Saturday, November 27, 2010

Basel To-Do

Dear Leader

Wow, better get your comfortable walking shoes on.

For your consideration,
here is the most comprehensive listing of local attractions compiled by the incomparably Colleen at ArtMurmur.

Are You a Collector?


Monday, November 22, 2010

the Happy Warriors

One More for the Road

Before the Tea Party got all teed-off at every Democrat Liberal, Jimmy's brother Billy Carter was craftily ridiculed for being the All American Guy.

The Vision Thing

Before the Gipper turned Republican, he supported many Progressive Ideals. Papa Bush has always been the grease in the gears of regressive thinking.


Before nervous Nixon trashed the Executive Branch with cries of "I Am Not a Crook", there was one man who stood out from the crowd of crumb-cakes that comprised big-boy politics.

Lean Left

Hubert Humphrey is a hero to a generation of progressives who fought tirelessly for the advancement of the American worker and the Civil Rights Movement. Humphrey was also an incubator of great ideals such as the Peace Corps and Nuclear Disarmament and Food Stamps.

Speaking Truth to Controlfreaks

But what happens to people when they rise to position of prominence and power?
As the old protest song of disillusion says:

"Whatever became of Hubert? Has anyone heard a thing? Once he shone on his own, now he sits home alone and waits for the phone to ring. Once a fiery liberal spirit, ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. ..."

Bunkers for Health Care

Great people get building and bridges named after them...

Building Bridges

Hubert was very good at working across the isle and reaching out to the most entrenched unsavory element of power of his time, the incorrigible Dixiecrats ( perhaps today's Teabaggers). The southern power structure opposed to Civil Rights was like a giant pile of festering hate-dung baked in the sun to a crusty collapsible house.

Embalming Tea

Not so great conservative ideals just get a formaldehyde makeover and are hurled back out to the great stage for tragic regurgitation.

Can you name a Happy Warrior for our times?

Hint: It rhymes with orange!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Kissing Booth Show



What: The "KISSING BOOTH" Show

When: Opening December 1, 2010 (closing Dec.15)

Where: 3821 N.E. First Court Miami, Florida 33137

Calling All Smoochers

Join Swampspace Gallery to celebrate the romantic nostalgia of love with the much anticipated"Kissing Booth" show, featuring artworks by Kenny Scharf and Oliver Sanchez. Kissing Booths were light spirited attractions at carnivals and fairs of days gone by. On the surface these contraptions were used to tantalize and loosen our pockets. They are sentimental relics with an enduring practical purpose. Reviving their benevolent tradition, the Kissing Booth show is a fundraiser benefiting the students of Design and Architecture Senior High school. But the gallery installation like the "Eternal Kiss" is much much more.

Love is Blue

In 1907 sculptor Constantin Brancusi took a chunk of stone and with a few simple cuts, transformed the rock into an iconic sculpture. With the canons of amour that preceded him, Brancusi illustrated the soulful power of this singular carnal contact. His work serves as a constant reminder that there is no substitute for kissing. Chiming in with salacious intent, the very kissable Bob Hope once said "People who throw kisses are mighty hopelessly lazy". At the risk of smothering the flames of the kiss, the huggable Confucius proclaimed, "Kissing is like drinking sea water. You drink, and your thirst increases". Today many find themselves at the crossroads of emotions. With salty tears we proceed along the paths of contentedness and despair. The intimacy of a kiss shared by two being in a single space in time is like happiness, it feels best when you give it to someone else.

Pucker Up

During the festivities of the prestigious ABMB 2010 art fair and the sophisticated reveling in theMiami Design District, one destination certain to be unique and uncouth is the Kissing Booth.

Whet Your Whistle with a swampy cold beer, compliments of Grolsch USA.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

BaselArt: Before n After

Prizma-colored Splendor

With the anticipation of Art Basel Week 2010, here is a harbinger post for the artificiality of such an event. With all the hullabaloo expected, it is easy to ignore the permanent Miami for the other 51 weeks in the swamp.

Made in Dade

Much of South Florida is a variegated landscape of affluence and destitute. We have established and packaged the background for the kabuki kaleidoscopic attraction that lures art aficionados from all corners of the globe to converge here and mingle among a myriad of special events and sideshows of the new. One rather astute observer describes the panorama here as "... mostly swamp, interrupted by attempts at architecture."

Not a Decade Too Soon

Sanctioned murals are coloring the cityscape into a literal museum of the street. How cool is that! But with the validation of street art comes a diminishing of the thrill that has propelled much of the precursors of what is finally happening. It is one thing to create at your leisure under the umbrella of legitimacy but it is historically something else to dart across the night shadows or the glare of sunshine and avoid the graffiti police hellbent on hampering your creative spirit.

Little Puerto Rico

While much of our beloved city still looks like this...

Our sentimental swamp is looking more like this.

Key individuals are always at a premium for they are the movers, shakers and deal makers that prop up the rest of the circumventing circus. One such luminary is well recognized for his enduring contribution to the betterment of Miami. No it is not Marco Rubio nor Duane Wade.

A Patron for Our Times

One man can make a difference. While there are wads of wealthy folk out there, you will be hard pressed to find even a hand-full that support the arts consistently. The magnanimous Tony Goldman is a beacon of benevolence to scores of talented artist from the streets of Miami and around the globe. In his silver years Tony is truly a tiger.

English Spoken Here

At his Wynwood Walls Complex you can groove on the fancy work of Ron English, DearRainDrop, Shepard Fairey and many others.

Stop Thinking, Start Feeling

We are also fortunate to have the iconic Kenny Scharf here. Kenny speaks the language of global freedom and as the apostle of FUN he professes a powerful message to each individual whose eyes are peeked to the cosmic truths of our very beings. The power of NOW.

Airstream for Humanity

For Walter the groundskeeper, it was a day of mixed emotions when we humbly petitioned him to relinquish his humble adobe to the greater cause for the beatification of his home and hood. I trust the art spirits are looking down on him with blessings and a better fortune.

Extreme Makeover

The Airstream trailer looked like this... it looks like this.



Visit the Kenny Scharf Cosmic Cavern Airstream for ABMB at the Wynwood Walls and have a pizza at Joe's.

Tidy Bowl, Bro!

So it is that Basel has the uncanny ability to transform a place and its people, not just for one week but for the next generation.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Paperless Magazine

Tom Austin wrote a nice article on "Friends With You" for Paper magazine. Here are some exerts.

FriendsWithYou is about the enduring power of whimsy and creating fables: FWY bills themselves as a "portal to a secret club and lifetime adventure."

Pals Times Two

To Sandoval, it's all part of the FWY dialectic, an attempt to "incorporate all religions of the world in a playful and not scary way. Our art has a ritual, spiritual aspect, and it's fun, colorful and interac- tive, with many levels of access."

And to Borkson, who believes that FWY installations can "cleanse people without them even knowing it," Rainbow City, Pharrell and all the rest is part of the new Miami message: "It's such a different town now--look at the De La Cruz museum down the street. The whole city was missing a groove before, but now it's a magical place, full of art."

Warning: Basel Week

This December during Art Basel, they'll be focusing on Rainbow City, an art work that reflects all their influences; like Sandoval's Cuban background (particularly Yoruba, a religion tied to Santeria) and Borkson's Judaism. The installation also has traces of Hindu Holi festivals and Native American ceremonies.

Look for Rainbow City across the street from the incomparable SWAMPSPACE Gallery.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

another swampy opening

a Swampsky opening

Swampspace Gallery
"Sky's The Limit"
Alvaro Ilizarbe

This new work portrays our cultures' indulgence of guilty pleasures through entertainment.

Opens November 13th 7-11pm

3821 NE 1 Court
Miami Design District

This show will feature a large scale projection of clips of American pastimes and Juke songs
that are layered and mixed into dance music videos.
The artist is superimposed on the video embracing the moment by dancing and celebrating.

The video strives to satisfy our never-ending desire to have fun and be entertained, invoking a feeling of momentary fulfillment.

my pal paul rubens with the artist freegums


Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Pie in Your Eye

Marco Screwbio Landslide !

As the sun sets in South Florida, it has become abundantly clear that the political landscape is painted in clashing shades of camo and dayglow. The atmosphere could not be more befuddling. There will always be winners and losers so for those who are disillusioned with the constituency at large, let's be content for now with counting our losses and crossing our fingers that the "tide of the teaparty" will retreat with predictably disappointing and classic gop ineptitudes and scandal.

Season of Austerity

With the change in weather comes a change in number of tourists that visit the swamp.
Like migrating geese, the throngs of well-heeled patrons that are anticipated during ABMB andArtWeek in Miami will surely leave a few eggs in our baskets but not without leaving some droppings behind as well. This year promises to be rather austere in terms for pillow taxes, tipping and all the other ostentatious displays of affluence we have come to rely on and expect as year-round residents of resort town.

Helvetica Regular

All aboard the Bus of the Bourgeoisies. There is something amusing about the medicated middle class enjoying the spoils of a celebrity culture. Two days and three nights of distraction are a sure gamble and the gamings is rigged by the house on wheels. The status quo is a juggernaut of jaundiced jackasses in pinstriped suits.

Dumbo Buffet

In the shadows of the glistening condo towers that dot the swampscape glamour and sparkle begin to fade quickly. With flip-flops on the ground boots at our behinds here follows a brief sideshow of Miami's not so finest.

The Beagle Has Landed

Departing from Miami Beach westbound to the mainland is tantamount to leaving Oz in a twister bound for a cuban kansas. This truck sign leads the way.

Elevated Snarls

It may take more than a GPS to navigate the dizzying matrix of highways that slash to and fro. From Moral Gables to MocaRaton, from Overtown to Little Haiti visitors and natives alike will need to contend with an obstacle course of never-ending roadwork, red-light cameras, inept cab drivers, grandmas and teen drivers. The good news is the weather is lovely the ladies are fine and the gents all dance tango.

Bayside Behimoth

To survey the mainland we wander a short walk from the waters edge. Just west of Biscayne Bay are relatively curious enclaves of disenfranchised neighborhoods currently under a diluted case of gentrification. What is it that makes this place unique? perhaps it's that old "Je ne sais quoi" that keeps visitors guessing what miami is exactly.

New Urban Wynwood

Some one sign painter channels the Scull Sisters with this colloquial version of what Midtown might already be... a thumping latin manhattan with homemade corporate foods.

Eduardo Hopper

These views of the Shoe District are practically paintings disguised as snapshots.

Box With a View

Overlooking the magnificent I-95, this two family townhouse is available to gentrifiers or squatters and bank foreclosures.

If One Is Good...

Supplement your income with a giant billboard totem in your yard. Never mind the visual pollution when there are bills to pay.

Homage to Why Not.

Over There Town

We continue driving west under the over-pass and south across the tracks toward DWNTW to a well worn part of town. This is a neighborhood like so many others that can be easily avoided at best and intentionally isolated at worst. Isolated like a squirrel in a pumpkin patch, a screw in a box of nails, the color purple in a jar of grape jelly.

Out of Their Gourds

In closing this rambling tour of the tropics 2010 post mid-term election debacle, one thing that come to mind is Henry Miller's words...