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'Art' can't be found in animosity

The latest issue of Smithsonian magazine arrived a few weeks back, sprinkled with several pieces of interesting writing, as usual. One of them announced an exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, titled "Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes."

I know you're distracted now by a strange sensation of familiarity. And your emotions are justified. You likely recall my exhibition "Accidental Abstraction" from March that celebrates the beauty of photographs from Italy that some would call (and have called) a waste of printed paper and/or blog space.

Monsieur Clément Chéroux curated the show at SFMOMA, yet never took the time to track down a remedial-level-at-best photographer who posted a handful of photos on an obscure, unlikely-to-be-read website as part of a self-proclaimed "exhibit" dedicated to weird-looking photos.

It stung, I admit, to learn about the SFMOMA show from A MAGAZINE! Not knowing Monsieur Chéroux and having never spoken to or seen him, I certainly expected a phone call, or at least a handwritten note, that acknowledged the role I played in his having the idea for the SFMOMA show. Alas, I am left wanting as my ego recovers slowly.

However, I wish Monsieur Chéroux and his show all the luck in the world (but only the good kind) because, unsurprisingly, I love the idea. There is no room for ill will in the art world. I know this because in my long and storied career, no one has ever approached me and said, "I hope your next painting is awful" or "I hope your next photograph is an absolute blurry mess, unless that's what you want, in which case I hope it's clear as a cloudless day." In this regard, I have enjoyed a tremendous amount of unspoken support from countless people who have no idea who I am and remain unaware of my spare-time creations.

Therefore, if you are looking for the next hot art controversy, you will not find it here. Please do not call me at the number you do not have stored in your phone. I will not answer.

Instead, go to San Francisco and celebrate photography that's outside the norm.

 
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