Monday, July 24, 2006

Get to know your mocad artists...

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Mocad will be opening before you even know let's take a look at the artists in the first show. First up, Mark Bradford -more images here and here.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this guy from detroit? shouldn't you start out with the artists from detroit?

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Bradford lives and works in Los Angeles and recieved his MFA from Calarts. His paintings/collages are mostly made of hair styling endpapers (small rectangles) which are somewhat transparent. He was a hairstylist and I believe he still has a shop in L.A.

He's a good choice for a show in Detroit considering how he makes his work and the fact that Detroit is a mecca for new trends in African American hair styling.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an art salon now.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention Detroit artists: this is what the Museum thinks of you (us): Nothing.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are detroit artists willing to do about their lack of participation at moca-d?

only good for bitching.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that MOCAD has Hair-Dressers of America represented, how about Detroit artists?!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god! i'm so sick and tired of listening to all of you constantly bitch and complain. you've been saying the same thing over and over and over again for the last 5 months. get over it or get off your ass and do something about it!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I intend to. I'm not going to take this lying down. This joint plans to open a non-profit charter in Detroit and turns its back on the Detroit art community. I'm in the street ready to fight for Detroit artists. It isn't often you get to practice civil disobedience for a good cause.

And anyone else who wants to join the fight is welcome too.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig--street demonstrations not that unusual. Some museums in NY have had some famous ones.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be good to see what the rest of the world is making outside of Detroit every once and a while? There are very few places in this town that show work by contemporary artists of national or international stature.

I certainly want to see Detroit artists in MOCAD but the city also needs to have a sustained dialogue with art world outside of Michigan instead of being so insular all the time. By bringing artists and curators from outside the city in for exhibitions, they will see what is being made here which can have positive ramifications.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a picket line would be cool... I'd bring lemonade for you, craig. Good luck.

I think there needs to be a ballance between in-detroit and out-of-detroit art represented, but at this point it's impossible to say they have or haven't turned their back on detroit art based on the roster for the opening show... unless you know all the other shows planned for the year?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a picket line would be cool... I'd bring lemonade for you, craig. Good luck.

I think there needs to be a ballance between in-detroit and out-of-detroit art represented, but at this point it's impossible to say they have or haven't turned their back on detroit art based on the roster for the opening show... unless you know all the other shows planned for the year?

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian steck-- "sustained dialogue with art world outside "

That cat's out of the bag. with internet can see art online all the time.
One purpose of museum to help the artists in the city. Frankly, I already know about a lot of art going on, not that hard to find out.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is usual somewhere else in the arts, isn't for detroit. we all know.

i'm not looking to take the place over for detroit artists, just to have an open possibility for participation.

the tate just had an open photography show -- anyone could enter and be curated. anyone in london.

why isn't mocad reaching out to the community from which it hopes to be its audience and patrons?!

Wouldn't it be good to have the rest of the world see what detroit is making every once and a while! There are very few places in this town that show work by detroit contemporary artists of national or international stature.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are just pleasing the elite..
Many collectors who really "invest"
will only go to NYC or LA or maybe
Chicago for their purchase. I've seen homes where the contemporary art collection might be worth millions but just a few token works by detroit artists and they only cost a fraction compared to the big names.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig, I was behind the lemonade picket line.. however, in response to : "Wouldn't it be good to have the rest of the world see what detroit is making every once and a while! " --- it would require Detroit Art being shown around the world, not in Detroit galleries. In order for Detroit galleries to gain national recognition (and thus help to catapault the local artists that they DO show) they have to show artists from the national venue. NY galleries don't show only NY artists. I agree that Detroit artists need a fair shot of getting in to MOCAD, but should they be shown in MOCAD if their work isn't par with the broader scene just because they are from Detroit?

I think people are coming down too hard on the galleries: running a nonprofit gallery is a much more complex dance than many people on this page are giving credit. You have multiple audiences to please, multiple agendas to shuffle, a constant lack of funding: who'se needs are greater, the artist or the community?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Said "M."

If Mr. Anonymous knows everything about art by viewing it through his PC screen then please tell us who you are! You can teach us everything we need to know about art so that we can simply bitch and complain just like you and forget about intelligent conversation.

Also, if local museums owe you so much then why are you bothering with MOCAD when you can go knock on the DIA's door? The whole museum is filled with art by Detroit artists!


Wouldn't it be interesting to talk about art on this site rather then self entitlement. So much for Mark Bradford.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with M. that Detroit artists need a fair shot of getting into MOCAD, which would end this sorry talk that Detroiters aren't up to par. Detroit can never be taken seriously in the broader scene if we don't appreciate them at home.

Once a Detroit artist moves to NY, they are a NY artist -- and NY galleries support these artists with shows. And not all of them are up to par (note Josh White's recent show). It's who you know and who knows you. If Detroit art can't be seen at this conduit of a contemporary museum, it can't join the broader scene, and it will continue to be excluded and considered wrongfully under-par.

Why not Detroit?

My beef isn't with the gallery scene, they fight the good fight. Just aren't enough to matter anymore.

MOCAD is a different animal. If it takes itself seriously, it should form a bridge to the broader scene. Sending Detroit art out (by fingering it as worthy), and bringing outside in.

I know too many "under-par" (read Detroit) artists who have left to make their careers elsewhere. And I'm not just talking about NY. They are getting noticed in Chicago, Denver, LA, Columbus, Houston, and Boston. At museums, galleries, and univeristy spaces.

MOCAD can prevent the art drain.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To hell with those who tell another artist to shut their mouth when in fact they are standing up for everyone. You probably just love bending over anyways.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tired and Weary should go to sleep.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Jef Bourgeau said...

The founding of a contemporary museum in Detroit should be part of the art community's daily dialogue and debate. It's that important.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mocads notion of build-it-and-they-will-come isn't helping their cause. They need an audience, and they need the art community's support. i don't believe detroit artists understand the collective power they could have in decisions that will influence their futures here and on a broader stage. many seem happy with the status quo which simply sucks and gets worse month by month as we lose key galleries and venues. and more to come. get positive about our futures here. and that means get vocal. get activated. take some control of your art lives. become a power that can influence it. don't stand aside when opportunities to improve your lot come along -- like mocad. join with them in a dialogue for the community ---- as well as their's with ny and outside artists.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never said anyone should shut up.

I visit this site in order to learn about what's going on around town and maybe find some constructive dialogue or interesting ideas which your clearly not capable of sharing. Shame on me.

Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that not everyone wants you to stand up for them, especially when instead having something insightful to say you simply accuse another person of "loving to bend over."

Thanks for bringing yourself down to the lowest common denominator.

Please keep those childish comments coming and you'll be a fine representation for Detroit.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you, thank you, john and jef

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig : just because someone from detroit moves to NY doesn't make them a NY artist. i don't think so, at least. The important thing is how does the artist pigeon hole themselves? When they're submitting their bio, do they proclaim themselves as a NY artist or a Detroit artist? And what is this "Detroit Artist" vs. "New York Artist" vs. "Chicago Artist" stuff anyway? It's a global world. I've lived in 6 cities in 4 states, including New York and Detroit: what does that make me (if i were an artist)?

I'm not picking on your personally, it's just that this thread is making me a little cross-eyed. I agree with you completely about the art-drain, but lets look at this from the wider perspective for a moment... forget the artists, what does that mean for the community? A gallery has to ballance the needs of the community and the artists it represents: is it OK to remain cloistered and incestuous? No, and re-showing the same people over and over and over again fails to engage the community. Bringing in outside work helps to spark interest from the community at large. The trick is to find a good ballance. Do we know for a fact that MOCAD is not showing any Detroit art? (i haven't heard and that would affect my opinion on this matter). It's the same for NY galleries: crowds are drawn to the exotic, so when NY does a show of European work is draws more ooohs and aaahs than another NY show of NY art. That's just a fact. Detroit could have the same appeal to other parts of the country/world (I think so at least).

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not have shrinking cities later in the year or early next?
Follow up the predominant Nyc show with a predominant Dc show? Something as M said "more balanced". It is shocking in a way to think the idea people here did not think their hard working community would feel duped. There have been great things of all kinds creative born here. That energy has gone around the world many times. This Nyc show pleases the elite because it reinforces the ultimate hierarchy. Shrinking cities falls under that category as well specially in such a line up.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as mentioned earlier maybe "five months ago", klaus kertess was invited to curate a show with six national/international artists and two detroit artists at moca-d.

in the end he could only choose one detroit artist (did he visit your studio?), the one whose studio he visited decades ago at the urging of then dia museum director sam wagstaff: gordon newton (Cass Corridor Group). gordon newton, a reclusive fart declined the offer. no one/two was selected to replace him.

however, mitch cope who is the only paid staff member for mocad has chosen himself for show 1 and 2. he claims this is common at museums and no conflict of interest or integrity. at the same time mitch is an artist with limited exhibition time and would not have been (wasn't) chosen by kertess. nor by anyone, other than mitch.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian: he's put himself in the 1st AND 2nd show? Putting himself into ANY show would be a conflict of interst (even if it is widely accepted, that doesn't make it right) but to put yourself into the FIRST show.... and then the 2nd one also? Is this true?

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also thought it was a little too convenient, sending the wrong message, but maybe we shoulg give him the benifit of the doubt until things are official.

I would be suprised if things aren't still up in the air regarding the finished lineup.

The initial plans were put on the table in mid-April regarding the exhibition. So much can change in the meantime, especially for an organization that is still in the opening phases.

Has anyone seen any signs of life at the building?

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are images and articles at the

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was directed to this blog by another artist, and i find this dialogue quite interesting.

it seems the sentiment of the people behind mocad could be viewed in a couple of ways.

one seems like a missionary approach- where members of the NYC art world are attempting to "educate" detroit by inflicting its ideals and practices of curating onto our city. it almost anthropological- perhaps their reasoning is that we don't know how to operate in a viable, cohesive art scene and we need them to "save" detroit by teaching us to think like them.

it is insulting, though, that so many great artists in detroit will not be reprsented in the first few shows.

i can't help but wonder if it's our fault, which leads me to the second view. to me, the detroit art "scene" operates like a system of islands in a vacuum. people tend to clique up or go into hiding [ie gordy newton]. there is no cohesive scene. and as far as the NYC type is concerned, there is no obvious place to go find a bank of emerging or established artists. they are confused by this, but this is the nature of a lot of detroit artists. they have an easier time calling their NY friends in a pinch to get a show together.

hopefully they'll get the hang of it by the end of the year, and hang some of our work. and maybe we can come together a bit more, on this issue, and as a whole.

4:09 PM  

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