Dave Barton – The Crooked Critic


A Three Paragraph essay
Dave Barton’s Fair Reviews
  1. I believe that I was treated unfairly in your critique and promise fo a review of my book JKAT. In your review you accused me of sexism, racism and violence. This is understandable considering the context of the b book. However, if you recall, the book was about jail. What did you expect it to have been, making cookies for a bake sale? Also, you had discussions on my with promoter Bax Baxter (I havre witnesses to this) and rival artist Valerie Lewis. Neither i suppose were positive references. Upset about my publicly sharing your unfair comments, you blocked me and accused me of editing the letter. Of course, I just cut and pasted your words nasty as they were. In fact, they had me in tears. Then again, man shouldn’t cry. This lead to a public shaming of you containing publicly available posts and pictures only to have me accuse you of stalking you, a very loose interpretation of the word. I apologized and you promised a fair review, that was over a year ago and I’m still waiting. I will wait forever I assume. Yet, still “fair review” is not your pattern.
  2. Around 2010, there was an emerging gallery in downtown Fullerton called, The West End Gallery. Andy, the owner, chose to represent me as well as many other artists at the time. Steve Metzger, a seasoned artist and professor, displayed some beautiful works there. Another artist whose name I can’t remember had a show that was reviewed by the Art Critic of OC WEEKLY. From your own words, you were the art critic there for 20 years or so, so that would have been you. The critic destroyed the artists work, a favored artist of the gallery. “Thomas Kinkade would puke on his art!!!” Apparently an intern left the gallery feeling mistreated and ran to her friends at OC WEEKLY. Another perceived social play? Shortly after the review, the gallery had to close due to lack of support. It was the only art gallery in downtown Fullerton. The critic literally raped the culture.
  3. During my years in college I formed a co-op art studio with colleague, Bill Reid, in the Spurgeon Building of Santa Ana’s art walk. Bill and I were fairly successful in both maintaining the studio as well as selling our art. I invited a friend, Jim Aldrich, to join the project. He agreed if I included his bald heavy set gay friend, Dave. I’m not saying this was you, but talking to bill and judging your character, there was a good chance that this double Dave was you. Dave was a train wreck, politically loaded and something against Mexicans. He immediately started a newsletter and demanded we pay him. He went behind my back to hold meetings of the co-op with Jim and Bill. The double Dave also made a series of unwanted sexual advances on Bill. I see now that gays do experience sexism and sometimes even practice it. Bill was forced to close the gallery. We had held openings the first Saturday of every month and participated in the art walk. I made several connections during that time including professor/artist Deborah Davidson and her now husband. We made friends, dated women and attended terrific poetry readings. It was quite the Santa Ana hotspot now gone because of one selfish and inappropriate man.
No Dave, I think it’s a long shot to ever get a fair review from you. Not for me, not for anyone. Most other critics are kind and considerate when dealing with artists. What is your reasoning???
NOTE: you email address this was sent to is publicly posted on your review welcoming comments on your critiquing

I forgot to mention:

4. Last summer my friend Craig Sibley mentioned having some dealings with you. Apparently you offered him a review while requesting to use his gallery for a show of your artists. You published a raving review of his work, what anyone else would perceive to be mediocre abstract sculptures and sketches. Of course, you were allowed to curate a show in a prominent gallery in the Santa Ana Arts District. Perceived social play that is unfair to other artists? I’d say so.
Please explain!
Is this it, Dan?
So much for you turning over a new leaf.

I will answer your misguided questions all in one fell swoop and then we will have no further contact, so make sure that you’ve asked everything you need to.


I’ll delete it. I don’t recall asking any questions
did you read the other letter? There was more
tell me off then request no contact? Good way to get the last word.

I did read it. It’s all questioning my integrity or passive/aggressive emotion. I’ll respond once, but it will be a one-stop and then there won’t be more communication.

Future emails will be considered to be spam.
You blew it, Dan. If you can’t remember doing it, that’s pretty bad. Better for both of us if you’re so obsessed that you do this shit in your sleep.
pretty offensive already…
save it. a debate without the option of refutation goes against rules of critical thinking
BTW, I will be posting these letters to my blog

I guess you are choosing to remain silent. One last thought.

You seem to insist on having the last word
In polite conversation, the last word is typically goodbye.
I’ll initiate it for you,
I never heard back from the crooked critic. This is the exact conversation as occurred. As seen the art world can be a corrupt and bitter place.