~ALFREDO MARTINEZ . . “THE REAL FAKE” / inside the NYC headquarters of the Notorious Basquiat Forger


after the opening, ALFREDO took me up to see his new painting HQ, a few doors down on 24th St.- in Chelsea. NYC.
in a high-rise metal & steel office building.

at first impression, it looked like a secret, mini-underground / MTA / NYC subway . . post-9-11 surveillance / command post. a hidden nuke respond command post / where the inhabitants never see the light of day. & are always on alert, and are therefore totally bored & eat bags of chips and juice. & the mess piles up. while they study the big screen. of the removed / real world.
except for the intermittent trace of tell-tale art supplies / like, a red paint lid.
well maybe they get to doodle in their (mostly) free time.

it sure did look like some kind of covert HQ / an urban guerilla . . control central, if I ever did see one. entirely fitting – to be the scene of ‘art’ crimes / forgery.
& quasi-legal gun replication.

there were at present, no 3-D gun (working, or non-working) replicas, nor any fake Basquiats . . lying about.
but, there were 3 really nice works in progress, up on the wall near the door.
the place was small, maybe 200 sq ft. / the words: illegal occupation – did come to mind.

he told me to ‘pop’ the top one down, I used a broom handle. it was pretty light, not even quite as heavy as your standard strength pizza box, maybe just a cheap flat rate, shipping box ?
or a cheap pizza – box ? have you seen them ? they sure don’t make things the way they used to.
at any rate, you can note the ‘folding-in’ – side.
standard . . 24 x 18 in. ‘light-weight’ cardboard.

as we caught up, he set about working on it, just a few finishing touches: some light blue watercolor tint.

finished . . & signed. beautiful / and, radiant.
take that – all you non-believers. and multiply by a factor of 10. 100. 1,000.
it almost looks – like ceramic ‘glaze’.
it’s . . so radiant.

and it’s so . . non-digital.

wtf. YES !!
it was signed: FNSALNYC / FOR NANCY SMITH ART LOVERS NEW YORK CITY / in front of my very own wide-open eyes.

and there it is . . . in it’s new home.
my covert HQ / in JERSEY !!

oh yeah, my ‘new’ home for about 13 yrs / my stronghold !!
in the now rapidly gentrifying, what else is new, Jersey City Heights.
tell me about it: gentrification follows me like a dark cloud. ever since I got here, NYC. in the early 80s. you could map the ‘trending’ real estate market . . just before the bubble breaks & the rents go sky-high / just by tracing my wanderings. the never-ending quest.
the never-ending NYC artist search – for survival housing.

just ask Alfredo.
his current ‘HQ’ on 24th St is super-dependent on an on-going landlord / tenant rent strike / or, rent dispute. something like that. when it’s (legally) resolved, he’ll be out, but until then – ain’t nothing the landlord can do.

here, again you can see the side of the ‘found’ 3-D cardboard box.
I guess that makes it: XX double strength.
as in . . XX REAL FAKE !!
obviously, it takes a real . . . forger to make sure his work – is unique on several fronts, where you gonna find a genuine ‘found’ box like that – down the road. likewise the patiently collaged / found scrap paper, his ‘signature’ patina / surface. & the misc stains, & the wobbly signature. let alone the ‘glow ‘of the thin paint.

just try copying – that signature !! let alone the shaky . . . intertwined, ‘AM’ logo.
likewise: the authentic grease, or is that coffee ? stains – which are always included, for free.
likewise, the uniquely Alfredo . . patiently collaged / ‘scrap’ paper pasted to the surface / an homage to the DIY paper he continues to work with, to add texture to his work.
Alfredo learnt to make paper in prison – from a old Russian gangster. the MDCC prison authorities wouldn’t give him drawing paper, so he had to make his own / from torn-out pages of old ‘lending’ books, using flour & water as paste.
he used instant coffee packets, and jello – for pigment. I think he used q-tips for brushes.

it’s that pasted-on diy paper scrap ‘collage’ – that also contributes to the ‘glaze’ quality of the watery / thin paint pigment, esp in concert with the ‘transparent’ brush strokes.

lol. I dare anybody to copy this. in fact, take it a wild step further.

I dare Basquiat to copy this / in fact, I don’t think you could turn the ‘forgery’ tables, even in your most . . wildest imagination. for one thing Basquiat wouldn’t have the patience for the DIY paste paper collage.

so, maybe only in the . . far-fetched sci-fi / time-travel movie ?

or, perhaps more likely . . a futuristic / AI non-scripted digital animation face-off . . .


in fact, I propose this as my very own . . . throw-down challenge.
to all ye next generation art world / software gamer / geeks & programmers.

& note: it might be coming, sooner than you think / AI simulated open-ended animation is already in the works.

note:IAN CHENG, ‘Emissaries’ .. at MoMA PS1 – thru SEPT 24th, 2017.

but, lol. what’s this ?
from a “REAL FAKE” . . ALFREDO MARTINEZ gun piece,
a real, FAKE FLOWER . . . grows ?????

can’t shake those . . bloody, blooming . . flowers.
great American tradition: guns & roses.

from guns . . do roses grow ?