~DAN ASHER: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD – by BRANDON JOHNSON
OMG – THIS IS A . . . LOVE LETTER !!
that’s blowing everybody – away !!
BRANDON JOHNSON and WALTER ROBINSON . . .
at the launch of ZINGMAGAZINE #24 – which includes a special book project, ‘FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD’ – ‘PERSPECTIVES ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF DAN ASHER’ – BY BRANDON JOHNSON.
BRANDON JOHNSON is also the managing editor of ZINGMAGAZINE.
this is his first book.
the event took place at the ZINGMAGAZINE SOHO, NYC OFFICE.
ZINGMAGAZINE ISSUE #24 – BOOK LAUNCH PARTY, OCT 8, 2015.
ps: and, if you don’t know Walter Robinson – ha, sorry. but you are not only on the wrong website, but you prob are on the wrong continent.
Walter Robinson – great American ‘reve noir’/’pulp fiction’ & hard cash/pharmaceuticals . . painter & former illustrious editor/founder of artnet.
DEVON DIKOU . . . founder, editor & publisher of ZINGMAGAZINE, and patron of this wonderful book project !!
thank you – Devon !!
ZINGMAGAZINE #24 BOOK LAUNCH, ZING OFFICES, Grand St. in Soho, NYC.
OCT 8, 2015
and, damn if auto-focus doesn’t have a mind of it’s own sometimes, just like auto-spell !!
but still . . . she’s got a good thing going, and looks like the feedback from the night’s magazine/book launch – is making her, and, rightfully so – happy !!
ZINGMAGAZINE ISSUE 24, 2015 . . . A CURATORIAL CROSSING
has a great line-up, and the production is . . out of this world !!
there were sample copies to peruse at the event.
a young artist I was with, NICHOLAS STEINDORF super admired the DAVID ALTMEJD photos, while my KATE CERIGO . . a young / senior graphic designer in the fashion world – was crazy for the graphics and specialty ‘luxe’ – papers !!
the Mexican food – was great too, and the spirits were freely flowing.
ZING: the next generation, comes . . on board !!
but the Dan Asher book was under wraps, tucked into the magazine packaging – til you got home !!
I just knew . . from the way it was so Zen-like hidden, guerilla-packaged, among-st this most subtle, but impressive assortment of small, indie artist publications – with an over-all color palette of a . . very right-on ‘bleeding edge’ gray fade-zone: resilient, reflective and so . . . exquisitely POETIC !! no words !!
that was this was going to be too good – to be true.
like saving the candy in the gold foil wrap, for last !!
contrarian that I am – I couldn’t bear to open mine . . for a whole week, until today !!
but word came in immediately – from Kate:
“Dan’s book came out really nice, Mom you should be proud to be a part of it!!!!!!”
so I slit the cellophane wrap – and opened it today !!
I was just blown away.
zen perfection – in a minimalist graphic format. Dan would love this. that’s what was so sad, for me.
the sad part, exquisite fame: after a hard tough haul of a life, through the cruel tempest of what we casually call . . . the art world.
but you know, there is such a sweet soft beauty to the sad side of the street – and Dan always knew, this was coming, so . . . let’s celebrate !!
and, yes this first time project by Brandon Johnson – is definitely a celebration, and a cause to celebrate. a full circle, with the new generation jumping on-board, and taking over from where the old-school critics and powers-that-were (!!) failed Dan, & themselves, bye the way.
this is the real DAN, the crumpled mess that was a constant swirl around him, just like that ‘Peanuts’ character. . . . that, the photo even survived – is a miracle.
you can see the ‘dialog’ he shared with JEAN MICHEL (BASQUIAT) on the walls of this early-mid 80s studio shot. it was prob taken when both he and Jean Michel, were showing with Annina Nosei. and Dan was in the $$$ enough to paint on large canvas in a nice studio on the Bowery, or was it on Chrystie. I think they even shared it ???
the real Dan, from the beginning ‘end’ papers, his endless scribbles . . . and onwards, Brandon never skips a beat.
the book is absolutely chock full of many many archival photos of Dan, and his work, with much thanks to BEN BERLOW who heads up the Estate of Dan Asher . .
but the real beating heart of the book, is the oral history: interviews with almost 40 people who knew Dan at one time or another – each with their own particular take and . . fondness. it’s amazing that Brandon has preserved so much of this, before many of us – also go the way, of that south-of-sunset route of no-return – into the timeless sky.
from early friends, including myself, through JOHN LeKAY, and then in the 90s through YOSHITOMO NARA, and TOMIO KOYAMA, Dan’s one-time dealer in Japan, to later friends like . . BEN BERLOW, and GAVIN BROWN.
my only personal regret, is that SIMON CERIGO, RIP, 2013 . . that great art world gadabout . . didn’t live to tell his tales of Dan, he prob knew Dan’s history the best of all. they meet at the Red Bar in 1981 and they were pretty much joined at the hip for decades.
there’s even a photo of Dan from elementary school, of course the kid at left, in the ‘specs’ is Dan.
too cute – and check out the willfull-ness !! in his face, even back then.
Simon told me, Dan told him many times – that his father used to beat him, many times, and harshly – because Dan was so contrary, and stubborn, even as a kid. the sad part is, it was nothing he could control – it was just his nature, just born that way.
there’s even a gorgeous, gorgeous, double page spread . . of one of Dan’s antarctic iceberg photos, ca. mid 90s.
I was Dan’s studio assistant at this time, don’t get me started . . .
it was a riot – Dan was flush with cash, and the 4 star sushi, and the art career . . was rolling mighty !!
we used to laugh so much, cracking jokes like other people chew gum, until . . damn !!
where’s the passport – the plane leaves in 30 mins !!
if you want to know what’s in-between, it’s . . Dan’s brain – on fire !!
put to paper by the most courageous & insightful . . BRANDON JOHNSON, no doubt about it.
I have only one word for all ya losers, jokers and clowns . . out there, BUY THIS BOOK !! and act fast, double dutch – time !!
it’s $45 for the ‘special’ package that includes the DAN ASHER book . . and the gorgeous new zingmag, and worth every penny of it – many times over.
it’s available on the . . ZINGSTORE – ZING #24
not only is it a ‘steal’ price-wise, and and blow-out – content-wise !!
but, I bet it’s sold out by next week.
that’s how fast the buzz is moving !!
it’s like a wild fire – burning outta control through the sky-scrapers of the . . NYC mind.
‘Far From the Madding Crowd: Perspectives on the Life and Work of Dan Asher’ by BRANDON JOHNSON . .
is being packaged and sold as part of ZINGMAGAZINE #24 the ‘special’ – option. it retails for $45 and includes the afore-mentioned Dan Asher book, as well as . . ‘Family Affair’ by The Family Schacter, a CD, a poster, and a drawing wheel.
again, congrats to DEVON DIKOU, ZING founder / editor & publisher.
who has got herself, a runaway hit – !!
don’t say – I didn’t warn ya, “order now”.
EVENT PHOTOS & PHOTOS OF THE BOOK: NANCY SMITH