‘This little piggy went to market . . .’ /
or: is Netflix – the new Artforum ?

I’ve got a . . . . ‘POCKET ALFREDO’ !!
and, it’s the real deal, too. no fakes here.
it’s still aluminum, it’s still light-weight, small scale, and it’s still easily . . portable.
even though it was made more than 20 years go,
it’s still metal reflective, it’s still vernacular relevant, and more importantly, it’s still also a reflection / a signifier . . on the times / and it, still, can be – YOURS !!!

in a TIME Magazine article in 1967, ANDY WARHOL predicted the future as a time . .
“when everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

flash forward to . . 2022,
and, looks like Andy was close, but not fully prepared – for exactly just how fast, social media would propel . .
the world & in particular, those seeking celebrity fame /
a mere 55 years later !! and, we see, it’s more like:
everyone can catch 5 mins. of fame / on the back of someone else’s . . 15 minutes !!

we should just plain out call it – for what it is: ‘piggy-back fame’, and, that’s piggy – in all senses. but mostly, piggy, piggy all the way – to the bank / spin doctors, rejoice !!

GO FOR IT . . . ALFIE !!!!!

of course !!
I’m talking about my good friend, ALFREDO MARTINEZ, aka the ‘NOTORIOUS BASQUIAT FORGER’.
though, we just used to call him, the plain ole . . . ‘REAL FAKE BASQUIAT’ . . !!
and, his (virtual) jailhouse squeeze, the equally notorious . . . THE (REAL) ANNA DELVEY !!
and wouldn’t you know it, they are . . our real day Bonnie & Clyde,
because apparently, nothing beats an outlaw – than an outlaw couple !!

seems, Alfredo developed a real,’we-are-both-thieves’, (is ‘scammer’ – a cuter way of putting it?) real real, heavy-duty crush on the ‘flirtatious-takes-you-to-the-top’ fake heiress, and last week’s headlines . . were a riot !! it was like watching a never-ending story / on repeat.
the various media posts just absolutely parroted each other, not a one had anything original or substantial to say – but who cared !!
by the end of last week, it was, wait / is AI writing the news, now too ? but it just added to the fun.
the coverage . . ran right up through the established art world, and then, even hit the mainstream /
and all the while – nobody cried wolf !!
and pretty quickly, and, pretty much – without changing a word, a sentence.
lord have mercy, have we really become a nation of morons ?
one weird post – had a totally wrong Alfredo Martinez in the photos / and, one of the big German tabloids, pegged NOAH BECKER, publisher of Whitehot Magazine, a big Alfie & Anna fan & co-promoter, written up – as the son of Boris Becker, the famous tennis player.
too fun !! forget about fake news, you couldn’t make this up – in your dreams.

I do declare . . . Andy – would have loved this.

nothing like a fast-talking, heavily-accented, German-Russian honey-trap of a young fake heiress / and, a big goofball of a street smart ‘gun’ artist, (of whom, even his best friends will tell you, you can’t believe a word he says), who both in their own way, conned a whole bunch of pretentious culture & institutional snobs, (got to love the art world) / to progress from a Netflix series, and go on to . . to ‘steal’ / the media-loving, iPhone hearts, of our war-weary world.

I have always said, especially when viewing the art world, it’s either the very top crust, or the very gritty bottom / and, nothing in-between, (is of any interest).
I guess the same rules – apply to the broader society.
it’s either . . total moronic destruction, untold human misery on a vast scale, impending global food ‘insecurity’, (yikes – will I be able to feed my 120 lb. dog ? ) and the usual – though unimaginable nuclear threats, with flying nuke headquarters / coming out of 70s mothballs, and, the totally nuts North Koreans thrown into the mix, just for fun, as per usual / samo, samo, indeed.
who doesn’t love, a Joker wild card /


the other extreme, the proverbial, gritty, often dark, street-wise bottom / that what we proudly call, the ‘underground’ art scene, the ‘downtown’ New Edge City / in the you-gotta-love-it . . New York City !!
and, still apparently – the capital of the global art world, and this – is why.
where a jail time ‘crush’, & resultant artistic collaboration, between 2 convicted cons / who played many, and not so nicely by the way / while all the while . . aiming / consciously or not, to … ‘revive’ the now, way dead art form – that we used to call . . . ‘Performance Art’ !!
(before it unfortunately morphed, rather horribly into ‘Food Art’, remember that ?)

well, this is ‘Performance Art 2022’, and, it’s subtitled:
‘Get-Over Artists – The Alf & Anna Show’ . . . !!!

so, ‘forgery’ is in vogue. who would have thought ?
in a rather charming ‘twist’ on the narrative / Alfredo is said to actually ‘reproduce’ Anna’s jailhouse drawings, as well as, blow them up, and color them / in fact, he is actually a pretty good colorist – that’s part of what’s actually help drive all the press, that superbly ‘colored’ – now famous, ‘Send Me Bitcoin’, – the Anna illustration, an otherwise crudely drawn sketch, but not without a dry humor & of course, detailed fashion notes / that’s always accompanying, the endless, no real ‘insight’ – press !!).

what ?
so the works you might be buying, (and, is anybody ?) – aren’t really her’s ?!! they are fakes, Alfredo fakes ??!!
in the art world, that’s more properly known as . . ‘collabs’, short for collaborations, and – that’s . . . ok.
but, it should be noted on the price list !!
unless of course, if it’s just a lowly studio assistant / fabricator . . some blue chip artist is taking advantage of / a lot of my young artist readers will know – exactly what I mean.
then it’s not acknowledged, and: well, end of story. but, sad.
anyway, ‘collab’ – is way better than ‘appropriation’ / or, just any other outright smart-ass, intellectual theft, ala Richard Prince, etc.
‘collab’ is ok. just, put it – in print.

it’s just even the faintest whiff of ‘forgery’ . . must have all the big wig collectors quaking, and, well they should be, letters of authenticity, or not. Alfredo’s history goes back at least 20 years. I also heard some wild rumors about all those silkscreen Andy Warhols that keep popping up in Britain, speaking of the darling undead – but, that’s filed away under: better keep – my big mouth shut.

spending time in the Big House, NYC slang for prison . . for fraud, let alone art fraud, isn’t exactly golden music to the well-heeled, but high-priced / street art chasing denizens of those other big houses: the Auction Big Houses !!
most whom probably employ an army of lawyers to keep them ‘clean’, let’s keep it real / though we could drop a few names I suppose, how’s Steinhardt & Sackler, for starters.

so, it’s a kind of . . . great Netflix-to-Artforum joke / the scrappy, street-smart con artists in the (penal) Big House vs. the corporate raiders & UBS fat cats / the phony auction riggers, Paris does jump to mind / & the serious tax haven seekers – in the (legal) Auction Big House !!
and, that’s what makes . . being an art world con – kind of . . well, GROOVY !!

WAY to GO, ALFIE !!!!!!!!!

so, I have a . . . ‘POCKET ALFREDO’ – for sale !!

it’s made to mimic the old school cigarette packs – that cool dudes, like James Dean ? used to shove into their shirt pockets !!

MARK & MATT ENGER / aka THE ENGER TWINS / aka EXPLODING SKY, the (truly) downtown / master silk-screeners – made them.
sad to say, Mark has done & gone R.I.P. / but he was brilliant – case-in-hand /
and, if you ever wonder – how an art photographer slash paparazzi / and,
that would be me . . .
who started publishing photos at Artnet in 2002, then turned art writer in 2005 / while all the while painting smallish watercolors, and hand-stitching repairs of old quilts, among other creative vernacular pursuits / in complete obscurity / knows what’s going on in the flitter-y, flicking art scene of now, well – now you know.
this is the art we, my friends, and I made – 20+ years ago / all hail . . . WLIP / WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.

we are talking: DIY, aluminum, mobile, small scale, silkscreen, reflective, and with a creative narrative – well worth it’s weight in gold, many times over !!

shout to JOSH HARRIS / of ‘QUIET’ & the rough & mighty raw documentary it birthed: the now infamous . . . ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ (2009) / who rounded us up . . Alfredo, the Enger Bros., and me / and a few some others, & kept us happily playing for keeps / while totally outside the commercial art scene – proper.
how’s that for true gritty glory ? well, for a little while, anyways !!
Josh was worth $82 million, an early 80s tech entrepreneur / huge party thrower / and, the well acknowledged . . father of all social media,
for real – way ahead of his time. everybody wanted to be him, but they wouldn’t give him – the time of day. we all could paint ‘circles’ – around y’all !!
that’s – for sure. we were – the hardcore / downtown frontier.


aluminum, 3-D, free-standing. silk-screened, one-tone.
photo of ALFREDO MARTINEZ, ca. 1999-2000.
3 x 3 in.
originally in an edition of 96.
but, I’ve got the only 4 that have survived.
this one is 90 out 96 / it is hand-numbered, and signed, in black sharpie – by Mark and Matt Enger – on the bottom.

it says / meaning . . in ‘fabricated’ pocket format:

Gauranteed (sic) to NOT:
~Eat your Food`
~Forge Paintings
~Borrow Money


NOTE: I was asking $950 for it, back in 2017,
on my . . ‘IF I HAD $200’ category. see, top navigator bar.

I guess I would want at least . . . $5 grand – now.
see contact / at left, top of page. NANCY SMITH.

WAY TO GO – ALFIE !!!!!!!!!!