Posts Tagged ‘Rob Pruitt’

Holy Tower

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Actually modeled, according to Rob Pruitt, from another Andy – art collector Andy Stillpass – with a body similar to that of the late Andy — scanned in 3D – he had to stand still for five hours, according to my source – and fabricated in a “high density” material ripe for shiny plating – sort of like how Urs Fischer might have built it, maybe — the Andy Monument arrived in Union Square on this cold spring evening, standing ten feet high, gazing downtown, and standing only steps away from the glory days of the Warhol Factory.

“Would he (Andy) have become vegan had he recovered from the gall bladder infection that otherwise killed him?  Because the Farmers Market would have been right outside his door.”  “No, Andy hated salads and ate poorly.  And the daily regiment of diet pills would have stifled his appetite, anyway.”

As he unsheathed his Andy Tower, Rob Pruitt quipped, “I hope you all like it for more than 15 minutes.”

Reminds me of:

Marc Quinn, Michael Jackson, 2010

And of:

Keith Mayerson, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 2006

Will the Real Sean Landers

Monday, January 4th, 2010
But is Sean Landers really a slacker?http://www.frieze.com/issue/review/sean_landers1  The daisy chain of slackers in the Richard Linklater film are determined to withdraw, to sit it out, to pass.  They are immobilized by the repetition and interchangeability of themselves and the world around them, where they find only morbid indifference.  Hence, the script swipes Joyce: “If he had smiled why would he have smiled? To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.
And when the world stirs from its frozen disregard, it responds with hostility.  In Slacker, men will traumatize women, women will fuck over men, war is inevitable, travel is dangerous.  Everyone else just trades in his soul for work in one assembly line or another, either for Ford Motors or for Subway sandwiches. “Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death.”
Sean Landers, on the other hand, gets in the ring and wants to participate.
“My original idea was to make conceptual art entertaining, sloppy, emotional, human and funny. Over the years I got so far out on this conceptual limb that I went around full circle until I was a traditional artist again. I tried to be ironic about it but eventually became sincere. Now I�m a happy victim of my own charade. I figure that it’s better to be a sucker who makes something than a wise guy who is too cautious to make anything at all.” http://www.absolutearts.com/artsnews/2004/08/30/32319.html
His world still hasn’t acknowledged its greatest living artist, him.  It is the bouncer not letting the rockstar into the hotspot nightclub.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdcsJakmUfY  Through his prolific output of paintings, drawings, writing, sculptures, and videos, his rants, diatribes, and ramblings have  produced a cacophonous echo chamber of fanatic opprobrium.  The razor-edged tool he uses to relay his chronic skepticism works more like a boomerang than a frisbee.  He has devalued the world around him – “us” – for neglecting his genius, but then defames that same genius with the fervor of a chimp grooming Pigpen.
He is both the Garry Kasparov of self-flagellation and the Wile E. Coyote of grandiose delusions.   In either mode, he is not a representative of the shambling black hole of slackerhood, which absorbs and then annihilates everything in its orbit.
He is the hyperactive narcissist who presaged status updates, tweeting about shopping.  This is the chief reason we should get a Sean Landers retrospective.  His text-based work is primary, but we can’t banish the oddball paintings that disappointed many of his fans in 1999, who hoped to see more writing.  Those absurd demi-Disneys are proof of the outlandish extremes required to distract Sean Landers from himself, just the way you can cover your ears and hum to drown out unsavory news from a friend.  The videos recently exhibited at Friedrich Petzel are like the solitary soliloquies we find on youtube, with overopinionated brats pontificating about trivia.
Our celeb-obsessed TV/magazine culture is another reason.  Celebutard heiresses and movie stars are safely nestled within layers of publicists and handlers paid to speak for and protect them.  We don’t get the real person, we just get the branded icon.  Sean Landers, however, takes us into the tumultuous interior of a culturemaker, resulting in TMI-related embarrassment and unease.
His text-based paintings elbow their way in between Mel Bochner, Ed Ruscha, Tracey Emin, and early John Baldessari, helping to escort in Cary Leibowitz and David Shrigley.  Maybe even Josh Smith.  Connect his thought-webs with the maps of Mark Lombardi and Beth Campbell.  His figurative paintings are Currin, Condo, and Weird Al.  A ten-minute jam session will stir up kindred sculptors all over the place.
Which NYC museum could take it?  MoMA might be too square.  And he’s too funny for the Whitney, right?  New Museum seems close, but maybe too close since Sean Landers bought his loft from the estate of Marcia Tucker, the museum’s founder (who once curated a show on Bad Paintinghttp://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/26_.  Spiraling toward the heavens, the ramps of the Guggenheim would herald the advent of the self-identified greatest artist of all time, and the sense of infinitude when combing through his endless volumes of legal-pad works –
while mimicking the downward spiral of too much introspection,
P.S. Another quote from Slacker: “Because I mean, like it’s some sort of spiritual hell to parody yourself at the hight of your ridiculousness.  So the guy’s got to get up every day, get as fat as he was, and just make fun of himself all day long.  isn’t that a killer job – don’t you think that’s what all old people do…once they get over twenty-eight?
“To those human beings in whom I have a stake, I wish suffering, being forsaken, sickness, maltreatment, humiliation–I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, and the misery of the vanquished: I have no pity for them because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not–that one endures.”

Is the impresario of Slacker art really a slacker?

Rob Pruitt, "Draw Yourself Into Your Favorite Cartoon"
Rob Pruitt, "Draw Yourself Into Your Favorite Cartoon"

The daisy chain of slackers in the Richard Linklater film are determined to withdraw, to sit it out, to pass.  “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy,” they chant.

Sean Landers, "Dance of Life"
Sean Landers, "Dance of Life"

The slackers in Slacker are immobilized by the repetition and interchangeability of themselves and the world around them, where they find only morbid indifference.  Hence, the script swipes Joyce: “If he had smiled why would he have smiled? To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone whereas he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity.”

And when the world stirs from its icy disregard, it responds with hostility.  In Slacker, society entails that men will traumatize women, women will “fuck you over,” travel is dangerous, and war is so inevitable that activists can’t keep up with their protest graffiti.  Everyone else just trades in his soul for work in one assembly line or another, even just to make Subway sandwiches. “Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death,” hisses the creepy chainsmoker straight out of prison.

Alex Barry, "I Wish I Was Sean Landers" from JAMES WAGNER'S BLOG
Alex Barry, "I Wish I Was Sean Landers" from JAMES WAGNER'S BLOG
Sean Landers, on the other hand, gets in the ring and wants to be heard!

Sean Landers, "Career Ego," 1999
Sean Landers, "Career Ego," 1999

“My original idea was to make conceptual art entertaining, sloppy, emotional, human and funny. Over the years I got so far out on this conceptual limb that I went around full circle until I was a traditional artist again. I tried to be ironic about it but eventually became sincere. Now I’m a happy victim of my own charade. I figure that it’s better to be a sucker who makes something than a wise guy who is too cautious to make anything at all.”

His world still hasn’t acknowledged its greatest living artist, him.  It is as frustrating as the bouncer not letting the rock star into the hotspot nightclub.   Through his prolific output of paintings, drawings, writing, sculptures, and videos, Sean Landers has vented his rants, diatribes, and ramblings.  The result is a cacophonous echo chamber of fanatic opprobrium.  The razor-edged tool he uses to relay his chronic skepticism works more like a boomerang than a frisbee.  He has devalued the world around him – “us” – for neglecting his genius, but then defames that same genius with the fervor of a chimp grooming Pigpen.

He is both the Garry Kasparov of self-flagellation and the Wile E. Coyote of grandiose delusions.   In either mode, he is not a representative of the shambling black hole of slackerhood, which absorbs and then annihilates everything in its orbit.
For one thing, his early persona is too insane to be a slacker.  Slackers are well-educated suburbanites all too familiar with reality – it bites.  And the later Sean Landers, more neurotic and terrified of what’s at stake, is too career-oriented to be a slacker.

Eponymous
Eponymous
But he IS the hyperactive narcissist who presaged status updates, tweeting about shopping, and editing your profile via iPhone.  This is the chief reason we should get a Sean Landers Museum retrospective.  St. Louis gets one, so why doesn’t New York?  His abundant text-based work is primary, but we can’t banish the oddball paintings that bummed out, man, some of his fans in 1997, who hoped to see more writing.

(l-r) Currin, Landers, Condo
(l-r) Currin, Landers, Condo
Those absurd demi-Disneys are proof of the outlandish extremes required to distract Sean Landers from himself, just the way you can cover your ears and hum to drown out unsavory news from a friend.  The 90s videos at Friedrich Petzel in 2008 are like the solitary soliloquies we find on youtube, where overopinionated emo-geeks pontificate to their webcams all night.

Compare to Josh Smith
Compare to Josh Smith
Second: he invented the text cloud, which topographically arranges the relevances of key words and thoughts.

Landers is "all-over" text clouds
Landers is "all-over" text clouds
Finally, our celeb-obsessed TV/magazine culture is starving for a look inside.  Celebutard heiresses and movie stars are safely nestled within layers of publicists and handlers paid to speak for and protect them.  We don’t get the real person, we just get the branded icon.  And that only happens when the star has a movie or album coming out.  Sean Landers, however, takes us into the tumultuous interior of a culturemaker, resulting in TMI-related embarrassment and uneasy grimaces.  A PR maven would freak out!

Landers tops Bochner
Landers tops Bochner
His text-based paintings elbow their way in between Mel Bochner, Ed Ruscha, Tracey Emin, and early John Baldessari (“I will not make any more boring paintings”), helping to escort in Cary Leibowitz and David Shrigley.  Maybe even Josh Smith.  Connect his thought-webs with the maps of Mark Lombardi and Beth Campbell.  His figurative paintings are Currin, Condo, Saul, and Weird Al.  A ten-minute jam session will stir up kindred sculptors all over the place.

Tim Noble & Sue Webster (l) VS. Sean Landers (r)
Tim Noble & Sue Webster (l) VS. Sean Landers (r)
Which NYC museum could take it?  MoMA might be too square.  And he’s too funny for the Whitney, right?

Candles: Urs Fischer in "Unmonumental" at NewMu VS. Sean Landers in '97
Candles: Urs Fischer in "Unmonumental" at NewMu (l) VS. Sean Landers at Rosen in '97 (r)

New Museum seems close, but maybe too close since Sean Landers bought his loft from the estate of Marcia Tucker, the museum’s founder (who once curated a show on Bad Painting).  Spiraling toward the heavens, the ramps of the Guggenheim would herald the advent of the self-identified greatest artist of all time, and the sense of infinitude when combing through his endless volumes of legal-pad works – while mimicking the downward spiral of too much introspection.

P.S. Another quote from Slacker: “Because I mean, like it’s some sort of spiritual hell to parody yourself at the hight of your ridiculousness.  So the guy’s got to get up every day, get as fat as he was, and just make fun of himself all day long.  isn’t that a killer job – don’t you think that’s what all old people do…once they get over twenty-eight?”

Use Yr KOHllusion

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Koh intern and vamp, Val
Koh intern and vamp, Val

If I were a member, I’d be livid,” whispered one super fierce publishing figure last night at the National Arts Club, referring to the dinner jacket-clad grown-ups who weren’t there for the Terence Koh lecture, who might have felt uncomfortably bumrushed by the scores of the artist’s ab fab fans, friends, a-KOH-lytes, and KOH-konspirators.

Garrick Gott and event organizer Stacey Engam
Garrick Gott and event organizer Stacy Engman, NAC Chair of Contemporary Art

To appease the outnumbered, but patient and actually very welcoming real NAC members, and to satiate the hungry, anxious club visitors, refreshments were abundant, including exotic absinthe spritzers, chocolate covered ants, port wine cheese spread, and Campbell’s soup with straws.

Who was there? Who wasn’t?

NAC President Arlene S. Hamsun introduces Terence Koh
NAC President Arlene S. Hamsun introduces Terence Koh

Marina Abramovic, Klaus Biesenbach, Phil and Shelley Aarons, Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith, Cecilia Dean, Adam McEwen, Jeffrey Deitch, Mary Boone (happy belated birthday, still sexy at 58), RoseLee Goldberg, Kathy Grayson, Sophia Lamar…

…and lots of fashion people I can identify only by their looks.

W.W.W.D.?
W.W.W.D.?

The patrician, oil-on-canvas dinner jacket set would have been pleased.

Armchair historians
Armchair historians

At 45 minutes, with nearly 400 images handpicked from local libraries and the artist’s bookshelves, individually scanned to ensure the highest quality, Terence Koh’s Art History 1642-2009 was a whirlwind tour of Western and Eastern Art, mostly chronological from 1642 to the present, and admitting into the Koh canon a few book covers, party photos, vintage porn, and even some line graph charts to diagram art market confidence.

Autumnal Degas moment at the NAC
Autumnal Degas moment at the NAC

Who was in it?  Who made the Terence Koh Canon?

KOHlympia
KOHlympia

Marcel Duchamp, Vermeer, Velasquez, Warhol, Koons, Aurel Schmidt, Adam McEwen, Marina Abramovic, David Shrigley, Goya, Rembrandt, Judd, Bourgeois, Wojnarowicz, William Blake, Hockney, Rob Pruitt, Kelley Walker, Dash Snow, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Karen Black/Kembra Pfahler, Christian Holstad;

Maurizio Cattelan, Aaron Bondaroff, Muntean/Rosenblum, Yoko Ono, Bianca Jagger, Nauman, Robert Smithson, Yayoi Kusama, James Lee Byars, Girodet, Chardin, Flavin, Jenny Saville, Damien Hirst, Julian Schnabel, Murakami, Zhang Huan, General Idea, Dan Colen – not in that order (no McGinley? no AVAF?) – and that’s just a fraction of art history according to Terence Koh – which is more expansive than the Eurocentric humanities courses I took in college.

RIP Jeanne-Claude, Long live Bruce High Quality
RIP Jeanne-Claude, Long live Bruce High Quality

Koh spoke his own private ida-Koh language, which sounds something like Proto-Indo-Cabbie, though I heard someone ask Terence if it was Swedish.

Tonight at NAC
Tonight at NAC

He barely stopped to breathe, only taking breaks to sip from his glass of vodka.  He frequently strided away from his lectern to gesticulate and indicate details of the projected images.

A few times, he ranted at a rapid-fire clip, sounded like a Sotheby’s auctioneer, notably while discussing the Jeff Koons chrome bunny, which at the scale of the projection, looked like a anthropomorphic Sputnik.

RIP Dash Snow
RIP Dash Snow

Terence shouted and waved his arms indignantly while covering pictures of Hitler looking at artwork, and in the more emotive moments, slowed and spoke solemnly, especially when Dash Snow appeared, and when he displayed AA Bronson’s heartbreaking AIDS revelation, Felix, which is, for me, one of the most moving images of contemporary art since I first saw it in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

Long live AA Bronson
Long live AA Bronson

In these heavyhearted moments, Terence sounded plantive and morose, though somehow resisted tears.  His lecture was politically charged, addressing, for example, 20th Century China and the Reagan administration’s delusional failure to intervene during the incipient AIDS epidemic.

Ups and Downs
Ups and Downs

And although nobody but Terence understood his words, he still said a lot, contextualizing himself and refreshingly reminding us that ultimately, art is remembered for being seen, and all that matters is how it looks!

Shrigley vs. Seymour (vs. Brant)
Shrigley vs. Seymour (vs. Brant)

Is this the new Terence Koh, post market crash, post Snow?  Still cheeky, but more substantial, orchestrated, polychrome, narrative, and profound?  Let’s find out at his “secret” performance tomorrow evening at Tompkins Square Park.

Ike-Koh (gesundheit!)
Ike-Koh (gesundheit!)

Oh, and rumor reveals a potential Terence Koh/Lady Gaga collaboration! DisKOH Stick!

His and Urs

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
The talk of the town – in the WSJ, the New Yorker, New York Magazine – is Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist takes on the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704024904574475312171391366.html
The mouthpiece of the show – and organizer – is Massimiliano Gioni, Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus.”  The show originated from “Jet Set Lady,” the 2005 solo show of Urs Fischer at the Trussardi Foundation, where Massimiliano Gioni is artistic director, alongside Laura Hoptman, a Trussardi advisory board member by night, Senior Curator at the New Museum by day.
The main attraction is A technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel, ” according the the New Mu.  It includes about 50 shiny stainless steel boxes bearing silkscreen prints on all visible sides.  It’s an assortment of objects depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x y and z.
The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless and the prints masterfully applied.   There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers juggled the images, which demand vertical and horizontal orientations.  Moreover, how did the photographers shoot, scan, and splice these dimension-defying captures?  It’s especially excited in the photos of photos, such as the Installing the heavy cubes required wizardry, too: preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures.  So they unsheathed them from their crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?
Meanwhile, the monumental molten crags on the third floor reveal seams where the component pieces conjoined.  Why would a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer permit this?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are more than surface, even if that battered surface fascinatingly reports the thumb impressions that shaped it in its fetal stages.

Dearth 'vator
Dearth 'vator

Opening today is the new hotness, Marguerite de Ponty, the solo show “introspective” of Urs Fischer at the New Museum.  The artist has his way with the three floors (and ceilings) of exhibition space.

The showman, mouthpiece, and organizer is Director of Special Exhibitions and cocurator of “Younger than Jesus,” Massimiliano Gioni, 35, older than Jesus.  The show originated when Gioni and Fischer erected Jet Set Lady, Fischer’s seminal 2005 solo show at the Trussardi Foundation, where Gioni is artistic director, and where Laura Hoptman, Senior Curator at the New Museum, is a Trussardi advisory board member.

This is a good time for Gavin Brown.  Fischer is the second artist from Gavin Brown’s Enterprise to have a solo show at the New Museum.  Brownian Jonathan Horowitz just concluded And/Or at P.S.1 and his soul- and gallery-mate, Rob Pruitt, is hosting the First Annual Art Awards this week at the Guggenheim.

P.S. Wish “good luck” to SVA alumni “and/or” faculty who are nominees: Elizabeth Peyton, Mary Heilmann, and Jerry Saltz.

Urs Fischer at New Museum
Urs Fischer at New Museum

The main attraction ($$$) of Marguerite de Ponty (a pseudonym used by Mallarmé when writing on fashion) is “a technical tour de force that required more than 25,000 photographs and over twelve tons of steel,” according the the New Mu. Sounds pretty MACHO for an institution founded by feminist Marcia Tucker.

Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007
Cary Leibowitz, Marcia Tucker Puffy Print, 2007

It includes about 50 splendid stainless steel boxes, silkscreened on all visible sides with photos of an assortment of objects, depicted from all three Cartesian axes, x through z.  Despite the roid-rage marketing, the installation invokes non-Hulk Hogans: Guyton/Walker + John McCracken + Warhol + maybe Cady Noland in a good mood.  -And Robert Morris cubes, Judd boxing, Picasso cubism, Duchamp readymade, Dutch still life. With flat images adhered to flat, reflective boxes that all share axes, it’s a vista without perspective – no transverse lines, like drawing with an Etch-a-Sketch.

Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha
Artists Frank Benson and Xavier Cha

Only 40 visitors are allowed in at once, but it’s worth the wait in line, because population control is to labyrinths what rent control is to apartments: you feel good about staying for a long time.

The boxes, engineered in Zurich, are immaculately seamless.  There seems to be no room for error, and one wonders how the printmakers, in Austria, juggled the tumbling vertical and horizontal orientations.  Does this site help us? The effect is especially exciting in the photos of photos, such as the giant Ashanti, who looks real from the front, but surprises us as a cardboard cutout.  Look closer, and the cardboard’s crumbled corners and scored surfaces revolt against the surgical, sterile surfaces.

Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer
Hunk Hendrik Gerrits with Peres Projects' Sarah Walzer

Preparators were not allowed to touch the sculptures, so they unsheathed them from crates and slid the plinths from underneath.  But how did they mount the vertical “chain” piece to the ceiling?  If you see Hendrik Gerrits, who oversaw the installation, you should ask him.  He looked really relieved last night.

His and Urs
Sincerely Urs

In contrast to the rigid order below them, the monumental molten crags on the third floor are all accident.  Yet they reveal seams where the component aluminum sections conjoined.  Wouldn’t that bother a precisionist perfectionist like Urs Fischer?  Don’t we lose our illusion when we see the stitching?  Maybe it’s a trick to remind our eyes that the towering turds are ugly on the inside, too – even if we want to stay with the fascinating thumb impressions on the surface.

Now that's what I call ART
Now that's what I call ART

That’s right, foxy; I’m talking to YOU!

IMAGES: Michael Bilsborough

Moments Like This Never Last

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

All things considered, it is heartbreaking when any little girl must grow up without a father. Do you blame the father for choosing against his family? Or the compulsion that lured him away? Gauguin chose painting over his wife and five children, ditching them to follow his bliss in Paris. Dash Snow seems to have followed drugs over his daughter, Secret; but we will never know his intentions. But the cause of death seems to be a gradual suicide stretched over the years, made increasingly legendary each time we mention it.

Comments at the NY Times and Gawker range from jaded told-you-so’s to streetz-styled shout-outs. Many attack Dash for selfishly belaboring his high-risk drug consumption, which jeopardized his paternal obligations. But where is the blame in addiction? I’ve never been hooked on anything except coffee and phonics, so I’m keeping mute.

Though we were in a casual group show together, I knew Dash Snow only through what he revealed/boasted in his Polaroids. And my last post was all RIP Michael Jackson. ::Two good reasons to avoid writing a requiem. (The best photo tribute is at Tiny Vices.)

Besides that, Dash Snow’s art didn’t really do it for me. On sex, drugs, counterculture, dystopian glamour, cocks, blood, outlaws, cum, and psychotic violence, who could really top the Sex Pistols, Richard Hell, Bret Easton Ellis, Cady Noland, Tommy Lee, Suicide Girls, Marilyn Manson, Andres Serrano, Larry Clark? And how seriously could you take it after This is Spinal Tap?

RIP Sid&Nancy; Rob Pruitt, iPhotos insltn at Gavin Brown

That doesn’t mean Dash’s work was DOA. For Holland Cotter, Dash was a bellwether:

“…Work that visually goes few places that Dada hasn’t already been. That’s O.K. If a young artist is searching for models, extreme Dada is an excellent choice. What’s encouraging is how far Mr. Snow, who is in his 20’s, has moved in such a short time, focusing and shaping a chafed, loose-cannon energy without reducing it.”

But isn’t extreme usually so mainstream, commercial-friendly, and producty that the nearby Marketing Exec has it tattooed on his shoulder in Chinese?

For Jerry Saltz, Dash was “a drug-addled scion of an American fortune,” and warned that if “Snow’s work doesn’t get more original, all that will one day be said about it will be that we had the luxury to say a lot about it.”

Drugs can be a potent catalyst for art. Hector Berlioz’ “Symphonie Fantastique” is notorious for having been fueled by opium. Jimi Hendrix supposedly nestled a tab of acid under his sweaty headband. Jack Kerouac popped Benzedrine while writing about pot.

Berlioz and his Montmarte real estate

Paul Schimmel curated Ecstasy: In and About Altered States at the L.A. MOCA. Gavin Brown hosted Drunk vs. Stoned, followed by a sequel. Responding to the GBE shows, Jerry Saltz (yes, again), observes that “stoned art” is introspective, hypersensitive, detail-oriented, and prone to surprise, spirals, and repetition, while drunk art is outward-looking, impulsive, romantic, and unafraid of messiness and sloppy emotions.”

What is the draw about heroin? Lou Reed, now 67, canonized it 30 years ago, yet it ambushes us every few years: Jim Morrison, Basquiat, Kurt Cobain, Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse. Predictably, every time, the seductive neighbor becomes a rapist warden. Yet, we can’t discredit its generative potency in making art.

But let’s go back a few lines, no pun intended. If drugs can unleash creative potential, then why choose a drug that starts digging your grave? Wouldn’t it make more sense to apply a high that takes a lesser toll? A more “sustainable” drug? -Whoever died of a pot overdose? -Wouldn’t it be more revelatory, fun, and addiction-free to ride acid or mushrooms behind the scenes of reality? –What would mescaline do to a still life painting? Ask Picasso and Braque.

Is heroin just more glamorous, knighted as the hedonist ultimate? Is it more coded, branded as the aesthete’s elixir? Is heroin just more “extreme?” I know lots of people who have tried everything available, except heroin. Heroin is going too far, they think. But in Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries, “H” seems as ubiquitous as its “gateway” sibling. So maybe “extreme” is relative.

And to relatives, friends, and loved ones of Dash Snow: I am genuinely sorry that you lost someone in your life.