~JOSH’S PICTOGRAMS & OTHER ART WORLD MOGULS . . .
FEELING THE HEAT – !!
OR: MY SUMMER OF 2010 & THE UP-SIDE OF UNEMPLOYMENT – MORE TIME FOR CELEBRITY MAGAZINES & DAYTIME T.V. !!
OR: THE CELESTIAL – SIGNS – I HAVE SEEN !!
JOSH HARRIS – INTERNET GURU, FOUNDING C.E.O. OF JUPITER COMMUNICATIONS and PSEUDO.COM – & – STAR – OF – 2009 SUNDANCE WINNER – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – a kind of bio pic on his adventures in the internet bubble – and the hardcore gang of artists – he surrounded himself with . . .
JOSH HARRIS . . . LANDS BACK IN NYC – WILLIAMSBURG – AND IN SO DOING – ALONG THE WAY – SAVES ALFREDO MARTINEZ – A SORRY BROOKLYN NATIVE SON – IF THERE EVER WAS ONE – FROM THE BLACK HOLE OF SECRET PRISON DETENTION – IN CHINA.
JOSH & ALFREDO MAKE LIKE ANDY (WARHOL) and JEAN MICHEL (BASQUIAT) – TAKE ONE !!
but really all Josh wants to do is paint. now that his huge internet fortune has (pretty much) burst – along with the rest of that fun bubble – it seems he can no longer contract-out his painting ‘concepts’ – to Ethiopian street artisans – the Gilligan’s Island paintings that pop up in WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – and so, its hands-on !! for now !! but actually not without – still landing, as ever – on the proverbial – dot.
I probably might not have found these painting so interesting 10 years ago – but now – how time flies and things change – and voila – you couldn’t find a better cross – between evolutionary pictograms – and ‘MAD MEN’ retro chic !! you could just imagine them up there – on the background walls – of any one of those ‘MAD MEN’ sets with their vintage bric- a-brac and huge ceramic ash trays !! talk about retro color palettes.
but, it’s the evolutionary pictogram angle – ‘internet guru – me have message’ – that sets them apart. and makes them damn spooky. not to mention – popular culture signifiers.
First, if you ever watch any of those new daytime HISTORY CHANNEL science programs – that are now up-market geared to the new T.V. audience of over-educated under-employed at-home masses – like moi and perhaps vous – you know it’s a super great time to be watching science programs, esp those on archaeology, geology, astronomy, and yes, even – space travel !! and it’s no wonder – it’s these sciences that have been making the huge great amazing leaps. and it’s mostly because of the new hi-powered state-of-the-art hi-definition digital orbiting photography – beaming back. not only up-close images of way distant planets and stars – but helping us locate new archaeological data – such as immense pictograms – that can only be seen from aerial heights !! – carved into mountains on earth – that cannot be denied (and who made them ?) – and locating otherwise overgrown, eroded, and for centuries overlooked – and apparently absolutely accurate cosmically-aligned free-standing monuments – newly attributed to the Mayans, who are turning out to have been much more far-ranging travelers – than previously thought . . . and are now – the ‘it’ culture. in a kind of – spooky – proverbial – karma-like way – wouldn’t you know – in our very own historically overlooked-as-primitive cultural backyard – Mexico and the South Americas !!
Mexico – what a 21st century hot potato !!
of course. the fact that – aerial pictograms – in very contemporary-style graphics – of earth animals such as a spider and a pelican speak to – ‘outer-world-visitor-was-here’ – they can only be seen from a great height over the globe – as opposed to caveman pictograms that speak to the first humans – is freaky enough. but the Mayan texts, inscriptions, and monuments – which turn out to be 3-D pictograms – pointing to planetary alignments – like Stonehenge – absolutely parallel with pinpoint accuracy – the newest conclusions of the hardcore science – American astronomers !!
and, damn if those ancient MAYANS – weren’t right. according to the programs – the newest scientific data tells us – some kind of huge – cosmic event – which will greatly affect our planet – will result from a huge gravitational pull of a major celestial alignment – to occur – Dec 21, 2012. the very day the Mayan Long Calendar ends.
and Age of Aquarius aside – which is also tapped to occur that very same day – it doesn’t look to be shaping up to be – a nice new age Woodstock party – as much as it’s looking to be a huge global wipe-out. so big – they say – a gravitational pull on earth – that we are feeling the effects now. as in extreme weather. double dip recession. global gridlock. war. conflict.
factoring in the – Mayan take – it’s the end of their cyclical calendar – and, watch out. apart from the thought – that they might have been ‘visitors’ – and I’m inclined to agree – they were renown for their harsh world view – human sacrifice was aplenty – skulls tumbled down the steps of their temples – according to the early Spanish explorers – not to mention – I remember reading somewhere – that recently they found huge charnel houses, down there. for an artist – its very plain to see from their graphic inscriptions – and pictograms – that their culture was hard-edged, cruel and all about pretty much – just about war. I guess, well, what else is new. hello world. going all the way back to prehistoric times.
but very little poetry compared to say the earliest inscriptions of the playful Hindu culture. or the gentler Mother Earth lore of our Native Americans.
but, isn’t it – so fun – ironic – to find the ‘it’ ancient culture of the moment – in whose pinpoint observations – we now turn to for keys to the future – right here on this side of the globe – as opposed to all those previously way fawned-over Greek, Egyptian or even ancient Roman ruins – the previous fulcrum of all art history – so fought over and hoarded, in our museums.
Josh himself says the “paintings take about a week to do after much angst” . . . and aside from having titles like “dead mother” – he says “the paintings are an anamorphic representation of human consciousness that the singularity can process.” singularity – I think corresponds to the same primal ‘pictogram’ stick figure configuration found in each canvas. look it up – anamorphic means – “pertaining to gradual evolution from one type of organism to another” !! – so maybe we aren’t so off track. in linking his attempt – to primal code. artwise – think ZUNI . . .
of course Josh isn’t the the only art world mogul – feeling the heat – of the portending 2012 gravitational alignment !!
in today’s NEW YORK POST – real estate developer and big time art collector – ABY ROSEN – is outed for letting one of his properties – 400 PARK AVE. – go for the measly sum of $35 MILLION. he has been reported as having been caught in debt-driven financial straits on and off throughout the past year . . . but yikes. just $35 million – for a whole 21-story office building, in Manhattan !! a good Picasso at auction could net you more than that . . . what happened to the DAMIEN HIRST – shark or beef – in formaldehyde – tanks ? weren’t a couple of those supposed to net a sum close to that . . . guess not – or he wouldn’t be selling the building.
no wonder Deitch split the scene – to become a curator in la la land. not that I think Aby Rosen was a friend or even a client of Jeffrey’s – but Jeffrey obviously saw the writing on the wall – when these moguls hit the red side of the ledger books – it’s a sad bad day for the art scene. I’m not crowing – it’s bad. for us all. for the game in general. for the trickle down effect – to the people who make a living on the fringe – taking the pix and talking the talk- and – for the artists they collected in particular – who definite – look lame now, too.
see: ‘400 PARK GRABBED FOR $35M’/LOIS WEISS/NEW YORK POST – AUGUST 26, 2010
and then there’s newsprint mogul, INTERVIEW publisher, Andy Warhol pal, and major major art collector PETER BRANT – who seems to be a pretty nice guy – at least from a distance – fighting to keep his money and his sanity – in a huge messy hurtful mind spirit if not body-bashing divorce . . . from his wife of 15 years – and mother of his 3 youngest children – VICTORIA’S SECRET and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED MODEL, PLAYBOY COVER GIRL model – STEPHANIE SEYMOUR. apparently the union was pretty real at the get-go and Mr. Brant did not get a pre-nup. the only up-side . . . Mr. Brant got into financial woes several, quite a several years back, that landed him a short stint in prison. the mainstream press, and some clueless bloggers – myself included – inferred from that – that he was a thief. he has gone on to say – notably in a recently published interview – that he was just stupid. guess what. a lot of people believe him on that, now !!
and in fact – he did recently sell, I believe at auction – a later Picasso for what – upwards of $20 maybe even $30+ million to shore up his businesses, lifestyle and I guess million dollar lawyer fees.
see: ‘DIVORCE CELEBRITY STYLE’/LAURA HOLSON/SUNDAY STYLES/THE NEW YORK TIMES/AUGUST 22, 2010
PHOTOS COPYRIGHT: NANCY SMITH
EXCEPT FOR THE 2 NEWSPAPER SCANS