Friday, June 29, 2007

Hunny, what’d you do with my Munny?

The upcoming show, “The Color of Munny,” organized by Urban Jacksonville’s Joey Marchy, taps into a curiosity and fascination with vinyl toys and readymade products that traces its lineage back to Pop and Dada art.

Munnys, all of one shape and size--unless modified--will join in other shows that take an iconic object, and hand it over to various artists. Sometimes, having such a disparate group showing together can lead to an incoherent mess.

However, the unifying link of shows like this is less the lure of the object itself, instead its the desire to see how Munny gets reimagined. It’s doubtful that there will be a shortage of opinions, i.e. “How-I-would’ve-done-it” let’s just hope they don’t run amok.

For an example of a similar show, skip over here to read about a Darth Vader exhibit in conjunction with the “Star Wars” 30th anniversary:

Because he is a figure, Munny is ripe for the riffing: suited up as Captain America, flattened as a sly nod to Barry McGee or just deconstructed. Perhaps Munny becomes a shell of himself (literally or figuratively) à la Eva Hess...or maybe Munny makes an appearance, as one of the monsters of art history would’ve presented him.

It would seem that Munny is less about personal exploration, and more about personal iconography and wit; as such, he/she/it provides a glimpse into an artist’s personality...not just their dogma.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dictionary Definition

This might be the dictionary definition of irony: “The Splasher” a so-called revolutionary in the battle against artistic commodification of street art. His or her m.o? Unceremoniously splashing (hence the comic-esque moniker) existing street art pieces, especially those by Swoon, Banksy, and Shepard Fairey…artists that have not only attained a level of ‘street cred’ but who also have successful careers.

It is worth noting that in Streetsy’s ( or images, the splashes are clearly not in any way an aesthetic statement…they are meant to deface the image in question.

Read the article here:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

“It’s mathematics…you don’t to more with less, you do more with more.”

In a conversation I had yesterday with Robert White, of the Cultural Council, he made the cost of the Property Tax Relief blindingly clear: the cost of a gallon of gas, or a Starbucks latte-a-day. Over the course of a year, that sum amounts to little over one-thousand dollars.

Indeed, I am in no position to shake a casual stick at a cool grand, but when I think of what that money will really cost; in terms not only of my cultural leanings, but too the beliefs I spout so frequently to anyone within earshot, I know that it is time to take a stand. I oppose the property tax relief and have already badgered the mayor’s office, and my city council rep (for those of you living in Riverside, that’s District 9, Warren A. Jones, 630-1395,

But the thing that bears noting is this: the tax relief won’t just affect Jacksonville’s cultural scene, will impact non-profits across the city and those resources like the police and firefighters. The mayor is presenting his budget to City Council on Monday, July 16, at 10:00 a.m., and in it, he has to reduce the budget by 10%. Judging from experience, those entities deemed non-essential will be the first to go.

What can we do? Now would be a good time to call or write city hall, or your council person, and tell them how you feel…what you are thinking.

But for those of you that aren’t sure what got passed and what is up for grabs, here’s an excerpt from a Florida Times Union Article:

The Legislature passed a multi-part property tax reduction plan: An immediate, one-year rollback of local governments’ 2007-08 fiscal-year property tax revenue to their 2006-07 levels, a mandatory cut of 3 percent to 9 percent in local governments’ property tax revenue; a cap on future tax growth, tied to personal income growth, and a constitutional amendment election offering Floridians an expanded homestead exemption. The rollback, cuts and caps were done through legislative action; the constitutional amendment will go before voters January 29. However, in three counties (including Duval), governing bodies can override the rollback. In Duval the approval of 15 of the Jacksonville City Council's 19 members would be needed.

The constitutional amendment:

The amendment would establish a new homestead exemption of 75 percent off the first $200,000 of a property’s value, 15 percent off the next $300,000 in value, and a maximum exemption of $195,000 for homes worth more than $500,000. The maximum exemption will rise according to per-capita personal income each year. There also are benefits for low-income seniors, those with affordable-housing status and waterfront properties. If the amendment fails, the Save Our Homes benefit would stay as is, as would the tax rollbacks, cuts and caps. Homeowners whose homes are valued below $200,000 would receive a minimum $50,000 exemption.

So really, there are several hurdles to clear, or at least stay in front of. But for now, just weigh in with the city government. According to White, only about 20% of the people contacting their reps are currently opposing the tax relief. And remember, you don’t need to be a homeowner for this to affect you. What happens when you go to the library and it’s closed, or the park is over-run with weeds, or, the beach is closed, what then?

If you don’t know what district you live in (I wasn’t sure), you can call 630-CITY or go online to

Because as White noted, “It’s mathematics…you don’t to more with less, you do more with more.”

Mayor Peyton

Jacksonville City Council
117 West Duval St.,
Suite 425
Jacksonville, FL 32202

District 1
Lake Ray

District 2
Lynette Self

District 3
Richard Clark

District 4
Suzanne Jenkins

District 5
Art Shad

District 6
Sharon Copeland

District 7
Pat Lockett-Felder

District 8
Gwen Yates

District 9
Warren A. Jones

District 10
Mia Jones

District 11
Warren Alvarez

District 12
Vice President
Daniel Davis

District 13
Arthur Graham
Phone: (904) 630-1397

District 14
Michael L. Corrigan, Jr.,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Taxation Without Representation …wait? What’s Happening?

Though it seems that the dream of owning a house has been undermined by skyrocketing taxes, or the desire for a multi-faceted city dashed by economic realities, I refuse to believe that there isn’t a happy medium. Rushing to a decision can’t be the answer.

The property tax cuts that were passed in Tallahassee last week will affect just about everyone in the state. From small arts-organizations to special events and parks, the rollback in taxes might put a little money back in pockets, but the services that our community has come to count on will be reduced, some gone all together.

Tomorrow, for my “day job” I’ll be talking to Robert White, Executive Director of the Cultural Council, about how these cuts will affect our community, and what we, as citizens can do. I’ll post some of that information.

Until tomorrow then.

In the meantime, call or write your (Duval) representatives:

Anthony C. Hill Sr. (Dem)
5600 New Kings Road, Suite 5, Jacksonville, FL 32209-2146, 924-646.

Stephen R. Wise (Rep)
1460 Cassat Avenue, Suite B, Jacksonville, FL 32205, 381-6000.

James E. King Jr. (Rep)-
9485 Regency Square Boulevard, Suite 108, Jacksonville, FL, 32225-8145, 727-3600.

The above information was taken from the website,

Here’s a link to a T.U. article on the tax cuts:

Friday, June 15, 2007

My God, His Jaw Must Be Tired: Cocaine Angel at MOCA Jacksonville

"Cocaine Angel," the much-lauded feature film debut of director Michael Tully, written by (Jacksonville’s own) Damian Lahey, who also performs the lead role, was screened at MOCA Jacksonville, Wednesday night. The film had its U.S. premier at SXSW, and has been called a “minor masterpiece” by Indiewire.

Despite the pouring rain, there was standing-room-only in the museum’s small auditorium. The film is a gossamer study of a week in the life of a derelict cokehead, Scott (Lahey). From his crack-whore girlfriend, Mary, to the daughter who is always thrilled to see him, it strives to be a Chekhovian study and falls just short.

It is a glimpse into the lives of people generally discounted as they walk down the street–though limping along with a bandaged, unshod foot and a fifth of whisky generally doesn’t do too much to inspire interest beyond disgust. Shot through a haze that captures the heat and grimness of a Jacksonville summer, heightening the boredom, poverty, and squalor in which Scott et. al. live.

Unlike other drug tales, there is no glamour or beauty to the lives Scott and Mary lead. But there is unexpected beauty in the story, when Scott, high and in need of reassurance talks to himself in the mirror, then kisses it twice, or when after recounting how she scored some cash and ended up with cigarette burns in her ass, Mary says. “Nah, it kinda’ tickled, I was high.”

The drama–inserted for texture and good measure–is where the film falters. It becomes a little too melodramatic and tedious towards the end–presented by people the viewer really has no reason to care about. Ultimately the best part of the film, and the reason to see it, is Lahey’s performance as a decent–along the line of, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king–cokehead, struggling not towards redemption, but his next fix.