In a town where crossing a busy street is more dangerous than the art scene, the loss of Master Jeffrey Holmes is significant. Last October, when Holmes finally made good on his threats to abandon Fort Lauderdale for New Orleans, the small outcast community he helped unite lost its strongest tether. Holmes's fascination with macabre and eerie images (tombstones, bloody roses, black cats, skeletons) manifested itself in some of the most intriguing and challenging art the town had to offer. His Sailboat Bend apartment/gallery, L'Art Noir, was even patronized by Jimmy Page during his convalescence here. But at least the Master went out with a bang at his going-away bash. Anytime a guy creates a life-size, nude self-portrait, sets it on fire, then skips town for good, we're the poorer for it.

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