~MARK ENGER, R.I.P. (1963-2011)
R.I.P. – MARK ENGER (1963-2011) – beloved silkscreen artist, true bro, and general all-around-best underground artist – who never received the recognition he deserved – in this dumbed-down town of stupid galleries, stupider no-real-mojo gallerists – and even stupidier ‘art’ critics.
add him to the list that started with the DAN ASHER death last year. and I guess one day you can add me to it, too.
R.I.P. New York Friggin City – how can one town that likes to term itself the center of the art world – be so delusional about its lame game – and blow it so badly. I just don’t know.
I’ve been fighting it for almost 30 yrs. I came to New York in 1981. the first party I got invited to – was courtesy of Jean Michel, as in BASQUIAT – and I never looked back. so, you tell me. I put a curse on this town with all its blood-sucking vultures, trust fund babies, users – all in capitals – and downright fakes – may you all fail and be forgotten . . .
Born April 9, 1963, 47 yr. old MARK ENGER – who ran the notorious EXPLODING SKY WORLDWIDE silkscreen shop – along with his identical twin bro – MATT ENGER – finally succumbed to a year-long battle with throat cancer, yesterday Friday Jan 7, 2011. Mark was an amazing artist, and so is Matt !! – and a great fun guy, to boot. a true redneck cowboy army brat – his was also a true NYC Lower East Side underground hero – where he and his bro set up shop in 1990. You’ve read a lot about Mark if you follow artlovers – because he was a big part of the – JOSH HARRIS/PSEUDO.COM/WE LIVE IN PUBLIC/QUIET crew . . . he had his 5 mins of cinematic fame – as one the film’s most striking featured cameos – the drunken cowboy who couldn’t get back into the Quiet party . . . in ONDI TIMONER’S 2009 SUNDANCE winner – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – the story of “the most famous internet guru you’ve never heard of” – Josh Harris . . Mark was the guy who put the silkscreen ‘tags’ or circle ‘targets’ on the in-house crew’s gray workshirts – if you scored a Mark Enger set of concentric circles on your uniform – you were QUIET hierarchy.
yeah, you better believe I had them all over my QUIET-issued in-house crew shirts !!
Born in FORT SILL, OKLAHOMA Mark, and twin bro Matt grew up army brats, surrounded by military types, archeologists, and Native Americans. Their dad served in the Korean war. some kind of a big shot in the chain of command – and went on to become a big Civil War buff, when he returned home – where he makes replica guns for Civil War enactments and shares his love of gun collecting with the twins – both of whom have an amazing collection of vintage shotguns, rifles, pistols, you name it. They taught a lot of people in their art world circle how to shoot and handle guns – including me, my son Theo and most notably Josh Harris. in other words they come by their gun play, American Indian imagery, Civil War portraits, and war protests – good ole Southern anarchy in a nutshell – for real. bonafide true grit American boys – if I ever did see one.
Our heart-felt condolences go to out Matt, who was with Mark yesterday and held his bro’s hand – as he slowly faded into a cowboy’s final sunset.
MATT ENGER and MARK ENGER – on their bikes.
date unknown, photog unknown. PHOTO IN MY ARCHIVES/COURTESY: MARK ENGER
you can check out: their minimalist – but engaging website here !!
they are also on: EXPLODING SKY/blogspot
MARK ENGER was at various times throughout a career short on mainstream recognition, but long on insider admiration – a creative influence and production assistant to many artists, most prominently among them: KIKI SMITH, DONALD BAECHLER, and JOSH HARRIS. He was in fact a key technical and creative consultant contributing behind the scenes – to Kiki’s earliest successes. For decades he and Matt – collectively known as EXPLODING SKY WORLDWIDE – produced the iconic silkscreen ‘coin’ images, you see plastered all over Donald Baechler’s paintings. Josh Harris wore a Mark Enger custom-silkscreened work jacket – emblazoned with the WE LIVE IN PUBLIC logo and LUVVY the CLOWN image – throughout his recent international media reign – in the wake of the huge success of SUNDANCE winner and HARRIS biopic – the critically acclaimed WE LIVE IN PUBLIC – to a huge huge number of film festivals and TV interviews around the world. If you remember the early days of this very site, artloversnewyork – before our MAY 2010 crash and subsequent re-building – an EXPLODING SKY logo supported this site’s – art lovers photo page – by way of trade in artwork, from the very first days of inception – April 2005.
when Josh left NYC in the wake of the tech bubble melt-down – for the retreat of an apple orchard in up-state New York – he took the Enger Bros with him. The twins lived in two separate and crazy wild ramshackle trailers on the farm – festooned with their art, and their vintage gun collections. and yes. a run-of-the-mill visit from a heater utility repair man – did spark a serious inspection – guns out and cocked – by the local sheriff and his seriously spooked crew.
at a MARCH 2006 – WE LOVE IN PUBLIC/QUIET PARTY – RE-UNION in CHINATOWN, NYC:
from left, top row:
MATT ENGER, JOSH HARRIS and MARK ENGER, and yes. that ciggie hanging out of his mouth, habit killed him.
great coat or what. white jeans. damn yes, Mark was a great one for fashion statement.
kneeling in front:
JEFF GOMPERTZ – who built the notorious underground bunker/pod hotel – each compartment hard-wired with 24/7 surveillance cameras and individual monitors that played several feeds in real time time !! – housing the 99+ resident artists, and a few paid hookers – at the famed PSEUDO.COM – $1million dollar off-the-walls art bash/millennium party, called ‘QUIET’ – footage of which features prominently in: ONDI TIMONER’S 2009 SUNDANCE WINNER – WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH