Wednesday, December 31, 2008

castro incontrovertible

How many revolutions can claim a 50/50 ratio between their best work and the most mundane? Revolutions are not supposed to last 50 years. It's all so revolting.

Painting of my parents in happier days in Camaguey Cuba. My father was killed twenty days after i was born. Soon after, Batista the bastard took off and Castro the commie stumbled out of the hills and sashed into Havana. The tragic blood-bath continues 50 years later.

The Pre-Bearded One
Fiddle Castor's Mug Shot

Melancholonic Mel ponders 50 years of futility for the NewYorkTimes

".... Even among those who support the 46-year-old embargo, like Senator Mel Martinez, a Republican, continued damage to families has become a more prominent concern.

“This is an ongoing tragedy,” said Mr. Martinez, who left Cuba at age 15 and spent four years without his parents. “How many people today are still being separated? How many people in Cuba are making plans to leave?”....

Dear canook Al Godar has the tragic tally. And dear young Joani direct from Havana has the play-by-play.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

can we all agree...

... that this is unacceptable.

Militarization of civilian police in a surveillance society.

Let's figure out "how to get out" of the middle east impasse, come hell or high-water.


Nude Year's Eve

If you have not made plans for New Years Eve, and there is something wild about you, and you have crazy cash to burn- then by all means you are invited to the incomparable Raleigh Hotel for a sumptuous SOBE night of mayhem and glitter.

Hosted by dear diva Susanne Bartsch the Vargas girl of our time.

Often imitated, never duplicated- Alberto Vargas knew a good thing (n a bad girl) when he saw one in his mind, then proceeded to render her for posterity. He is a pin-up god.

Sultry and sweetly, Vargas n Susanne party in spirit.

Susanne's hubby David Barton looks allot like the above and her rump n lovechild look allot like below.

Out with the new, in with the old, ready or not here's 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Outsider Young, the Elder

Sign up now and keep the art supplies when you graduate.
If you ever wanted to be an artist or a painter/sculptor in particular, well then just pick up a twig n some mud n git-yer-self to it.

As the year 2008 is all but over and in the spirit of the Rubell's "30 Americans" Show, I have been meaning to post these few photos of miami's own "grand marshal of outsider art" Purvis Young. First I am compelled to note the irony of the label 'outsider' as it is not self-imposed but given to folks who comprise the majority of dedicated artist community at large. So really the few who are recognized by the critics and collectors, the elite art world, are indeed the outsiders, they are the fortunate few who break from the many to gain recognition and build markets.

People whose opinion matters in the art world seem to love his work, his prolific nature. They have a romance with the swampy rawness, the earthy primitive, the works looks great on pristine white walls. Personally I thinks the work is totally depressing as a manifestation of the inscesent characteristic of Miami's institutionalized historical racism, the 'beat-to-a-pulp tragedy of Overtown. I am not a huge of his work, but a true humble admirer of his life and dedication, the spirit of creativity- Purvis knows that it can not be killed.

Pre-Krylon Hazzy Lazzy Days in Overtown.

Like the Highwaymen Painters of old Florida and today's graffiti kids, I think Purvis Young is pleased to sell some work to feed his family but probably does not care a rats tail about all the hullabaloo surrounding his life's work. Certainly not at his age. The speculators, purveyors, and middle-people willing and able to flip the currency of paintings as a commodity, as a validation of their own self-serving importance and flagellation by recognizing what has always been here, trumpet their keen observation only serves to further the trivialization of Art. If art is born in the artist studio, museums are where it goes to die.

Pre-Dade Sign Ordinance - Miami's Chauvet or Lascaux

I have not sought him out but have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Young at, of all dumb places, the Bass museum Grand openings. Not surprising he did most of the listening. I told him about the warehouse in northmiami that is filled to the rafters with many of his works. He has this aura of Super-Kool Swampman like a Zora Neale Hurston character he reminds me of Jean-Michel Basquait, if jean-michel had lived to grow old.

Inside-Out - any paint will do, mud if ya aint got non.

For those many of us in miami's artist community who never did or are done "emerging" (aka young n cheap) keep your overhead low and your chin up high and load your palette with patience and perseverance because it is never tool late to be recognized... it just might take 80 years.

Together Purvis Young and Tony Lopez the sculptor rack-up nearly two centuries of Outsider Art in the Swamp. I wonder who else is out there quietly doing their thing, feeding the spirit they possess.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shed a Tear for Cyclists

Read it and weep.

Miami may be a bike-friendly town on paper, with a long overdue official recognition, but it is another case of Too Little Too Late.

My pal Bert, pro cyclist and conceptual artist extraordinaire, ended up at Jackson Memorial with severe injuries as a result of another one of the countless completely incapable hit-n-run motorist miami is known for.

Photo not related, but just as painful.

You see them, the one on the cellphone texting, or applying make-up, or rabid with road-rage. We got plenty of meter-maids, we got robocop radars, we got speed bumps, speed limits posted that begs the question, why not just walk? We got teflon highways and buildings just for cars, we got pornographic car advertising, we got nascar petrol running through our veins but we can't seem to get anything right when it comes to common sense solutions towards a sustainable lifestyle.

Bogus Bike Friendly. Spending tax dollars of feel-good advertising.

We got no respect for the growing demands of the cycling public. FDOT is particularly whak, city and county gov'ment is whak, big-foot bone-head drivers are whak, rip-off bike shops are whak, bike thieves are whak, and what do we get? we get whaked. This sucks the big one. Can you tell I'm pissed?

I should have done the entire face.
Bert, in happier days getting his beautiful nose cast for posterity.

My sympathy goes out to the growing scores of young cyclists eager to get around on something other than the money pit that is an automobile. My concern today is for the well being of Bert Rodriguez.

Weeping Virgin.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Brown Knight

Readers want to know more about the Beaucoup Bucks dolled out recently and locally by the prestigious Knight Foundation to a wide range of fine art related individuals and institutions. It is no secret that the recipients are well deserving of the much needed funding that they must now match in order to actually take receipt of said generosity. It gets easier to get more money when a heavy-weight like our very own brown knight, Alberto Ibarg├╝en, has got your back. Funding of the arts is a vehicle for the betterment of the spirit heart and soul of Miami. But giving is nothing new to the Knights. The Knight family, as miami readers may recall, was once the owner of the MiamiHerald. It's a shame that the Herald ran out of knights before it ran out of newsprint. The esteemed Foundation does however continue to support a wide range of non-art related socially relevant and critical services right here in the swamp.
Thanks to the generosity of the Knight family, my dear mother, now retired, worked quietly for 40 years at the Robert T. Knight Activity Center for Adults with Disabilities, ironically located today just around the corner from Daniel Arsham's Studio in Hialeah. Arsham is my pal and client, one of Miami's own rising stars in the art world. We've collaborated on many projects, but two come to mind with regard to the Knight Foundation; The stage set for Merce Cunninham Dance Co. and more recently Beacon/Miami for MAM. If coincidence is fate, then nothing is ever the result of chance. It is hard work and the vision thing.

Maquette for Merce Cunningham set by Arsham

Detail of finished work at my Design District Studio

Performance at the Carnaval/Arsht Center in Miami.
This stage set has been around the world twice and was recently used again at the Kennedy Center in D.C.

People Powered Art by Arsham
Testing the Beacon/Miami Project Downtown for ABMB week.


Faux Bold Face Types

Everybody wants their picture with...
Eva and Adele remind me of the Scull Sisters.

For those who just can't get enough of Miami Basel Art, here is a quick mention of dear longtime friends and art aficionados Paul Laster and Rene Ricardo. The two have been an item since 80's and part of the wallpaper in the grand old living room of the high-brow art scene. They loved the BordelloBodega so much that they visited practically everyday during Basel for a cuban coffee shot and to remminese on the decades we share. I don't know how they do it... manage to look great, act charming and report on all the going on with laser-sharp focus on the who's who. I venture to say art keeps the freaks young. They know how to sniff-out the bold-face types.

Paul's camera work and commets can be had at Artkrush, MiamiArtMania and Flavorwire just to name a few.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shock n Awe Xmas Sale

No this is not soon to be XVP Cheney in an undisclosed cave in Wyoming.
If you can't resist another visit to Santa's Encrusted Forest, the Space Santa display is an Unbelievably Freaky Original.

Iwo Jimamamia... does it really take five guys to upright a symbol of re-birth?

Jim Carrey was grrrrreat as the grinch that tried to steal christmas.

Here is the rock-bottom truth: fundamentalist fruit-cakes from the the big three (not detroit) abrahamic faiths; islam, christian and jewish, have been spilling blood over this particular rock for centuries.

From the incomparable Incertus comes this irresistably loaded image, brilliant.

In case we are not completly confused and relieved in the mullato millennium, check out the latest fringe group.

From all of us to all y'all, Have a Joyful and Indulging Holiday Season.

Update from the North Pole:
There is a Fire Sale at Gov. Palin's Church in Wazzup, Alaska.
I think I see the likeness of baby jesus in the smoke stains...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green is the new Red, White n Blue

Little old blue bin be banished, there's a new super-size bin on the block.

Came home yesterday to find a fancy new recycling can delivered to every house in the neighborhood courtesy of Metro Dade Sanitation Department. The literature included provides residents with detailed instructions on the new initiatives lauded by the county as a bigger 'greener' better solution to our collective issues with sustainability. Is it your tax dollars well spent or another boondoggle for the bureaucrats?

How fast can one household fill up a 65 gallon can of recyclable material? Who cares!

The biggest advantages of this new program are that you no longer have to separate your recyclables and you can now recycle more types of paper products. Recycling has never been easier!

Curbing our appetite for progress, new plastic bins ready for distribution.

Think about it, if every town in the nation decides to up-grade their recycling bins, is it really green? Oscar the Grouch says NO!
The official web site has nothing but good news on the effort to manage our insurmountable production and accumulation of waste in a culture of conspicuous consumption.

Miami-Dade County launched a new recycling program. The transition process will take several months, in the meantime please continue to use the current recycling system, until you receive the new information package and recycling cart.

And if that isn't enough progress for ya, wrap your head around the effort to automate the collection of trash and garbage. Why are we doing all this at a time when the economy is tanking and jobs are scarce? Because we can.

Again from the Department of Everything is Coming Up Roses:

It's official! The Department of Solid Waste Management completed its garbage automation effort, with crews delivering EZGO carts to the final households in the Department’s service area. More than 300,000 households participate in this innovative garbage collection service that is neater, cleaner, safer and more efficient for residents and employees alike! While automating the Department’s waste collection service area is complete, we’ll continue to adjust, monitor and improve our waste collection efforts.

The only thing that is EZ-GOing is sanity and jobs.

Prices for recovered waste paper have plummeted to record lows.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


From Swamp to shining Swamp.

The Chicago Tribune is worth periodic visits, particularly these days.
Wish I could say the same for the Miami Harold.

The Tribune has tons of great photos documenting Obama's Magical Life thus far.

Love is thicker than molten lava. Love has no opposite.

"I Read a Book Once" by George W. Bushed

Insert Your Face Here. Yearbook Yourself.
First Lady looks ready to tackle the world.

Brother don't need no surf-board.
Talk about catching a wave.... ride it all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue.

We won't fall for the old Aluminum Tubes neo-Con again.

In front of every great woman....
We know who's got his ears and heart.

Tee-shirt diplomacy.
Jackson's got his 'hands/Jr.' but Obama's still got his plum-sacks.
Little girls know a wolf in sheep t-shirt when they see one.

Even white people's got to shout.
Brother would never tattoo anything on baby's forehead.

Lefties Rule. We are "in the pink", let's not blow it.

Talk to the Hand, you Dick, Cheney.