@TheRealHennessy Tweet Painting, Gold Chain, 2014, 14×11 in., acrylic and screenprint on canvas
Just in time for the Fall auctions, greg.org is pleased to present more @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings, inspired by Donelle Woolford’s Dick Joke series which debuted at John McWhinnie in the 1990s, and which continue to be a source of brouhaha since Michelle Grabner’s 2014 Whitney Biennial.
The present work is one of greg.org’s @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings, which rank among the contemporary era’s most iconic series by one of the most celebrated artists. Dryly presented with a deadpan sensibility, they consist of visual expressions of humor that are disarmingly immediate and resonant, yet abstract in their presentation. Describing his selections of form and content in his initial tweet paintings, greg.org later stated, “Within about six months I…started to do the tweets in ‘colors.’ I thought the color would be a substitution for an image. The background would be one color and the tweet would be another. I picked tweets that were ‘meaningful’ to me. I don’t know how to explain that except that the tweets’ ‘content’ was something that I could identify with. These ‘tweets’ were later identified as the ‘@TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings.’ I fell into them. I was walking around in a dark room looking for the light switch. I was moving by wading more than swimming. I was mowing the lawn. No direction home. I was caught in a landslide. My headaches were gone. I started painting with my fly open. I stopped crying. I started to laugh. Rock bottom sometimes isn’t the bottom. Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still–look out.”
@TheRealHennessy Tweet Painting, Hair, 2014, 14×11 in., acrylic and screenprint on canvas
By endowing @TheRealHennessy Tweet‘s rather anonymous, dated tweets with the aura of the modernist masters, greg.org thus riffs on received notions of American popular culture, masculine identity and the myth of the artist.
@TheRealHennessy Tweet Painting, HBO, 2014, 14×11 in., acrylic and screenprint on canvas
Sifting through these mediated tweets of status, conspicuous wealth and underlying sexual tension, greg.org was struck by the way social media differed from writing–that is, the way that tweets from self-promoting were always immediate, seductive and dazzling yet also fictional.
@TheRealHennessy Tweet Painting, Craisins™, 2014, 14×11 in., acrylic and screenprint on canvas [the ur-@TheRealHennessy tweet, btw]
Like his early works @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings resolve pre-existing forms and sources in new artworks that are as immediately appealing as the tweets they quote. Uniting low-brow with high culture, outmoded with new production, and seductive color with awkward tweets, greg.org’s technique resembles that of sampling, a widely appealing creative tool in the 1980s and 1990s. This formal strategy also enabled greg.org to make his artwork using very few resources, as opposed to his contemporaries who were building monumental sculptures and selling neo-Expressionist paintings for staggering sums. @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings are thus a continuation of greg.org’s efforts to show the accepted elements of popular culture in a new light. While at first @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings appear innocuous enough, greg.org’s subversive aims soon rise to the surface.
Previously: the first four @TheRealHennessy Tweet paintings