10 Questions For Anne Tschida

Anne Tschida and Her Luft Baloon

By Jose Fresco

AOM:  Anne, you are one of the most prolific art writers in Miami. How, when, and where did you get your start. What’s your Alma Mater?

AT:I was the editor of my high school newspaper, after writing for it since I was 14 years old. So I always knew writing was the essence of me. I then went on to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago, where I wrote about substantial issues like the Viking re-inactment of the landing in Nova Scotia….but really, it was great.

AOM:The big question: art critic or art writer?

AT:Absolutely art writer — I like to tell the stories behind what will make people attracted to art, or anything else for that matter. I am not part of academic criticism, that others do better than me.

AOM:You’ve lived in some amazing places around the world. Can you recount some of them and how these experiences have added to your career?

AT:Right after college in Chicago, I moved to Hong Kong to work first for a British glossy magazine, a version of the English Tattler. That was super fun, and introduced me to the British and Chinese culture of Hong Kong, East meets West in that most neon of outlandish cities the world has known. After some time in other Southeast Asian spots, I moved to Berlin a year after the Wall came down (some say, “after the Wall fell,” — it didn’t FALL, people knocked it down!). The artistic explosion there was unparalleled — creative types from both Eastern and Western Europe flocked there. One old Soviet complex, with its walls crumbled revealing the interiors, was filled with art studios and in the courtyard, littered with debris from the Old East, bands played all the time. You could ride by on a tram or a bus and see those studios and hear the music day and night.

AOM: Can you name a few artists that have truly inspired you? Do you have a favorite style? Who should we be keeping an eye on?

AT: That’s always a hard one. From pre-Contemporary, as may be guessed, I was very influenced by German Expressionism, in visual arts and film and literature, from the Bauhaus to the work produced between the World Wars. And as cliche as it is, Caravaggio, especially viewed in a church in Rome, is breathtaking. More recently, the Young British Artists stuff was eye-opening back when, Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili,. etc.  And whether you like the style or not, the show from Ryan Trecartin currently showing at MOCA is something to watch — his is a vision and voice that is making a big splash.

AOM: State and Federal funding has all but been withdrawn for the public arts sector, NPR decimated by Congress. Were these drastic cuts really necessary or are we witnessing the repercussions of political posturing?

AT: The arts always need to be funded on some level, as much of it can’t be a free-market-based enterprise. It expresses the soul of a culture. Scientific and medical research can’t be sustained, either, without some government support — that’s what great societies are made of.  All of us become ugly in the end without such nourishment.

AOM: What role does public art play in a community, a city, for society?

AT:How many people think Italian cities are beautiful, infusing you with an inner spark, making them the most touristed places on earth? It’s not by accident that they are so — Italians have more often than not spent time and money on making their buildings, their outdoor spaces,  sculptures and decorations, something pleasing, to ease the everyday drudgery. That certainly can not be said for some of the dreadful Soviet, Chinese, and yes, American cities that decided beauty was something frivolous. To live in such places can be deadening.

AOM:Kenny Scharf described Graffiti art as reaching “hi-style”, a point of reconsideration as a serious art form- your thoughts?

AT: Miami has very much become a center of street art. Wynwood is covered with many different types and versions of it, and it is legitimate and enlivening. Some of the graffiti or street art has moved inside now, and that’s all okay too. Nothing should be static — styles move on, grow and morph, as it should.

AOM: You are a real Baselite. What shows do you look forward to each year?

AT: The main convention center, to see what mainstream is up to. The the major satellites, like Pulse and NADA and Scope; always something worthwhile in any of those. And what used to happen more often, and still occasionally does, the odd show that pops up in a rented space, way out there and way worth seeing.

AOM: Has Miami reached its pinnacle?

AT: No.

AOM:What’s next for The Tschida?

AT: Hmm, to see more of those beautiful cities that enliven and brighten  the soul……

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