In his letter to the editor [January 27] Victor Cassidy begins with a critique of the Reader, questioning the professionalism of its reporters. He states, and I quote, "I wonder--does the Chicago Reader have a clip file? Do your reporters ever consult it before they go out on interviews? A few years ago you reported Kimler was leaving for Los Angeles because Chicago was such a horrible place for artists. He denounced everyone in sight, stormed off, and returned 18 months later with his tail between his legs."
Uuuuuhhhh, Victor, you have a little problem. The one time I left Chicago and moved to Los Angeles was almost two decades ago. I moved there in 1987 and returned after five years in 1992. Oops! Don't you think if you are going to lecture the Reader on their professionalism it might be a good idea to know what you are talking about? I mean, where do you get this stuff? Do you just kind of make it up as you go along?
Returned with my tail between my legs? Hmmmmmmm. In the time I did live in Los Angeles I did two exhibitions with what was then probably the finest gallery there, LA Louver--running concurrently with any number of exhibitions up in San Francisco. I can't honestly call the Louver exhibitions sold-out shows, as there was one painting left from the first, and some of the work from the second didn't sell until the month after the show came down, and then only one of the shows was singled out as pick of the week in the LA Weekly. Damn! That must be what you are referring to!
For your information, Victor, the last time the Reader wrote anything in depth on me was Jeff Huebner's cover article "Kimler's Complaint," June 26, 1998, which is definitely not an article about my moving to LA. You see, Victor, the Chicago Reader, as anybody who has worked with them would know, does this thing called fact-checking. Where in Deanna Isaacs's article do I ever get into what Paul Klein has done or not done for the art world here? I simply state he took my ideas, absconded with them, and then, dumbed down, presented them as his own, threatening me with the loss of one of the McCormick commissions if I made waves. And by the way, the McCormick people gave commissions (as required by the 1 percent law) to Chicago artists--not Paul Klein, who for better or worse was a consultant. It is also interesting to note no one, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to receive a dime. I personally declined the honor and consider the 35K I turned down as money well spent.
As for Paul's explanation of his attempt at black-e-mailing me, the Reader had asked me for that e-mail, and I, wanting to take the high road, at first refused--that is, until reading Paul's lame and fake excuses.
When it comes to my sharing opinions via the Reader, if you don't want to know what I think, Victor, don't read it! Sheeeesh! What planet is this clown from? Keep in mind, fellow artists, this is what we are stuck with when it comes to art criticism. Mr. Cassidy then goes on to "defend" Paul Klein by basically describing what a poor idea his bricks-and-mortar museum idea is--exactly my contention--and then states that what is needed is a new magazine, precisely what Sharkforum is.
I think people should really decide for themselves: go to Sharkforum.org, look at the site, see what we are trying to do, see who our editors are, and then consider whether or not the Reader coverage was appropriate.