Letters from the Issue of September 28, 2006

"She created more blight than she removed"

It's unfortunate that articles like this one get printed, because they do a disservice to Miami. Our city is still lacking in culture. After all of Suarez's criticism, all of the overdetailed jokes about bad art, I still couldn't make out what he thought is good art. Not too colorful or whimsical, too wacky or too disturbing. So let me ask you, Mr. Suarez De Jesus: What is it you like? Because from the sound of it, Art Fusion has more than enough choices to appease even the toughest client, visitor, and critic. So perhaps the only one selling schlock was you!

Martha Dominguez
Miami Beach

Or two: In reference to the article "Shopping for Schlock":

First, hello, Carlos, the writer extraordinaire. I don't know you, but let me introduce myself: I am Alexandra Spyratos, the artist with the fluorescent zebras whose images adorned your article. I must say that if I was a stranger reading that article with those beautiful images beside it, I would have wondered what on Earth you were talking about. Schlock? What schlock? I am a professional and prolific artist, dedicated to my work, and I do what I love for a living. I have lived and raised a family solely off of my art for twenty years. Coming from Kenya, I feel my passion for Africa and the wildlife is depicted in my art. And I paint the animals in an unusual, unique, and beautiful way. If you cannot understand my form of art or connect with it (or pretend not to), that is your story, not mine. My buyers include many celebrities. I have had 22 solo exhibitions worldwide and continue to do so, with future exhibitions coming up in Australia, Kenya, Hong Kong, and, closer to your shores, Coral Gables in April.

I find your article to be a "bunch of schlock" and generalized, without individual understanding of the artist.

Alexandra Spyratos
Byron Bay, Australia

Then a kind word: Thanks so much for choosing the Museum of Bad Art as the gallery against which others are measured in your article "Shopping for Schlock" (August 31). We are honored.

If Art Fusion wishes to offer works to us, we will give them full consideration. Of course we must work within our acquisitions budget, which includes a limit of $6.50 for a work. Most works are donated, and some donors even pay us to take the pieces.

Yours in bad art,
Louise Sacco, permanent acting interim executive director
Museum of Bad Art
Boston, Massachusetts

Main Street Magic

In the subtropics: I just finished reading "Metal Magic" (August 17) by Josh Schonwald. How can I nominate this thing for a Pulitzer? I was in tears reading it. Never have I seen someone so eloquently capture the pathos of the magic business like Mr. Schonwald did.

I've been in magic all of my life. I actually make a profession of it. Seeing the fine line some of us walk between success and failure like Mr. Trixx motivated me considerably to pursue my art in a practical manner.

Contrary to what one of the interview subjects said, there are quite a number of very successful magicians working in the South Florida area. From birthday party performers who can afford brand-new Mercedes, to cruise ship and trade show performers who make six-figure incomes, magic can be a lucrative business if you have the right focus.

Thank you for that article.

Andrew Mayne
Fort Lauderdale

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