It is that time of year again. Miami has allowed the circus of mental defectives that comprise the art world to pitch its tent on South-Beach. Every mouth-breathing, social misfit in the country has strapped on the fake tits and spray-on tans and found the most outre-retard outfits to promenade down Collins Avenue and engage in the casual brutality of the art market.
I stopped going to these things a couple of years ago. They are not much about art. They are more about skin and money and the ambitions of a culture of squishy people who fancy themselves as “taste-makers.” The parade of jerk-offs checking their Blackberries in full view of a gorgeous ocean makes one despair of the species. The hookers, male and female, will make a killing, a ballerina or two will get shit-faced on free vodka and go skinny dipping in the pool at the Delano. Art stars will be made and unmade, and the dealers will lie about how well sales are going in order to keep the one-ball juggling act known as the economy up in the air.
The art-world worker bees will man booths and realize hour after mundane hour that, in this end of the pool, this is all there is. Success at an art-fair is at best a Pyrrhic victory. The swells like you, and this doesn’t mean you’ve achieved anything like art. In fact, it often means the opposite. Not that there is no profit in being “fashionable”; there is a whole dearth of talent slaying cash right now. Celebrity -types will wander the aisles with their dealers in tow, verbally fondling each other’s sacks and air-kissing up a storm. It will be a daisy-chain amounting to nothing lasting. A well-lit nowhere.
Have a daiquiri for me and tip the fucking waiters, you cheap pricks.
I leave for Los Angleles on Monday. Me and Stan Klein are driving out there. On the way, we’ll stop in the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest and Joshua Tree, where I haven’t been for 28 years and the last time I was there I was tripping, so I haven’t really seen it. This route was well known to hoboes and Native Americans. This was the land of railroads, Indian wars, wildcat oil-men, and absolutely no mercy.
The Southwest’s history, like the rest of American history, is written in blood and dirt and oil. Land settled, land stolen, dirt lived for, dirt died for. Over the history of the world, wars have been fought over land, gold, oil, emeralds, jade, tobacco, tea and flesh. You name it; we’ve killed for it. There is an idea in Japanese and American poetry that insists that the land has a memory. And I believe this.