November 2017 Archives

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Our Guernica Cycle - EB-5, 05.06.2017, in the style of George W. Bush, 2017, oil on canvas, 50x80cm (20x28 in.)

On May 6, 2017, The New York Times reported, Jared Kushner's sister met with potential investors in Beijing, trying to raise $150 million for the family's Jersey City real estate project. She was promoting the EB-5 visa program, which essentially sells US green cards for making a $500,000 investment. Her PowerPoint slide showed photos of "EB-5 Visa Key Decision Makers," including Senators Grassley and Leahy; DHS Secretaries Jeh Johnson (ex-, obv.) and Gen. John Kelly (now ex-, too, obv., and White House chief of staff); -and her brother's father-in-law (and boss) Donald Trump.

Jared Kushner still owned major stakes in his family's business at the time, having transferred only some of his holdings to his other family members when he became a White House employee. He would subsequently revise and refile his financial disclosure forms repeatedly to include previously undisclosed conflicts, contacts, and investments.

Kushner had tried mightily during the transition to secure Chinese investment in his company's overleveraged flagship property, 666 Fifth Avenue. His efforts failed, and his partner, Vornado, has since declared that their ambitious plan to redevelop the office building into a multi-use megatower-and refinance it at a much higher valuation-was no longer feasible. The property is on track to go bankrupt as early as 2018, putting the Kushner's equity at risk.

Our Guernica Cycle - EB-5, 05.06.2017 is the second painting in an ongoing series. I now see the Our Guernica Cycle as proceeding in roughly chronological order. It is November, and the outrageous Guernica moments since May are obviously piling up like leaves in the gutter. But the pace of disaster puts us all at risk of forgetting or acquiescing to the obvious wrongs of just a couple of months ago. If painting can do anything at all, it should be able to recalibrate our narrative clocks a bit.

So here is a painting, and a pyramid of prints, of the US president's family hyping his political power to sell visas in exchange for investing in their private real estate company.

While it is similarly painted in China, in the attempted style of our still-most-relevant painter,
George W. Bush, EB-5, 05.06.2017 obviously differs from the Ivanka / Merkel 03.17.2017 work in several ways. For one thing, it's done before you decide to buy it. I honestly cannot imagine how this helps. But then, given what we all knew going into it, I could not imagine why anyone, including me, would want to have an awful painting of Ivanka & Merkel in my life, either. Even more than before, this is a case of urgency, of feeling the need for an image of a moment of a crisis to be produced, disseminated, and preserved, even while the crisis continues. To bear witness, to #neverforget.

This work is further complicated by having the actual picture of Trump in it. Could it be any tougher of a sell? On the bright side [sic], the execution of the image is, I believe, more skillfully Bushian than ever. So at least it's a good bad painting of a corrupt cabal. Right? And anyway, the gradient is probably the best part.

The Modified Kinkade Pyramid is in effect, and all prints will be available in the identical sizes and editions as the first work. However, blighting the image by hand will only take place upon request. So please make a note if you want more blight. The print was made available first to original Kickstarter backers, and now it is available generally, for a limited time. It is discounted 10% because y'all are all VIPs to me, but also to take into account a better sense of actual production and shipping costs. As before, any surplus will be turned back into producing the next images in the Cycle.

Literally no one has asked, but it is possible that the first print, Ivanka / Merkel 03.17.2017 could be made available as well.

Thank you again for your engagement during this ongoing disaster.

Select Print/Edition Size
[via paypal]

Previously: UPDATED: Our Guernica Cycle - Ivanka / Merkel 03.17.2017

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Untitled (Mnuchin Gallery), 2017, printer's proof. ink on rag, 27x31.5 in., $860., limit one per collector, image: ap/jacquelyn martin via @_cingraham

Art and the Mnuchins can never get too far apart from each other. Today Steven Mnuchin was photographed by the Associated Press holding the printer's proof for a new print edition, Untitled (Mnuchin Gallery). It is issued in a signed and stamped edition of 10, plus 4 artist proofs.

Half of the edition is a #monochrome painting on an uncut 50-subject sheet of $1 bills signed by Steven T. Mnuchin. If you asked me this second the only possible color would be black, insta goth dom leather glove black, into the conscienceless pits of hell black, fund passthrough tax cuts by raising taxes on everyone else and gutting health care soul black, but that might change.

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Robert Rauschenberg, Untitled (paper painting), 1953, 18x14x4 in., shoe box tissue paper, glass, wood base. lost or destroyed.

The other half is 50 $1 bills signed by Steven T. Mnuchin, shredded by hand, in an appropriately scaled perspex display case inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's lost Untitled (Paper Painting) of 1953. All examples are accompanied by an engraved, signed and stamped certificate of authenticity.

As moneyfactory.gov [srsly] has only begun producing Mnuchin notes today, and moneyfactorystore.gov only offers uncut notes from 2013, with former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's signature on them, the actual release date for this edition is still to be determined. You may add your name to the waitlist.

Previously: Untitled (Mnuchin Gallery), 2017, pdf
Related: Untitled (Crystal Bridges), 2015
2011: ArtCash by Warhol, Rauschenberg, et al for E.A.T., including bills featuring the ur-print-your-own-money traitor Jefferson Davis

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Sean Hannity going full Glenn Beck on Fox News, via @mikedelmoro

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Mike Kelley, Entry Way (Genealogical Chart), 1995, via phillips

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Mark Lombardi, Banco Nazionale del Lavoro, Reagan, Bush, Thatcher, and the Arming of Iraq, c. 1979-1990 (4th version), 1998, collection: moma.org

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Spring (Yellow Curve), 1984, paper on postcard

So far you are not sending me all the Ellsworth Kelly postcards like I asked, so I am forced to find them myself.

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Summer (Blue Curve), 1984, paper on postcard

Oh wow, here is something wonderful which I have never seen before: a set of Ellsworth Kelly postcards. Four identical postcards, each with a varied but similar collaged element, a very Kelly-esque quarter circle, rotated within a frame, and titled with the four seasons.

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Autumn (Red Curve), 1984, paper on postcard

They're almost Kelly paintings, but not quite: the blue curve seems to have a gradient, and the yellow curve looks like it's covered in raindrops. They're affixed on a tsuitate, a stationary, single panel Japanese screen that blocks views and drafts through a doorway. The combination of primary curves collaged with Asian art reminds me of some works Gabriel Orozco showed at Marian Goodman in 1994; they were remixes of overlapping circular cutouts from exhibition catalogues for Chinese scholar rocks and Ellsworth Kelly paintings. They were fantastic, and all sold, alas, and I am baffled that I can't find a single image of them online right now.

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Winter (Black Curve), 1984, paper on postcard

Anyway, the image Kelly set each curve into is Japanese, a woodblock print. It turns out it's by Kitagawa Utamaro, an illustration from a 1789 collection of New Year's poems called Waka Ebisu. I can't yet figure out where Kelly might have gotten his postcards; maybe his 1984 exhibition history will yield a clue. [update: nope.] But Harvard has the print. The Met has the print, but has never shown it. The British Museum has the whole portfolio, and the best online documentation. The British Library's online resource is a copyright-grabbing embarrassment. If I make my own Kelly Four Seasons collages, I'll use their paranoid watermark jpg just because.

The scene is titled Saru-hiki [Monkey Trainer] and shows a troupe of performers visiting the house of a daimyō during New Year's. Musicians accompany a dancing monkey in a kimono as the refined ladies of the house look on, some peeking around the tsuitate and others watching from behind semi-opaque bamboo screens called sudare.

Kelly presumably sent the postcards to his partner Jack Shear, because Shear donated them to MoMA in 2011, in honor of four refined ladies of that house, who have long supported Kelly and his work: Kathy Fuld (Spring); Agnes Gund (Summer); Jo Carole Lauder (Autumn); and Marie-Josée Kravis (Winter). So who does that make the dancing monkey?

Ehon waka Ebisu 絵本龢謌夷 (The Young God Ebisu, an Illustrated Book) [britishmuseum.org]
Previously, related: Ellsworth Kelly Postcards: Wish You Were Here!

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

about this archive

Posts from November 2017, in reverse chronological order

Older: October 2017

recent projects, &c.


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Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017


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Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

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Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

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Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

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eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

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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" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


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

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