Visual Art Commentaries

1 NOT ART AND NOT SO ORIGINAL
2 ARTISTS FLEX FACEBOOK MUSCLES
3 EXPENDABLE OR ECONOMIC ENGINE?
4 SARASOTA’S UNCONDITIONAL TOWN SQUARE
5 REDEVELOPMENT IN ROSEMARY
6 ETHICS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
7 NO FREEBIES FROM ARTISTS
8 GRAFFITI BOMBS IN OVERTOWN
9 POLITICAL CLOUT FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
10 THE SUPERFICIAL TO THE SUBLIME
11 JOHN CHAMBERLAIN, EDC TEMPLATE
12 RESPONSIBILITY OF PUBLIC ART
13 CAN PUBLIC ART BE DEPOLITICIZED?
14  SARASOTA’S STADIUM OF CULTURE

Not Art and Not So Original
VIRGINIA HOFFMANSRQ Daily  September 17, 2011

Is the Tube Dude Sarasota’s new king of lowbrow? Are these roadside stick figures art? Creator Scott Gerber says, “yes,” but let’s go exploring anyway. Editorialist Tom Lyons, who compared Gerber’s roadside stick figures with “Yellowman” by competitor Sarasota Sign Machine, classified the Tube Dude as an up scale version of products that do seem like art, or something close. “Yellowman” creator Adam Nitterauer, steaming over a cease and desist order received from Gerber, said: “No they are not art. They are sign holders and advertisements.” The litigious treatment so far has not worked on Nitterauer, who still sells “Yellowman” but is mystified by anonymous code enforcement complaints when the Tube Dude serves a similar purpose. Perhaps Gerber’s effort to elevate his stick figures by calling them art is merely intended to sidestep sign ordinances. Are the dues at least original? Enter the “EXCITING – Tube Dude(™)” dancing roadside balloon figures, which have been around for years. Curious if “EXCITING – Tube Dude” could shed some light on the “is it art” question, a company sales rep. said, “Lady if you aren’t going to order a balloon, I don’t got time to talk.” With prodding, he confirmed his figures were not art, but were advertisements. He did not know about Gerber’s Tube Dude, but he does now. Depending on the scope of the balloon Dude’s trademark, Gerber could have a problem. Sarasota’s creative class is also weighing in, especially since the stick figure factory received a $100,000 grant from the county to help with expansion. Facebook chatter from visual artists not keyed into how government works in SarasDepending on the scope of the balloon Dude’s trademark, Gerber could have a problem. Sarasota’s creative class is also weighing in, especially since the stick figure factory received a $100,000 grant from the county to help with expansion. Facebook chatter from visual artists not keyed into how government works in Sarasota are reeling. Most know the Sanborn Studios scenario and see this as another risky venture with an unrealistic plan to parley the money into 44 full time jobs. They do not consider the Tube Dude art. One New York transplant referred to them as gimmicky stick figures intended for promotional purposes, subbing them a fad which too shall pass. There seems slim chance for Gerber to earn his artist’s license with local artists, who are generally aghast at the press attention that somewhat reinforces the “this is art” declaration. But since Gerber did get his thumbs up from the county, my feeling is he’s having 100,000 laughs at our expense.