‘IT’S AN INVASION’
APRIL 29 – MAY 10, 2014
CURATED BY JOSH HUBBARD, KELSEY BENNETT & LELE SAVERI
PHILLIP SPRADLEY, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
EXHIBITION PIX – PART II
SEAN VEGEZZI, ‘I’d Sleep Better if Sean Vegezzi was Mayor’, 2014.
cinder block, 20 x 24′ digital print, artist jacket, artist made button, set of master keys. 4 x 8 ft.
(Price upon request)
SEAN told me he had a “wall” in the show . . well, turns out it was a 4 x 8 ft. stretched canvas – but you know what ?
I’m gonna go with . . wall !!
it’s a huge metaphor, and I’m sure you can break it down, meaning-wise . . . for yourself !!
detail of the digital print . . yeah he’s reaching down to help somebody up.
and for sure, it’s an illicit, though obviously, plenty easily accessible . . subway infrastructure.
and . . his point:
so, yeah those are young kids getting in there. so, so much for security, homeland security, FEMA and . . real world bad guys.
just like there were graffiti writer/artists, or property ‘vandals’ as some would call them in the past . . these kids are the hyper-modern day equivalent. I guess you could call them . . interloper artists !! – they don’t leave ‘tags’, they just take the pix – to prove they were there.
and you don’t feel so safe anymore, do you.
Sean Vegezzi . . for mayor !!
and, in fact . . that’s a pretty good motto for the whole entire show.
‘It’s An Invasion’ – is not really a ‘party’ show, though it does have black walls, and it’s not a decadent show full of bravado, it’s certainly not a ‘strung-out’ disco party-on forever fever kind of thing, either.
it’s more about breaking down the status quo of the NYC art scene, and the new artists it chose to highlight are really – if you look at the work carefully, in a word: committed.
committed to social change, and: ‘awareness’.
things have got to change, and give the new talent . . a voice.
it’s not just about . . the ‘market place’, let alone the secondary auction marketplace. ELI BROAD and his band of merry $$$$ artists, JEFF KOONS, CINDY SHERMAN, and even BASQUIAT – are so 1985 !!
my god doesn’t anybody look up and see – it’s 2014.
that Broad-branded art scene has been done and over, three decades ago.
I know Sean Vegezzi and his crew – saw the World Trade Center Towers go down, and they are not going to forget it. 15 WARREN ST – hello.
the world got a whole lot more raw & scarier – after ELI BROAD first cruised the alleys of the NYC art scene, with his bags of cash, and let me tell y’all, the foundations of all his billions involved the notorious HANK GREENBERG and the early AIG, so do your own financial ‘scandal’ homework, I can’t connect all the dots . . for ya. but you do know what . . robber baron means ?
this is what this show is talking about.
this is a piece of fabric that got torn on one of Sean’s earliest escapades into the subterranean. the real ‘underground’.
the button: says it all . . in under 1-1/2 inches.
it’s not hard to crack the code, and it’s also a metaphor for the underground art scene as well.
in other words:
look out, all ye posers . . coming to get ya !!
this is what SEAN VEGEZZI has to say about these keys, and the work in general:
“I’d rather not talk about how I acquired them, but I will tell you what they are.
They are a set of municipal master keys that open everything from subway car doors to electrical cabinets to mailboxes to elevators. NYCTA, FDNY, NYC GOV they’re all there. And then there’s the hatch tools that open all of the subway emergency exits in New York City.
The photograph is a print of my friends Chris and Mike climbing down into the Fulton Transit Center, to a corridor that connects the center to the WTC site. That photo is from 2011.”
and they look to be all of what . . 17, 18, maybe 20 years old ?
Sean himself is all of what, 23, 24 now ? I first met him when he was 16 and he already had a deep history of urban ‘interloping’ under his belt, and the pix – to prove it.
just, you know . . city kids !!
grit, grit and more grit !!
translation: well, if anybody bad wanted to ‘hack’ into New York City, apparently it’s just . . child’s play !!
so merry dreams, and sleep well, tonight.
actually that was a pretty interesting ‘dead end’ corner, that Sean’s wall occupied.
that’s a custom ‘carpet’ by tattoo artist MARK CROSS on the floor under that big piece of vintage ‘status quo’ furniture, and a ‘painting’ by JACK RIDLEY III on the wall, to the right. more on that Ridley piece – in the next post.
MARK CROSS, ‘Blanket’. woven thread, 2013.
it was a pretty, (ugly ?) arresting image, and worked perfect on the floor, though it was termed . . a blanket.
a ‘loser’ .. in a posh place.
what more do you have to say, about countering . . the status quo.
it’s funnie to think about a tattoo artist . . contemplating so much FLESH !!
and skin. and u-g-l-y. and s-a-d.
the first time I saw custom printed ‘carpets’ was when PETER SUTHERLAND exhibited some – as art works, during the last decade – at ATM.
also in this corner, metaphor – one could find, GIUSEPPE FURCOLO & OTHELO GERVACIO’S . . ‘Phenakistoscope’, 2012.
mixed media. 6 x 2.5 ft.
curator JOSH HUBBARD was giving it a spin, for me.
yep, the show was chock full of . . metaphors.
classic, underground, or . . what.
not only was it a marvel of engineering, and a beauty to behold, but it was kinetic. And, user-friendly.
engaging, audience engaging is – the word.
and it spoke to . . fate, and magic !!
put that art up on those walls, pull a rabbit out of a hat ?
OTHELO GERVACIO, ‘Nevermind’, 2014.
Watercolor and gold leaf. 51 x 35 in. with frame.
more stationary, but just as . . challenging.
and . . magic.
talk about an enduring ‘interloper’ through-the-centuries image.
detail, OTHELO GERVACIO, ‘Nevermimd’.
like I said, a show in a posh place full of . . metaphors.
asking . . the BIG QUESTIONS.
you know . . ‘LIFE’ !! survival, belief systems, the works.
cutting edge NEW YORK CITY, and full of . . grit.
as opposed to ‘secondary’ market.
yeah, damn straight . . I’m referring to ‘LIFE’ – THE JOURNAL ‘shows’ at VENUS OVER MANHATTAN, opening next week.
DOWNTOWN art . . by way of Brooklyn goes uptown, ha. and 10 years old.
I mean, some of that stuff is great, I should know, I covered pretty much all of it more than 10 years ago, when it was cutting edge.
with a shout out to: LIEF RITCHEY.
is the mainstream finally catching up. 10 years later.
I guess better late than never. I guess there goes the value of my early art scene photo archive – upwards !! and mucho !!
what am I bitchin . . about ?!!
ha. what did I tell ya. always a contrarian to the very last drop !!
shades of Dan Asher. (!!)
but don’t go calling it ‘cutting’ edge, is all. call . . a spade a spade.
there’s life, and then there’s LIFE . . after the fact.
and with the THE JOURNAL, as with pretty VENUS, it’s NOT ‘LIFE’ . . it’s just secondary market.
or . . wanting to make one.
MORE PIX – TO FOLLOW.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
‘IT’S AN INVASION’ – CURATED BY JOSH HUBBARD, KELSEY BENNETT & LELE SAVERI
PHILLIP SPRADLEY, NATIONAL ARTS CLUB – PROGRAM DIRECTOR
APRIL 29 – MAY 10, 2014
NATIONAL ARTS CLUB – 15 GRAMERCY PARK SOUTH, NYC
EXHIBITION PIX – PART I
no doubt about it – this rough and tumble group show at the National Arts Club – was the best thing to happen, as in . . pop-up !! FRIEZE ART FAIR WEEK, NYC 2014.
it was the perfect storm.
the perfect ‘invasion’.
the perfect clash between posh (the venue) and . . what’s happening – heavy !!
the perfect antidote vs. the mostly academia-driven . . art fairs.
except, for maybe the MARIE LORENZ hand-made rowboat, a nice inclusion . .
but, wake up – this is work from over a decade ago, not exactly cutting edge.
well, maybe that is .. cutting edge – to the status quo ?
though still, a nice . . ‘island’ theme – touch.
but, ‘It’s An Invasion’ . . stood for something, and lived up to it.
that being: the big ‘challenge’.
as in . . ‘throw-down, baby’ !! to the otherwise absolutely stifling status quo – here in NYC.
the fact that it happened at the otherwise staid National Arts Club – was just, a happy riot of competing visual signals – on the corner of what was – and what . . is !!
bringing back the – grit !!
you went up a short staircase, in a very over-decorated but gorgeous ornate old-school clubby building, and once you caught a glimpse of the hallway beyond the velvet rope – you knew you were in the right place.
and, you’re . . in !!
look at the . . ‘blue sq.’ at center – in that entry hallway – in photo above.
yes, that is . .
JACK GREER, ‘Urine’, 2014. color pencil on paper over wood support.
18 x 18 in.
lucky timing, two of the 3 curators were manning the show, JOSH HUBBARD, above – and KELSEY BENNETT. all of the curators are artists, and all 3 had work in the show.
JOSH HUBBARD, ‘Do You Believe That?’, 2014.
felt on vintage fabric, 55 x 34.5 in.
($1,000,000 / open to offers)
so fun. okay so the room was dark, or at least the walls were. and the lighting didn’t ‘absolutely’ suit all the pieces, esp this one, but that was half the fun, taking the posh . . and going over-the-top. looking back, I’m liking this presentation, a lot.
just get that art, up.
pop-up vs white box vs tent, you gotta shake things up, sometimes.
like I said bring back . . the grit !!
I asked JOSH HUBBARD if he did all the that hand-stitching, and he said: yes.
nice job, from one hand stitcher, I re-store vintage quilts – to another.
funny thing, when he answered . . I got a ‘London calling’ kind of feeling.
the accent, the grace, duh.
sure enough, besides being artist & curator – he is also a Brit guitarist, he used to play with DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, one of our recently departed music reviewer Simon Cerigo’s faves . . oh well, c’est la vie. no words possible on that score, anymore.
anyways, seems JOSH HUBBARD recently joined forces with singer MICHAEL IAN CUMMINGS to form the New York City based-band . . SKATERS.
CHECK OUT: SKATERS – ‘DEADBOLT’, published OCT 16, 2013, YouTube
just to show you, how it goes in NYC, the band also just scored a really nice interview with – INTERVIEW, last week or so, actually APRIL 29, 2014 – and where you can find their pretty nice cover of THE SMITHS – ‘THIS CHARMING MAN’.
see: SKATERS – EXCLUSIVE SONG PREMIERE/INTERVIEW
this: is their official website – SKATERS
KELSEY BENNETT. a co-curator of the show, she has 2 color photos in the ad hoc exhibit.
apparently it’s through her connections, TONY BENNETT, the famous crooner, and . . loves-to-paint guy – is her uncle, that this show happened.
good move, National Arts Club. thanks.
KELSEY BENNETT, ‘Crypt Keep in the Sun’, 2013.
digital c-print, 12 x 18 in.
KELSEY BENNETT, ‘Raw Thrills’, 2013.
digital c-print, 12 x 18 in.
LELE SAVERI, a selection of his monotone xerox photograph / collages.
Lele Saveri . . the final, and third co-curator of ‘It’s An Invasion’ . . was not around the day I passed by, but he has a pretty big, and mighty ‘hip’ presence on the web, just google him.
and, re: the dark walls.
in fact, as I look back at the installation pix, I’m liking more and more – the look of those dark walls, so – party-time, club time . . feels very, immediate.
contrarian !! low-fi. just – happening.
LELE SAVERI . .
left: ‘Untitled (Invasion No. 8)’, 2014. xerox, 8.5 x 11 in. ($100 edition of 10).
right: ‘Untitled (Invasion No. 9)’, 2014, xerox, 8.5 x 11 in. ($100 edition of 10).
RYAN McGINLEY, ‘Shane (Flashlight)’, 2013.
c-print, 45 x 30 in.
($14,000 + frame)
actually there were quite a lot of photographs in the show, prob the most famous contributor being – McGINLEY.
and it was a . . beaut, and I bet that is a good price, too.
detail, RYAN McGINLEY, ‘Shane (Flashlight)’.
it was a treat to see it, in person. very . . raw.
TODD JORDAN, ‘Aiden, New York City, September 2011.’
digital c-print, 32 x 22 in.
maybe not quite as mainstream famous as McGINLEY, TOOD JORDAN – still has quite a following of his own, and . . you can see why.
it’s hard to put into words, what’s so drop-dead stunning about this work, and maybe that’s why – it is so fascinating.
I bet at that price, it’s a steal – though no edition number is given.
MORE PIX – TO FOLLOW.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
ERIK DEN BREJEN – ‘THERE’S A RIOT GOIN’ ON’
OPENED MAY 1, 2014
the show runs thru JUNE 7, 2014
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 WEST 24 St, CHELSEA, NYC
ERIK DEN BREEJEN . . at the opening.
this is his 4th solo show at FREIGHT+VOLUME, and the relationship has been a very happy one, if you can call these things, just from seeing the work, which has gone though several stages of experimentation over the years – to the full stride & depth of this show.
ERIK DEN BREEJEN, ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’, 2013. acrylic on linen. 90 x 68 in.
this show is not what it seems, and back again !!
the portraits, strange icons of 70s revolution all on their own, disappear into absolute abstract fields, in physical reality, i.e. real time viewing . . only the “down-sizing” scale effect of photography, and seeing the work through a camera lens – is keeping the subjects in focus, on this page . . in the gallery they are . . ‘puzzles’.
and then the pure abstraction and color field platform – is itself broken down in the other direction, as opposed to portraiture, you have colorful handwritten building blocks of text, songs and words that exert their own magic, and power.
detail: ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’.
so there’s a lot going on !!
and it is . . kind of riot, in and of itself.
detail: ‘Nilsson Schmilsson’.
it’s like these paintings have . . no beginning and no ending.
a concept all the more interesting to consider, since they are all based on hyper real portraits of actual people, composed of small building blocks of ‘word/text’ units.
the best thing I could say, is go experience this for yourself.
photography is not going to be the key to opening up this . . Pandora’s box of painterly tools.
ERIK DEN BREEJEN, ‘Harry Nilsson – All My Life’, 2013.
acrylic on linen, 47 x 45 in.
the disappearing face, brings to the front, the very musical use of pure vibrant . . and, unpredictable COLOR. from a distance the text ‘slugs’ do not even factor in.
detail, ‘Harry Nilsoon’
this would be the face . . as you approach the ‘text’ elements, you can easily see from how the color is patterned and distributed, compositionally – that the words are very, very loaded. actually song lyrics – it’s like looking into a shimmering pool of . . . ‘thought’ water.
detail, ‘Harry Nilsson’.
if you haven’t read . . .
the very colorfulpress release . . that accompanies this show, you should.
not only will it shed a lot of understanding on these paintings, and expand on their evolution and background – but it is ‘hands-down’ one of the best press releases ever put out there. it becomes instantly clear how a complex formalist painter like ERIK DEN BREEJEN has came to produce such a focused, emotionally deep – exhibit that touches upon many many issues, both visual and conceptual. it is really striving to capture – the big picture / the culture in flux – the 70’s.
what I mean is, I’m thinking . . one cannot underestimate the impact on an artist, when his home base, gallery – is so clued into his ‘journey’, and is able to articulate it so well – and bring it alive . . to disparate viewers.
detail, “Harry Nilsson’.
I guess that’s called . . sharing the love !!
and these paintings are definitely about . . sharing.
from the press release:
“There’s a riot Goin’ On takes a commanding look back at the early 70’s and specifically
explores the lives and works of creative revolutionaries such as RICHARD PRYOR, HARRY NILSSON, MARVIN GAYE, JOAN BAEZ, and ALLEN GINSBERG, among others. Den Breejen investigates the role of the artist as messenger from another state of consciousness. These artists, comedians, musicians, poets, and rock stars channeled their inspiration to confront the rules and norms of their time . . .
His portraits revisit and transform their observations. His recent paintings tell a history that has been recorded, portrayed, lived and felt by these people. In this sense, his technique can be seen as a kind of time travel.”
ERIK DEN BREEJEN, ‘Billie Holiday (God Bless the Child)’, 2013.
acrylic on panel, 24 x 20 in.
this might be the first show in the history of art, where you actually have to have your friends view to the work through your iPhone camera, to see what’s really . . goin’ on !!
detail, “Billie Holiday’.
this photo approach – is more approximate to how the paintings come across – in actual ‘physicality’.
ERIK DEN BREEJEN, ‘Marvin Gaye (What’s Goin On)’, 2014
acrylic on linen, 90 x 50 in.
what can I say, gonna give the last word to . . MARVIN GAYE !!
ERIK DEN BREEJEN and NICK LAWRENCE at the opening.
Nick is the hands-on owner/director of FREIGHT+VOLUME, he’s been bringing the scene some pretty awesome art shows, and it’s he – who penned that awesome press release.
go see the show.
it’s a one-of-a-kind, hands-on eyes – kinda of last word, information graphics doesn’t scratch the surface – kind of art, word, people culture revolution . . game on, dish that paint, kind of thing . .
where the poetry of ‘song’ meets the poetry of pure ‘plastic’ formalism . . head on.
no explanations, or art history required.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH
ERIK DEN BREEJEN – ‘THERE’S A RIOT GOIN’ ON’
OPENS THURS MAY 1, 2014 / 6-9 PM
the show runs thru JUNE 7, 2014
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 W. 24th ST – CHELSEA, NYC
for: more pix, info & artist bio
ERIK DEN BREEJEN, ‘RICHARD PRYOR’, 2014, acrylic on linen, 84 x 72 in.
looks like the big blow-out summer group show . . is happening early this year,
and . . . at the NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, of all places !!
curated by: KELSEY BENNETT, JOSHUA HUBBARD, and LELE SAVERI,
all 3 artists themselves, each with work in the show – always a good sign, kudos . . 15 Warren St.
opening tomorrow night TUES APRIL 29, 2014 / 7-10 PM, the show is only up for 2 weeks – thru SAT MAY 10, 2014
. . so don’t blink.
NATIONAL ARTS CLUB – 15 GRAMERCY PARK SOUTH – NYC
HRS: weekdays 10am-5pm / weekends 11am-5pm
and unlike that sad and dreary, all gray Whitney Biennial advert in the subways – which proclaims to a very disinterested, captive, NOT !! audience . . “see it here, or see it somewhere else tomorrow”,
this show is . . bound for glory !!
just look at some of the names in the line-up:
TODD JAMES, TODD JORDAN, ANDREW KUO, RYAN McGINLEY, TAYLOR McKIMENS, ANDREW SUTHERLAND, PETER SUTHERLAND, SEAN VEGEZZI, PETE VOELKER, and JOSHUA WILDMAN.
IMAGE: NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
IMAGE: NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
changing gears & getting back to . . LOCAL NEWS !!
love these ‘graphics’ – coming out of FLUX FACTORY, this week.
‘YOU MADE IT’ – a group show of FLUX ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE – curated by CHRISTOPHER STIEGLER
OPENING + PERFORMANCES – FRI MAY 3, 2014 / 7PM
OPEN HOUSE + PERFORMANCES – FRI MAY, 16, 2014 / 1-3 PM
FLUX FACTORY – 39-31 29th St – LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS, NY
the show, looking to lively . . . will highlight work from their 2013 – 2014 program.
“The artworks will be arranged according to the artists’ heights (!!) and the installation of the show will change throughout the duration of the show.”
more info . . .
as well, ZUZIA JUSZKIEWITZ will host a small BOOKBINDING WORKSHOP – SUN APRIL 27, 2014 / 2-4 PM
POETRY READINGS, included.
more info . . .
that’s . . tomorrow, looking good – it’s free and open to all.
it’s not just crazy, maybe autistic, and even if . . , so what ? artists who have tragic flaws, apparently so does the legal world . . esp when it comes to almost everything COPYRIGHT and the ART WORLD – with this week being . . a stunner.
FIRST UP: RICHARD PRINCE vs EVERYBODY & ANYBODY WHO HAS A CREATIVE, ORIGINAL THOUGHT & IS SILLY ENOUGH TO PUBLISH THE ‘PRODUCT’ aka THEIR ‘VISION’ – AS A BOOK.
or poster, or advert, cartoon etc, etc.
from the RICHARD PRINCE ‘CANAL ZONE’ (2008) series – image via ART IN AMERICA
in what most artists would feel to be a major rip-off, s-o-m-e-h-o-w . . could it be BIG MONEY ?
(some of the disputed paintings sell for over $10 million, each !!), some (sketchy, at the very least) appeals court in NYC, let this obvious ‘trashing’ & exploitation of another artist’s original content – French photographer PATRICK CARIOU and his ‘Yes, Rasta’ book of photographs, published in year 2000 – get a: ‘pass go and collect the $$$$$’.
how this qualifies as ‘FAIR USE’ is beyond reason, or is that just me, esp being a photographer.
and you better damn well keep the paws – off my pix !!
I mean, doesn’t the SHEPARD FAIREY ‘OBAMA’ ruling have any relevance here.
you damn well know it’s bad, as in . . s-t-i-n-k-y !!
when everybody in the art media world proclaims it a A HUGE LANDMARK SUCCESS, with no question or thought . . must be the power of those ‘GOGO’ media mega dollars at work.
if you read between the lines, the judge left 5 pieces in the gray area, so obviously GOGO & PRINCE will shoot a lot of money at the wronged CARIOU, and that will be that, no more appeals – and voila: a landmark ruling on copyright ca. 2014.
trust me, even I know, small nobody business that I am, I’m not the only person in the world . . whose has been told by a lawyer, “it’s a business decision, it’s not about right or wrong.”
at the very least, PRINCE should have credited the photographer, if not licensed the work for his creative use.
the trouble with copyright law – is it really hit the fan – with the web.
basically: google engines brought down copyright law, copyright law was already dog-eared and arcane / but now . . nothing goes up – that can’t be seen by the original source, even oceans apart.
never mind that copyright law originated before reproduction became as easy as 1,2,3 – click ..
and, esp now with .. ‘image’ google, and it works good, too.
this quote unquote ‘landmark’ decision makes the courts look bad, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to stick, let alone be the ‘landmark’ the GOGO camp is claiming. personally, I wouldn’t rush out and buy anything as tainted and anti-artist original content as this, just on principle, if not with an eye towards . . hopefully, future righteousness. it’s definite low rent skuzzy.
further, this series of work, along with Prince’s ‘Marlboro Cowboy’, etc makes him, Prince look more and more like a gifted ART EDITOR, with an eye to a good art image – than a particularly good or talented artist.
though, thanks for bringing PATRICK CARIOU to the stage.
but, victory aside, GOGO, PRINCE & CO better watch out for those . . duppys – the Rasta Jamaican undead / as in . . ghosts !! calling on . . BOB MARLEY, y’all.
and if a blog ain’t reggae, what is it ?
GOGO, PRINCE, and DUPPY, huh. come on, somebody . . make me a rhyme.
see: Richard Prince Wins Major Victory .. ART IN AMERICA
SECOND: PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET vs GUGGENHEIM BILBOA
‘BILBAO BATTLESHIP BILLBOARD’ by artists PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET
PHOTO: CAMILO BRAU via THE ART NEWSPAPER
if the GOGO / PRINCE caper wasn’t bullsh-t – what’s this ?
just looks like: THE BIG MONEY WINS, EVERY TIME.
no matter what. end of story.
am I just jaded. autistic, stupid. I don’t think so.
if any image deserved to come out on top re ‘FAIR USE’ . . you’d think it would be this, satire. plus what is a ‘cutting edge’ contemporary art museum doing being so censorious. shame shame shame . .
plus . . it’s such a great image & such a great provocative info / image too.
and, it got taken down in like 24 hrs.
by an art museum sourced outta NYC. so, bad news. unbelievable, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.
forget Spain, put that banner up in Times Sq.
haha: PAUL McCARTHY & MIKE BOUCHET should do a piece ripping off every nurse painting RICHARD PRINCE ever did, by reproducing them, with a big purple ‘blotch’ over their faces, and claim: ‘TRANSFORMATIVE’ – and then sell those for – 10 million smackeroos, ea. !!
and yeah, I want 10% – for the idea.
see: Guggenheim Bilbao Fires back .. WALL STREET JOURNAL
see: Billboard work taken down .. THE ART NEWSPAPER
THIRD: WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO . . DAN ASHER ASHER vs DONALD BAECHLER !!
which makes it a . . full circle day.
well, since DAN was so unrecognized in his lifetime – ORAL HISTORY is the only way to go, and if I don’t get it on paper, trust me – DONALD BAECHLER sure as hell ain’t gonna pony up – to the time he ripped off Dan’s work – outright, and exhibited it as his own.
and, yes – he did !! !! !!
DONALD BAECHLER, ‘Self Portrait’, 1986.
image courtesy: ELMHURST ART MUSEUM
“Self-Portrait”, my foot.
well, this might NOT be an exact one of the ‘rips’, but you get the picture.
check that date: 1986.
here’s the story:
Donald was always creeping around other people’s studios, Simon always used to say . . he got his ‘primal’ flower painting silhouette from me, and we know what he did with the Enger Bros. imagery, but – to get to the point, the Dan Asher lift – was quite . . black and white, no grey areas of ownership.
no . . he said, she said. I did it first, etc. etc.
and this is the truth.
DONALD bought a whole bunch of small charcoal, or black oil-stick drawings of faces, from Dan, in the early 80’s, maybe 1984 ? he then projected them onto big canvasses, and reproduced them large & verbatim, except for the scale, and then took them to Europe, and exhibited them, under his own name, of course – for sale at some gallery booth in an art fair in Europe, maybe in Cologne ? Berlin ?
thinking, nobody would know. there was no google engine back then, and anyways that was just his modus operatus – just like all ‘appropriation’ masters, KOONS and PRINCE etc.
haha, if Dan doesn’t scrape up the dough, and fly over to see the fair.
talk about shit hitting the fan.
Dan was so crazy, you’d have to be a real fool to mess with him. and maybe that’s why he was, crazy mad. part of the downside of autism, is people thinking clueless means dumb.
and this is one time, the BIG MONEY did NOT win out.
the . . BIG RAGE won out.
and if Donald wanted to feel safe heading out to the Red Bar – on any given night – he did what he had to, he shelled out something like $60,000 to appease Dan.
that was a lot of money back in the 80s.
when the rents were cheap, sushi was not blown wide open dollar-wise . . and Pearl Paint was the go-to art supply emporium. and cheap . .
like I said, DAN wasn’t always broke, he just knew how to go broke. and, fast.
spending money was like an art form to him. he could spend it faster than anybody I’ve ever meet then or since.
well, Josh Harris comes in a close second . . oh god, just my luck, all the guys I depended on for work, were mad crazy with the money.
c’est la vie,
duppy don’t you come abotherin’ – me.
but you see that lawyer, go for the throat.
it’s the damn lawyers, rockin’ the boat.
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.
SIMON CERIGO, ‘Newspaper Piece’, early 1990s. acrylic & watercolor on New York Times, 12 x 22 in.
CURATED BY THEO CERIGO, NYC
PHOTO: THEO CERIGO
just so you know . . .
NANCY SMITH, watercolor. early 1990s. watercolor on arches paper. 18 x 24 in.
CURATED BY THEO CERIGO, NYC
PHOTO: THEO CERIGO