For me the absolute stand out commentary work at the LA Art Show was Desire Obtain Cherish, Designer Pill Packs at The McLoughlin Gallery: Spot-on brutal commentary on the Business of Art, Designer Pill Packs state baldly that neither art nor consumer goods are a panacea for shallow weltschmerz or consumptive malaise. DOC’s barbed doses for frenzied possession maybe a hard sell, especially for those more inclined to the diamond dusted prints of Hirst and Fairey. (Warhol did diamond dust prints in 1980, most notably returning to his roots as a commercial artist with his Shoes series, one of which will be at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for “Warhol Out West” which opens February 8, 2013).
Side note: Prada packages their skincare line in tiny individual-use packages, each ampoule or tube sealed in plastic.
DOC was so brutal and fierce and in your face, pretty much the pissoir of the whole show.
And to flow over to Duchamp, Stoney Road Press from Dublin, Ireland was exhibiting a very unique piece in their beautiful selection of fine art editions: The last portrait of Marcel Duchamp, by Brian O’Doherty. Irish-born sculptor/conceptual artist, novelist and critic Brian O’Doherty, who as director of the National Endowment of the Arts Media Arts Program, was responsible for the creation of major public television like American Masters and Great Performances. A graduate of Trinty College Dublin and Cambridge University, O’Doherty was a medical researcher at Harvard before taking a job as a reporter for the public television station in Boston, WGBH, broadcasting from Museum of Fine Arts, where he would do a weekly half-hour show about the collections, and interview artists. He later became the on-air art critic for NBC in the 1960s and an editor of Art of America magazine.
O’Doherty’s writings on gallery spaces– Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of Gallery Space, “Studio and Cube,” and Retrospective Cube are are must reads, and his artwork–which from 1972 through 2008 he created under Patrick Ireland, the nom-de guerre he took to highlight the British occupation of Northern Ireland, a reaction to the reaction to the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry–has received international acclaim. (The persona of Patrick Ireland was laid to rest on May 20, 2008 by its creator, entombed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in honor of the progress for peace in Northern Ireland.)
In 1966 Brian O’Doherty created the last portrait of his friend and influencer Marcel Duchamp, and Stoney Road offers a limited edition of 25, made by the artist in 2012. Here’s the story of this portrait, as told by Brenda Moore-McCann in her book book PBrian O’Doherty/Patick Ireland:Between Categories:
In April 1966 Brian O’Doherty invited Marcel Duchamp to dinner in his apartment in New York. The purpose of the meeting was for O’Doherty, a former doctor, to make a ‘portrait’ of Duchamp by recording a cardiographic tracing of his heart. Unlike any other portrait in the history of art, Duchamp’s identity is represented by mapping the primary animating organ of the sitter, his heart.
Desire Obtain Cherish’s images of dead celebrities are quite a bit different than O’Doherty’s last of the living Duchamp: A mosaic portrait of Amy Winehouse is created from 850 individually wrapped crack pipes for Amy Fuck No, while the same technique with 6500 pill capsules is employed for both Marilyn Unveiled and Basquait Punched, the latter which references Michael Halsband’s photo series for the Basquiat Warhol collaboration, as well as the effects of the duo’s collaboration.
Desire. Obtain. Cherish. Yup.