July 15, 2008

Not Feeling The Love Buttons

by Jerome du Bois

I’ve been keeping my promise not to write any negative art reviews, and I’ll return to that position, but here I will make an exception, because last week we received an email from local artist-lite and ASU art teacher Gregory Sale. It was a mass emailing, not directed to us personally --”Hi All,” he waves vaguely-- so why should it bother me?

It’s no secret to our readers that we can’t abide this pretender, and that we loathe his practice of moving from one part of the public trough to another, dispensing ephemeric effluvia in his wake. He’s well aware of our contempt. Though he’s been around the Valley since the middle Nineties, making this and that while living off taxpayer money, we’re at the top of his Google page, with my piece “Words Fail Gregory Sale,” from two years ago. We’ve also referred to him in a number of other postings before and since, always critically. He has never contacted us, never challenged us, never acknowledged us in any way. So why did he suddenly add us to his email list?

The email was an “invite” to participate in his “Love-Buttons” project, a repeat of sticky-sweet superficiality he first presented over two years ago. You can read about it here. He got money from Lisa Sette and the City of Scottsdale to make it happen again. (Unless last Thursday’s thunderstorm rained on the charade, that is.) Did he really think we would want to mingle with people who were impressed with his sub-pop sentimentality? That we would pin a pale green “use mine” on ourselves and seek out others with the same message? That we would be moved by his “evocative texts” and “poetic fragments”? I doubt it. So, why the email?

This is a man with a smiley-face heart, who fosters an image of connection, of public schmoozing, of feel-good hippie communication, complete with frisbees. Was this his way of reaching out to us? I don’t think so. I think he wanted to stick his thumb in our eye. He knows damn well that we would go the long way around to keep him out of our sight, out of our path. So this email was a just a jeering, sneering, snide missive to remind us of our outsider status. Behind the vinyl-thin veneer of the smiley-face is the curled lip of the privileged insider, trading on the lack of standards and the empty expectations that characterize the current art culture. We’re not feeling the love, Mr. Buttons.

Posted by Jerome at July 15, 2008 06:25 PM | TrackBack
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