The Great Pretender

After years of making a living off rich people's money, Martin Siskind is now portraying himself as a savior to Miami's poor

Siskind's help did not end there, according to King. He was instrumental in getting King to be named artist in residence at the D.A. Dorsey House, a historical site across the street from the Clennon King Apartments, where he paints and helps take care of the house. King describes Siskind as a cross between a godfather and sugar daddy. He estimates Siskind has given him about $500 as well as a roundtrip ticket to Georgia so that King could attend his father's funeral. "[Siskind] kept me afloat and didn't let me drown out here," King says. "He comes by and asks me what do I need. He keeps my inspirations up."

King says he feels he owes Siskind for getting him off the street. He often helps at the Advocacy Foundation, moving supplies and furniture and painting without charging Siskind for his time. Since the two met, Siskind has been spending time at the King Apartments, acting as a manager and something like a counselor to the tenants. He has even joined with a local church to organize twice-weekly free dinners in front of the dilapidated building. At the dinners Siskind is approached by the apartment tenants for advice, or they ask him for a couple of dollars or a few cigarettes as church members sing on the lawn. The property sits a few blocks west of the Miami Arena area, where high-rises are rapidly being developed. The building boom is raising speculation that the Clennon King Apartments could become valuable property in the next five years.

The Victory on the Rock church feeds the homeless on Thursday nights with Siskind's help
Juan Carlos Rodriguez
The Victory on the Rock church feeds the homeless on Thursday nights with Siskind's help
The Victory on the Rock church feeds the homeless on Thursday nights with Siskind's help
Juan Carlos Rodriguez
The Victory on the Rock church feeds the homeless on Thursday nights with Siskind's help
Siskind kept Overtown street artist Ernest King from living in an alley this year
Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Siskind kept Overtown street artist Ernest King from living in an alley this year

"Everyone is starting to say, “Watch that Martin -- he's trying to take your building,'" King says. "I get skeptical, but I trust him. I have to trust him."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...