~DAN ASHER . . BRANDON JOHNSON / ZING INTERVIEWS / ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST up-date
BRANDON JOHNSON, MANAGING EDITOR, ZINGMAGAZINE. NYC. APRIL 22, 2014.
AT THE ZINGMAGAZINE SOHO OFFICE – that’s DEVON DIKOU’S, ZINGMAGAZINE’S founder/editor/publisher . . ARTWORK on the WALLS.
PHOTO: NANCY SMITH
I went by the ZINGMAGAZINE very fashionable downtown office yesterday to meet with BRANDON JOHNSON, who is putting together a series of interviews with people who knew DAN, while they are still around (!!). the collected / edited interviews are scheduled to come out next Fall 2014 – in paperback format as a pre-packaged addition to that season’s ZINGMAGAZINE.
although it was great to learn of the project, and to share in Brandon’s plans – it was definitely bittersweet to remember so far back, and to miss not one, but 2 really close friends: DAN ASHER my friend and fellow high functioning (maybe !!) autistic, and SIMON CERIGO, father of my 2 kids, so-called hubby, (well it was pretty ok, for a while), and mostly – great great really missed: fellow art buddy, and talent scout.
Simon and Dan were joined at the hip, from the moment they meet, sometime in the summer’s heat of 1981 at the legendary Red Bar, in the East Village. I meet Dan shortly after, and we developed our own relationship, and we were very very close for many decades. Simon was to give Dan his first really serious shows at his short lived, but critically acclaimed SIMON CERIGO GALLERY on AVE A at 12th St. and I was to be Dan’s studio assistant, on and off during the years but esp from 1996 – 98, the years of the Iceberg photos, working for cash when he had it, or for (his) art work – when he didn’t.
how do you convey almost 3 decades of knowing someone as complicated, and contrary !! as Dan, or Simon for that matter. I esp felt the loss of Simon in speaking about Dan – as Simon had the oral knowledge, he had a mind like a huge roladex – he was a classic ‘flaneur’, and there is such a void on that level with him gone, it’s unbelievable how the art world gets up in the morning any more, without his daily ‘buzz’. Simon took a lot of stories, and even more rock solid knowledge with him, and I don’t see any . . clones. they were both severely under-estimated & under-valued by the mainstream scene in their lifetime – and maybe it is that void – that is making it more apparent just what gifts, natural born talents, and intense to the very last drop – those 2 guys had.
all I can say is, they sure don’t make characters like either one of them, any more – and how I survived it, living with them !! and how I survive their being gone – I just don’t know, my kids watch out for me, and they both know . . the legacy.
in fact I had to confer with my son, Theo (and yes, corny or not – me and Simon – did name him after Vincent V G’s younger bro – kindness to artists – and yes, apparently, he has lived up to the name . . last night to confirm a few facts – that Brandon brought up.
SPECIFICALLY: DAN & THE STOCK MARKET !!
yes, it is true that in 1995 DAN inherited, after a mad crazy legal battle with his dumb-ass brother, $400,000. yeah, I know that’s a lot of sushi !!
the deal was . . DAN was to keep $200,000 to fund living and art projects .. month long cruises to the Antarctic, & daily $400 sushi jaunts – anybody !!
and Simon invested the other $200,000, in Dan’s name – in APPLE STOCK.
the understanding being, that when the stock took off, which it did, big time !! Simon would get 10% of profits for the management/advice. so we all felt set for life, sure we would be millionaires in minimum 5 years time. APPLE was selling at $11 a share in 1995.
but, Dan just could not keep his autistic obsessive hands off the stash. despite many a screamin’ battle in the streets, and between the two, believe me Simon could scream louder . . Dan started pissing it away – on penny stocks. with Dan saying, “but it’s my money, Simon !!”.
sad story short – within 6 mos it was all gone, not just the entire $200,00 – but it’s vast vast potential. was Simon depressed, don’t even ask.
the opportunity – just flew though Dan’s ginger-stained hands like sand.
was Dan broke and starving. on the edge of apt eviction, and stressed for medical bills . . for the rest of his life ?
you guessed right, if you guessed: yes.
put it this way, Theo did the math – the $200,000 invested in APPLE in 1995 – would have been worth, easily . . $29 million, yes: 29 MILLION in 2010, the year Dan died. he could have been dipping into it, and taking out a nice chunk every year to live on, and paying us our share – and still, still he would have had – at the very least . . $10 more million in the fund.
it was a little hard for us to feel sorry for him, after that. esp when Dan had no money, we had no money, as we both worked for him in different capacities, and we, unlike him, had 2 young kids to feed and clothe. I mean we did feel sorry for him, but not as you would say . . in a ‘good’ way.
no wonder Dan had to turn to new, and younger friends, like BEN BERLOW . . who didn’t know, didn’yt have a clue, about the real bottom-line drop-off. I’m sure the hidden inner secret of his financial wipe-out, added to Dan’s inner stress, and countered any of the numerous homeopathic medications, he surrounded himself with, that’s for sure.
ah, of such stories, tragic character flaws, and major fuck-ups – Jackson Pollock had his groupie & speeding alcohol-driven car . . legends are born.
and if ‘autism-compensation’ telepathy extends to the after-life, I hope you guys are having fun up there, and . . please send a sign.
a little ‘HELLO NANCY’, sky-written across Manhattan, tomorrow – would . . suffice.
ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST, keep your grubby little paws off the content – or I swear I will sue you, and your publication for plagiarism. and up the wa-zoo. dude.
consider yourself warned . . you fake skank.
the Alfredo Martinez ‘rips’ in the New Yorker – were the last straw.
you, and . . that sleazy douchebag RICHARD PRINCE, cut from the same cloth.
landmark trademark decision re appropriation, my foot.
3 day old . . skanky ‘uni’ – is more like it.