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dolcefino VS. synchronicity-of-color

It’s a knock-down, drag-out brawl down in Huston between The Huston Arts Alliance (HAA) and Wayne Dolcefion, a local reporter for an ABC affiliate who has been infuriating artists and citizens alike with his series The Color Of Money. The Color of Money has been investigating mishandling of grants and spending by the HAA to create public art meant to attract tourists to Huston.

Many in the Huston Arts community have lashed back at the reporting calling it sensationalist and prejudice but their cries seem to be falling on deaf ears as Dolcefino released his fifth installment to the series yesterday with a quick comment at the beginning of the report egging on anyone that disagrees with him.

I’m riding the fence on this one personally. I think that Dolcefino is bring up some good questions that need to be addressed. As one commenter noted on the HAA blog

…[Dolcefino] is also demanding accountability. Are we getting the art we’re paying for? Are the works selected really the best use of the funds? Why are we putting art in places people can’t see it? Shouldn’t we be doing more to promote the bedrock of the region’s arts — our museums?

canned_poopI don’t think that it’s wrong of Dolcefino to demand more accountability from artists and art organization who don’t seem to be keeping their end of the deal. I also think Dolcefino is right to question why Huston is paying for art geared to get tourists into Huston in places inaccessible to tourists.

BUT

I do have a problem with him sensationalizing the facts to stir up the community, and Dolcefino is doing just that with his reporting as an article in the Huston Press points out. Many of Dolcefino’s reports speak of the HAA grants being funded by the tax payers through the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT), which is true. What gets me is when Dolcefino keep pounding that “You’re paying for it” (a catch phrase he uses with a bit too much gusto in my opinion). If you look up what the Hotel Occupancy Tax is, the citizens of Huston are not giving a dime to the HAA (unless they decided to stay in a hotel for some reason). Bill Davenport at Glasstire.com was quick to point this out in an article he wrote in response to Dolcefino’s attack on HAA money being spent on Glasstire.com.

Dolcefino is poking at a problem, but he’s going about it the wrong way. If Wayne Dolcefino doesn’t start putting the same level of accountability into his reporting that he is demanding of the HAA he could end up looking like the ass he’s trying to make the HAA out to be.

dolcefino_ass

I’ve always found it interesting that in the art world there are actually two kinds of concept art. There is artistic concept art (or conceptual art) and there is production concept art.

Artistic concept art revolves around rethinking art and questioning the foundations that art is based upon. Pieces like Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain or Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs are fine examples of such work.

These works form inspire hundreds of thousands of artist to push the boundaries of art and are often highly important in the creation of artistic movements.

On the other side production concept art (which surprisingly has been around just as long) involves creating and brainstorming visual content for things such as animation, video games and even toys. The example I present is a level design concept from the video game Psychonauts.

Big deal you say, but on several occasions I have encountered confusion when talking to people about concept art due to the similarities these two arts have in common. For a while I had even considered being a concept artist but when I told someone this it could mean two entirely different things depending on their background. Really frustrating to tell you the truth.

This Week

Dec. 12 - Dec. 19, 2008
UT Dallas (Art Gallery)
Fall Arts Festival

Opening reception Dec. 12 @ 6:30 pm

Artillary Retrospective