Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Random Thingies

  • Regarding the September 5th primaries, we are reminded by David Rosen of Miami Beach that, despite the low voter turnout, $8 million was spent by politicians and special interest groups "on a minor campaign in which school spending was a central issue, but they haven't the cash to fund schools properly." He figured $400.00 was spent for every vote cast. Well, if that seems obscene to you, you don't have to worry about being associated with a campaign like that if you volunteer your time for Frank Rollason. Trust me, this truly is a "grass roots campaign" and because of that, it has an element of fresh air about it.

  • Regarding 9/11: The Miami Herald ran an interesting article about African-American sculptor Michael Richards who was killed in his Twin Tower studio. Sadly, it reminded MVB of the irony of chance encounters. Mr. Richards also had a studio space in the artists co-op on Lincoln Road. That's where we first discovered his work-- through a peephole. Until his death, we had assumed the artist behind the 1999 sculpture "Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian" was a woman. One studio there had its windows papered up save one small opening at the door. Peeking through that opening revealed an African-American woman smoothing the clay sculpture of what would become the bronze "Tar Baby." It was one of those special, magical moments because we knew we were watching the work of a master sculptor who seemed to be unaware of our presence. The Herald pointed out the "dreadful irony" of an artist who created a life-size airman stabbed with multiple daggers shaped like airplanes who is murdered by crazed zealots in hi-jacked airplanes. (Please note that the sculpture is a take on the famous martyrdom of St. Sebastian inspired works where, instead of getting shot with arrows, it is reimagined with a Tuskegee World War II pilot fighting a war for a country that, at that time, promoted segregation and considered them unequal to the task of fighting a common enemy, taking hits from fighter planes).

  • In this month's Ocean Drive there is an extensive article on talented local husband and wife architects Jacqueline Gonzalez-Touzet and Carlos Prio-Touzet. Their firm, The Touzet Studio, is responsible for some fresh, unique buildings around town (Vitri in SoBe). One of their most exciting projects will be built in downtown Miami on N.E 2nd Ave and 11th Street alongside I-395 and behind 10 Museum Tower. It's the kind of building that makes you proud to be from Miami. It's got a lot of fun things going on including twin "he and she" towers, sexual imagery, and giant leopard spots. And, according to the article, it may actually be affordable. Check out the website to see for yourself. The only thing MVB wishes it had was more height because it will be sitting in a valley behind the Biscayne Boulevard "wall" of towers when it should be rising on a slope that, at least to the eye, is more appealing. The building still doesn't have a name but it could have been the first to pioneer buildings taller than those in front of them if for no other reason than to offer views of the bay to those who can afford them on the uppermost floors. As it now stands, those bay views will be blocked by the new towers under construction in front of it. This is a petty criticism for sure, because overall, the building is truly worthy.

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