Austin Airport Not Supporting Artists
This one angers me… especially since I am supposed to live in a city that respects and supports artists. Anyway, you won’t believe this story…
So, I was coming through the Austin airport many weeks ago, and in the PRIME spot at the bottom of the escalators is a huge light-up photo display. Inside, I saw a photo that looked HDRish and so I went over to investigate. Down in the corner, it said simply “photo by mapaolini.” So, I recognized that “name” because Mike had taken one of my workshops back in a 2010.
About a month later I saw Mike at the Austin photowalk during SXSW and congratulated him on getting his art up in the airport. He said, “What?”
And so then I got very very interested. After my most recent trip to Florida, I took this photo with my iPad while waiting for my baggage and sent it to Mike so he could see! We then got into a big email conversation while I was trying to figure out what happened… it was pretty much immediately obvious to me, but I wanted to see if my suspicions were correct.
So, get this:
- Mike was never informed that his photo was in the airport
- Mike was never paid a dime (placement like this should be worth several thousand dollars to the artist, especially if they are going to use it for many months)
- Mike’s name is not even correct in the corner of the photo. His name is not “mapaolini” – that is his Flickr codename!
- They made the WORST CROP EVER. See his original Flickr photo!
Any one of those things is annoying — but all of them together are just embarrassing for the airport and the city of Austin.
Mike did some detective work and called the airport, who said they got it from the Austin Tourism Bureau. They said this is considered Non Commercial. HORSE MANURE. Is all art in the airport non-commercial? Does no one get paid? How much did they pay for that huge bronze of Barbara Jordan (who looks like she is waiting on her baggage)? How much did they pay for those gut-wrenchingly awful paintings above the checkin counter for American Airlines?
It’s an insult to Mike, and, by extension, to all photographers and artists in Austin. They know what they did, and I think it’s pretty lousy…
Daily Photo – High-Tech Dining in Beijing
Beijing has some of the funkiest restaurants in the world! I think that some of the interior designers and architects really take some risks to do all sorts of things with lighting, textures, and styles. It doesn’t always work, but I think it works pretty well here.
This restaurant was right next to the opera (see my blog post on “Amazing Opera Discovery in Beijing“). This was also built inside one of the old imperial bans in this old sector of Beijing.
And, below is the photo that was taken next door at the opera just after the amazing dinner.