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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Milwaukee in the Bronze Age: The Fonzie Controversy

by bert
An enemy of the Fonz, Mike Brenner, says he is closing his Hotcakes Gallery in protest.

It is with great sadness that I announce that on July 3rd, Hotcakes Gallery will close it's [sic]doors for good. I cannot see running a contemporary art gallery in a city who's [sic] "leadership" is so eager to invest it's [sic] limited resources in garbage instead of fostering it's [sic] burgeoning arts community.
Call me wishy-washy on this burning issue, but I'd like to see more of all kinds of art.

Give me both Happy Days characters in bronze and a Hotcakes Gallery.

You see, I am grateful to my wife, a sculptor, for my personal evolution from a small-town Midwestern meathead -- who once in college hung one of those carpet tapestries of an elk on my wall -- to a lover of good art.

I like ballsy, challenging art, most of it beyond the Third Ward galleries: Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Inova at UWM, the Kohler Arts Center. At the Milwaukee museum I love their big, honking Anselm Kiefer and the recently death-defying GUY WITH THE CHAIR ON HIS HEAD.

Blue Shirt? Heck ya.

I predict that what Mike Brenner considers the city's small-town cretinism will show itself more, not in paying for Jerry Sawyer's lifelike bronze Fonzie sculpture, but in the tone of the comments on air and in blogs by our conservative cretin pundits. They will gloat and celebrate and use the word "elite" as they note that Brenner's gallery is closing.

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