artletter home         artletters out         links         artletter info       mccormick material

Objets d'Art or Idiocy?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Asinine.

UPDATE:
Wesley "The Shark" Kimler pointed out in the comments that I use the wrong "to" in one sentence. Unfortunately, he suggests using "two." Which is also wrong. You will also note, that the instance "Chicago" is referred to as "Chiacgo" has also been corrected, but I caught that myself.

I did not go point by point to object Paul Klein. It seemed like a waste of time, I merely wanted to weigh in and say I do not agree at all with it's ideas, or the ideas it cites. And also that it is no longer an acceptable strategy to ignore this bullshit as it is said by a few loud voices and getting attention. It is important for people to note that not everyone in Chicago is so emotionally reactionary to how people elsewhere in the world spend their money on art that is not from Chicago.

 

We just got Paul Kleinís new Artletter. Holy shit, is it retarded. If you read it, and agree with what he has to say, you are retarded too. If you have ever wondered why art in Chicago is such a mess, read this Artletter, it will never be more clear. Years from now, this post of Kleinís will be cited as the quintessential distillation of how not to participate in the world, how not to think about art, and how not to be successful, relevant, or useful in any way to art.

For all of you reading this that have no idea who Paul Klein or what Artletter is, consider yourself lucky. Not all of Chicago is filled with such bitter, jealous, ignorant and vacuous provincialism, but a lot of it is
.

>
READ IT (if you dare!!!)

PS
This is not directed to the artists mentioned in Paul Klein's post. What is at issue here is the pervasive attitude on display, an attitude shared by far too many, an attitude that can only be detrimental to Chicago and anyone involved with art in this city.

posted by The Artist Extraordinaire @ 3:05 PM 

81 Comments:

jf said...

  • It just reads like an impotent derivation of what Jerry Saltz and Charlie Finch have been writing about lately. The "art can save the world" & "art is about feelings" mantras are cute, but little else.
  • 4:43 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • The Shark said...
      you read it, and agree with what he has to say, you are retarded to."

      -Or how about, 'you are retarded two?'

      So since Jerry Saltz, Jed Perl, Charlie Finch, Modern Painters and a host of others -including many of the top artists/curators/critics here and elsewhere think its the New York art world that has run completely amuck with its mediocre art at insane prices, they are by your account retarded......I think blow by blow, post by post- you are inadvertently answering the art or idiocy question for us-

      Look -if you want to kiss these peoples behinds in the hope that you will someday be included at their dinner table -go right ahead -but you might want to consider that your kowtowing to the prevailing status quo is what is really dated, provincial -and just flat out pathetic.

      Lets hear you actually take on Perl's argument -or address the issues that Saltz puts forth -the links for both articles are right there on sharkforum-

      from comments you have made about me -to this, you continue to display an amazing cluelessness/lack of comprehension as to context -and no, I often don't agree with Paul -as is a matter of public record -but here you attack with nothing -in terms of a rebuttal, or argument -just idiotic name calling and nothing else-
    • 3:51 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • The Shark said...
      -I cannot let this go unanswered: so you think that accepting the current conditions in the international art world -without question is the way to go- You disagree with Jerry Saltz when he questions the validity to a Marlene Dumas painting fetching 3.3 million bucks at auction......


      What is it that you find 'ignorant' about what Paul; has to say? That he questions the amazing disparity of pricing between the Chelsea market and just about everywhere else? That he considers and compares for a moment the quality of artists whose work sell in the tens of thousand dollars range to work of their peers going for millions -in the overheated markets of the New York City auction houses? (speaking of provincialism) I guess you are just another one of those 'stay the course' cheerleader types-....sheeeesh!

      How are Paul's comments in any way, bitter? -his pointing out interesting discrepancies?.... "and how not to be successful, relevant, or useful in any way to art." -sounds like you missed out on the opportunity to be one hell of an accountant -considering what apparently you define as 'success'-

      Contrary and at complete odds with your incorrect, inaccurate, ass-backward description of what is actually prevailing, is what Paul has to say -mirroring the opening article in this months Modern Painters, and other articles by writers the caliber of Saltz and Perl - voicing what many have begun to think- quoting Perl "How The Art World Lost Its Mind".....another vacuous provincial I suppose -in your mind.........

      If nothing else your comments go along way in clarifying exactly why it is that the dog you portray yourself as comes complete with a shit-brown nose -its all too apparent where its been.
    • 5:05 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • I think this Art and Idiocy blog is utterly asinine. You appear to have something personally against Klein, (as per your attempted attack a while back on an email of his, as well). I read his newest Art Letter and enjoyed it thoroughly, even if I don't agree with each and every detail. It is, in fact, quite similar to your own attack on insipid in art in the post below, titled LAMO. I can't help but feel that there is something I am missing here, something "backroom buddy-ish," as your attack is so childish and not at all in line with your general approach. The recent attacks on artworld insipidness and idiocy are only the first sprinklings of what will soon be a large wave. Salz, Perl, Kuspit, Klein and, yes, even your own LAMO as mentioned. Can you be a bit more intellectual and try to state exactly WHAT details or ideas in Klein's article you have objections to? It would be the least you could do, considering how much better written, more clearly thought out and daringly framed his argument is than your own childish malevolence. Yes, I know a blog is more personal, but when comparing the two of you, YOU appear to be the one who is "bitter, jealous, ignorant and vacuously provincial." Did he step on the toes of a friend of yours, or perhaps insinuate that all you memorized at the SAIC may not be Sent from On High, as they declare, or what? In short it sounds like you are afraid, scared to death, more than critical. Please try to expand on your initial vicious response here with some actual thought.
    • 7:12 AM
  • tom b. said...
    • LOL. dipped your beak in the shitstorm. dared to voice a contrary opinion. the vultures have pounced. justify yerself or prepare to be eviscerated. good luck, mon ami.
    • 6:37 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Ohhhhh-I get it now.
      "Shark" is IN the Paul Klein newsletter!

      And questioning Chicago's role as Center of Art World is, of course, forbut.

      Got it!
    • 8:45 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Thanks Wenzel. I second your post. More importantly than the Fartforum's brilliant blather, could the ArtLetter have had any worse clip art inserted into it? Provincialism knows no bounds, but at least there's some megaphones to defend it with.
    • 8:48 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Erik, I predict, would actually be the most pleasant, originally thoughtful, and interesting dinner guest of all the choices here.

      Certain others seem as if they might just motor on and make my head hurt. Geez, I have a top notch education, including a grad degree, and I still don't follow what they are ranting about-though it seems to have to do with justifying their own hinterland existences. Please, eschew obfuscation. It's so boring.

      Criticizing Paul Klein=criticizing the ranters. That's the basic problem here. Yawn. Now I guess we can look forward to about 500 more lengthy posts from Shark and pals...predicted top topics include: spelling, grammar, New York sucks, SAIC sucks, art priced higher than his is immoral, Chicago is THE most important culture capital on earth. Windy City, anyone? And oh yes, we all know Shark has a piece in a museum somewhere, (oo- not New York, I hope) so therefore we better believe in the supremacy of everything he spouts.
    • 9:06 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • This "Art Letter"- and the windbags who defend it, really underscore why it's important to get out of town once in awhile. I have to agree with Art or Idiocy on this one- this falls under "Idiocy".

      When there are a limited number of highly desirable objects, and legions of would be buyers clammoring for the same ones- price goes up, per Econ 101. And there are more rich people in NY than in Chicago. Everything is more expensive there- from real estate to groceries. It's a different economy, a different league than we have here. No wonder so many savvy Chicago artists seek to do their business in New York- the independently wealthy, socialists, and other revolutionaries being examples of exceptions. Making art is one thing- one can do that anywhere-but if you want to sell it and get top dollar- that's another story. I am sorry, that the posters here are not getting the prices that they feel they deserve. But why begrudge others? Spite?
    • 9:24 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • I take it the "two" was a joke --- we all make typos when blogging, I certainly do. I Punch "post" far to quickly.

      Please do NOT lump us all in a big group, and certainly not of provincial folks. You'll excuse my presumptuousness, please, but I personally do NOT live in Chicago, I live in Europe and frequent NYC and London And Zurich and Italy and so on FAR more often than I go to Chicago --- so you are all provincial to me. Na na nuh na nahhh!

      I did not see Klein's article as primarily about boosterism --- more about thze idiocy and star-search /stock market idiocy of certain trends. These things ARE worldwide too, and complained about by New Yorkers (oh nooo) and Londoners (zounds) and others too. I think his statements about sales were simply examples of high quality art, without Consensus Hype. I think most of you here need a little course in writing, to understand things like introductions, conclusions, examples, supporting your opinions, and just normal clear thinking.

      By the way, there si nothing wrong, in fact much RIGHT, with promoting your own art in your own area, EVEN WHEN it doesn't copy current photos in ArtForum. That kind of "boosterism" is what Damien and the Sensation people did to build London up in the eyes of the artworld. Likewise, the LA folks are prime examples of believing in your own. Why do you Chicagoan artists, in my experience, spend so much time stabbing one another in the back, while oppositely attempting to royally kissass anywhere else and anybody but a fellow artist. No wonder Chicago after 1980 has progressively slipped ever more provincial in the eyes of the international artworld.

      You seem so proud of your inability to be specific in this post ---"I did not go point by point to object Paul Klein. It seemed like a waste of time..." That's a lame excuse. Try it. Try to address specific points and I think you yourself will see how idiotiy your complaint seems to so many of us.


      "And also that it is no longer an acceptable strategy to ignore this bullshit as it is said by a few loud voices and getting attention."
      Bullshit critics you mean? How unacceptable it is not to stay in your place and be a good Consensus Lap Dog? Come now, the roster of people voiscing such concerns includes most of the prominant critics and many curators and artists WORLDWIDE. I think YOU need to get out of your little bubble of New City or whatever local thingy to peruse and begin to really read an view stuff aound the world.
    • 3:13 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • Jesus --- talk about typos. I just re-read my entry above and it is so full of them that "to" for "too" looks like poetry. Sorry. I get too heated up in discussions and launch without spell checking.
    • 3:24 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • P.S. I would GENUINELY be interested in specific rebuttals from you Erik to specific point Klein made. Instead of this "Klein wrong" / "you are stupid Erik" / "no you are stupid Sharks" / "no-..." etc. crap that we seem to have degenerated into. Please try and SRGUE me into your viewpoint rather than simply appealing to base sub-tribal Chicago backstabbing instincts. And I'll see if I cando likewise (and I may even spell check too!)
    • 3:28 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well Euro Shark, here we are cruising through krill once more: do any one of these sophmoric plebians actually discuss the issues Paul Klein brought up? Of course not. Nor did Eric in his initial -and profoundly stupid assessment.

      The little cowards -as always announcing themselves with pseudonyms (don't they always?) then skirt around the actual subject -with things like 'oooh -friends of artletter'...The Shark was banned from artletter a long time ago -and is not a participant there. Paul Kleins being pretty much chomped into little pieces by the shark -in public forums is, a matter of record. But, when I did fight with Paul, I took him apart WITH REASON, -Not the kind of slack, lame-ass, spoiled suburbanite/hipster art student of the northshore, name calling -with no argument being made or remotely happening about the points he brought up. Really interesting points -having to do with the insular Chelsea based art market -and how little that has to do with what most artists experience. How anyone who thinks that what is being shown in Chelsea -particularly if we move away from the Ellsworth Kelly's and discuss local New York artists, artist by artist -is better than what is happening here or LA or San Francisco, -should probably consider a new line of interest -one that does not require intelligence or, eyesight.

      Actually this bunch of clowns illustrate perfectly just what is provincial about the art scene here. The thoughtless little lap-dogs of conformity yipping away -at a distance -with never enough courage (ith the exception of Eric,) to take a stand using their own names. If only 'Eric' had put a small amount -any amount, of reason behind his original comments- like a real, actual argument! -The Shark would have no problem with.

      Its very clear that with the how information is being disseminated today, there is increasingly not going to be 'centers' in the way there once was: the fact is that what made NYC the center of the art world -those very qualities -are long gone. Which, is part of the problem-rather than drawing serious artists with cheap studios and an environment dedicated to making art, what NYC now draws is the careerists -bent on 'making it'.....the John Currins and, as we witnessed here recently, the Josh Smiths.....as artists if you defend this you are either, not really artists, are corrupt careerists, or, simply fools.

      and yes, the Shark is represented with work in the contemporary collection of The Metropolitan- an honor and distinction that most of you will no doubtless, never know.
    • 3:43 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • -And btw......this is TOO stupidly funny to believe........Eric 'TWO'......is just as wrong as 'TO'.....if you are going to call people 'retarded too', I suggest you get it right.

      As for your other claims -that it wasn't worth discussing why exactly you disagree with what Paul has to say -but rather just slam his comments-undescribed, with your opinions- equally unarticulated. Is nothing more than gross generalization -ie the modus operandi of a dull
      mind.
    • 4:02 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Excellent points Shark Theory (aka Euro-Shark)- anonymous -with his lame explanation of economics 101 would be well served to go on sharkforum and actually read the Jed Perl piece -or, the Jerry Saltz piece -as it might remedy his complete state of cluelessness-

      Your point to 'artist extraordinaire? oh really?' about being nothing more than a lapdog -is perfect.
    • 4:15 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • The Shark is angry about the apparent KC aspect of the comments at the Art or Idiocy post, nevertheless I'd like to hear from Erik. (and perhaps less from us Sharks and certainly less from the Anon-o-mousey Consensus Lap dogs).It appears that we ARE getting a wee bit of discussion over at Art or Idiocy. Although most of it of the primitive "your friends just hate my friends" level.

      I stand by this though, Erik (the man behind Art and Idiocy): Your site is usually hard-hitting, but thought out. Not this time. Look at your own post LAMO. Is it saying much else?

      I would STILL GENUINELY be interested in specific rebuttals from you Erik to specific points Klein made. Please try and ARGUE me into your viewpoint rather than simply appealing to base sub-tribal Chicago backstabbing instincts. And I'll see if I can do likewise.

      It is into the day already by me, but only 4 in the morning by you, so i guess I'll have to wait till you all wake up.
    • 4:40 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Oh To Hell with it Euro Shark, This, is a god-damned feeding frenzy! -I don't usually dine on dog -but what the hell -just don't eat that nose -its got shit on it!

      --actually you are right Mark -if we keep this up we are going to confound the pelgiac researchers who follow our every move.."what are they chomping on? Nothing? Krill?...is that a half eaten lapdog I see? How did it get out here?"

      -I usually don't mind art or idiocy either -Erik is dead wrong on this one however -and its far TOO important of an argument to let slide. The NYC art world right now -as Perl notes is amazingly corrupt. Perhaps it is time for collectors to get -that they can come here -or elsewhere and get equivalent if not superior work for a tenth the price- maybe from here in Chicago -we can return the focus to art -to artists -and to an art world where the artists are apex -making the aesthetic decisions -setting the aesthetic criteria -not art educators, not curators and cerainly not the auction houses....sheeesh!
    • 4:55 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • "Erik, I predict, would actually be the most pleasant, originally thoughtful, and interesting dinner guest of all the choices here."

      ....who are these imbeciles?

      -tell you what Erik, why don't you bring your friend here out to the Farallons and dump him overboard. We sharks will be more than happy to show him just how interesting a 'dinner guest ' can actually be...
    • 5:37 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Erik doesn't write for New City- that's Workman's territory. Erik's reviews have appeared in Time Out Chicago.
    • 9:48 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • "Erik", is spelled with a "k". fyi. Take a closer look.
    • 9:50 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Nope- no corruption here in the Chicago art world. All pure, honest prairie folk around here, with good Midwestern hearts. It's all merit in the uber-talented, very windy city. And the local dealers sure don't try to get as much money as possible for the work they sell. They have no interest in making any more money than than they deserve for their humble, simple lives. Not like those capitalists in New York, den of sin and gluttony.

      I wonder...did Paul Klein charge enough for the work he sold to be able to stay in business?
    • 10:00 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Bottom line, sifting through the epic Shark Pod posts, it seems that the ultimate goal is to not to disagree with or criticize Erikís criticism style or opinions- but to personally attack and skewer him as a human being. Thatís pretty low and very mean spirited, and ruins Shark credibility. Being the biggest assholes around doesnít make you ďrightĒ. I gather Top Sharkís credentials essentially boil down to nastiness and having one piece in the Met? Do you pride yourself, Shark, in being a jerk- is that what the name means? And pick on someone your own size- Erik is a young, new critic, ambitious and enthusiastic about what he does, perceptive and intelligent. With a great sense of humour, to boot. "LAMO" was awesome and dead-on. If only you ever would calm down and figure this out. If you didnít seem bent on proving Erikís not as cool as you, you wouldnít call his getting out and about, talking with people and seeing lots and lots of shows brown-nosing- youíd note that thatís exactly what all the other art enthusiasts are doing, too. Heís not an armchair critic.
    • 10:24 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Along with being a coward, can't anonymous at least work with something slightly less dim than the 20watt bulb he seems to be packing at the moment? -Better do some fact checking before your little dinner party. Having a piece in the Met is one small accomplishment in a reasonably serious and ongoing career as a painter -but you would have researched that before making your specious claim if you were actually interested in facts, or in having any kind of an intelligent discussion. You would also note that time and again I actually address the issues in Paulís piece -you know, the actual article that precipitated Eriks ad hominem attack-an attack where he prides himself on NOT discussing any part of what was said -and you call this serious criticism? I'm guess that 'dinner party'; you are so eager to invite Erik to is going to consist of a happy meal at MacDonalds -if its in anyway commensurate with the level of your argument.

      As far as poor little Erik being picked on, he started this -if you can't swim with the big fish, may I suggest staying put in the goldfish bowl-
    • 11:11 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • and btw -Jed Perl is a critic -Alan Artner is a critic -Jerry Saltz, Kevin Nance -Chris Jones, Donald Kuspit -these are critics- people who have earned the right to describe themselves as thus -and I seriously doubt you would ever find any one of them attacking a position -without actually discussing and describing what exactly indeed, that position is....duh!
    • 11:21 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • I too think LAMO was dead on --- and skewered the target in an appropriate fashion and ---- thereby expressed an opinion very similar to Klein's Complaint, it appears to me. And yes, I too think there is really no discussion going on here --- it began with Erik's silly personal attack on Klein and has continued with one attack after another. I STILL WANT to know WHAT points Erik doesn't agree with! Please answer, Erik, and every body else stop shouting until he does, especially if you are named anonymous anyway and thus spineless in my opinion.

      I didn't mean to insult or deride New City or Time Out. I haven't seen Time Out and rather like New City the few times I have seen it, I meant that everybody here keeps relating any discussion of problems with the hyped-up event-crazed artworld as NY vs. Chicago. Yes, I suppose this is also because Klein mentioned Chicago artists in his article, but that was logical, as he was saying (in my reading) look around you for quality instead following the bubble of Consensus Hype. I would like to emphasize that as someone who has more to do with NYC and London and Zurich than with Chicago, that most artists and curators and critics in THOSE places are ALSO making similar critiques. Yes, even in NYC. Stop hating NYC, stop worshiping NYC. Let it be what it is --- it is and will be the main center of the international artworld for some time. And it actually beats the hell out of the centers the (we) Europeans try to push forward to replace it.

      Let's get back to the meat of Klein's discussion ---"accosting the crap that is fetching record sums" and is consensus-correct and catching record curator attention and so on. Please read Perl's article in the New Republic for a New Yorker's take on the same thing. Is that what you don't agree with Erik? Or did I misunderstand? Is it that you think Klein is too boosterish? Can you please write some actual concrete opinions. And everybody else please stop shouting at Erik or at Wesley for a couple of seconds.
    • 1:37 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • Please check out this article to by Jerry Salz, href="http://www.villagevoice.com/art/0704,saltz,75590,13.html" target="_blank">here.
    • 2:17 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • www.villagevoice.com/art/0704,saltz,75590,13.html

      Maybe this one is better.
    • 2:18 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Euro Shark Brandl -aside from having some fun -(how else am I to maintain my toothy grin,) I have consistently been on point asking what specific points in Paulís artletter piece -or Jed Perls cover story this week in The New Republic -featured on sharkforun -or Jerry Saltz's similar contention -also on sharkforum -that clearly influenced Paul Kleinís thinking -do any of these people want to argue against -in a substantive way....I'm still not hearing anything more than nervous yipping of an anonymous chihuahua...

      ..quit being so nice to these people hoping for dialog -its up to Erik to back off of his truly retarded, just foolish attack.

      Look; Paul has irritated me more than anyone else -and we have had a major -described in the Sun Times -as public and ugly falling out over his misguided and just plain dumb CAF -museum project. This article is not about boosterism. This is about stupid money for lame art -and about that being questioned -and, not coincidentally some of the finest critics in the world are raising exactly the same questions Paul does -though he gives it a local slant -which is a good thing. If Erik understood just how ghettoized artists here are -especially when it comes to the top collectors- how influenced these people are -not by quality -but by junkets that take then to Chelsea to meet 'GO GO' have lunch and buy some trendy piece of junk -just like the one everyone else has to have - just like that crappy Josh Smith show here recently-sold out only due to the 'in' crowd here wanting to be 'in' with itself -with almost -no, with NO- ZERO aesthetic consideration, with conformity as a calling card, perhaps he would understand that in this particular instance, Paul is dead on -and Erik is left defending corruption and utterly vapid venality with his thoughtlessness, his personal attack on Paul Klein.

      As an artist here -I'm not wanting to see the waters clouded up with personal crap -when such a profoundly important and interesting question has been broached. In his clearly personal snit with Paul, he has done every artist in town a disservice -and I take issue with it -especially since he has no argument for his contentions -it, is pathetic.

      -quit being so nice Mark, its not appropriate - this is just the kind of provincial kiss ass garbage that has been so detrimental to the art world here for too long of time. -don't humor it.
    • 2:33 PM
  • 65GRAND said...
    • I really donít have the time or the inclination to respond to all of the things being written in these comments but I wanted to register my support for Erik.

      I may not have called Paulís letter retarded but in fact it did bother me. I felt that he was attempting to tell others and me what art was acceptable to like and how it in fact should be valued. I happen to think John Currinís and Lisa Yuskavageís work of the mid-90ís are superlative paintings and donít appreciate being told that Iím not in my right mind for liking them. I respect that he doesnít like them but would never call into question his sanity. I assume Erik felt likewise and just wanted to register a contrary opinion so readers would realize that we in Chicago donít all move in lockstep.

      I appreciate that Paul is a booster for Chicago art and find his art letter useful and entertaining but I think the reasoning in this letter is a little sketchy. Itís a big world and as much as I wish all the best art was being produced and sold here in Chicago that is not reality. Sorry shark.

      BTW, at the dinner party Iím having for Erik, Iím serving sushi.
      Bill Gross
    • 5:16 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well Bill -at least you use your own name -I know your work -I think your a decent if somewhat pedestrian painter -sorry though, point by point I will be happy to debate you on the notion that Currins hackneyed second rate Norman Rockwell ripoffs -with always horrendous paint application, laughable volumetric ability, and snide smug, neocon vision or Lisa Yuskavage's Walter/Margaret Keane schlock meets Disney cartoons on a milky airbrush like surface are superlative paintings and I don't know many serious painters who do think so- nor curators, nor critics -with exceptions like for instance the certifiable idiot Michael Kimmelman -in contrast say, to Perl or Roberta Smith..... -you not being particularly a painters painter might not share my sensibilities -still, go read the Perl piece on sharkforum -or, better yet read Jed Perls brilliant disassemblage of Currin -Meta Trash from a few seasons ago -exactly where I stand -its funny after the painterly brilliance of not only painters like de Kooning -but then Rauschenberg and Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden -Odd Nerdrum even, -or Lucien Freud -that a bad version of an Americana illustrator -would ever be touted as 'superlative painting'....shows just how much of the language of plastic invention has been lost.. itís kind of like Perl asks -how did something so high sink so low?

      But beyond that Bill, I think you entirely missed the boat on exactly what it is that Paul is saying -Paul is asking why that work is selling for say a million bucks -where you probably get somewhere around -I don't know -5k for one of your works: is that work just 995,000k better than one of yours? - its an interesting argument -with the out of control international/Chelsea based art scene -artists getting..3.3 million bucks -Marlene Dumas (not that she's getting the money).....but thatís whatís being spent -and people are being sold the bill of goods that this work is of a historical importance that merits this kind of money....remember Donald Sultan Bill -Robert Long ago?......does anyone with half a brain going to actually believe that a 600,000 Elizabeth Peyton pop star water color confection is going to retain that kind of value -and why not compare it with work outside of that market -to see what is what-

      As for sushi, just say when, tuna is one of my favorite snacks-
    • 6:18 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • A few more points -I don't recall anywhere claiming that all the good work is being made in Chicago -far from it! -we have been hampered here by a ruling class of second rate conceptualists ensconced in academia here churning out international wannabe work for the last two decades -most of it completely forgettable. they have made the scene here amazingly collegiate, and international wannabe -i.e. provincial.

      There is however a much richer scene than the powers that be, in conjunction with mouthpiece critics like Susan Snodgrass for instance -have let on to the art world beyond here- and yet -Art In America -for instance; we enjoy exactly the same amount and I would argue -no better quality coverage than Boise Idaho........have you read my memo to Betsy Baker on sharkforum?

      What people like me and Tony Fitz and others would like to see -is people like yourself able to make a living off of your work....the world is becoming more local -the gate keepers are crashing and, burning...rather than having the art institutes collectors group scurrying off to buy Josh Smiths garbage because 'Saatchi owns some paintings, I would like to see a sense of discernment --people actually buying work because they find it- the work, -not Saatchi, compelling...just like Bob Dylanís last record debuted at #1 the first time ever for this artist- due to the internet -perhaps spelling the beginning of the end for product like Brittany Spears for instance -with cyber space, we can challenge the offical version of what is important in the art world -we don't have to buy in to the visual equivalent of ms Spears -John Currin for instance.......think about it Bill -and then try thinking for yourself - what Paul, Jed Perl, Jerry Saltz, myself, Mark Staff Brandl -and others are saying is very interesting -and not, about consensus.
    • 6:48 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Also of interest, there is a terrific conversation between Matthew Collings and Svetlana Alpers in the Current issue of Modern Painters titled Painter -where Svetlana refuses to take Currin seriously and basically states -why don't we just talk about Norman Rockwell since he is so much better -not that she probably ever even seriously considers Rockwell as a painter- she then goes on to question Currins basic intelligence as a painter -certainly not the first person- it reminds me of a conversation I once had with Karen Wright -editor of Modern Painters -who similarly waved Currin off as a joke.
    • 7:36 PM
  • Brandl said...
    • Good response, Bill, although I don't agree with a several of your points, nor feel that you read Klein's pice correctly --- but you argued specifics and didn't simply "pubescently" call something "retarded" --- hell I haven't even heard that turn of phrase since I was about 8 years old --- or simply shouting someone down. I was hoping Erik would have the courage and commitment to do similarly. I checked out a couple of his reveiws on line and they are well written. Way above the level he exhibited here. Wesley too should write less and simply get to his points, which are well-thought out and exhibit a great ability to judge quality, but are so buried in viperousness here that I'm afraid too many people simply will pass them over! (Sorry Shark!)

      I'm still waiting for something up to an adult level from Erik --- which he clearly can do at Time Out!---------
    • 8:01 AM
  • Jane said...
    • Klein generally writes an interesting piece, but the one referenced in the subject of his email is pretty dumb. Clearly he values his own opinion quite highly, and is ready to dismiss and insult aspects of the world about which he is less than knowledgeable, simply because it suits him. This alone:

      'Thereís an awful lot of very bad art that people are paying obscene amounts of money for.' sounds like every Goldman Sachs banker I have ever met.

      The art itself and the art market are two separate things. What the art looks like and whether it means anything to you is completely unrelated to its status (or non-status) as an object with intrinsic economic value in the larger system of capital markets. Yes, art can be viewed as a financial instrument. If it bothers him, he has certainly been in the wrong business. Does he get angry when stocks he doesnít like go up in price? Very silly.

      That being said, I have helped many many emerging artists in my lifetime, and continue to buy, and to encourage the purchase of, the work of younger artists. I just don't confuse the art with the art market. And I don't take it personally when the 'market' buoys the prices of art that I don't care about.

      Jane
    • 8:39 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Jane -why don't you go read the Jed Perl piece -the cover story for The New Republic -available on sharkforum "How The Art World Lost Its Mind'...or the recent Jerry Saltz (voted by New York Time Out as the #1 critic in New York -also on sharkforum)..discussing the completely out of control, manipulated art market of now -and Jane I'm guessing when you talk about helping an emerging artist its to the tune of a few thousand dollars -not, a few million -and what do think you help them to obtain -what Bill has? A show every other season or so at Aron Packer -where he makes no doubt at best enough money to somewhat supplement a day job? Locked into what Tony Fitz describes as a feudal system -where he can only sell through his dealer -giving him 50% percent of everything -which here in Chicago boils down to 50% of almost nothing?

      People this is an important discussion, Why shouldn't we have an art world here where professional artists can make a living with their work? sheeesh! Whats wrong with you people? Have you lived off of crumbs scattered on the floor for so long you have ceased to want something better for yourselves?

      The fact is -we should challenge the New York art scene -we should acknowledge -that where that is a much larger art world -the one here actually gives artist more space to MAKE WORK -has some of the exact qualities, many attributes -now long gone in NYC that once gave birth to the current American art world.....why wouldn't we want to turn the spotlight upon ourselves -noting the huge discrepancy in the market from here -to there. It, is unprecedented, an extremely interesting situation- why do you people keep defending the status quo -do you simply like being just about 1 degree beyond serfdom?

      And Brandl -this make nicey nice agenda of yours is wearing thin; there is no fat in my response to Bill -or, in what I'm saying here. And as far as being viperous, forget it it -I'm a shark god dammit -just being myself.
    • 9:13 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • Hey Shark, Brandl is not being nice. It just looks like that in comparison to you and the anonymous ones. I think he is sticking to the point. Klein was right, but too pro-Chicago, Eric was wrong by trying to be concilliatory, you are right but way too (to) (two) nasty. As Brandl said, it isn't about being against new York but about being critical of nonsense internationally.

      Jack in Europe too.
    • 1:38 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • Yeah, Jack, actually I'm an aggressive jerk. And I can't type for a damn. Anyway, can we get off the "I hate NYC" thing --- or alternately "I'll prove I'm worldly by kissing consensus ass" bit --- and get to the point ---WHICH IS that the INTERNATIONAL consensus artworld is the Emperor's new (well now old) cloths. It is bullshit and we need to combat it --- NOT each other. THIS most of us agree on. And something(s) --- well lots of things --- need to be done. It is never wrong to criticize stupidity, Erik, even if that feels "provincial" to you. And you can criticize people's stupid ideas without having to attack them personally, Head Shark. I've heard you do it a lot, attacking how someone is too fawning, but then saying something to the effect, "but he or she makes good art." And you do make great paintings and are wonderful shock therapy to complaisance, which is why I support your endeavors, but sometimes a little more DIALOGUE helps!

      Can you Chicagoans stop stabbing each other for once, stop hating and kissing consensus ass, and stop putting each others art down? Start putting each others art UP. It worked for London, it worked for LA, it is working for Berlin, it ALWAYS has worked and still will for NYC. But if NYC is Rome in the Renaissance, you can be Florence, and I guess I'm over here in Venice.

      I have seen lots of art in many many many countries and cities, from Egypt to LA and do so regularly in NYC and Europe and elsewhere --- AND assert that Chicago has some great artists who are underappreciated, and so does London and Abu Dhabi and Siena and New York itself and more ---and the international top o the pops is mostly bullshit. That is just the truth if you accept the proof of your eyes. Fuck the money aspect of it, what about the plain ol' question of quality and its appreciation. Chicago has some really great art!!! I repeat. And that is true. And I am certainly not provincial in anyway, rather almost too cosmopolitan, and I can STILL say that. So face up to your quality and stop hemming and hawing it away.
    • 2:01 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Jack - what is this, the PTA or something? -tell you what; you worry about how you come off and I'll do the worrying about me- hows that?

      -Or in other words, if you can't swim with the big fish, stay on the porch.

      Mark -who I swim with on a regular basis is just being way to conciliatory trying to draw Erik into something substantive -when the fact much that is substantive -and the lion's share of that being offered up by The Shark, has already been said -and its high time that the amazingly complacent attitude of these people -be attacked -

      So, consider my position as either a. a shark attack plain and simple as is my nature or, b. shock therapy for the Stockholm syndrome like conformity that has apparently beset these people-

      I'm sick of polite Jack -Sharks don't do table manners- and Mark is expending way too much energy in that direction -when in fact what needs to be discussed are the issues here -and the fact that it was Erik's completely out of line ad hominem attack that began this little soiree-

      The art world is suffocating from over politeness -and fake civility -with artist running around in terror of speaking their minds -afraid to question the status quo......here is Bill for instance.. Aron Packer has a nice gallery, a second home in Michigan -he's doing really well living off of his artists...are any of them making a living off of their work?.....its time to wake up and smell the fucking coffee- whether its in discussing the fact that architecture/furniture design! is where the aesthetic gains made in the 20th century are being exploited.......or, that only in the backwards looking, Duchamp as Bougeureau insipidness of our academia laden art world -is Americana regurgitated, tarted up, redone on a student level -when considering the original - ie Rockwell -and passed of as 'superlative painting'.. what? do we all need to go back and read The Fountain Head again? sheeesh!

      And Mark -go back and read my last 8-10 posts sheeesh ! HELLO! I'm the one doing the dialog! -btw I agree with you on the NY thing -we should refer to it as the Chelsea based International Art Cartel-
    • 2:22 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • The hangover from the Bear's upset must still be grinding on some people's nerves, but in all seriousness, Brandl has been trying to get this dialogue back on track. He's right, fuck the money aspect of it, who cares. Everyone seems to think if you have a different opinion you're buying in, your copping out, kissing ass. That's just plain bullshit.

      I would like to hear from just one person that explains how, going back to Paul's letter, the fact that someone is spending over a million dollars of their own
      money, affects them on a personal and direct level. How if at all, it prevents you from painting, creating a blog, buying art, slamming critics, selling art or all of the above (fill in your daily art activity of your choice)

      Unless you want to go on some Bible thumping art redemption crusade and try to convince all those nasty dealers with second homes and complacent artists lashed and beaten, huddled in a dark corner without food and water or money to buy art supplies with, to what er... change galleries? (gee, I wonder if they have a choice, I would imagine they do and have the freedom(s) to do so - that is make a choice) Key word being choice, as to what anyone anywhere has the liberty to spend their money on art that you may not like, or show work that you think is crap. It truly isn't the problem.
    • 3:12 PM
  • Steve said...
    • Shark,

      Who are some contemporary Chicago painters that you feel should be getting attention? From your posts both here and elsewhere, you complain about the academic conceptual colorfield crap that seems to be everywhere in Chicago (and elsewhere). If the spotlight returns to Chicago, which I hope it ultimately will, won't that light just shine on hopeless MFA grads' work you deride so often?

      Don't get me wrong, I'm in agreement with you regarding this work that is touted ad nauseum.

      However, everytime you slam the academic crap and the institutions, you don't offer an alternative (artists that is). In other words, I feel you know something I don't. Who are these mystery artists in Chicago that deserve high praise and serious attention from world collectors, curators, etc.? Seriously, I'd like to know. If indeed Chicago deserves such recognition competing with the likes of NY and LA, well then, who is our vanguard in your opinion? Established, Mid-Career, emerging...(I know, you hate these terms, but bear with me).

      I remember reading the Chicago Sun-Times article about you and you made the statement that there isn't a single painter in Chicago that can hang on the same wall as you. Whoa... If that's the case, isn't Chicago pretty slim pickins' after all?
    • 3:32 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Anonymous -until you can get up the nerve to use your own name -its just to creepy and weird to engage in dialog with you -especially since you don't really discuss the issues -and clearly haven't gone and read the writing I have mentioned time and again here -does the vapidity of the art market portrayed in the recent W Magazine and Vanity Fair effect us all? Hello! yes it does profoundly -and this is a societal issue -how did we got from de Kooning to some bimbo like Kristin Baker -portrayed in both articles -in hot pants, clearly after a number of sessions at the tanning salon, beehive/bubble head Linda Evans from Dallas look-alike standing on a platform ladder in heels with just the right amount of paint smeared on her t shirt.. oh I almost forgot -the paintings? awful.......not that it matters

      Steve -its not that slim of pickings -I made that statement because I happen to be very good at what I do. Which, is a very particular thing. Better than most.

      a few names off the top of my head: Tony Fitzpatrick, Vera Klement, Sabina Raff, Dawoud Bey, Kerry James, Miroslav Rogala, Sandro Miller, Ursula Solowaska?, Marianna Levant, Mary Lou Zelazny, Jim Lutes, Rashid Johnson-

      Here is what I think -the art world right now -as Perl notes is amazingly corrupt: I sell paintings anywhere from 10 -50k Ėthatís a lot of money -I've worked at it for a long time.....I think what I get is enough -I am not wanting Elizabeth Peytonís 600 k for a small watercolor -this isn't about envy its not about money -my focus is on trying to make the best painting I am capable of -I don't give a damned about money -except as Perl notes when it begins to effect the very making of art- (READ THE ARTICLE!) -its about returning the focus to making art -to people not being emerging then gone -but having careers where there is an opportunity for development.. its about ARTISTS DEFINING THE CRITCAL AGENDA -NOT ART EDUCATORS!!!! OR COLLECTORS OR, CURATORS!!!..THINK- ARTIST=APEX PREDATOR OF HIS OR HER ENVIRONMENT!. remember-Hans Hoffman -de Kooning -both started to get good when they hit about 50 years old and they had the time and place to do so -when you look at whatís the usual fare in the galleries and wonder why it looks so collegiate and crappy, well, it takes a long time -at least at painting! To get good.

      I think things like -cheap studio space/ time to develop/ reasonable living conditions -all the things that made the NYC scene at one time -are far more readily found elsewhere -including Chicago -than in NYC any longer........LA has a great scene because they refuse to kowtow to the east coast -we need to start doing that here...LET CHICAGO BE AN INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE ON ITS OWN TERMS...-not by having a bunch of academic internationalist wannabes holding sway- or a bunch of collectors who refuse to take here seriously, who are far more willing to support a bunch of trendy garbage (Josh Smith) than to go out and support a terrific young painter like Marianna Levant -who received wonderful reviews in both the Reader and from Artner in recent weeks.........
    • 4:19 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • "ARTISTS DEFINING THE CRITICAL AGENDA --- LET CHICAGO BE AN INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE ON ITS OWN TERMS"

      Great phrases that sum up most of what's important!
    • 4:26 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Steve -about half of the people I mention are not painters per se- Suzanne Doremus, Rodney Carswell are also quite good.......Chicago is not a painters town like LA or NY or even San Francisco...at times however its looked like it could become that -and there is an indigenous tradition here of abstraction conflating with strange imagery -that is singular to here -from the Imagists -namely Leon Golub, June Leaf -to the Hyde Park group -Nutt /Paschke -etc to present day -people like me and Tony Fitzpatrick -my hope is always for better days -for artists to stay in Chicago and build a better more idealistic and real art world - better than the one we see portrayed in these recent publications I mention- one built by the artists -based upon art. What a concept huh?
    • 4:30 PM
  • Steve said...
    • I don't disagree with anything you just wrote.

      Until more artists discover that being one is like a "priesthood", then you'll keep getting these emerging ones....then...poof!

      The enormous amount of studio time required, the hard work, the "could I live without creating art" attitude seems long gone in most instances.

      You gotta live, breath, eat and shit it in my book. Perhaps that is what it will take. Artists with the guts to plunge the depths not knowing if they'll come up smelling of roses or turd. You know, I don't care if it's either; at least I'll be looking at something genuine.

      My God, if I keep seeing more cookie cutter, wall paper pattern, poster art, color field paintings....I'm gonna...aaargghhh...

      Anyway, I think the current bubble is going burst in a big friggin' way...probably in the same manner as the a contemporary artworld's nearest relative...Britney Spears.
    • 4:56 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Yes -its fascinating -the invasion of pop culture into the world of high art -and even into...high pop culture -Brittany Spears......completely talentless......as compared to a Dylan -or an Alejandro Escovedo.......lets face it most of the $ in pop culture doesn't get in to the hands of the really good artists -many of whom struggle-which is what is so exciting about Dylanís new record doing so well because of the internet.......
      AND WITH PEOPLE LIKE CURRIN -WE SEE HIGH ART BRITTANY AS A TARTED UP NORMAN ROCKWELL WANNABE......is this junk really high art.......I don't think so.
    • 5:18 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • So- Rashid Johnson is actually a New York artist now, Shark.

      And have you considered taking some art history classes so you could start to grasp why some art costs more than some other art? Ie, why Lisa Yuskavige costs more than Mary Lou Zelanzy? It's not about who can make the prettier pictures, and it's not a conspiracy.

      Chicago's not New York, not the center of the art world, not the center of wealth and cultural power on this continent...and that's ok! It's a good place to work.

      The market situation here might change if we had more rich people who were interested in collecting. There is a LOT more money on the east coast than in Chicago.

      Art bubbles everywhere burst, real estate bubbles everywhere burst...but that still won't do anything astonishing, won't stun anyone, isn't worth all your ranting.

      The Klein piece is self evident- doesn't need any further explanations. Dumb-smart gems like LAMO are what I love best about this blog. This isn't an academic forum, it's a blog.

      And what the hell is your ultimate message Shark? It's still not evident what all the venom is about- what warrants such viscous explosions on every blog you start posting on. Are you feeling like a bitter, unappreciated artist or something? Over the hill and upset? Why do you think you are so important? Having one piece in the Met doesn't make you the uber-success and authority you seem to think you are. I've never seen your piece there, numerous visits. It's an awfully large museum- dwarfs anything we got here. I bet they collect A LOT. *Just *shut *up *already. You may be loud, but you are boring as all hell.
    • 8:55 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • This post has been removed by the author.
    • 9:34 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • This post has been removed by the author.
    • 9:40 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • btw Erik -this is why we don't allow anonymous -or pseudonyms posts over on sharkforum -ask people to use their real names -you eliminate the sleazebags-like this 'anonymous' clown . You see, these people always have one thing in common -they're cowards.

      btw coward since I'm so over the hill -you should have warned the Sun Times not to run that huge cover story on me last year.....why is it every contention of yours in no way correlates with reality? Must be that dim bulb lighting that petty little path you trod...
    • 9:57 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • This post has been removed by the author.
    • 11:47 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Yea so boring a chicken shit little chihuahua like you keeps yipping away -I hate to be the one to inform you asshole anonymous -but I have work in numerous collections -including numerous museums -here and elsewhere

      Here is a definition of washed up for you -my next project is a documentary film about a major American musician and his band -filmed by one of the most important and acclaimed directors in the world -with me doing all of the art work for the project...I put the names up here but thought better of it and took them down -its all too good to waste on a loser like you anonymous, in a context like this--its really over the hill stuff -you'll be reading about it soon enough -speaking of which, sharkforum gets about 600,000 hits a month and I'm sure your creepy self is one of those -and what does art history have to do with the inflated prices of Lisa Yuskavages paintings? Of course they cost more than something from here -that goes without saying -but has little to do with the amazing corruption that Jed Perl describes -in that article you obviously STILL have not read -corruption created in part via an art economy run amuck- and described this way -once again by NUMEROUS MAJOR CRITICS-

      Furthermore -where you in your conformist complacency defend the status quo, there are those of us with vision who see a huge opportunity to make the art world here better -due in large part to the internet -which is changing the way information is disseminated, how art is being seen and marketed. Only a fool or a trust-fund brat -or a non-artist would not get the attrition that takes place with any artist struggling in a situation with little hope of recognition -or the opportunity to sell enough work to buy time to make more work.

      Question: are you just flat out stupid along with being a coward?.......funny if all of this is so boring -why are there more posts on this particular thread than any of the others -including your dimwitted drivel?
    • 12:39 AM
  • tom burtonwood said...
    • https://ssl.tnr.com/p/docsub.mhtml?i=20061127&s=kagan112706

      has anybody bothered to consider what strange bedfellows mr perl keeps. or is the "surge" ok by the shark?
    • 1:45 AM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • That is a worrisome --- at the least --- piece you mention there, but anytime you publish or exhibit, you end up near some people not close to your thought in many ways. The Simpson's is on Fox, several people at Art in America I don't agree with, and so on. I'm certain not everyone at Gescheidle, where you exhibit, I think, is your political soul-mate. I like your junk-mail tank a lot, by the way, although I have only seen documentation of it.
    • 7:13 AM
  • Art + Auction said...
    • "Estimating art where criteria such as mastery do not apply is more like divination than science. No one could have surmised that de Kooning's small sketch on paper would be valued about the same as the head of a man by Michelangelo that came up at a Christieís London auction a few years ago."
    • 8:47 AM
  • Art + Auction said...
    • ďArt consultants and investors should be thankful no one has yet had the bad taste to say aloud that the king has no clothes.Ē
    • 8:51 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Stanley Kauffman -arguably the best film critic on the planet is also, along with Perl, at TNR

      and no, The Shark is not into the surge
    • 9:27 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • "but I have work in numerous collections"

      oh, everyone in Chicago, we all fawn over the shark. He's so amazing, the sixth generation ab-ex artist. gosh golly, isn't he amazing!

      For all of you that have never been inside the vaults and warehouses of museums, big and small, they all have heaps of shit donated by people who wanted to rid their own collection, but wanted a tax deduction. They get their pals at non-profits to take it. There is a lot of shit in museums, and the shark's is some of it.

      Its ironic and telling that the shark would claim greatness by mentioning the 'collections' he is in, when the same collections often contain the shit he attacks.

      he's not a shark, he's a BLOW FISH. What he blows, thatís for another debate....
    • 9:48 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Annibale Carracci -thats where I come down on the David Reed question Euroshark ponders in a great new piece over on sharkforum- (we don't call him Shark Theory for nothing) Carravagio's vision found a clarity that eluded Carracci -this was all discussed wonderfully in Frank Stella's Norton Lecture -'Working Space'
    • 9:50 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • This post has been removed by the author.
    • 9:59 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • The Chihuahua's back..oooooooh! so bad assed and brave behind his anonymous cover and his stupid gross generalizations that have zero to do with my actual work..

      uh..once again wrong dummy! Do you just do this to look stupid? My work was prominently displayed and discussed in the drawing Exhibition Drawn Into The World at The Museum Of Contemporary Art over this last summer and fall........

      This idiot must be a card carrying member of CACA-

      yea I'm sure you will discuss my work -and I'm equally sure you are clueless as to what I do....but thats obviously how you work -first prerequisite in any argument you have put up here: be sure and not know a thing about what you are attempting to argue......have you read the Perl piece yet moron?
    • 10:04 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • the only reason your work was in that show is because Lynn Warren is your good buddy. if the art world were held to the same ethical standards the political world were, you'd surpass Daley in corruption. You'd surpass Bush in bullshit. Name one other museum show your work has been in the past decade. Hell, for that matter, why don't you post your resume if you're so proud.
    • 10:11 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well, Wrong Again!....are you just masochistic or just like setting yourself up? -off the top of my head I can think of at least five-exhibitions that is.... maybe you should do a little research before you....naaah never mind -you clearly like acting like a complete idiot.

      -I won't even dignify your comment on a terrific curator of unimpeachable integrity with a rebuttal -what a complete loser and just a chickenshit-
    • 10:36 AM
  • Anonymous said...
    • like i said, bullshit. yellow cake uranium.....museum shows.....blah blah blah
    • 10:59 AM
  • Steve said...
    • Personally, I thought Wesley's drawing at the MCA show was one of the best in the exhibit.

      Believe me, that's saying something considering my personal feelings about him. I can set aside personal animosity when I see work that I feel is accomplished and original.

      And I believe his personal crusade is something every serious Chicago artist should take notice of. He's absolutely right (irregardless of his obnoxious attitude)and whether you like him or not, he's somewhat of a champion for underexposed and undervalued Chicago artists.

      If anything, he's stirred the pot and a lot of shit has floated to the top.
    • 11:07 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well thank you Steve -if anything, I would say my being friends with Lynne has been detrimental to my being exhibited at the MCA: anyone who is aware of the arc of my relationship with Lynne Warren would know we were bitter enemies throughout the 80's -taking potshots at each other in New Art Examiner- the only time I exhibited at the MCA during the 80's was the Kienholz Art Show- when I returned from LA in the very early nineties I apologized to Lynne -she looked at what I was doing and decided to give me an exhibition -after that I had one piece in the Chicago 45 -95 exhibition, another painting was shown in a group exhibition a few years later -having nothing to do with Lynne -and then this recent drawing exhibition-

      -when I attack people -I have this idea that its not a bad thing to actually know what you are talking about -others clearly think (or don't think) otherwise-
    • 11:31 AM
  • tom burtonwood said...
    • mmm, mark, i take your point, it is after all the basis of democracy/freedom of speech, that said my ex-colleagues (alas) at gescheidle have never gone on record to my knowledge that we send 50,000 extra troops into the grinder that is iraq. that's all. mr kagan certainly is suggesting this and many things beside.....we're hoping to pull the tank out of storage soon we'll see...
    • 12:08 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Tom -I really like your tank images -and have been messing around with images of soldiers in a new large-scale drawing I'm working on.......its really interesting looking back now on the battles of the Pacific Theatre in WW11 -like Tarawa for instance -where due to miscalculations about the tides -and just how much water was covering the reefs around the atoll -thousands of marines died.....whew!

      Steve -I didn't initially want to use that drawing - wanted a newer larger one in a fancy frame -fortunately, I did not prevail -that particular piece has seen alot of use -it was the image Collaboraction Theatre Company and I used for Summer Sketchbook (Sketchbook 3) a few years ago -Sketchbook to this day features an art exhibition -along with art being employed in the staging of the short plays -as sets and props -this all happened due to my insistence -and my thinking of interdisciplinary happenings being a more dynamic, interesting way to experience art-when compared to the white box -crummy opening thing which to me, seems so stale.
    • 12:23 PM
  • Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • Come on, Mr or Ms Anonymous, let's not get into personal digs and demand a list of shows when you don't even have the courage to use your real name.

      Kimler has been and is in lots of important places, collections, etc., and I show in museums regularly and am in a bunch o' collections and so on, you can see a major portion of my cv at my website (although it is usually more than a couple months out of date)--- the point is supposed to be questions of quality, not "appeal to authority," as your fallacy is known. And the question of why there is so little quality in the "big hits" now --- which even many many important critics and curators admit. And if there is indeed quality elsewhere, say, EVEN in Chicago! Ohhh nooo, not your own city! Why that might be provincial to say that! I can do it. I don't live there.

      I have my resume up,(www.markstaffbrandl.com/)--- can I know your name?

    • And to Tom -- That tank is really great. Have you done similar pieces? I don't know enough about your art, obviously.
    • 4:18 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well Mark -as usual I think you are too damned nice -this guy's not going to come out of the closet -so to speak -he doesn't have the nerve-

      Oddly and funny enough the last piece of mine I am aware of being in a museum exhibition was at the Norton in Miami -it was a diptych from the 80's and was a painting that Lynne early on had liked -but felt wasn't ready for prime time /museum exhibition...I was pissed off at the time -but now, I kind of agree with her assessment-

      it was shown with a Basquiat and a Duane Hanson piece -and for some odd reason caused something of a sensation......with people really responding to it -I was somewhat embarrassed by the whole thing -as it is an old painting -and frankly, I don't feel it is anywhere near what it is I do now-

      Tom's tank is fine in my opinion -but I like the tank paintings! They are pretty nice-
    • 4:50 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • >why are there more posts on this particular thread than any of the others -including your dimwitted drivel?

      Um, because you wrote most of them?
    • 11:53 PM
  • Anonymous said...
    • The Met- must have a HUGE buying budget, given how many millionaires attend their gala fundraisers. I bet they can hardly find enough work to buy with each year's budget, and are relieved each time they are done spending each year's cash.
    • 11:56 PM
  • The Shark said...
    • Well Mark -you never did hear back from Erik did you? I know! How about if we the give the anonymous chihuahua a name -like, Erik for instance!

      Its really an upgrade -looking at Erik's dog rendition of himself.....the chihuahua is a much finer looking breed-
    • 12:25 AM
  • tom burtonwood said...
    • wesley/mark,

      thanx for the props. the paintings and all other works are produced by my collaborator (Holly Holmes) and I under the nom de guerre "Burtonwood and Holmes" If you fancy seeing them in the raw we'll have them on show at the new gardenfresh space. we moved into the old bucket rider space at 119 n. peoria. opening reception fri 2nd march. it'll be a group show of gallery artists.

      there's more recent works on our flickr site: http://www-us.flickr.com/photos/burtoholmes/sets/1485492/
      T.
    • 12:28 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • Tom -I like a lot of the work over on your site...the dripping helicopters are completely wicked......why don't you do a multiple image/along with some words for us on sharkforum? -just email me over there-
      12:53 AM
  • Laura said...
    • Wow. I just read through these postings and admittedly, I don't know that much about art or the subject at hand so I have no comments on the original argument. But it has been interesting to see how, what could have been an interesting dialogue, has devolved instead into a ridiculous catfight.

      Aren't you grown men? Why is it that you have nothing better to do than hassle some 25 year old kid? You could have left it at a couple of comments, but no--there are 78 (and now 79) comments on this blog. Clearly you have a lot of anger/free-time on your hands. If you feel that Erik is so insignificant, then why do you come back to this blog everyday and continue to post?

      If I were Erik, I wouldn't respond to your comments either. You don't want to discuss anything, you just want someone to bully. Grow up.
    • 10:27 AM
  • The Shark said...
    • But Erik IS responding Laura -check out 'anonymous'.......Erik started this with his ad hominem attack on Paul Klein - no doubt precipitated by the fact that Erik and his hipster pals felt what Paul was saying threatened their -let me paraphrase 'how not to participate or be successful or of any use to 'art''.......or in otherwords -Paul threatened juniors potential livelihood as an artist that mommy and daddy spent so much money on over at SAIC- not that SAIC is bad -there actually are people who did learn skills there -beyond examing the innards of an empty paint buckets in search of profundity- one of those people is Marianna Levant who currently has a terrific painting exhibition up at Gescheidel-

      Most of this thread had not pertained to Erik -and has been quite substantive- for Erik -I would suggest if he is going to continue rendering canines -he might want to consider getting better at it -in terms of contemporary artists, the great bay area funk artist Roy de Forest might be a good starting place-
  • 11:00 AM

    Mark Staff Brandl said...
    • I did not bully anyone. I have written in previously to compliment Erik on certain posts. Not this one. I have repeatedly tried to get the discussion into actually specifics instead of catfight terms, terms like "retarded" which started it all. Obviously many people don't want discussion, inclusing Erik, unfortunately, unless he really is "Annonymous" (and the writing styles are indeed quite similar).

      And "25" or whatever, when you are in the artworld and present your opinion, you are not forgiven anything.

      And you are not a kid at 25 anyway. Kids are 8 years old and say things like "retarded" before they get an art school degree, then they say, oh ---oops.

      Yeah, I think Wesley was too vicious, but then he thinks I'm talking far too nicely, and indeed Erik began this with a highly questionable, highly vicious personal attack. I would have REALLY liked to have heard some real, pointed, discussion from him, but what the hell. Another time.

    2:22 PM

    The Artist Extraordinaire said...

    • Mark, I sent you lengthy comments to your Shark Forum email on Sunday.

      I do not post anonymously.

    2:35 PM 

    The Shark said...

    • Indeed.....as usual in these situations -I always deal with specifics -hence, what is substantive. That anonymous krill clouds the water where The Shark glides is unfortunately, a given.....

      Eriks attitude reminds me of our recent panel discussion at the Cultural Center with BAS and Lumpen -along with Sharkforum -when a complaining student raised his hand to say that he had spent alot of $$$ getting his degrees and seemed concerned we were knocking an economy that he was expecting to be reimbursed via-

      The simple fact is, that Paul Klein -for all of his readily apparent flaws and shortcomings, posted a completely interesting set of suppositions -ideas echoed and fleshed out in other recent writing by some of the finest critics of our time.

      Rather than demonstrating teen spirit, going on ad nauseum about the ambience and profundity to be found in dried out paint in plastic buckets, perhaps Erik should try being more thoughtful -and reasoned in, if it must be, his attacks -he may wish to take pause and consider where indeed this advice is coming from-

      Marks point about '25' is correct -its not that young, and not an excuse for thoughtlessness-

      With cyberspace -and the falling into decadence and corruption that epitomizes the Chelsea based international art cartel, it is only a leap of imagination and as a community our insistence on a better art world here/ with greater infrastructure that is stopping us here in Chicago from being a major center for contemporary art.

      Its problematical as in No Exit -and the answer is just as elegantly simple -get up, and walk through the door.

      Kleins little contrast and compare session is an excellent idea.....there is good work here -and it does cost alot less....what can possibly be wrong or provincial in acknowledging these simple truths?

      Shark Theory -enough! Lets swim back over to more sharky waters and discuss David Reed.....

    3:01 PM


    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.