THE KEY TO THE HIGHWAY:
Episode1, part 1, a brief, riled-up soliloquy about life in Puerto Rico.
Episode 1, part 2, a close-up look at one of the island’s most personable coffee roasting operations, Café Mayor, plus Rotund’s first roundup of art shows.
Episode 2, part 1, in which we review Pedro Vélez's "Godfuck," study an art sale posing as an exhibition, and get a haircut.
Episode 2, part 2: the haircut continues, there’s a regrettable moment with fruit, and we drop by the fresh San Juan art-o-rama =DESTO for a talk with the founders.
Episode 3, part 1 covers, if not the waterfront, at least that occasional Nuyorican-Borinquen artfest “The (S) Files” at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and visits scenic Caguas to marvel at another new kid on the block, ÁREA.
Episode 3, part 2 takes a wild ride on the Tren Urbano.
Episode 4, part 1 gets the unexpected: some mail. In part 2, we hit the road for points south, with stops at the Frade Museum, El Cuñao, King’s Cream, and Museo de la Historia de Ponce.
Episode 5, part 1 weighs Puerto Rico’s travails against Miami’s prosperity and scratches its head. Why does Fred Snitzer say the things he says?
Episode 5, part 2: more art shows and the artists who make them, including the evergreen Antonio Martorell and a stealthy group called El Polverío.
Episode 6, part 1 and part 2 offer blow-by-blow coverage of Puerto Rico’s first-ever art fair, CIRCA 2006, and the whole world asks, “What’s it all about, Rotund?”
Episode 7 takes the slow train to Hato Rey and Galerías Prindari, where it meets the friendly natives.
Episode 8 knocks on the door of the Berezdivin collection, hoping to get in, and then muses disapprovingly about el Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.
Episode 9, part 1 wallows in the paradoxes of summer in Puerto Rico, including a curious exhibition at la Escuela de Artes Plásticas, while part 2 looks at the work of painter-writer Javier Martínez.
Episode 10: the excellent exhibition space tagRom has a birthday and the laggardly Rotund crew tries to catch up on San Juan art doings, while Tiny Type travels southward to watch Rafael Trelles do his thing at el Museo de Arte de Ponce.
Episode 11: “Two Cards from the Bottom of the Deck?” This could only mean Pedro Vélez.
Episode 12 invites all and sundry to get down with La Muestra Nacional de Arte. Plus, =Desto hits its stride and doesn’t look back.
Episode 13: is La Muestra Nacional the only thing on the Rotund mind? What about sex? Rapacious legislators? What happened to lechón, pasteles, and Heineken tall boys?
Episode 14 brings us yet more Muestra, but also, what? Yes, Pedro Vélez, now in his new role as Rotund art dick. Plus, new shows at San Juan’s La Liga de Arte and Crema Gallery.
Episode 15 proves that the island is cooking: The International Book Fair, experimental prints at =Desto, Milton Rosa-Ortiz at Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. The Basquiat drawing show is not terrible, but what is a private collection doing at MAPR?
Episode 16: the government is pilloried, artists are praised, food is mentioned, jokes are cracked that no one gets.
Episode 17 visits Art Basels past. This may strike some readers as cheap and retrograde, but we think the vintage years never get old. Besides, we also look at a Julie Kahn trading-card project, and what could be groovier than that?
Episode 18 looks like a preview, reads like a preview, and even smells a bit like a preview. But is it really a preview?
Episode 19: Barcelona. Need we say more?
Episode 20 visits the Corozal redoubt of Titi Noris, then gets down and gets funky with Julio Micheli.
Episode 21 tramps through the dirty snow of New York City and sees a bunch of fur coats posing as art.
Episode 22: the good, the bad, and the dubious underbelly of the Puerto Rican art world: shows and those who write about them.
Episode 23 takes a break from the box step and does the boogaloo instead: some advice about going public.
Episode 24 is an extensive chat about a wide-ranging show, The DAMS 2. Who exactly are Dildo and Culo?
Not to be missed, of course: Booty Bundt, the cake that says it all, and BUY THIS NOW! an exclusive offer to be a part of this toney enterprize.
Follow the links to the Miami and Puerto Rican art worlds, and to perspectives bigger than both.
The Next Few Hours
Miami Art Central
Centro Cultural Español
Brook Dorsch Gallery
Kevin Bruk Gallery
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Leonard Tachmes Gallery
Diaspora Vibe Gallery
Miami Art Exchange
The Moore Space
Museo de la Historia de Ponce
Museo Pío López Martínez
(The Frade Museum)
Museo de Arte de Ponce
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Museo de la UPR
Los Balcones de San Juan
La Casa del Arte
Programa de Artes Plástics del ICP
CIRCA Puerto Rico
M de Mater O’Neill Audio Archive
Art Nexus Magazine
Tom Moody's Weblog
Rotund World covers Miami, la Isla, and the world.
The magazine is designed and written by Joel Weinstein. Weinstein “como tal”.
Photos, unless otherwise credited, are by none other than J Weinstein.
You can contact Rotund World at this address or, if you prefer, our other one.
Let the Madness Begin
The private detectives, mental health professionals, dupes of the running-dog pig power structure, and other hopeless romantics who follow the seemingly aimless mutterings of the Rotund claque know us to be ill-humored, to say the least, when it comes to art fairs. Art Basel Miami Beach, the Armory Show, Arco, bah and double bah. That’s what we have to add to the so-called discourse. And yet, like a small, furry beast bedazzled mid- freeway by the rumble of an oncoming armored Brinks money wagon, we’re suddenly mute and farschimmelt by the arrival in our neighborhood of the second
edition of CIRCA, the Puerto Rican version of an international art fair. Like the bad boys and girls we are, we snuck into the cavernous Centro de Convenciones to get a peek at folks in their underwear, so to speak, the poor schmoes who’d come to set up house for the fair.
We were not disappointed. Lots of crates. Empty walls. Nervous bustle. Furious taping and mudding. But to our great surprize, the air fairly thrummed with—dare we say it in the aftermath of last year’s snafus?—a giddy hopefulness.
Rotund World will get into specifics as the fair rolls along, and for the moment we hope a paltry few images will suffice to convey how very unlikely and fun the whole thing is shaping up to be. But stay tuned for some pungent analysis and catty chatter.
Colored booths, what will they think of next? Opening night was a different matter, as you can see. Observe the revelers and revelees, plus some of their fine wares. No time for identification, so sorry. That will come later. Now we must run to fair, like all the other obsessive art types, and we suggest you do the same. Visit the very good, easy-to-navigate CIRCA website to find out who’s who, what’s what, and what the hay. You can’t figure out the players without a program. We’ll just mention one of the night’s better moments—or so we heard, being in the other room—when a certain fair organizer gave the Gov what-for for Tourism’s meager support of this very international hoo-hah. It’s a money-machine for the island, Anibal, and it will only get better.
We do want to point out, apart from the crowd scenes and out-and-out pandering, that the paintings shown in the fourth image down are those of Christopher Rivera at the Galería 356 booth. The next drawing down, if we’re not mistaken, is that of Swoon, at La Galería Carlos Irizarry en Candela. Right above, our pals Teo and the Artkman.
Those damned DAMS are here.