. It's a good place to see naive comicbook art or lurid paintings of boobs with acne-faced teens (or occasionally satyrs) oggling or fondling them. Sebastian refuses to go in there and he's right. I don't want to validate them by creating a google hit for them, but insiders will know the place from its shorebird name.

What should I find in the back room of said horrible gallery but the same horses and erections from Miami! I wanted to high-five the room because it's seldom that you see such a perfect marriage between awful artist and awful gallery. I salute them and thank all parties for renewing my faith in God and humanity.

Don't get me wrong: the weekend was alot of fun. I saw much great work, connected with old friends and met lots of new people. It was like the Miami Fair but sleeping in my own bed. I skipped the big fair and went to a bunch of satellites. My fave was the Fountain Fair. It certainly had the best party. How many other art fairs could boast a below-deck, a mizzen-mast, an engine room, a murder lounge, a sunset couch, a roving band of pirates, a hotdog grill, and a burlesque girl in the old red-white-and-blue. America the beautiful...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I agree. That piece of artwork is difficult to take in. But I'm glad you had a weekend filled with great artwork! I always enjoy reading your posts.

There's a new site that just launched called www.mysoiree.net that's a virtual studio for artists. I like to go on there to see what up-and-coming artists are now creating. I love going to these galleries and art fairs, but sometimes I just love seeing new work in the comforts of my home!

Thanks for your post. Always a pleasure reading them!