~No Luvvy Lost . . .
the last I saw Luvvy, he was just an empty clown suit hanging in an otherwise empty closet, in a totally empty and way eerie old bedroom in the original farmhouse – up at the farm.
It was scary. It was like the ‘damaged goods’, deranged and/or developmentally challenged child, they used to hide up in the attic, in the old days. It was like Chuckie – the evil doll, hiding in the closet, ready to jump at you. too scary to trash, but nobody you wanted to invite to dinner, either.
he had gotten Josh into a lot of trouble, and he was hung up, for now.
JOSH had bought the farm, and another tract of apple orchards, at the height of the dotcom money game but retreated there, when the bubble burst. He was into it for awhile but really didn’t have the ‘downside’ brains or nature to stick it out. the next big idea was always a siren calling to him.
though he did as usual (!!) call the trend before it happened.
boutique farming, targeted niche local farm produce marketing, etc, etc. One of the things he tossed off casually, that struck me as omen-like was: “in a few years, the next apple you buy at Dean and Deluca will have a bar code on it – certifying where it’s from.”
anybody bought an apple lately. check – on that !! little stickers with bar codes – on every single one.
anybody eaten in a high-end locavore restaurant – check on that too.
they even have a name for it now, farm-to-table dining.
this is MARK ENGER, he’s the guy who silkscreened all those Luvvy hipster dotcom CEO jackets that Josh favored !!
MARK was an amazing artist . . . and an army brat, and a deep south redneck to boot !!
he taught Josh how to shoot.
Josh was way into redneck before it – just recently swept the nation – and our TV screens. just like the farm produce. natch.
Josh was a natural born trend-caller.
if that isn’t being an artist, I don’t know what is.
I say was, with regards to Mark, because sadly Mark left us for that great big cowboy ranch up in the sky, just about this time last year. throat cancer. well, you can see for yourself, the constant ciggie hanging from his mouth. he also didn’t ever have any ventilation in his homemade jerry-rigged silkscreen studios, and he never drank water, always preferring coke and beer. so there ya go, another great one – bites the dust.
I don’t know who misses him more, me or Josh.
grilling up a freshly killed hedgehog.
note the shot-up chair, ha. anything was target practice.
I don’t think anybody actually had the stomach to eat it. but it was also all about ‘future’ survival – up on the farm. they, Josh and Mark even produced a limited edition slightly bigger-than-a-shoebox ‘Survival Kit’ – for urban dwellers caught in the for sure to come future perfect, NOT !! you know gas mask, disposable hazmat suit, the works. they tried to get somebody in the city, translate: art scene, to show it. but there were no takers. big surprise, NOT. there is nothing like being totally ahead of the curve, and timing is EVERYTHING.
but duh. of course, I have one. I think they made 3 in total.
the farm had been a real working orchard going way way back, so it had all these old out-buildings, and then more recent, but still old trailer park trailers, covered in corrugated red metal, that had been used to house the small army of migrant workers who used to come pick the apples, in the old days.
vintage wallpaper: check.
in fact one of the most fun things about the farm, besides the small amount of apples they did manage to produce, which were delicious, bye the way – was that you could walk around the place and find old ‘artifacts’ everywhere. even ca. 1930 ‘Blue Ridge’ hand painted Appalachian dishes, etc.
Mark lived in a trailer, and had his studio in an old garage offsite. it started off real well, but then Josh got into mind games, and Mark felt trapped. they shoulda done a reality show, right then and there. Mark Enger vs Honey Boo Boo, Enger wins. sometimes being too smart, and too ahead of the game is not so much great.
repeat: timing is everything, and too often this big ole world turns too slowly for it’s best ‘trailblazers’.
but, talk about authentic . . .
MARK ENGER, one-of-a-kind silkscreen on aluminum folded back into a box.
bottomline: MARK was a great artist – a real American icon, and I have no doubt one day – his stuff will be selling for big $$. put it this way. I’d rather spend one hour in his company than read a decade’s worth of New York Times Weekend ARTS & LEISURE.
for me, that was the also the bottomline on Josh. for a guy who came out of UCLA Business School and ran a dotcom start-up, who rode the tech bubble and crashed back to earth, the most fascinating thing about him, to me, was his ability to call the art. that the artworld was not in lockstep – was very hard to explain to him.
and if it had, things would have gone very different, I’m sure.
bitter, who me ? Josh, maybe . . .
Mark ? dead.
IF you saw WE LIVE IN PUBLIC the movie – MARK ENGER was the drunken cowboy who couldn’t get back in the party, while Josh ‘joshed’ it up, yuk yuk with the security crew off camera. haha.
well, that’s the way Pseudo rolled, too.
MARK ENGER also silkscreened those famous blue ‘target’ circles on the ‘QUIET’ in-house crew uniforms.