Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Way way back when, so far back in time that I can't remember exactly when, someone mentioned in passing, that if you were going to be a poet that you should never use abstract words or concepts to express yourself. May be they/he/she said something else but overtime this is what I remember hearing somewheres in my head...So remember, if you are an artist, an amateur artist, a curator, a critic, an amateur critic or a gallerist please keep big words far from your nimble and feverish mind and snuggly tucked somewheres in inaccessable body parts. Otherwise, you'll sound like a tool and will only impress those of you who are dumber than you; the rest of us will be forced to ignore you.

Steer clear of Art speaks like these: Narrative(!), resonant(!), dissonant(!) meditative(!), discourse(!); cathartic(!), organic(!), dialectic(!); mediate(!); appropriate(!), gender-based(!), textured(!), imbued(!), fractured(!), manufactured(!); pioneering(!); fractious(!), contentious(!), heterogeneous(!)....

They may not have the heart to tell you but when you write like this, you sound like a fucking prick. Construct(!) phrases others might like to read, instead of making the rest of us skip your entreaties(!)groaningly.


Take Hiroshi Sugimoto for example, whose show I just saw at the De Young, in San Francisco. Try him on for size and see if this is a paragraph you might be able to craft. Lo and behold, it's actually interesting and informative(!)....After reading what he has to say I find myself liking him and his work even more. Go to his site for more.

Portraits: "In the sixteenth century, Flemish court painter to the British Crown Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) gave us the imposingly regal portrait of Henry VIII now kept in London's Royal Portrait Gallery. Based on this Holbein portrait, the wax figure artisans of Madame Tussaud's in their consummate skill recreated an absolutely faithful likeness of the king. Which allowed me—based on my own studies into the Renaissance lighting Holbein might have painted by—to re-do the Royal Portrait, substituting photography for painting, the sole recording medium available at the time. If this photograph now appears lifelike to you, you had better reconsider what it means to be alive here and now." (see portraits above). You see it's not that hard, just come out with it and stop giving the Arts and your fellow artists or critics a bad name.

So, yesterday I went to the De Young in San Francisco's Golden Gate and saw Hiroshi Sugimoto's. I have always liked his work. Let me re-phrase that, I have always really liked half his work. I like his Portraits, his Dioramas, his blur-chitecture, theaters and Chambers of horrors. The rest of it, the conceptual forms, Joe and in Praise of Shadows are less interesting to me personaly. I may not appreciate his more "cerebral"(!) works, but at least when he writes about it, I respect it and understand it. I am interested in what he has to say, and do not, as I often do, find myself wishing I could strangle him, or you, with a shoe lace. Check it.