Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cool New Online Maps

Street Level Maps.... Somehow, these guys took photos of the street all over major cities. It's still in BETA. This picture is where the former Media Metrix office was, 432 Clay St. in the financial district of San Francisco.

And of course if you haven't seen google maps, check this out: Where I live in Maui.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Why do 2 out of 5 Americans still support Bush and the Iraq War?

Most of us who opposed the Iraq War from the outset are entirely confused now that it looks like a disaster on many levels and 40% of Americans are still in the Bush camp.

Are we waiting for a miracle? All reports I read, even David Brooks, at least admit that the president's policy is blowing it-- not the least to say that the entire notion was wrongheaded from the beginning:
  1. When Shannon and I visited Turkey before the war, a family in the southeast corner told us that IRAQ was the most secular muslim country in the region. Soudi Arabia and Iran are the most hardcore muslim countries.
  2. Bush didnt' really Give Peace a Chance. I understand when Christopher Hitchenssays: "the root falicy that is being put around 'if we weren't mean to them they wouldn't be mean with us' -- absolute bullshit". Got it. -- BUT-- is violence really the answer? [insert john lennon here]. Seriously, isn't this at least a moment to give pause and reflect on what we have learned from Dr. King, from eastern religions, taoism, buddhism, from common sense-- from our experience as humans living our lives -- that "loving our neighbor" is more likely to create a happy outcome?
When Bamuthi and Erica visited, he prompted required reading: Bill Moyers speech at Harvard. Moyers broke down Bush's objective: The religious right basically doesn't care about the environment or the rest of the world hating us because the APOCOLYPSE is coming.

So are we waiting for a miracle? Are all of us? Do we think this thing is just going to work itself out?

Iraq is a mess. Comedy Central is the leading opponent (gawd just wait 'til how many history books corner Jon Stewart as the only vocal dissenter) to the war.

The confusing 40% still still support Bush. They've been called Jackonians by FRANCIS FUKUYAMA in Invasion of the Isolationists -- but it doesn't make sense:

"President Bush's strategy on Iraq is un-American."

"Much has been made of the emergence of "red state" America, which supposedly constitutes the political base for President Bush's unilateralist foreign policy, and of the increased number of conservative Christians who supposedly shape the president's international agenda. But the extent and significance of these phenomena have been much exaggerated."

"Are we failing in Iraq? That's still unclear. The United States can control the situation militarily as long as it chooses to remain there in force, but our willingness to maintain the personnel levels necessary to stay the course is limited."

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Layers in Graffiti: Website Review GRAFARC.ORG

My art, as I'll tell you again and again, is alot about layers. Every layer influences every other layer-- even when the viewer can no longer clearly see what existed before. This site has inspired me to complete a vision I've had for a number of years. I want to allow users to strip away top layers from my paintings to see what it was that existed before-- what influenced subsequent layers. I'll post info here on the blog when it's available to view.

If you are interested in Graffiti, this is a phenomenal work. The creator allows you to urban time travel-- to move back in time and see the previous layers of graffiti. It's up to you to determine if the pervious layers somehow affect the following ones.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Front Street: Maui Fine art Scene

Front Street in Maui claims to be third in the world in art sales. What this means exactly is a little unclear. "Third behind New York and Paris" based on per capita sales... While I have been unable to come up with the figures to support this, undoubtedly, some of the best art in the world is available right here.

It's all here: Picasso, Chagall, Warhol, Haring , Sam Francis, Erte... the classic masters, the most collectible art... and then the up and comers.

But what I have learned selling art on front street is:
  1. Most people don't care about art. Those of us who love art are in the vast minority. In fact a number of people even take great pride in "not getting" art.
  2. Of those that love art, those of us who are captivated by new art/cutting edge art/transformational art are in the minority again.
  3. Art can be an investment. It is actually a great place to put your money but if you don't know what you are doing, it's likely a distaster.
  4. Art is an impulse buy. People buy art in the moment when they love it. The "BeBack Bus "does not exist. "We'll be here on vacation all week" is just another way of saying-- "let me out of the gallery."
  5. The art buyer has to like you. No one is going to give thousands of dollars for art if they don't like you.
  6. The art buyer needs approval. The sales job may actually be more a job of just letting them know that it's ok for them to spend thousands of dollars for an object made of materials that amount to a few hundred dollars in actually cost.
  7. Just about everyone is super happy that they bought art. Every time I would call someone to ask if they are still loving their art, they would say yes. When I called my very first client just to say hello, he started off telling me, "you were right. you and my wife were right, I didn't want to buy the art but you thought we should and you were right. We love it. Thank you."
  8. People create their own glass ceiling of attraction. I can't tell you how many times the art people effuse over is the art just beyond their financial means. When they could afford the $2000 Bertho, they love the $10,000 Warhol. When they can afford the $10,000 Picasso, they want the one that is $40,000. This allows them to not have to do anything or spend any money.
  9. The jury is still out on this one, but it is looking like the most succesful people in this business are hard core. Soft on the outside but when you cross them, they beat you up. If you like the art, you do not leave until you have put down the money.