Joan Didion’s Mantle

Lot 50: Group of Shells and Beach Pebbles, from the Estate of Joan Didion, image: stairgalleries

Let’s for a moment say we won’t even think about the money. If that seems hard, just imagine that someone donated $7,000 to Parkinson’s research and Sacramento women’s college writing scholarships, and in return, rather than public recognition and a tax deduction, they received Group of Shells and Beach Pebbles.

And then they paid $1,960 to a Hudson Valley auction house to warrant that these “approximately 26” shells and rocks–there are, in fact, 32 shells, 17 rocks, and one item whose rock-or-shell nature I could not determine in the auction house’s display photo–that “[t]his group of shells decorated the fireplace mantle in [Joan] Didion’s living room.”

The Mantle Does Hold: the flagship image for the sale of Joan Didion’s belongings at Stair Galleries, as promoted on architecturaldigest.com
Continue reading “Joan Didion’s Mantle”

Nice Grpg

March 12, 2014, 12:20 PM: I swear, every one of these still lands this week, and lands different.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about twitter and social media for fifteen years, and the only thing I can come up with is, start a blog.

Whatever else it is, Twitter has been a source of language fascination for me. To see or share combinations of words of unexpected beauty, sublimity, stupidity, and criminality. I developed a practice of tweeting stuff without explanation or context–without original context, since the whole point was to hold up an object of text, or later, an image, or a combination of both, and present it in the context of the Twitter feed itself–that annoyed tf out of some people. I really tried to approach Twitter as an experiment, to see what would happen, or what worked and what didn’t. As time went on, Twitter’s own conventions coalesced, and even came to dominate information in the world, far beyond its own users’ spheres.

But that’s not important right now. One thing I started to do was to find meaning or resonance in groupings of tweets. Because they were in my timline, coming from people I’d chosen to follow, the synchronicities between adjacent tweets weren’t exactly random, but the more random and unrelated they seemed, the better. The connection didn’t need to be glaringly obvious, either, but an unusual, mundane word appearing in three unrelated tweets was as awesome as two rhyming images.

I developed rules for groupings: adjacency was a must; longer chains of tweets beat a pair; no retweets or manipulations by me. But in practice, I’d just screenshot’em all and figure I’d sort’em out later. And sometimes, when they ended up next to a gem, I couldn’t resist including my own tweets.

These groupings were made by others and me, and yet it seemed the only intentionality was in the finding. There was the sense, or perhaps the alluring suggestion, that beyond illuminating the contours of my own curatorial decisions, the groupings offered glimpses of a larger, unintended, collective meaning, like generative glitches in a (not the) matrix.

I tweeted some of these out as I’d find them, just a blip in the stream, but then I decided to collect them, to see what they could do together. So I started a tumblr, and after two tedious weeks of trying to capture the metadata embedded in each multitweet screenshot, I shelved it. But the screenshots have kept piling up.

Now with the actual destruction of Twitter looming, these shards feel possibly more relevant than they did, and so I’ve dusted off the tumblr and will keep posting these nice groupings, worrying less that they conform to my own arbitrary notions of multi-tweet poetic form, and instead being glad that they exist at all.

grpg.greg.org
go-grpg.tumblr.com

Why Not? Make An Eames Saarinen Womb Chair Cake Chair?

Charles Eames photo of Womb Chair cake for Lillian Saarinen, 3×4 in., est. $700-900 at LA Modern

As a cake, it’s a bit of a mess, tbqh. But as a concept, it’s flawless.

This 1949 photo by Charles Eames of a Saarinen Womb Chair cake came from Lillian Saarinen’s estate. Did you know she was Edie Sedgwick’s cousin? Lillian’s mom was a Sedgwick. Though Lillian was almost 30 years older, so maybe they were second cousins or something. Edie was first cousins with Kyra Sedgwick’s father, in case you want to six degrees of Kevin Bacon the maker of this chair cake.

Which, do we assume Ray made the cake? It looks like a sheet cake has been draped over a Womb Chair frame. Judging from the size of the candles, the doilies, and the icing blobs, it looks like it’d fit on a cookie sheet. The frame looks legit, and out of wrought iron. Did Knoll have little centerpiece-sized Womb Chair samples lying around, or did the Eameses whip up a frame for the cake?

Either way, the point is, now I want a Womb Chair embroidered with these designs, with thick, ropy white stitches on that classic, rough, jute-like wool. You got this, etsy? Or am I gonna have to do it myself?

17 Nov 2022 Lot 106: Charles Eames photograph of Womb Chair Cake for Lillian Saarinen [lamodern]

Just Dropped: Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)

Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) “Bob” & (M3) “Souki”, 2022, 27 x 21 cm and 33 x 25 cm, respectively, dye sublimation ink on high-gloss aluminum panel, (Handmade India ink on Arches signed, numbered, and stamped Certificate of Authenticity not shown)

The time-limited edition is now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if you couldn’t see Manet’s “Minnay” in Paris last year because of COVID, and you don’t get to see Manet’s “Bob” and “Donki” (sic) in New York this year because you went straight to London from Paris? Is that how irony works?

Anyway, the Getty Manets go on view at Christie’s this morning. The Getty Manet Facsimile Object Diptych goes on order now. They are priced at 0.1% of the combined estimated reserve price of the Getty’s Manets. After/if “Bob” sells on the 20th, ÉMFO (M3) “Souki” will remain available until “Donki” (sic) sells on the 21st. [If you’re a connoisseurial cabal planning to break up a set from the get-go, I’ll let History judge you, but do let me know, since otherwise, they will come in a custom, diptych portfolio.]

Simulated Facsimile Object: Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M2) “Bob” as it would look installed on the c. 1965 Angelo Lelii (attr.) Arredoluce easel floor lamp on sale at Wright20 at the moment

People display their Facsimile Objects in many ways. Some hang them straight on the wall. Some on a little shelf. Or a little easel. Some frame them. An option I’ve never seen but suddenly want is to install them on Angelo Lelii’s elegant bronze Arredoluce easel floor lamps. There’s one (attr.) at Wright20 right now for $5-7,000, with no reserve and a $100 opening bid, which is enticing. Facsimile Object collectors will need to acquire them separately, but if you are the Manet(s) buyer seeking to trade, I will gladly include Italian mid-century bronze easel floor lamps along with your reserved Facsimile Objects. We can make this happen.

[10/20 UPDATE: OK, wow, the Manet painting of Bob the Dog just sold for $1.38 million, more than double the high estimate. If you want to buy the Manet Facsimile Object (M2) “Bob,” by itself or as part of the original diptych, go for it. It’s still 0.1% of the price of the painting. Both Manet Facsimile Objects will remain available, together or separately, until Manet’s “Donki” sells Friday morning. And now le chien “Donki” (sic) has sold for $378,000, almost a million dollars less than “Bob”. What a world. Thanks again to the savvy collectors who are putting their Facsimile Objects to work, and saving 99.9% in the process.]

Flashback: Apocalyptic Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych

The Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych, as installed in the National Gallery in Winter 2021

No reason, but I woke up thinking about The Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych, a surprising pairing of two paintings which have ominous visions in the heavens and apocalyptic destruction raining down from the sky, beautifully painted on their reverse sides. Last year, in the midst of the Omicron surge, the National Gallery in London brought these two paintings together for a Dürer show sponsored by Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych: Dürer Facsimile Objects (D3.38) and (D1), among others

I was reluctant to make Facsimile Objects of these paintings, but felt compelled by the concepts I’d constructed for myself and the project. It wasn’t my fault the world–or at least the museum–didn’t close to limit the spread of the pandemic.

a sheet of handmade Arches paper the same small size as a Durer painting of an apocalyptic meteor the artist dreamed about, with a roughly stenciled silhouette of the meteor in black ink in the middle. at the bottom left is the logo of credit suisse, two sail-like shapes, stenciled in two shades of metallic blue ink, and a janky inscription certifying the authenticity of the object this sheet accompanies, written in an unschooled approximation of 16th century German script
Smooth Sailing: A certificate of authenticity for a Credit Suisse Diptych

And I don’t know when exactly, but very early on I decided not to show or promote the Certificates of Authenticity I was including. Actually, at first, it was because they didn’t yet exist when I was promoting the first FO, and I did not know how they’d turn out, or even what they’d be. Soon, though, I saw them, not just as part of the concept of a Facsmile Object, but part of the experience of owning it. Not secret, necessarily, but private, individual, and distinct from encountering the project online, where a jpg’s a picture. Some folks have since posted pics of their COAs online, or processed them with their registrars, and that is fantastic, the choice is theirs.

Anyway, for the Credit Suisse iteration, I also wanted to make the Objects distinct from the earlier versions, too. After some exploration and experimentation, I arrived at adding the Credit Suisse logo, a stylized set of sails, to the Certificate.

Looking at my janky rendition of 15th century German calligraphy reminded me that I used to know Richard Jenrette, one of the founders of the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette. He’d attended the same high school as me in Raleigh, and returned to make a large donation, and I heard he collected houses. I filed that data away and decided to become an investment banker someday, whatever that was. Later on, as I was preparing to go to business school, I was introduced to him at, of all places, Christie’s. We’d cross paths occasionally at galas, art fairs, the Winter Antique Show, etc., and when he gave me a copy of his memoir, I sent him a thank you note. In the last chapter of his book about his amazing career innovating analytical models and methods to the financial industry, he also said he was very into handwriting analysis. I never saw or heard from him again after that, and I sometimes wondered if I’d been blackballed for some psychological flaw revealed in my handwritten note.

Jenrette had already retired, but in 2000 DLJ was acquired and absorbed by Credit Suisse First Boston. The brand lives on in a couple of private equity divisions, but it’s really not the same. Anyway, smooth sailing, Credit Suisse!

LIVE(D): Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)

Test Facsimile Objects: “Bob” and “Please, call me ‘Souki’; ‘Donki’ is my painting’s name”

In times like these I turn to mangling words of Samuel Beckett. “Édouard tried. Édouard failed. No Manet. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

[10/20 10/21 UPDATE: AND THE TIME TO FAIL AGAIN IS NOW. The link to purchase Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3) is was below.]

Continue reading “LIVE(D): Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)”

Show Me The Manets

Édouard Manet, Tête du chien “Bob”, 1876, 10.75 x 8.25 inches, being sold by the estate of Ann & Gordon Getty at Christie’s, LOT NUMBER ONE, MON VIEUX

Lot. Number. One.

This is just a placeholder post because I really am deep in something else at the moment, but Tête du chien “Bob”, one of Manet’s awesomest dog portraits (it really is a small set of a very small list), will be sold next month at Christie’s. For forty years, it belonged to Ann & Gordon Getty, who loaned it just once? Really?? To the Getty. For the 2019 exhibition, Manet and Modern Beauty.

And now it will be sold.

“Bob” will be on view at Christie’s in New York for at most six days, October 15-20, and is the first lot in the first Getty sale the evening of the 20th. The estimate is $400-600,000, so in line with the result for Minnay last year.

There is drama, though it is resolved drama, around the provenance of “Bob”; the Getty Estate has made an agreement with the heirs of an earlier owner, Estella Katzenellenbogen, of Berlin and Santa Monica, who owned the painting at least until 1945, though she made it to the US by 1940. Whether the painting was left behind in Europe and then turned up at Carroll Carstairs Gallery in New York in 1947, or was the subject of some kind of ownership or consignment dispute before passing through Carstairs’ hands is not clear, but either way, the Katzenellenbogens are now cool with it.

Wait, there’s another?? “A second portrait of a dog by Manet, Le chien “Donki,” also owned by Ann and Gordon Getty, is being offered in the Old Masters, 19th and 20th Century Paintings Day Sale on October 21st.”

Lot 176: Édouard Manet, le chien “Donki”, 1876, 12.875 x 9.875 in., also from the Gettys, being sold at Christie’s Oct. 21. est: $300-500,000. Interestingly, the previous circulating image had an almost purple background. This one is blue.

The next day! Le chien “Donki”, along with “Bob” and Minnay, are the three best Manet dogs. Granted, there are only eight, and this is not a hot or studied genre, like his late bouquet paintings, but maybe it should be. “Donki” has not been exhibited in almost 80 years.

[I do still think that says “Souki”, not “Donki,” but I accept that actual French people in the early 20th century read that as a “D”. I will also note that they read that as a “u”, not an “n”, and called him “Douki.” If I buy this painting, I will call it “Souki.”]

Frankly, I’ll be lucky to see them IRL. Preview times are the same, so for up to six days before the sales, both paintings should be on view in New York. It’s also possible they’ll be included on a Getty highlights tour to Shanghai, London, and Los Angeles. In the mean time, here is a pic of what they looked like in situ, from the incredible virtual tour of the Gettys’ maxed out San Francisco house:

Manet Manet: “Bob” and the painting formerly known as “Donki” in an ensemble with some other dog paintings–and a Manet sketch of three dog heads, turns out–in the Blue Parlour of the Gettys’ house. Image: Matterport/Christie’s

We know that, at less than 13×10 in. for “Donki”, and like 10.75 x 8.25 in. for “Bob”, these are the perfect Manets to flee the Nazis with, should the need ever arise again.

The Ann & Gordon Getty Collection, 10 sales, 1,385 lots [Christies.com]
Previously, very much related: Manet Paints Dog
Édouard Manet Facsimile Object

New Twombly Pavilion Dropped

a photo across the windshield of a car of a cy twombly tag in orange spray paint on the dingy painted brick facade of the long-ago closed sand dollar thrift shop in houston, as tweeted by @buffalosean
“You go cy twombly, good for you.” tweet & photo via @buffalosean

Cy Twombly is not letting a little thing like death slow him down. Twitter user @buffalosean spotted this new Twombly pavilion on the northern side of Houston, in a former Sand Dollar Thrift Shop at the corner of 19th and Yale Streets. Google Streetview’s last capture was just a few weeks ago, so this is feeling very fresh.

To those who say this is just an artful graffiti tag, I would point out that the Menil also once turned an old grocery store into a posthumous Dan Flavin pavilion? Maybe one standalone Twombly pavilion was no longer enough?

Imagine for the briefest moment that the Twombly Foundation did a capsule collection at a pop-up in a deserted thrift shop in Houston. Live the dream for $30, thru Sunday.

Or maybe this is a pop-up shop for a capsule collection from the Twombly Foundation? And if it were, would the merch possibly look any crispier than this T-shirt? To celebrate the hilarious impossibility of such a thing, this CyTwombly T-shirt will be available this weekend was available through midnight wherever, Sunday, July 23rd.

It will be screenprinted in OG orange on a white Hanes Authentic T (to match the Twombly White Rabbit T-shirt from last Summer. Collect’em all!) and will ship worldwide for $US30.

As with previous t-shirt projects, this will only happen if ten people or more want one, and it breaks even. UPDATE: WE ARE THERE. IT IS HAPPENING. Which (MBA? lmao) ten people have always ordered, and between the surprise & delight and shipping, I have yet to actually break even on one of these. Maybe I should take some garbage bags full of them to Times Square and sell them to hypebeasts. Or maybe it’s just a way to share a moment.

UPDATE: It is done. Thank you.

Regina, RGB

Wolfgang TIllmans, Regina, 2002, ed. 1/1+1AP, inkjet on paper, 137 x 206cm, sold for GBP68750 at Christie’s London during Frieze Week 2018

The last time the Queen of England rode around London in the Gold State Coach was for her 50th anniversary, and Wolfgang Tillmans was there.

Halberds out: Study for Tillmans Regina, 115 x 206 cm, 2022, sky news screencap, which, alas, does not include the giant

If he was there today to see the Queen’s subjects waving at a hologram of her riding in the GSC, it might look a little something like this. Protip: the way you can tell my Tillmans from Tillmans’ Tillmans is the aspect ratio.

Study for SCREEN COVERAGE…, 2022, it’s a diptych

And while mine will ship with a separate
SCREEN COVERAGE WILL CONTINUE
AFTER THE HORSES HAVE SAFELY PASSED BY
monochrome, I feel like Wolfgang would have been able to get both screens in one shot.

Previously: Yas, Regina

Burned Flavin (2022)

It’s been a minute since I’ve gone deep into Dan Flavin’s work, but a tweet exchange with Joshua Caleb Weibley the other day really got me thinking. Joshua mentioned seeing crates of Flavin replacement bulbs during a museum install, and how visitors to the Guggenheim would accidentally break the fluorescent light bulbs with shocking regularity.

I’ve never seen that–and without inciting it, would low-key kind of like to, to be quite honest. The issue of constant replacement was acutely felt, because, as Joshua had pointed out, Flavin’s signature medium, fluorescent lights in various colors in union-made, commercial grade fixtures, had become obsolete, and the studio/estate had decided it needed to be propped up with their own hand-formulated replacements.

Stefan Brüggemann’s OFF (A 1969 UNTITLED DAN FLAVIN SCULPTURE TURNED OFF), exhibited at SAFN in Reykjavik in 2007, in a show organized by Mathieu Copeland. Image from a review at Pablo Leon de la Barra’s Centre for The Aesthetic Revolution

Which made me think of a Flavin that had been turned off. Or actually, a Flavin that had burned out. That’s it, that’s the piece. The history, the legacy, the ephemerality, the [absence of] light.

In another timeline, it’s happened: Flavin insisted that when the lights went out of production, that was it. People turned the pink ones off first, to make them last the longest. They’d crowd galleries on the special day when they got turned on. Flavin Day. Over the years they went out and were mourned as lost icons of their time, like demolished Paul Rudolph houses. People began to appreciate them as relics, not environments. Everyone contemplating them became Buddhists. Or Quakers. They became sites of meditation, where people manifested the light. Can you see it?

After a few decades, instead of half a dozen virtual Van Gogh shows, tourists flocked to Flavin Experiences, where simulations of his work alight were projection mapped onto the walls and floor. Critics complained, of course, about the physical difference between projected light and emanating light, and maybe a joker made some facsimile objects to simulate the lost fluorescent effect through tubes stuffed with LEDs.

a certificate for a dan flavin sculpture, showing a square of light fixtures drawn on a sheet of graph paper, with the color outlines for each rectangle, and a description, etc. typed below. in moma's collection
Dan Flavin, Document for Untitled (to the “innovator” of Wheeling Peachblow) (1968), a certificate which, in 1969, entered MoMA’s prints and drawings collection alongside its physical counterpart

And then there’s the rarity. It occurred to me how hard it might be to make a Flavin out of burned out lights. Properly burned out lights, not just turned off or disabled. How long might it take? When the qualities of desirability and dismissal are inverted, it really does change a lot. [Flavin’s work already has similar dichotomies built into it, though: in our timeline, there’s an existential link between the glowing, manufactured fixture/object and the mundane hand-drawn certificate. Both are required to comprise the work.]

But it did remind me of a visit to MoMA once where I saw, not only a crate of Flavin replacement bulbs, but another crate–of Flavin replaced bulbs. They kept the burned out bulbs. MoMA has five Flavin sculptures [and twelve diagram/drawings of sculptures, including one straight-up certificate that’s registered as a separate object, but that’s another blog post.] They’ve had Flavins since at least 1969. Just think of all the burned out bulbs they’ve accumulated. If other institutions do the same, then maybe rarity is not really a factor, so much as access, rarity by another name.

Allora & Calzadilla, Puerto Rican Light (Cueva Vientos), 2015, solar-powered batteries and charger, plywood crate, Dan Flavin’s Puerto Rican light (to Jeanie Blake) 2, 1965. Installation view, El Convento Natural Protected Area, Puerto Rico, 2015–17. Photo: Allora & Calzadilla, via artforum

Well, there’s also the issue of the Flavin Estate, which might not be amenable to burned out works. Then again, that lack of consent didn’t stop Dia from commissioning Allora & Calzadilla to make a work installing one of their dozens of Flavins in a Puerto Rican cave. And anyway, Flavin is the work’s title, not its author.

Debord Ape NFTee

“The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point that it becomes images,” Guy Debord tweeted in 1967.

And when @wasathatawolf tweeted, “I can’t shake the thought that NFTs are the truest manifestation of the spectacle,” yesterday,

Debord Ape Yacht Club was minted in my brain.

debord ape 1967, one of one
1967, Debord Ape, 1/1, properties: grayscale, jaded eyes with round glasses, comb-forward bowl cut, cigarette, ratty sweater

And so now here we are, at the intersection of détournement and commodification, selling t-shirts.

Study for Debord Ape Yacht Club t-shirt, in four-screen grayscale on a Hanes shirt so authentic it has Authentic in the name, $25 shipped.

This exclusive one-of-one Debord Ape will be silkscreened in grayscale on a white Hanes Authentic [of course] T-shirt in 100% cotton. Because of the multiple screens required to mint this, and because I still just lost money on the last supposedly breakeven shirt stunt, this shirt is $25, shipped worldwide.

Debord Ape will be available til the end of Febrary [Monday2/28]. If fewer than 15 people order, I will burn the project, refund the enlightened dozen or whatever people’s money, and console them with some kind of tasty swag. The ape will live on as a jpg, free for right clicking. [Next day update: Everyone should feel free to right-click if they want, but the mob has spoken, and project will go ahead!]

So if you’re looking for a way to expose the spectacle’s alienating financialization while mirroring capitalist recuperation through détournement and self-critical commodification, hopefully, you order your Debord Ape T-shirt while you could.

Thank you all for your engagement.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Geraldine Juárez, who’s been really smart in her analysis of NFTs for a while already, and who also made the Debord connection almost a year ago, just tweeted about an even deeper Debord/Apes connection. From a 1957 column fragging Alain Robbe-Grillet’s timid clinging to the present, Debord declares for the revolutionary power of ape art:

Last June witnessed a scandal when a film I had made in 1952 [Hurlements en faveur de Sade] was screened in London. It was not a hoax and still less a Situationist achievement, but one that depended on complex literary motivations of that time (works on the cinema of Isou, Marco, Wolman), and thus fully participated in the phase of decay, precisely in its most extreme form, without even having — except for a few programmatic allusions — the wish for positive developments that characterized the works to which I have alluded. Afterward, the same London audience (Institute of Contemporary Arts) was treated to some paintings executed by chimpanzees, which bear comparison with respectable action painting. This proximity seems to me instructive. Passive consumers of culture (one can well understand why we count on the possibility of active participation in a world in which “aesthetes” will be forgotten) can love any manifestation of decomposition (they would be right in the sense that these manifestations are precisely those that best express their period of crisis and decline, but one can see that they prefer those that slightly disguise this state). I believe that in another five or six years they will come to love my film and the paintings of apes, just as they already love Robbe-Grillet. The only real difference between the paintings of apes and my complete cinematographic work to date is its possible threatening meaning for the culture around us, namely, a wager on certain formations of the future.

“One More Try if you Want to be Situationists (the SI In and Against Decomposition), 1957, via situationist international online

[Meanwhile, Juárez’s original quote that referenced this was not from Debord directly, but from Esther Leslie’s 2004 book Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant Garde. Credit where it’s due, thanks Geraldine!]

Blurred, Sorry! T-Shirt

What does it say? No one knows! But this is a rendering of what it will look like, screenprinted in color on a white, 100% cotton Hanes Perfect T-shirt.

I know we all got distracted for a minute by the Ruth Asawa knock-off hype, but let’s remember what’s really important about Architectural Digest’s glorious visit to Gwyneth Paltrow’s new house in Montecito: they decided not to get video rights for the John Baldessari diptych over the fireplace, and so they blurred out the painting. Well, technically, they only blurred out half of it. The monochrome, apparently, can slide.

This is a John Baldessari diptych, Prima Facie (Fifth State), from 2007. Could the t-shirt have something to do with that? WHO CAN SAY?

To celebrate this moment in the history of artist rights management in the multiplatform digital content era, greg.org is issuing this t-shirt. What does it say? NO ONE KNOWS. What is it referencing? NO IDEA. The meaning will remain an eternal mystery that will baffle your friends, families, and Zoom counterparts, but at least it will always remind you of the fun we all shared this week.

The rendering above shows the concept, which is, to paraphrase John Baldessari, to try to make it very simple, so that the blurred and the face are equal. The shirts will be silkscreened in color (well, black and grey) on white, 100% cotton, Hanes Perfect Tees, and will ship shipped worldwide for $US22.

A product shot, a Blurdessari t-shirt, with accompanying COA, in its new home. thanks, @wb!

Like the celebration for the auction in Italy of a someone’s Twombly bunny drawing, these shirts will only be available for a minute–through the weekend, Sunday night, Feb. 6–and will only be made on a break-even basis. Can you imagine losing money on a conceptual digital rights management apparel stunt? I cannot. So if 10 or more folks don’t jump in, I’ll call it off, return the money, and recognize the 9 or fewer true avant garde pioneers with something else. Wow, OK then, less than an hour in, so this is happening!

Many thanks to everyone who made the moment of conceptualization possible. It is now the moment of realization, and this is the only new order being accepted:

Untitled (Prima Facie), 2022

TFW Yoshihiro Makino shoots Gwyneth Paltrow’s new living room with John Baldessari’s 2007 diptych, Prima Facie (Fifth State): Avant Garde for Architectural Digest, and they pay ARS for a print and/or web license

Alexandra Lange brought Gwyneth Paltrow’s troublesome installation of her Ruth Asawa sculpture in front of her patio door to Twitter’s attention this morning. And I confess, seeing the Architectural Digest photos, that included Lindsey Adelman’s drapey light installation, and a Ralph Pucci hammock also hanging from the ceiling of Paltrow’s new Montecito living room, I, too, was troubled. For a minute.

But after watching the video tour, and hearing the care and attention to detail, feel, design, and material that Paltrow and her people put into this project, I became fine with it. How else *should* an Asawa sculpture live, but in an actress-turned-influencer’s slightly louche, ultra-deluxe living room full of stuff hanging from the ceiling? Not everything should be a white cube. As long as the door, or the dog, or the kid, doesn’t hit the fragile sculpture, go wild, Gwyneth. [LATER THAT DAY UPDATE: NOT an Asawa! Problem solved! Or, rather, replaced with new problem!]

Gwyneth looking at the Adelman light thing, while all other eyes are staring straight at the blurred out Baldessari on the wall. [screencap: Architectural Digest video]

That’s not important now. Not when the Baldessari diptych over the fireplace is blurred out in the video. I’m guessing A/D did not want to splurge for the video license from ARS? I also love that all they felt they needed to blur out is the text on one half of the work; the monochrome painting is undefaced.

Study for Untitled (Prima Facie), 2022, enamel on canvas and lenticular print on aluminum, each 52.5 x 42 in.

Speaking of face, there’s a new one in town. Untitled (Prima Facie), 2022, is a lenticular print mounted on aluminum and enamel on canvas diptych where the avant garde grows increasingly sharper with a move to the right.

It is inspired by Baldessari’s Prima Facie (Fifth State): Avant Garde, a 2007 diptych which is itself based on a spread found in Baldessari’s 2006 artist book, Prima Facie: Marilyn’s Dress: 2006/2007 – a poem in four parts, which was available in both book and deluxe book with a print editions. Earlier states of the Prima Facie series had photographs of actors and actresses where the monochrome is here, with words chosen to be the instant, descriptive equivalent–and equal in visual impact-to the image. Baldessari showed works from the Prima Facie (Fifth State) at Sprüth Magers in London in mid-2006, where Paltrow might have seen them, but this 2007 work came from Marian Goodman. These works are depicted in David Platzker et al’s Baldessari Catalogue Raisonée, of course, and the Museum Dhondt-Daehnans in Belgium put out a comprehensive-at-the-time catalogue of Prima Facie works for a show in 2005-06. Untitled (Prima Facie) is a greg.org exclusive.

2.2.2022

Phung Vo Facsimile Object (PV1), 2022, 297 x 210 mm, digital print, with full-size, digitally printed COA, signed and stamped

I’ve written before about the long reach of Danh Vo’s 2.2.1861 (2009 – ) on my thinking, but also specifically on the Facsimile Objects project, before I made a one-off Facsimile Object of it. Having a visual of Phung Vo’s beautifully transcribed letter from soon-to-be-beheaded J. Théophane Vénard to his father in front of me, instead of tucked safely away, has leveled up that influence.

It makes me try to improve my handwriting. It intensified my preference for A4 paper, which turns out to be difficult to find and work with in a world that defaults to 8.5 x 11. It prompted me to seek out the original source for Vénard’s letter. It got me to learn LaTeX. It, along with spending time with aging parents and a global pandemic, made me think about mortality, the moment that awaits us all.

And it made me think about what a Facsimile Object does, or what it could do.

Phung Vo Facsimile Object (PV1) is one result. It is the transcription of a slightly different published version of Vénard’s letter than the one Vo uses. It is set in LaTex using the French Cursive font package created by Emmanual Beffara, and printed on Vietnamese A4 paper. A certificate of authenticity matches it, and both are contained in an A4 document sleeve.

The layout is inspired by Vo’s 2.2.1861, but between the machine font and the slight textual differences, the line breaks diverge after just four lines. It’s a bit like how the clocks in Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (Perfect Lovers) slip out of sync, except for the perfect lovers part, and the baked-in indexing of facsimulatory failure.

I am not decided about what to do with these. Part of me wants to make them available on demand. Part of me thinks they shouldn’t go out until the…end of Vo’s project. [Here at the beginning of a new lunar year, I once again wish Phung Vo a long, healthy, happy, and prosperous life.]

As I contemplate this, I remember back to a project I started in the Summer of 2014, to continue On Kawara’s Today Series after the artist’s death as a communal practice. It was called fromnowon.us, and it would have made it possible for people to order a date painting from Chinese Paint Mill, depicting the date on which it was painted. I’d arranged the production, even getting the painters to include a sheet of the local Shenzhen newspaper with each completed painting. When the test painting arrived, it turned out to be from Sept. 11th. Which gave me pause.

But anyway, I’m still working through this.

Prev, related:
2021: Danh Vo Facsimile Object (V1)
2014: On Kawara Today

Spice DAO Facsimile Object (S1), 2022

Study for Spice DAO Facsimile Object (S1), 2022, 11.5 x 15 in., high-gloss dye sublimation pigment on aluminum panel, installed between FOOL Facsimile Object (W1), 2021 and Vermeer Facsimile Object (V0.9), f/k/a Girl Unmuting, here titled Girl Voting Her Tokens To Burn The Book After Scanning So No One Gets Sued For Copyright Galaxy Brain, 2022

Congratulations to Spice DAO, which announced yesterday [sic] that they had successfully purchased a rare copy of a book containing the concept art and storyboard sketches for Alexander Jodorowsky’s legendary adaptation of Dune. The sale took place at Christie’s Paris on 21 November 2021, three days after Constitution DAO failed in its attempt to buy a printed copy of the US Constitution at Sotheby’s in New York.

Constitution DAO raised $47 million, only to be outbid by hedgie/collector Ken Griffin, whose privately negotiated guaranteed bid of basically $47 million and one dollars also included a rebate on the auction house’s premium, bringing his net to just $43 million. Spice DAO, no doubt quick learners, went into their auction for the EUR25,000 book with a EUR2.667 million bid, and managed to eke out a win.

Spice DAO’s purchase–technically, a private purchase and a transfer to the DAO, since Christie’s didn’t recognize the DAO–of Jodorowsky’s Dune bible was actually revealed last December, when it was still called Dune DAO. The story then was that these enthusiastic Dune fans were banding together to liberate the long-hidden copy of the lost, unmade masterpiece they’d gotten glimpses of in Jodorowsky’s Dune, a 2013 documentary directed by Frank Pavich. It was only when they tweeted their plans to,
“1. Make the book public (to the extent permitted by law)
2. Produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service
3. Support derivative projects from the community”
that copyrightlulz twitter was like, “lmfao YEAH NO,” and the buyers of $11 million worth of Spice DAO tokens became aware of the limits of the blockchain’s ability to overcome all humanity’s problems.

So while the governance discord debates selling NFTs of scans of the pages of Copy Number 5, then burning the actual book so they won’t get sued for copyright infringement [0.<], I am ready to move forward with the Spice DAO Facsimile Object (S1).

As much as I thought I’d leave Facsimile Objects in 2021, I realize that the Spice DAO Community needs them. Spice DAO Facsimile Object (S1) presents a perfect, facsimile of Copy Number 5 of Michel Seydoux Presents Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune from Frank Herbert’s Novel. Design by Jean Giraud. Machines by Chris Foss. Special Effects by Dan O’Bannon. Dialogue by M. Demuth and A. Jodorowsky, as it was sold at Christie’s on November 21, 2021. Printed at full-size, in high-gloss dye sublimation pigment on an 11.5 x 15-inch aluminum panel, the Facsimile Object embodies the true octavo (210 x 295 mm) presence of this historic, physical, artifact. It is accompanied by a similarly full-scale, handmade certificate of authenticity, executed in ink on handmade Arches paper, signed, stamped and numbered, and will ship in a handmade case.

Unlike previous Facsimile Objects, which were created for the world, Spice DAO Facsimile Object (S1) is only available to verified hodlers of Spice DAO governance tokens. The first 10 verified orders will be priced at 0.5ETH, payable in USD at the ETH/USD price on coinbase for the date of purchase. After that, the price will increase to 1.0ETH. Availability of Spice DAO Facsimile Objects (S1) will be continue until morale improves. DM or email to get started.

[update: the price of the Facsimile Object is after taxes. Whether you sell ETH to buy the Facsimile Object, at whatever your basis, or you use your pre-existing fiat is not relevant, and greg.org will not pay your capital gains taxes. Thank you for your understanding.]