rank_gift_bag_lips_detail.jpg

This post is for the archivists out there, and is inspired by putting away sweaters and Paul Soulellis's Rhizome post about zip files.

In September 2010 I wrote about what I called the Gala-as-Art Movement.

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installation image of Untitled (#rank Gift Bag) via hyperallergic

In December I presented an expanded history of Relational Aesthetics For The Rich at #rank, Jen Dalton and William Powhida's Art Basel Miami Beach follow-up to #class. Both #rank and #class were done for Ed Winkleman Gallery. #rank was actually part of Seven, the independent satellite exhibition. I later put a poorly edited audio/slideshow version of the Gala As Art on Vimeo. I expect I will edit the transcript and images into book form as well.

rank-gregallen-schwag_hyperallergic.jpg

I decided at the last minute to create an edition for the #rank event, and that the most appropriate form was a gift bag. I was reminded of how, staying true to its gift bag nature, I had not explained the edition, and had not identified it as an edition per se, even though, if you looked, there were clues. Up until now, this Hyperallergic photo of Veken and Jesse Lambert was the only public documentation of this edition.

Then I was putting some sweaters away this weekend, and I found a bag of leftover parts from editions that had gone uncollected after the event. I will now describe the edition, its elements, and its development.

The impetus for an edition was the gold-leaf chocolate lips dessert edition created by Kreemart for Marina Abramovic's The Artist Is Present after-gala. I put edible silver leaf on red wax lips, and repackaged them. I also bought edible gold leaf, which, having never bought it before, I found unexpectedly expensive. I tested with the silver and found it satisfying, but I did not return the gold.

rank_gift_bag_contents.jpg

The lips alone were insufficient, however, and thus the gift bag idea was reached. The color theme came from the silvered lips, which, as the colors of a Diet Coke can, also evoked the autobiographical. I wanted to add a tchotchke, like a LIVESTRONG bracelet, but the lead time was killing me.

rank_gift_bag_contents_detail.jpg

I decided to publish the supporting media for the project the way Doug Aitken had made an artist book for his MOCA Happening. I thought of burning a bunch of DVDs, but I didn't want to get all designy. I thought of a customized USB stick, but again, I had too little lead time. These two objects merged into one, though, when I found a silicone bracelet with USB memory embedded. I signed and numbered the band, and named each drive with its edition number. I remember after the event, hearing people not realizing it was a USB stick, and thinking oh well, no one gets it, and no one will ever see it.

gala_art_art_gift_bag_usb_scr.jpg

In the few minutes between finding these USB bracelets and opening one again, I imagined publishing the whole thing as an e-book, or a PDF. I'd remembered more texts and fewer videos. Which is why Soulellis's zip file art publishing stuck in my mind. But that's the beauty of zip-based publishing: it can take anything. And so they're here, as Gala-as-Art_Gift_Bag.zip. The contents are as seen in the screenshot above.

The bag also contained a card, in the format of a gala invitation, in which all the artists mentioned were listed as benefit committee members. I have not found the leftover stack of these cards, which were hastily and unsatisfyingly produced on the ground at some Kinko's in Miami Beach. But when I do, I will document it here.

The bags are similarly suboptimal, looking nothing like their pictures in the Oriental Trading Co. catalog. The silver mylar, however, is just right, and should be properly considered by future historians of the exhibition history of satelloons.

Untitled (#rank Gift Bag) is the second time I've introduced an artwork in the context of a presentation. Instead of site-specific, they're situation-specific. In each case, I took Cary Leibowitz's practice to heart, and signed something "so you won't throw it away." And yet even considering fluxus and James Lee Byars and the stuff I've got socked away in storage, I expect that few if any examples of either piece have survived in the wild. I also expect that it doesn't matter.

So while this doesn't reconstitute the works, and I'm not inclined to do anything with the leftovers, when it comes to ever discussing the works and their experience, I have changed my position on whether you really had to be there.

Gala-as-Art_Gift_Bag.zip [dropbox]

Previously: An Incomplete History of The Gala-as-Art Movement [greg.org]
The Gala As Art As Slideshow [ibid.]
The Gala As Art, greg.org, at #rank 2010 [vimeo]
Why Ed Winkleman did #rank at the Seven Miami Art Fair [hyperallergic]

April 24, 2015

SUPERFLEX Haacke Tack

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SUPERFLEX, Supercopy Haacke Hermes, 2015, installation shot at von Bartha, Basel, courtesy the artists

While William Pope L.'s Trinket keeps blowin' in LA, SUPERFLEX is showing this piece in Basel.

The Danish colabo is opening a show at von Bartha that includes Supercopy Haacke Hermes, a revision of Hans Haacke's classic Blue Sail (1968) made with fake Hermès and Gucci scarves from Thailand.

With this piece, we read, SUPERFLEX "continue to confront issues of copyright, intellectual property and trademark infringement."

A more mercenary SUPERFLEX might also confront issues of aspiration and capitalism by stitching together a collector's own collection of Hermès scarves and selling it back to her for 50x more.

Or they could start selling sponsorships. [YOUR LOGO HERE]. Doesn't being in Basel just get your transactional juices flowing? I am feeling it!

SUPERFLEX's Euphoria Now! is at von Bartha in Basel from 25 Apr through 11 Jul 2015 [vonbartha, thx publicists!]

man_ray_natalie_seroussi_20x13-7cm.jpg

I'm always a sucker for a monochrome, and this imposing Man Ray photo posted at grupa ok a little while ago is no exception. Their title for it is Ma Dernière Photographe, which gives it some added gravitas. Even though it is tiny, 20x13.7cm, (8x5.5 inches).

But the date is 1929, and Man Ray definitely kept on working after that. So if he once thought it was his last photo, it wasn't. Maybe it was just his latest at the time.

When she showed it at Basel and in a monotone group show last fall, though, the Paris dealer Natalie Seroussi listed the title as ma dernière photographie, which syncs with the inscription. It turns out to be similar to a title Man Ray gave to another 1929 photo, both Rayographs, actually, which sold at Sotheby's in 2009. According to Man Ray scholar Steven Manford, that image was published in 1938 with the caption, "La Dernière Photo de Man Ray."

Rayographs, or photograms, are unique camera-less prints, where objects placed on photosensitive paper appear in negative. Except in this case, where Man Ray put nothing on it. So it's either a picture of nothing, or, more accurately, of everything.

UPDATE: OK, I decided the images are the priority, and getting them out there, so they're all relisted and ready to go, including exciting groups of ducks, frogs, fruit, monochromes, and office cube minimalism.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to get high-handed about arbitrary-seeming market-related rule-driven art practices. After almost six weeks and nearly 100 prints shipped, eBay suddenly dropped the hammer on my Test Listings series. 35 listings were canceled without warning tonight, and I spent an hour bouncing around eBay's call center to find someone who could explain what happened, and how to fix it.

ebay_not_allowed_intangible.png

Apparently the main problem boils down to having actual items to sell in the test listings category, which is for testing only. But the content from test listings (image and title and description texts) apparently triggers an automatic rejection if you try to list in a mainstream category like art > photographs. Calling something a "test," or using the word "test" in your title is enough to keep a listing off the site. But that's eBay's tautological problem. They also actually ban listings "where the value is placed on an intangible factor," like, no joke, "someone's 'soul'".

I had a couple of confounding discussions with CSRs about appropriation, context, and an awareness of the process of selling. I was asked how I could possibly claim I was actually selling an object, and that I wanted someone to buy it, when my descriptions clearly said "NO ITEM" and "DO NOT BID OR BUY." And how could I think it's not confusing that I put, "Actually, there is an item, and you can buy it." right underneath it?

ANDR Test Auction DO NOT BID OR BUY - SME JSS Related 2.JPG

And who would even try to sell an image that had DO NOT BID OR BUY printed right across the middle of it?

"Is this your image?"
"It is now."
"Then you can change it so it doesn't say that, right?"
"Does eBay have any other instructions for how I should change these artworks?"

Was a real conversation I had with one Resolution Manager, after he'd already told me to change the title of the works, too.

It was a challenge to explain the project in this situation, to someone who had no interest or expertise in the art context, and whose job was to maintain the integrity of eBay's transactional experience. Even though I had been instructed by an eBay CSR to list my items in the testing category, I was clearly selling, not testing. And the way I was selling would disrupt the expectations of someone shopping in a normal part of the site. Which, of course, was my entire point. Which he accepted and rejected at the same time.

Maybe I'm the one who needs to pay attention to the context. eBay is full of art ridiculousness, more or less interesting, and apparently, I'm just wanting to add one more.

Matt Latourette reminded me of the 2014 4chan stunt listings to sell posts, then screenshots of posts, then making-of screenshots of posts, &c. which culminated/dissipated into Hyperallergic selling a blog post about the whole thing.

vendi_vendi_ch-aga-ll.jpg

And @yunginstitution linked to this kind of thing, where an Italian creator of unabashed fakes hopes that kerning and an amazing incantation of a copyright disclaimer will keep the reaperbots at bay:

The work is not supplied with certificate of authenticity and warranties (as has never been evaluated, estimating expertise) and then, having regard to the recognition and similarity to the style of the author, is proposed as a copy of copyright, false copyright, in the manner of the author, under Article 8 of the law of 20 November 1971, n.1062 (Official Gazette No 318 of December 17) (according to law "dl 41 22/01/2004 art 179)
"a copy of copyright, false copyright, in the manner of, full of grace..."

do-not-buy-this-shipping.JPG

I guess my interest is primarily not in becoming an eBay crank, nor in reverse engineering the site's unwritten policies and assumptions about selling. But I am still fascinated by the images and language of not-selling, and the aesthetic decisions being made in these unimaginably rare situations where marketing, promotion, strategy and enticement aren't just absent, but avoided. And the implications of this for art are still worth considering even after Armory Week.

I'll revise this tomorrow, but, in the mean time, I have published a list of all the items eBay terminated, with their titles and (now defunct) item numbers. This will serve as a Googleable registry/reference for these works as I try to figure out whether and how to relist them. And then I'll think about what to do with the prints for the two dozen new test listings arriving this weekend.

UPDATE You know what, enough nonsense, the images are what interest me, so I'm stripping out all the text and title stuff and just relisting all available prints. They'll all be properly titled when they're shipped out, according to the registry below. Bid and buy with confidence.

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Good Company and Support, 2015, Jonas Lund, via steveturner.la

UPDATED 420

I learned of "Strings Attached," Jonas Lund's most recent show at Steve Turner from this Powhida tweet and was intrigued. I have not seen it, but from the press release, it's not obvious Lund has, either: "Lund uses fabric wallpaper as backgrounds for the works, and their messages have been painted by a sign painter according to Lund's directions."

Which is fine, and very L.A. Lund's chosen font is an obligatory genuflection toward Conceptualism's patron saint of outsourcing the boring art to a sign painter. Point #1.

Point #2, fabric wallpaper [sic], a way to differentiate the product, but also a nod to function.

Point #3, image-of-text is also a functional mode in networked screen media, where it decorates Facebook walls and circumvents 140-character limits.

jonas_lund_huo_scene_herd_auction.jpg
HUO and Auction, 2015, Jonas Lund, via steveturner.la

Point #4, the text on each of Lund's paintings is the executive summary of the conditions placed on its sale by the artist and his dealer, emphasis on the latter. From the press release again: "As a group, the 24 paintings encompass contradictory efforts made by gallerists who both want to fuel market momentum for their artists while trying to shield them from the damaging effects of quick-profit speculation."

Conditions of sale are not new. Seth Siegelaub developed an artist's contract whose longest-running and most-well-known deployer is Hans Haacke. Andrea Rosen gets first dibs on buying back your Felix Gonzalez-Torreses. Marianne Boesky's resale clauses mean she can buy it back at the auctioneer's reserve price you agree to. She also kept herself in charge of managing Takashi Murakami wallpaper [!], even after the artist moved to Gagosian. Zach Feuer would only sell you a Dana Schutz if you also bought a bigger one for a museum. Barbara Gladstone used to make people who wanted a Matthew Barney buy a Richard Prince painting.

Turner is following a standard practice which, once styled, becomes the explicit content for the art itself. Lund's paintings make visible the contours of these various aesthetic relationships, like bodies humping under a sheet. Or on top of one.

The conditions for each painting vary, but they all involve a constraint on who is allowed to buy it, or b) what the buyer is permitted or obligated to do with it. [The actual, binding agreements, I understand, are the sales agreements, not the painted text, which is just for show.] The specifics are played for absurdity, but they resemble actual factors that can shape an art transaction. A ten-year sales ban seems totally reasonable compared to a requirement that a work "be offered for sale at a Phillips Under The Influence auction in 2018." Or that it's only available to "a Golden Globe winner" LOL.

tool_deceive_slaughter_screenshot201504.jpg

Such micromanagement of the commercial fate of each painting reminds me of Caleb Larsen's 2009 sculpture, A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter [above]. The minimalist black cube contains a computer programmed by the artist to sell itself on eBay, with a starting bid equal to the current owner's purchase price. The details, including the requirement that the owner keep the work connected to the Internet, are spelled out in the purchase agreement, and are monitored by the artist himself.

And by me. I've had A Tool in my saved eBay searches for a few years now, and it's been missing as often as it's been for sale [The last auction ended Apr. 3, and it hasn't been back.] And it hasn't sold in a loong time. In fact, it's been $7,500 for as long as I can remember. Perhaps Larsen envisioned A Tool circling the globe as it flipped itself to the sky. Instead, it's meeting the illiquid fate of most artworks, and its relentless, inflexible availability only underscores the reality that no one (else) wants to buy it.

lund_flip_city_turner.jpg
Installation shot, "Flip City", 2014 Jonas Lund, image steveturner.la

[Lund has done something similar already: his 2014 show at Turner, "Flip City," had 40 generic crapstraction paintings outfitted with GPS trackers that would update a website with their current whereabouts. Except that as of Christoper Knight's review, the data only showed that none of the works had sold or gone anywhere. Like A Tool, their carefully thought-out future amounts to marking their own market failure.

UPDATE: The artist points out that the Times review is inaccurate, as it was written before any of the paintings shipped. flip-city.net shows the current locations of the various paintings. greg.org regrets, among many things, the error.]

Point #5, Taken in total, they amount to an attempt by Turner (and Lund) to micromanage the future of Lund's artworks. But just as science fiction is always about the age in which it's written, the strings in "Strings Attached" are almost entirely reflective of this exact moment in Lund's career, Turner's positioning of him, and how the art market handles him and his work. It is the economic future extrapolated in specific detail, from three weeks ago.

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Jordan Belfort, 2015, Jonas Lund, image via steveturner.la

If anything--Point #6--it should be reasonable to reverse engineer a portrait of Turner's and Lund's venture from the seemingly ridiculous conditions placed on each painting. Far from being impossible to match, I actually expect the conditions were written with specific collectors in mind; that Turner and Lund basically tailored each painting to one or maybe two of Lund's existing collectors and the gallery's clients. That they knew who was on the waitlist, and tallied up the number of times they appeared in Artforum party pics. That the Aspen Museum had already requested an auction donation, maybe even through a Lund-collecting trustee. That the actor who played Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street has won two Golden Globes, and that actually namechecking him might muck up the deal.

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Installation shot, "Strings Attached", Jonas Lund, Mar - May 2, 2015, Steve Turner

Whatever uncertain folly appears to the gallerygoer off the street, the reality is, the show has been hedged; it offers all the frisson of a Giacometti auction.

Pointing to Point #7, since I love Giacometti: do these securitized image-documents have any presence or visual appeal, or is tasteful decorator backdrop with a veneer of personalized Concept all you get? What if you like one, but not the one that's targeting you? Forget being allowed to choose; is it even possible to have a preference or make a judgment? I just realized all the conditions pertain to how Lund's paintings are bought and sold, and none address how they're installed, shown, lent, or seen. Can these paintings overcome such indifference? Only time will tell. Or won't.

Jonas Lund, "Strings Attached", runs through May 2, 2015 at Steve Turner [steveturner.la]

April 11, 2015

Souza Over The Rainbow

pete_souza_obama_rainbow.png

Big up, Pete Souza, who got this shot of Pres. Obama shooting a rainbow from his hand as he boarded the plane back from Jamaica yesterday. I have not seen Sforzian mise-en-scene that tight since Karl Rove tried to put George Bush's head on Mt Rushmore.

george_bush_rushmore_sforza.jpg

[Which, like so many things from that era, turns out to have been not so slam dunk after all. The image that circulated at the time, which I'm not finding right off, had GWB's profile lined right up. But Google Image results now for that speech show a wide range of camera angles that miss or avoid the setup. Aesthetic resistance would have been more interesting at the time. Of course Souza's not just any hack, he's the White House hack, so he wouldn't miss.]

What's not shown in the photo will no doubt be added, the way people started sticking Hitler's and Sarah Palin's heads alongside Bush's. The White House that trolled Netanyahu's scary bomb poster in their infographic for the Iran nuclear talks had to know that anti-gay people people would be riled up by Obama shooting his rainbow laser everywhere.

obama_anti-gay_therapy_ad_wtf.jpg

But the callous calumny of this twitter ad still caught me by surprise.

President Obama Shoots a Rainbow From His Hand in Jamaica [pete souza via jezebel thx @magdasawon]

No one's really sending them to me, and so these are still not easy to collect. And this statement-as-question by Phong Bui at Hunter College's recent panel on painting maybe doesn't count, because The Brooklyn Rail co-sponsored the panel.

But it's still good. And the two tall uncomfortable guys asking questions after Bui are interesting to listen to, too, the latter mostly for his strained, uncomfortable language, but both kind of get shut down by Amei Wallach, who I ended up finding pretty disagreeable. Anyway, Bui starts around 1:04:00. As previously, line breaks in the transcriptions map to pauses by the speaker.

You know what the best show at MoMA recently?
that we tend to forget?
Is the Robert Gober retrospective.
That is--
And why do I say this?
Because years ago, I think it must have been in
early September
2007
-6, actually,
Rob Storr and I came to interview Elizabeth Murray
for her retrospective there.
In the course of talking to Elizabeth
about the way in which she created her structure
and she emphatically said that it came from Ron Gorchov's
early
paintings
that she had, you know--
exposed to
in the early 70s when she first came to New York
Travel back to Bob Gober's show
He used to work for Elizabeth
building those structures but that's not the point the point is
that show was so great partly because he
featured
artists
who influenced him
who he admired
and I don't remember--
do you remember
not long ago
the previous Whitney
where the whole
room
was dedicated to Forrest Bess?
That was an amazing significant event
Why?
Because it brings back to the way why MoMA
have forgotten
since
I think the last show they ever
allowed to happen was Morris Hirshfield
Irving, could you correct me on the date?
'47, maybe?
Irving Sandler, everyone.

You're very close.

I was close. Well, alright. That was Alfred Barr, essentially being fired.

They fired him because of that

Yes, but, Outsider Art, or what you call Self-Taught Art
has been the essential
synthesis
integrated with
Early Modernism
and you go back to Barr's chronology? It's all there
and you go back to Rousseau and other early Modernists like Kandinsky, Klee they collected children's art
mentally ill patients' art all kind of Outsider Art was being embraced
and integrated into their pictorial thinking
To mediate from the constraints of Western
you know
pictorial history I think that's exactly what it's about. Going further back about reproduction
I have a question about that. Well
maybe you provided an answer to?
On top of it?
It was uh
Francis Bacon
actually
who
first saw the reproduction of
Velasquez's Pope Innocent
and he'd been
obsessed with that image
painted over
a series of several paintings
until
this is my humorous
sensibility came to play here
He finally came to the Prado
for the first time
he never saw the painting and you know
he died in Spain
He died soon after seeing the real Velasquez.
So reproduction has a certain resistance toward a certain romance it's like going to a date, someone you met two weeks ago
in a party
that you were delighted to have a great time talking and you go to a dinner
a kind of a
romance
you take them out to a very fancy restaurant
and you start talking a while
and you realize not going anywhere.
So you go to the bathroom
and you
you don't want to come out.
Why? Because that person looks at you very seriously and, "I love you."
And I think that kind of romance can kill you.
OK.


A Panel on Painting: Presented by the Brooklyn Rail and Hunter College [vimeo, though @davidsurman also nicely loaded it onto ]
youtube]
Previously:A Statement-As-Question From Fractures Of The Civilization
'I'm Going To Fail', or Protocols of Participation

walking_man_pdf_still_03.jpg

A little over five years ago I stumbled across this distorted Street View photo from in front of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, and then discovered the same guy kept popping up in all the nearby Street View shots, too. Eventually I realized he was walking alongside the Google Trike on its maiden European voyage through the Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch Parliament.

walking_man_pdf_still_02.jpg

Sometimes only the top of his head would appear; in other panos, he'd appear in fragments; and in a few, a cobblestone lozenge would wipe him out completely. I called him "walking man," after the sculptures where Alberto Giacometti sought to capture that instant where a person comes into view.

At first I thought he was a tourist who'd happened upon the Google Trike and decided to follow it around, but several months later, and after other Google Trike images came online, I realized he was part of the mapping team. But the interesting tension between his persistent assertion of his presence and Google's algorithmic attempts to erase him did not require coincidence. By now we realize people are anomalies in the Street View datascape, whose appearance only diminishes the maps' utility. This was only becoming clear in 2009-10, though, when Google expanded its photomapping to Europe.

walking_man_pdf_still_01.jpg

Anyway, I made a photobook of walking man's every appearance in the Binnenhof, but the book was never published, and remained trapped inside blurb's production software. While others trawled GSV for Cartier-Bressons, Crewdsons and Franks, I kept collecting these distorted self-portraits of the Google Grips, which blurred [sic] into [Google's] Google Art Project. But this first one is really the best. Plus, most of the panos have disappeared from Google itself. So I am releasing it into the wild as a pdf. I was briefly tempted to update the introduction, but I figure it's better as a souvenir of the time, and what GSV looked and seemed like way back in 2010.

walking_man_cov_proof_2010.jpg

walking man -- a self-portrait with Google Street View [10mb pdf via dropbox]

Previously: Walking Man, the photobook [apr 2010]
Google Street View Trike has a posse [apr 2010]
Oh right, Google started deleting walking man's panos after I posted about them [june 2010]
co-opting GSV as a self-portrait medium percolated from this Binnenhof photoset [feb 2011]
and got surpassed/swamped by the introduction of Google Art Project [feb 2011]
Oh right, here's the intro text from the then-still-unreleased book [feb 2011]
They're adapting: Man With A Pano Camera [june 2013]

Soon after her arrival at MoMA in the late 1990s, Laura Hoptman and I had [what I remember as] a heated discussion about the nature of art. She said that as part of the culture, all art was for the public. I tried to argue that there could be exceptions; she was unconvinced. Of course, to put it more bluntly than she ever did, part of her job was to instill in an eager young collector the instinct to steward his art and money toward the museum. Which, sure. But what I was unable to explain at the time was that I imagined an artist being able to make an artwork not for "the public," but for a person, that a work could be intended to be experienced solely by a particular person, and that would be enough.

[I didn't know about Ian Wilson's conversational works at the time, but that, along with James Lee Byars' fantastical ephemera, have given me plenty of reasons to recall our invigorating conversation. Also, the irony that it took place on the deck at the Rubell's hotel in Miami, after a visit to their still-raw DEA warehouse, means I get flashbacks every time I go to ABMB. But that's not the point right now.]

rprince_gagosian_portraits.jpg

Anyway, last Fall, I wrote about Richard Prince's Instagram portraits show, and what I saw as the subtle mix of alteration and aspiration that went into them. Our social media personas are one fiction, and his comments and interactions are another, and the construction of the digital interface/frame is yet a third.

francotv_ur_princestagram.jpg
I framed Richard Prince: Study for Untitled (richardprince4), 2014

To illustrate the point, and to underscore what I saw as some of the more abject, exposed emotional elements of Prince's works, I created my own Instagram portrait "by" Prince, using a convoluted, regrammed image of James Franco as Cindy Sherman by Klaus Biesenbach.

I added a flatfooted quote from Prince at the bottom, rolled back the timestamp, and then made a Prince-like print of the screenshot. Which I used as an illustration in the blog post, fictionalized evidence that Prince's controversial Instagram works had been inspired by Franco's embarrassing Sherman reboots. I thought my conditionals and qualifiers would be obvious...

Did Prince recognize something of himself through Franco's[!] layers of mediated desperation [Klaus's (?) term], not just an artist, but a Shermanesque shapeshifting master? Did he see Franco's and these other kids' Instagram personas and want to get in on it? Did he want to be a Nightcore? Or worse, did he want to be a Franco? Is this the lifestyle envy that fuels the whole thing? Or is this just one more image, one more comment, one more layer of media we're supposed to question but probably won't?
...but even the satirical suggestion was still too much for Prince, who unfollowed me on Twitter soon afterward. Prince prefers to be in control of the fictions around his works, and I can dig that. But also he was the one who'd declared the unilateral appropriation and manipulation of someone else's social media presence as a tactic. And as Warhol said about Coca-cola, now everyone has an iPhone, from the president to the bum in the street.

npg_portrait_jury2016.jpg
Dawoud Bey be like, "Jerry..."

I bring this up now because just days after posting the Prince/Franco/Klaus pileup, I saw an announcement for the National Portrait Gallery's Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. I've seen previous NPG Portrait Competition exhibitions, and they were numbing, like a state fair for art. And then I saw that this time, one of the jurors was Jerry Saltz. And I decided that it would be hilarious to plant this toxic matryoshka doll of a portrait in the competition, for an audience of one: Jerry.

untitled_richardprince4_npg.jpg
Untitled (richardprince4), 2014, 72x48 in., inkjet on canvas, unrealized

So I entered it. The first round is judging by jpg and a brief explanatory text [below]. The work would be an inkjet, 4-ft wide, the same dimensions as Prince's, but I would print and stretch it only after it got selected for the in-person judging of the semi-finals. I called it Untitled (richardprince4). It was a portrait of Prince. And not a terribly good one. I didn't get his comment right; it turns out it takes a lot of effort to appear as awkward as Prince does on Instagram. My portrait of him feels about as successful as that dead-eyed painting of the Duchess of Cambridge a while back.

But that was secondary to its presence in the staid context of the National Portrait Gallery competition, where I imagined it sitting, waiting, like an IED of WTF, to blow up the ideas of portraiture and reality. I kept totally silent about the entry for seven months, because I liked the idea of Jerry stumbling across it in a weary jury slideshow and being momentarily entertained by it way more than I liked the idea of kiss-ass campaigning.

Which wouldn't help anyway. The nested art world personalities are too insidery, and the references are so contorted, and the text so clumsy, that I didn't think anyone besides Jerry would ever care about it, and even he was iffy. If he grabbed onto it, great, but I never imagined it would get past that first shock or bemusement in the competition. Maybe a whoopie cushion is a better analogy than an IED.

And sure enough, my rejection notice came today. Whatever reaction he had, I don't know--there were 2,500+ entries, so maybe he didn't even see it after all--but I found the months of secret possibility to be quite satisfying. This image has done its job. And the world is a better place without a 4x6 foot canvas version of it in it.

Or maybe...if I print it up and light it on fire, Richard Prince will start following me on Twitter again...

View Source: Richard Prince's Instagram Portraits
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016 [portraitcompetition.si.edu]

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Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

recent projects, &c.


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eBay Test Listings
Mar 2015 —
about | proposte monocrome, rose
bid or buy available prints on ebay

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It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

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TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

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Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

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"Exhibition Space"
Mar 20 - May 8 @apexart, NYC


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


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Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

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Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

archives