Just Dropped: Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M4), “Fleurs”

Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M4), “Fleurs”, 2024, 22 x 13 7/8 in., dye sublimation print on high gloss aluminum, with handmade COA in India ink on Arches, signed, stamped & numbered, available until the sale at Sotheby‘s on May 15, 2024

I wish I knew how to quit you, Manet Facsimile Objects.

I thought they were done, products of the moment, the moment when we couldn’t travel, or shouldn’t, when the museums were closed, and when full-scale facsimile objects would serve as proxies, simulating the experience of being in the presence of the artwork.

an arrangement of Facsimile Objects: the OG peeking out from behind Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych

[They also each include a standing offer to exchange the original work for a certificated Facsimile Object, a liberatory gesture to help you, the new owner, to focus on yourself and your experience, and not worry for a minute over the work’s condition, state, or worth. I’m ready to exchange whenever you are; hmu.]

Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M1) “Minnay”, 2021, a Facsimile Object of a painting that had never been seen in public, and which surfaced at auction for only 2.5 days during COVID

But now, in the midst of [gestures around to the city and the world] all this, the call has come forth, and it is impossible—for me, at least—to heed it. Andrew Russeth’s effusive invitation to visit Manet’s rapturous late still life, Vase de fleurs, roses et lilas (1882), at Sotheby’s in New York, where it is on view only until it is sold on May 15th.

Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3), 2022, based on Ann Getty’s Manets, of which “Bob” [left] turned up at the same Getty Manet show as the flowers of (M4) Fleurs. Then they were sold.

As Andrew notes, this is the only sure window of time in which to see this rare painting, which has only been exhibited three times in 50+ years. Of course, all three of those times were in 2018-2020, a generous gesture on the part of the unidentified seller. It is not at all known what the next owner will do, so we must strike while we can, and get to Sotheby’s if you can.

Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M4) is for those who cannot, and also for those who will not buy the painting next week. Well, not everyone. If you have the means to buy this Manet and don’t, I really suggest you sit this Facsimile Object out.

There is an irrevocable bid, so the Manet will sell to someone, but if you’re thinking that no, anything beyond the $7-10 million estimate is irrational, and you, with your financial savvy, elect not to pay, do not get the ÉMFO (M4). If you think it will stand as a trophy to your sophisticated investorial victory while honoring your connoisseurship, LMAO no it won’t. If you have the means and still somehow decide not to buy this painting, I fear Facsimile Object will offer you cold comfort in your folly and a sober reckoning of your failure. Every time you look at its high-gloss aluminum finish, you’ll see yourself looking, and remember that you could have bought the Manet instead, and you didn’t. You’ll get a Facsimile Object from me—and a handmade Certificate of Authenticity—but you won’t have my sympathy. I can’t even promise you’ll get my pity.

If you actually take a run at it and lose, OTOH, I hope you have pre-ordered the Facsimile Object as FOMO insurance; because if you wait til the auction is over, it will be too late, and your regret will be doubled. For you, dear underbidder, my heart would ache, but the concept is inviolate. And of course, for the winner, a Facsimile Object is always set aside, and a trade is always on the table. Straight across, with the COA thrown in to sweeten the deal.

ceci n’est pas un Facsimile Objet: a Drouot representative simulating the experience of holding ÉMFO (M1) using Édouard Manet’s le Chien “Minnay” in February 2021.

Andrew calls this a “small picture,” but honestly, at 22×14 inches, it’s a large Facsimile Object, almost 4x the size of the previous ones. One unexpected thing about Minnay [and all subsequent FOs] was how tactile they are, how nice it feels to hold them. Until this week, I would have compared it to a luxuriously thin iPad. But whether in your hands, on a shelf, or on a wall, this will be a substantial presence, and it is, admittedly, daunting to think about.

In fact, this whole thing feels like folly. But maybe it’s just the folly we need in these darkening times, the folly of flowers, friendly gestures of fleeting beauty, which also give us a glimpse of ourselves.

Order Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M4) “Fleurs”, with signed, stamped & numbered COA, before the Manet sells on 15 May 2024 around 8PM EST.

[15 May update: I will be offline during the sale, but to preserve the conceptual nature of the project, orders will only be accepted which arrive before the Manet lot hammers down. Thank you for your engagement.

OK, that was that, $8.5 million hammer, sorry Beijing underbidder, you may not get a Facsimile Object to assuage your loss.]

Previously, related: Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M1) “Minnay”;
Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) “Bob” & (M3) “Souki”

Manet Cut Flowers

Manet’s White Lilacs, c 1882, would be 37.4 x 25 cm, from the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, as photographed and uploaded to wikimedia commons as lilia blanco by Sailko

I guess my reflexive response to a ravishing late Manet still life of flowers on social media is to hype it, and only then to wonder whether Manet really did paint to the edges in a way that cut his brushstrokes in half.

Reader, he did not.

Édouard Manet, die Fliederstrauß, c 1882, 54 x 42 cm, collection, Alte Nationalgalerie

In 2020 wikimedia superuser Sailko uploaded a 12mb photo they took in 2018 of the cropped hot center of Manet’s painting at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. What you lose in breadth is more than made up for by zooming into the detail of each brushstroke and hint of bare canvas in that vase. What’s most interesting is how Sailko’s crop propagates across the net, and the many wiki-scraping printed object providers out there. It’s enough to warm my facsimile objective heart. [s/o rg_bunny1 and jeanettehayes]

Not The Original, But It Sure Looks Similar: Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU

The inauguration of Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU, a permanent exhibition in a purpose-built, VW-funded pavilion at the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim, Poland, opened on 9 February 2024, the artist’s 92nd birthday. via mdsm.pl

I cannot keep up. Literally the day I was contemplating even the possibility of a Facsimile Object of a Gerhard Richter Grey Mirror painting, Richter put four of them on permanent view. On his 92nd birthday. At Auschwitz.

Last month Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU, a permanent exhibition in a purpose-built pavilion, was opened at the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim, the Polish town near the nazi death camp that took its name. It contains reproductions of the Sonderkommando photos that Richter used as a basis for the Birkenau series of large-scale squeegee paintings [CR 937/1-4] he made in 2014. [Two photos are visible on the concrete walls below.] It also includes full-scale Diasec-mounted versions of the Birkenau paintings [a medium Richter once used for a category he called “Facsimile Objects,” but which he later replaced with “Prints”]. And facing them are Facsimile Objects of a series of four Grey Mirror paintings. Photos of oil-on-glass paintings printed and Diasec face-mounted with acrylic on aluminum.

Mrs. Moritz-Richter, et al., at the inauguration of Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU, via mdsm.pl

In this Guardian article [shoutout greg.org hero/reader Claudio for the heads up] Agata Pyzik tries to put a market–or at least a marketing—critique on Richter’s use of photo copies of paintings, even while acknowledging his attempts to remove his Birkenau works from an art market context. [Richter’s kept the paintings in his foundation, and put the other facsimile edition in the Reichstag.]

Gerhard Richter, Grauer Spiegel (4 Parts) [CR 955], 2018, his last painting (so far), installed with Birkenau and Birkenau Facsimile Objects and Birkenau photos at the Met Breuer in 2020

I read the Birkenau facsimiles, which he has shown alongside the Birkenau paintings from the jump, including at the Met Breuer in 2020, as an attempt to head off any sacralization of the paintings themselves. He did not make them to be, and he does not want them to become icons of the Holocaust. Even worse for him, I think, would be being seen as attempting to iconize or exploit these terrible photographs, to turn them to his own use. He sees limits to his own project of painting in relation to images and history, and he’s not wrong.

Gerhard Richter, Grey Mirror [CR 751/1-4], 1991, each 300 x 175 cm., portrait-style, paint and enamel on glass, a gift of the artist to the Saint Louis Art Museum, with three giant squeegee diptychs, November, December & January, which the museum bought in 1990, visible in reflection.

But while all the media attention is on the Birkenau pictures, the most unsettling and powerful element of the installation, the mirrors, barely gets a mention. If this were any other work, any other place, any other time, the fact that Richter made Facsimile Objects of mirror paintings would be enough to keep me going for weeks. These happen to be facsimiles of Grey Mirror [CR 751/1-4], a series of 3 x 1.75 m, color-coated glass paintings made in 1991 for—and by—the St Louis Art Museum, a gift with purchase. [The purchase was Betty.] In Oświęcim, Richter has turned them sideways, and installed them landscape-style, as one continuous 12-meter mirror panorama.

But these are there, and now.

And so visitors to Oświęcim, while flanked on either side by direct photographic evidence of the nazi genocide at Birkenau as documented by its targets, will see reflections of themselves and everyone else with their backs turned to a repetition of Birkenau which looms behind them. It’s at least theoretically possible, if previously inconceivable, that if he opened an exhibition in Germany that made visitors look in a mirror while turning away from the evidence of genocide all around them, Richter could be arrested.

[update: After corresponding with the artist’s studio about broken links on the webpage for this exhibition, I was informed that this mirror work is actually an “exhibition copy” of Grauer Spiegel (4 Parts) [CR955], and not [CR751/1-4]. Which means the dimensions and material aspect of this object are still to be confirmed. For now the artist’s site still describes them as Diasec-mounted prints. Is that whan an exhibition copy of a mirror work is? Or would it be a similarly produced enamel paint on the back of glass? Perhaps we shall see.

Installation view of the Birkenau paintings and photos reflected in Grauer Spiegel (4 Parts) [CR955] at Gerhard Richter: 100 Works for Berlin, at the Neue Nationalgalerie thru 2026, a video still by Julius-Christian Schreiner via DW

What is significant, though, and has been unremarked by anyone, is that with these mirrors, the BIRKENAU installation replicates the current long-term installation of the Birkenau paintings, the Birkenau photos, and Grauer Spiegel (4 Parts) [CR955], at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. So viewers in Germany can, in fact, see themselves in a mirror, with the genocide of Birkenau represented behind and all around them, know that this same situation exists somewhere else right now, and contemplate the differences between an original and a repetition.]

Inauguration of the Gerhard Richter BIRKENAU Exhibition Pavilion [mdsm.pl]
Painting the Unpaintable: Gerhard Richter’s most divisive work returns to Auschwitz [guardian via csant]

Previously, related:
2014: Cage Grid: Gerhard Richter and the Photo Copy
2023: Gerhard Richter Painted
2024: Grauer Richter Facsimile Object

Grauer Richter Facsimile Object

Gerhard Richter, Grauer Spiegel, 2021, 40×34 cm, pigment on bicoloured glass, ed 100+20AP, image via David Zwirner

Happy belated birthday, Gerhard Richter, who is apparently too busy painting, drawing, and collaging to update his website. The Grauer Spiegel (2021, No. 179, pigment on glass, ed. 100+20AP), included in Richter’s current show at David Zwirner in London is not there. It looks like the pigment is actually on the recto of the glass, a depiction of a mirror, not a mirror itself. But that’s just how it’s photographed. Installed at the Points of Resistance IV: Skills for Peace exhibition at Zionskirche in Berlin in 2022, its mirror nature was on full view.

Continue reading “Grauer Richter Facsimile Object”

Huegette Clark Degas Facsimile Object

Edgar Degas, Dancer Making Points, 1874-76, 19 1/4 x 14 1/2 in., pastel and gouache on paper on board, a gift to the Nelson-Atkins from Henry and Marion Bloch, more or less

Speaking of unusual endings to the California real estate fortunes of somewhat reclusive copper heiresses: at some point in the early 1990s, soon after she moved into her $829/day hospital room with Central Park views, Huguette Clark’s Degas, Dancer Making Points, above, was stolen from her Fifth Avenue apartment. Clark didn’t want a scene, so she said do nothing, though someone called the Feds anyway, because they knew. It got fenced to Peter Findlay Gallery, where Henry & Marion Bloch, of the H&R Blocks, bought it in 1993.

In 2007, after an auction house and the FBI tracked it down, and the Blochs were resistant to give up their good faith purchase, and Clark, 98, was not interested in the attention of a lawsuit, the Blochs proposed a solution: Clark would donate the Degas to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, where the Blochs had already pledged their Impressionist collection; she’d get the $10 million tax deduction; and they’d borrow it back from the museum until their deaths. And all of this would be completely secret.

Bill Dedman of MSNBC, who broke the whole Huguette Clark story, described the handoff that was required to make it happen:

In October 2008, on a clear but crisp Monday at the Bloch home in Mission Hills, Kansas, a Bloch representative handed the ballerina in the gilded frame to Clark’s attorney, who walked out to the car and handed it to a representative of the museum, who then handed it back to the representative of the Blochs, and back on the wall it went.

Clark had two other requests: 1) that the Corcoran Gallery, which held many artworks from her father’s collection, and where she once showed her own paintings, be permitted to borrow the Degas up to three times. [It never happened before the Corcoran closed in 2014, and it’s not clear whether the offer extended to the National Gallery, which took all the Corcoran art it wanted.] and 2) that Clark receive a full-scale photograph of the work. Which she did. Its current whereabouts are unknown.

Previously, related: Huguette Clark Paintings??

Waderunner

Enhance 224 to 176

Enhance. Stop. Move in. Stop.

Pull out. Track right. Stop. Center and pull back. Stop. Track 45 right. Stop.

Center and stop. Enhance 34 to 36. Pan right and pull back. Stop.

Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Wait a minute, go back. Stop.

Enhance 57 19. Track 45 left. Stop.

Enhance 15 to 23.

Give me a hard copy right there.

Wade Guyton Simulacrum Facsimile Object

Untitled, 2020, 84 x 69 in., image via Matthew Marks

My first thought on seeing the image of this Wade Guyton painting was of a burning cop car in Brooklyn surrounded by artists with easels and Epson printers. And by the time the Epson printer’s done, the fire is out.

Sam McKinniss, Cop Car in Brooklyn, 2020, 11×14 in., oil on linen, via JTT

Then Alex Greenberger called Guyton’s painting of Manet’s The Ham “a simulacrum” while noting the Manet is currently on loan to The Met.

Untitled, 2023, 84 x 69 in., image via Matthew Marks

And it occurred to me that while the untitled painting itself is Guyton-size, Guyton’s image of The Ham is basically true to the size of the Manet. With both on view in New York simultaneously, there really is no need for a Facsimile Object of either of them, but a Guyton’s Manet’s Ham Facsimile Object would look a little something like this:

Study for Wade Guyton Facsimile Object (G1), 16.25 x 12.75 in., 2023, jpg

Jacques Barthélémy Delamarre Facsimile Object [D1] ‘Pompon’

Lot 353: Jacques Barthélémy Delamarre, “active 1800-1824”??, Portrait of a small poodle, said to be “Pompon,” a favorite of Marie-Antoinette, 9.5 x 12. 5 in., est. $3-5,000. image: sothebys.com

Please sit with this image of this painting by Jacques Barthélémy DeLamarre of Marie Antoinette’s purported dog for a minute. It will be sold tomorrow at Sotheby’s. There is no reserve, and the estimate is $3-5,000 US, so it will sell.

[Day after the sale Update: by now one of the most interesting things about this painting, for most people, anyway, is that it sold for $279,400, 50x its original estimate. There is no logical explanation for this. 15 bidders were reported, though by the time it got into six figures, I suspect only a couple remained. Please note the update from the day before the sale at the bottom of this post. It seems to indicate that when this painting sold at Bonham’s in 1986, the narrative of Pompon and Marie-Antoinette was missing. So far, I haven’t been able to find when it comes in, either. Whether this is just a moment of Pomponomania (as Michael Lobel calls it), or a wider spread Pompondemic remains to be seen.]

From the minute this post goes live until the minute the painting sells, I will make a full-scale Facsmile Object of it available on this website for $300, 10% of the low estimate of the painting. It will include a handmade, full-scale Certificate of Authenticity, signed, numbered and stamped.

[Thursday Update: I misread the auction, which *started* today, and continues for eight days. I was pacing myself for a Pompon sprint, not a marathon, and I think we’ll all be better off without a week of wheezing Pompon hype. The Facsimile Object is no longer available. Within hours there were 20 bids; the price now stands at $US 6,000 220,000. Holy smokes, this is where it ended, $279,400. Thank you for your engagement.]

There is absolutely no reason anyone should buy this Facsimile Object or, for that matter, this painting. Within the next 24 hours, someone will clearly do the latter, which should be folly enough. It is buck wild to me that in that same time frame, someone will also do the former. Because they will want to have the physical experience of sitting with this picture, and sitting with an image of it on a screen will not suffice. I absolutely get it. [Huge shoutout to artist Jeanette Hayes who says, understandably, “I have never loved a painting more.”]

Continue reading “Jacques Barthélémy Delamarre Facsimile Object [D1] ‘Pompon’”

Gerhard Richter Painted

The last something: Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (CR 952-4), 2017, 200x250cm, image:gerhard-richter.com

I get it, it’s been six years since Gerhard Richter announced he’d “retired from painting,” but after several months of press releases and invites for a show of “new and recent” work, it still came as a shock to read David Zwirner describing the show opening last night as containing “a group of Richter’s last paintings, made in 2016–2017.”

Gerhard Richter painting in Gerhard Richter Painting, 2011, image from Corinna Belz’ film

Of course, what it technically means is, “last paintings on canvas.” Or “last squeegee paintings.” Which still shocks to think about; I, for one, would like him to still be painting. But given the artist’s incredible physical exertion while making the squeegee paintings in Corinna Belz’ 2011 film, Gerhard Richter Painting, it’s understandable. I’m still trying to think through what to make of it, though, and to see what Richter’s making now.

Continue reading “Gerhard Richter Painted”

Eis, Eis Baby

Gerhard Richter, Eis 2/Ice 2 [CR 706-2], 1989, 200×160 cm, collection: Art Institute of Chicago

In 1989 Gerhard Richter made four large, slush-colored squeegee paintings [CR 706-1 through 4], which he titled Eis/Ice. In 1997, the Lannan Foundation helped give the brightest one, Eis 2, to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Gerhard Richter, Eis 2, 2003, 111.3 x 88.9 cm sheet, ed. 67/108, signed,
sold at Sotheby’s NY on 19 July 2022 for $56,700

In 2003, Richter made a quarter-sized (100 x 80 cm) print edition of Eis 2 for the 40th anniversary of Lincoln Center Editions, a print fundraising operation of the Vera List Art Project. Richter and Robert Blanton’s print studio Brand X created an amazing 41-color screenprint version of the painting, just the kind of medium shifting challenge those guys would love.

Gerhard Richter, Eis 2 poster, 113 x 87 cm sheet of Somerset, unsigned, but still an edition

Clearly it worked, because Richter put out Eis 2 as a signed edition of 108 (plus 27 proofs) on Somerset. They started popping at auction about three years ago, and in the last year have sold for $56-$90,000.

Brand X also printed 500 copies of an unsigned poster version on slightly taller, narrower Somerset, with the Lincoln Center/List Art Posters caption. Same image dimensions (40 x 32 in.), same screens. These ur-Facsimile Objects sell for just a couple thousand dollars.

So whether you’re a connoisseur of printing technique or spending technique, there’s an Eis 2 for you. In fact, there’s one coming up at LA Modern on January 11th. [update: it sold for a decent $3,024.]

Previously, clearly, in retrospect, related:
2016: Gerhard Richter Facsimile Objects
2014: Cage Grid: Gerhard Richter and the Photo Copy
2013: Gerhard Richter’s Septembers

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)”

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.]