Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Freedom Erodes

On Cathedral Place and St. George

Here is a man delivering his message last Saturday. This will be declared illegal on September 14. The First Amendment dies.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Anger Management Candidate

St. Augustine City Commissioner Errol Jones
Jones, who likes to present himself as a leader from the 60's civil rights movement here in St. Augustine, regularly comes down to the Plaza de la Constitucion. He is usually in a particular state that propels him to start arguments and throw his 135 pounds around while flashing his gold plated commissioner badge and wearing his custom made polo shirts with "The Commish' emblazoned on the breast (very cute). Unfortunately he has no compunction against agressive confrontation angrily using the 'F' word and being loud with Mom, Dad and the kids walking past. At yesterday's city commission meeting, Errol showed only a slight example of his temper when he said on camera to Suvo, the artist "YOU'RE A LIAR! HA HA HA" Rarely have we ever seen Suvo speechless.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Would Krishna Do?

13 foot wide chariot on a 6 ft wide sidewalk

On Saturday, the Plaza contained the motley crew of flea market vendors hawking their trinkets without concern to the grass, the din that they create or the foot traffic that they disrupt. Chasing the tourist dollar was all important. The best thing Saturday was the return of Festival of the Chariot.This festival originated in India, where it is known as "Ratha Yatra," and is still held yearly in many cities throughout India. Vegetarian food was served and it was a nice event, though the attendance has been dropping regularly over the past three years. The organizers told me that they definitely get a chill from the city administration who would prefer that they hold the event on the edge of town at treeless Francis Field.
The three artists who set on Saturday have been self exiled away from the dozen mercantile vendors. They have been setting up their exhibits on the northeast corner of the Plaza, away from the plastic beads , hot dogs,used shoes and even kitchen sinks for sale (not kidding!). A festival coordinator told us that the hand pulled chariot was to follow the route of other years ,as published in the St. Augustine Record. (down Cordova, Orange, Castillo, St. Francis, Cordova, back to King Street and conclude at the plaza.) Instead, the city rerouted the 3/4 mile parade from Cathedral, down the Plaza sidewalk where the artists had set up along the sidewalk, ending at a bottleneck at the Constitutional Monument. Instead of the traditional .75 mile parade, it ended 30 yards from where it started. The chariot float is 13 feet wide and the sidewalk is six feet wide. Why would the city do this? Take a look at the picture above, the float is behind.This was the bottleneck. We artists have always worked with the festival but no one informed us of a route change with a gargantuan colorful chariot heading our way.Even after moving our artworks the guys had to pull it off into the grass because shrubbery did not permit passage. The city surely had their photographers there and we are sure to see these pictures again with commentary on how "the artists cause impediment to passage through the Plaza .""This is the first time they altered our route, it really wasn't a parade as it is supposed to be," said a participant who didn't want his named used."This was not our idea".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be Back Soon

Richard Childs & Karl
Art In The Market artist,Richard Childs is now in Upstate New York displaying and selling his works on the streets and sidewalks of Saratoga Springs causing that city to rethink illegal ordinances that ban this activity. "We don't arrest artists here", says city attorney Michael Englert.

Big Apple Weekend !

Art InTheMarket Photographer Elena Hecht and husband David

Elena and David have departed today for Manhattan. They will be visiting with art vendors in the WestVillage and Chelsea. As usual, Elena will have her ever present camera bandalero'd over her shoulder. We wish that they could bring back a hot dog and a papaya drink from Gray's Papaya or Papaya King but they do not travel well. (......the food, that is)

Charles Is The One With The Sign

Art InThe Market artists Charles Dickinson and Deb Boon
Charles and Deb are on their annual New England plein air painting vacation. The Salty Dog Gallery in Southwest Harbor Maine had a weekend show , August 6 of Charles' works . Our question is.......is that Charles' hand in the picture* or is someone thrusting a wine gass in Charles' direction.*Doesn't look right, kinda creepy looking.

Pensacola Appreciates Artists

Photo by B. Graner Art In The Market artist Ouigley wearing a tie!
Last weekend, Pensacola Florida celebrated the wrap up of it's 450th Birthday.Quigley, who spent nearly a month in Pensacola in May completing a series of 10 paintings depicting the 450 years of Pensacola's history explained his detailed paintings before an enthusiastic crowd at the charity event. Dean's paintings and prints raised a total of $11000.00 dollars benefiting "Celebrate Pensacola". story

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Long Lost Tools

In doing research on John James Audubon and his times in St. Augustine, Florida I came upon information that Audubon used a camera lucida to capture some of his bird and mammal studies. I then came across mention an artist's tool with which I was not familiar, a Claude Mirror. This is a small, black, convex mirror, usually sized for the hand that was used extensively by artists and tourists in the 18th and 19th centuryto contemplate, reconfigure and transcribe, that is draw landscape. The idea is that faults in ones paintings tonality should become easier to spot. As all colors are equally tinged with the color of the glass it has the effect of creating simpler arrangements of tone and so making it evident if one color is lighter in tone than another. Unity in the light and dark masses of the painting should therefore be easier to see. When you look through the glass,you notice less tonal variations and a simplification of tonal masses. As the amount of light is reduced while viewing the scene through the mirror, the amount of visible detail is greatly eliminated.........................WhatI also found interesting is that this was used by tourists to view vistas that they encounter along the way..........Poet and novelist Hugh Sykes Davies observed groups of tourists facing away holding their claude mirrors away from the object they wished to view, and commented: "It is very typical of their attitude to Nature that such a position should be desirable"............Artists, I'm sure that one can be made easily enough. Go to Goodwill and look for a small frame with curved glass (two might be better for depth), use Liquitex Mars Black paint to eliminate all light on the front and use the verso for viewing. Me....I am a "fauvist" painter, color and tonality is rational ,my painting is not. I like what Gauguin had said in 1888,
"How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine these red leaves? Put in vermilion."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Artists Shoved Out

The city has enlisted the local newspaper to spread more confusion before the March 2010 final federal court date by the visual artists vs St. Augustine. These merchandise vendors have recently shown up in the nation's oldest public space.The flea market atmosphere has been fostered and encouraged by the city to , in the words of City planning boss Mark Knight's "build a case". The visual artists, painters, sculptors and photographers are scarceley present amongst the rummage sale. On Saturday when at least 18 vendors were hawking their wares ( hawking....shouting out) there were three painters set up away from the din where there is much less tourist traffic.The vendors arrive at dawn and set up in prime spots. Merchandise vendors, unaware of the freedom of speech nuances in the law say, "We have every right to be here" When asked if they would contribute to our legal defense fund they uniformly look confused and then decline , laughing it off. Not only can you get a blown glass pipe down in the Plaza ,but if you look ok, you can buy the"weed" for which it was intended. Story

Friday, August 14, 2009

Save Freedom In Florida!

ACLU of Florida Warns St. Pete Mayor That Privatizing Public Sidewalks Cannot Stop Free Speech and Assembly ...............................After the Ft. Lauderdale lawsuit and this warning in St. Petersburg, it seems that the actions taken by the artists here in St. Augustine has finally got the ACLU of Florida doing what they should be doing. A formerly lax, damn near asleep ACLU division, let's see if they are all talk. Story

What's Up With Kinkaid

Thomas Kinkaid , Painter of Light tm " "I'm an idol to these women"
Kinkaid, Painter of Light tm seems to have taken a dark turn somewhere along the line.

"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure. Rumour and Innuendo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Criminals In Our MIdst

The above photo is of counterfeit designer goods seized by U.S. Customs. Here in St. Augustine, these illegal goods are readily available, right out in the open, from vendors in the Plaza de la Constitution. These vendors are the busiest vendors in the hisoric plaza. The painters and artists in the Plaza recently won a temporary injunction against the City of St. Augustine preventing the police from arresting legitimate painters who display and sell the works on public property. They are now are forced to share space with this illegal activity. There is a resentment by the artists against copyrighted material being pirated. .........In May,Federal Judge Marcia Morales Howard wrote that the city may ban outside sales within the city as the existing ordinance states with the exception of paintings, prints, sculpture and photography. No change of ordinance is needed......................In a direct affront to the judges order, the city is now waiving all rules and ordinances and writing a new ordinance that once again will restrict artists illegally. The city attorney claims to have confusion over a previous county judge's decision and a federal decision that he says seems to contradictory . We street artists ave learned that the county decisions will generally follow the dictates of the Judge's political cronies. This is why we went to Federal Court....................As visual artists were arrested and being jailed in the past, we were handcuffed and marched right past these illegal kiosks. ..............come down to the Plaza on weekends and if you are the type of person who likes this kind of cheap knockoffs, you can fork over your 40 dollars and try to fool your friends that you are a sophisticated "Coach "toting parvenue. ............arrests within the last month elsewhere : Florence S.C. Flea Market....Gatlinburg , Tenn.
Lake City, Fla Rehoboth Beach Any sale of these trademarked counterfeit goods is a violation of Florida Statute 831.05

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



ACLU sues Fort Lauderdale on behalf of street artist

Self Portrait, John' Wang
The ACLU announced on July 28 that it's suing the city of Fort Lauderdale for what it called a "web of ordinances that create an elaborate scheme'' that make it "illegal for street artists to work and sell their artwork.''Story
So much misinformation supplied to the paper...here's an online comment that sums it up...............................................As I sat in the courtroom last week during Travous' "hearing" regarding selling American Flags in the Plaza over a year ago, I wondered what we were doing there. Asst. City Atty. Mendoza had filed a peculiar motion that didn't seem to make much sense. He was asking the judge basically, to rule as to whether the City could prosecute Mr. Travous for selling merchandise other than visual art in the Plaza. Judge Tinlin was perplexed as well, stating that in his "18 years on the bench, I've never seen a motion like this one." Now, as I listened to last nights meeting, I understand the purpose of that hearing. Mendoza and Brown "used" our court of law...and Judge Tinlin... so they could announce that the judge would not rule whether merchandise other than visual art could be sold in the Plaza... sneaky, underhanded and unethical, to say the least. That gave them the "out" they needed not to kick out all the vendors of merchandise and allow the chaos in the Plaza to continue... shame on this Commission! Those of you who are knowing participants...(Boles, Harris and perhaps Critchlow) and those of you who are gulible, unwitting pawns... Stand up! Stop the Madness! These men are outright lying to everyone and getting you to sign your names to their bad deeds. THE CITY COMMISSIONERS, CITY ATTORNEY RON BROWN, BILL HARRIS.... they all are aware that the City Police were instructed to go out into the City where vendors were selling in other areas, like at the parking garage and 50 feet off St. George Street and collect up those vendors and herd them into the Plaza, telling them it was a "free for all". Ask around, you'll see... this is the truth! THEY created the problem in the Plaza on May 12th, that day after Judge Howard's order, allowed it to brew to the point where it's hurting the downtown merchants, and now they're jumping to the rescue to REPAIR the problem... the problem created by them! Don't be fools! Open your eyes! Get rid of Ron Brown and his lackey Mendoza! Those same tactics worked to get rid of the musicians and they're being allowed to use them again! Merchants.... unite and get rid of these unethical politicians! Don't let them use you again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Strange Comments

photo by Ortagus , copyright of paintings by Suvo ...............
photo removed at the request of the photographer .....................................This outta be good! ......Monday night at five pm,City Commission meeting. Watch City attorney Brown explain why we need a new ordinance for vending in the Plaza. Will at least Freeman ask why we need one and why are non protected flea marketers given consideration at all. He has "studied the ordinances in several other cities" So have we Ron, for years. We can expect you to present an inaccurate assessment just like the "all or nothing" ruling that doesn't exist.
The St.Augustine Record story on Thursday's hearing that freed Suvo .........kinda. Doesn't Judge Tinlin look like a 50's folk singer. One of the Limelighters or Peter or Paul, those guys with Mary.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ex Wives Will Hate This Guy

Grazia Movie Trailer 2009
The local newspaper recently wrote about a movie to be shot on location here in St. Augustine. According to a press release the producers say that the film 'Grazia' "will rank among such superlative films as Casablanca , An Affair to Remember , Love Story , The Way We Were , and Ghost ". Hyperbole perhaps, but it's great to hear artists excited about their projects. .......................here is the trailer for 'Grazia'. Ok, we are going to say that it strikes us as a little creepy, that's all we're gonna say.Twice he refers to "my boys" and I think of....well, ....never mind..................... We think that the film Things That Hang From Trees filmed here in 2006 was an excellent strange and moody film that should be seen.

Sittin On The "Group W" Bench

That's not Suvo in the photo..he is not a reenactor and won't wear wool in JulyIt's 2 pm in the St. Johns County Florida courthouse. I am there as a defendant with my attorney Tom Cushman .At the table to the right is the county prosecutor, Carlos Mendoza. We are waiting for Judge Charles Tinlin to arrive. This is seriously cutting into my afternoon nap time.I can see that the open folder on the prosecutor's desk has 8'x 10' photos of American flags and a photo of a sign offering them for sale*. These were my flags and I made that sign and put it up in the Plaza de la Constitucion on Memorial day last year, 15 months ago. I am charged with the crime of 'offering for sale' on public property (the Plaza), U.S. flags. This was a demonstration of what I felt were clear first amendment rights. You'd think ,so wouldn't you. It landed me in jail.............................................In reality, I gave away the 11"x 14" flags ( referred to as flag "replicas" by city attorney Ron Brown) since the signs were indicative of my right to sell as the courts have previously ruled that a national flag is "protected speech"... and protected items may be sold to the public on public property without permit .RILEYv.NATIONAL FEDERATION OF BLIND ,487 U.S. 781 (1988) ...........Understand, that I'm not here as a flag enthusiast or super patriot.I was simply reacting to the draconian and outrageous conduct of the City of St. Augustine, arresting artists for exercising their free speech rights. This was a demonstration. .....................The upshot is that I'm not prepared with the time or resources to take this battle to higher courts......I would win this ,but as I told the judge......I am in the art business not the flag business...................The judge agreed to drop the two charges (also another for offering history, religion and philosophy books for sale) if Iagreed not to sell U.S. flags in the Plaza. You can, my neighbor can, but I cannot. ........Ok, I took the deal and was home in time to take my nap. If all the world is a stage, we are all in some kinda comedic saga that continues on and on....................... see link here Suvo * "Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-tencolour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and sat down."Alice's Restaurant By Arlo Guthrie

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Dan Fagin ....Steely Dan

The internet is a wonderful thing isn't it.........(my keyboard has no question mark). Not only has my high school girlfriend contacted me on Facebook, but Stuart Slate posted part of a a great nostalgic Steely Dan concert that was held at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on June 18. While the girlfriend came before Aja (we were more Tommy James and the Shondells or the Turtles) a sense of sweet nostalgia has washed over me recently because of these two events.It will take Fagin about a minute to get this song going. he noodles around kinda like Eustace on his steel dr.In the mornin you go gunnin,For the man who stole your water............And you fire till he is done in............But they catch you at the border.................And the mourners are all singin...............As they drag you by your feet.............But the hangman isnt hangin.................And they put you on the street..................................You go back jack do it again..................Wheel turnin round and round..................You go back jack do it again.......................When you know shes no high climber........................Then you find your only friend...............In a room with your two timer...........And youre sure you're near the end....................Then you love a little wild one..............And she brings you only sorrow..............All the time you know she's smilin...........You'll be on your knees tomorrow.................Dedicated to Dean Quigley

Sunday, August 02, 2009

More Phoney Baloney

Heard On The Street "There is talk of the new Pirates of the Caribbean being to be filmed around St. Augustine starting this spring.''.......unsubstantiated...... here is a pre production teaser trailer.
Has the city made a deal and gone over to the Hollywood pirate's lure of gold . Is this a secret or is it just small town rumour........... don't know.