Category:art

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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!

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Our Guernica Cycle - Ivanka / Merkel 03.17.2017, 2017, 50x80cm, oil on canvas and associated print editions, greg.org

Happy apparent Birthday, Ivanka!

I've been staring at her distorted portrait for so long, it took the shock of the news yesterday to make me realize I have not actually, officially, gone public with the results of the first picture I Kickstarted. "Our Guernica, by Our Picasso," an historic painting to mark the moment last March when Ivanka Trump turned up in a White House meeting with the leader of the free world, Angela Merkel, executed in the style of George W. Bush.

In the course of production of the pyramidful of print editions, plus some canvases, the project became Our Guernica Cycle, and Ivanka/Merkel 03.17.2017 became the first image, unfortunately, and not the last. I've now lived with these images for almost six months. All but two of the project backers have received their merch [the last two canvases are staring at me right now, set to be shipped before the opioid crisis is solved.]

And a new image is complete. It is a moment for reflection. Also a moment to celebrate getting these things out of the house. And I'm still asking the question I started with: what is art supposed to do? What is a painting for? The image I ended up with is terrible. In the process of applying the Kinkade-ian custom "highlights," I realized they could only and ever make things worse. I started calling them "highblights," or just "blight." I gave backers the choice between "more blight!" and "it's bad enough!" and they split almost evenly. With the last works going out the door, I am still undecided.

What does it mean, too, for an artwork to be experienced only [or largely] privately, by its purchasers? It is the antithesis of a Guernica; it's My Own Private Guernica. Our Guernica.

The greatest outcome from this project has to be the show of support, the collective, shared outrage combined with an open-eyed engagement with art, even knowing it will not solve the horrible problems looming all around us. 59 people bought prints that didn't exist of an image that hadn't been created yet, in order to see it happen. And that is amazing, and I am very grateful. Maybe the real Our Guernica is the friends we make along the way.

Six months later, though, we're obviously not through this. The world has not ended [I'm writing this at 11:39 on Monday night. Oh, I'm just about to publish it at 1PM on Tuesday.] The world has not ended, but our town square is still being strafed by Nazis. So Our Guernica is Our Guernica Cycle. What does that mean?

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In the spirit of #thisisnotnormal, I've been working my way through images and possibilities, with the goal of accurately witnessing and capturing the political horrors and threats that surround us. Even more than Guernica, I've been thinking of Goya, whose Disasters of War series, 80+ prints whose creation occupied decades, and which Goya did not anticipate publishing in full in his own atrocity-rattled lifetime. I've especially come to appreciate the Chapman brothers' Insult to Injury project, [above] where their clownish embellishments of a Goya Disasters of War portfolio condemned the folly of Bush & Blair's Iraq War. [Called it, obv.]

So I expect this series will go on a while. After the backers were taken care of, I used the rest of the Kickstarter project funds to commission the next painting. It, too, has arrived. I think I will invite the original backers to order one first, but it should be available soon. It, too, was created with instructions to look like George Bush had painted it. The Chinese painters I'm working with seem to have gotten a little better at this bad style. Perhaps that will be when we know the Cycle is complete: when the #ChinesePaintMill system designed to industrialize Gerhard Richter's paint-from-photo tactics can successfully reproduce the clumsy expressionist facture of the man who is still, alas, America's most relevant painter. So stay tuned.

Our Guernica, After Our Picasso [kickstarter]
Previously, related: On Coming Around on Insult to Injury

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I'm stoked to be speaking this coming Sunday, Oct. 29, with Anne Doran and Deborah Treisman, about their new book, The Dream Colony: A Life in Art by Walter Hopps. The discussion and book signing will take place at Alden Projects™ on the LES, starting at 6pm.

Todd Alden has an incredible-sounding show up right now which provides a nearly perfect backdrop and context for a discussion of Hopps and the emergence of the post-war LA art world: a collection of 66 exhibition posters for Ferus Gallery, which Hopps founded with Ed Kienholz, which was then taken over by Irving Blum.

I imagine the talk will draw heavily on Doran & Treisman's book, which they created from over 100 hours of interviews with Hopps; and on the posters themselves, which Hopps, and later Blum, often created in collaboration with the budding artists themselves, including Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.

It should be a great talk about a great read in a great show, so do try and come.

You could buy The Dream Colony now via Amazon, but why not get a copy from the authors on Sunday night? [amazon]
Ferus Gallery: Between The Folds runs through Nov., 19, 2017, at Alden Projects™ [aldenprojects.com]

SEW SEW SEW SEW SEW SEW

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This installment of Better Read is the text of the found net artwork, Embroidery Trouble Shooting Page, which was repeated as untitled (etsg) in 2015.

When I first found the page, I marveled at its beautiful folly, and dreamed of printing it as a book. Then of using it as an abstract painting composition generator. Then I accepted responsibility to publish and preserve it after its original code changed. And since then, I've explored the possibilities and process for printing it as a single, giant page. I expect it would fill a wall. If you have any thoughts or tips for capturing a rendered webpage as a single image, I hope you'll get in touch.

Download better_read_017_etsg_20171018.mp3 from greg.org [mp3, 5:35, 2.7mb, via greg.org]
Previously: Untitled (Embroidery Trouble Shooting Guide)
untitled (etsg), 2015 [etsg.greg.org]

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"Tommy Hilfiger Judas Priest Jacket"

What's the opposite of a collection? The "Tommy Hilfiger Collection" is being auctioned this week, and it is as pure and empty and hollow and pointless as the man himself and everything he's ever done. In a way, maybe that achieves a certain level of genius, or whatever its opposite is. A thousand crappy livesful of junk goes up for sale every week, I'm sure, but there's something useful to understanding the concept of a brand to see how slapping the name Tommy Hilfiger on a thing somehow makes it worth less.

To save Martin Wong's amazing accumulation of tchotchkes and mementos from his mother's house, and keep it from being dumped on eBay, Danh Vo transformed the entire collection into a single artwork of his own, which was acquired by the Guggenheim. Vo cast a light on the failings of our cultural memory, and our institutions, even as he successfully navigated his and Wong's works through the gantlet of conceptual and procedural obstacles. This added depth, resonance, and interpretation to objects, a collection, which might otherwise be seen as insignificant.

This Tommy Hilfiger Collection is the diametric opposite: these objects were acquired and accumulated in the deluded, aspirational pursuit of luxury, fame and glory as ends in themselves, and they suck. They should be scattered to the wind, abandoned and forgotten. It's not that they don't have any meaning; they literally mean nothing. Nothing is their meaning. Even paying attention to them here, now, as I type, or as you read, causes only the regret of lost time, and foolish error to well up inside. But it's too late now, all we can do is try to move on.

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The Seal of the President of The United States is the official coat of arms of the U.S. Presidency, and is based on the Great Seal of the United States [below], which is used by the federal government to verify the authenticity of certain official documents. The basics of the current design go back to 1877. After a formal redesign was initiated by Franklin Roosevelt, it was taken up and finalized by Harry Truman in 1945.

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Counter-die for the Great Seal of the United States

In that redesign, based on a painting provided by US Naval Commodore Byron McCandless, the eagle was switched from facing to the left-in the forward direction when used on a mounted flag-to facing right, dexter, the standard direction in heraldry. A press release of October 25, 1945 says the eagle faces "right-the direction of honor-but also toward the olive branches of peace" it holds in its right talon.

The Seal design has been unchanged since 1960, when the 50th star was added to its border recognizing the inclusion of Hawai'i in the United States.

The Seal is used on the lectern for presidential press conferences. It appears on the side of Air Force One, Marine One, and presidential limousines. It is affixed to the balcony of the White House for state arrival ceremonies. The Secret Service is authorized to use the Seal of the President on merchandise it sells for charitable fundraising in its White House Online Gift Shop.

The law governing the use of the Presidential Seal is contained in Title 18 U.S. Code § 713. It is primarily concerned with using the Seal to falsely imply endorsement or support for commercial activities by the Government or the President, and with the wrongful exploitation of the Seal for commercial gain:

(a) Whoever knowingly displays any printed or other likeness of the great seal of the United States, or of the seals of the President or the Vice President of the United States, or the seal of the United States Senate, or the seal of the United States House of Representatives, or the seal of the United States Congress, or any facsimile thereof, in, or in connection with, any advertisement, poster, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, public meeting, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production, or on any building, monument, or stationery, for the purpose of conveying, or in a manner reasonably calculated to convey, a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(b) Whoever, except as authorized under regulations promulgated by the President and published in the Federal Register, knowingly manufactures, reproduces, sells, or purchases for resale, either separately or appended to any article manufactured or sold, any likeness of the seals of the President or Vice President, or any substantial part thereof, except for manufacture or sale of the article for the official use of the Government of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

In 1972 Richard Nixon promulgated regulations about authorized uses of the Presidential Seal by issuing Executive Order 11649. The Seal, it states, may be used by the President. It may be reproduced for "Use by way of photographic or electronic visual reproduction in pictures, moving pictures, or telecasts of bona fide news content." It is permitted "in libraries, museums, or educational facilities incident to descriptions or exhibits relating to seals, coats of arms, heraldry, or the Presidency."

In 1976 Gerald Ford amended EO 11649 by issuing EO 11916, further authorizing "Use in encyclopedias, dictionaries, books, journals, pamphlets, periodicals or magazines incident to a description or history of seals, coats of arms, heraldry, or the Presidency."

Section 2 of EO 11649 goes on to echo 18 U.S. Code § 713 (b) in constraining commercial exploitation of the Seal:

The manufacture, reproduction, sale, or purchase for resale, either separately or appended to any article manufactured or sold, of the Seals of the President or Vice President, or any likeness or substantial part thereof, except as provided in this Order or as otherwise provided by law, is prohibited.

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greg.org, Untitled (Presidential Seal), 2017, digital print on bond in acrylic message holder. Sheet: 14 x 8 in. Folded: 6 x 8 in., ed. 25 + 5 AP

An adaptation of this blog post incident to the description or history of seals, coats of arms, heraldry, or the Presidency is now published as a books, journals, pamphlets, periodicals or magazines, in a signed, stamped, limited edition of 25, with 5 artist proofs, three of which have been placed in or reserved for in libraries, museums, or educational facilities, with absolutely and unequivocally no impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

Digitally printed in color on 14 x 8 inch white bond, it is folded by hand and stored in a decommissioned EZ-GO message holder in clear acrylic, so you can hang it on your fucking golf cart.

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Untitled (Presidential Seal) is $20, shipped.

[via PayPal]

ARTIST PROOF UPDATE: It works.

untitled_presidential_seal_proof.jpg

No one sends me these, so I have to find them by chance, but I am still interested in the statement-as-question as a form. If the Q&A for panel discussion or public talk *you* experienced was waylaid by such a question, please send me a link.

Last night, while I was experimenting with polishing a painting, I listened to a particularly unsatisfying discussion from the Salon series at Art Basel 2013 titled, "How Is Art History Made?" Moderated by curator Monika Szewczyk, Seth Siegelaub and Adam Szymczyk talked about their Kunsthalle Basel project, which put a series of art world structure-related questions by Siegelaub, translated into six European languages, on posters around town during the fair.

Siegelaub began his remarks by admitting he didn't have any answers, he was just asking the questions, the main one being, basically, is Art History ultimately a history of the market? There was apparently an agreement not to name any artist names, so the discussion remained very general, which is not to say theoretical.

Ultimately, the only satisfying thing was that the panel's question-as-title about a question-as-project led directly to the frustrated audience member's statement-as-question. A woman off camera, unidentified, on the front row, with a Chinese accent, had apparently, and not unreasonably, assumed the officially organized event would answer the question of its title. It had not, and so she had just one simple question.

It begins at 37:00. My interest is to accurately document the experience of the text, so I have preserved grammatical usage. Linebreaks are intended to approximate pauses:

Previously:
Statement-As-Question from Fractures of the Civilization
'I'm Going To Fail,' or Protocols of Participation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 203 Next

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

Category: art

recent projects, &c.


our_guernica_cycle_ivanka_320px_thumb.jpg
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

chop_shop_at_springbreak
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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