Harald Falckenberg in FT

12.04.2014
More imbedded in this work than boatloads of crap on offer now for 1,000 x amount: Vito Acconci, "Trademarks", 1970
More imbedded in this work than boatloads of crap on offer now for 1,000 x amount: Vito Acconci, "Trademarks", 1970

Interesting article by my friend Harald Falckenberg in FT; we curated a series of Paul Thek shows together at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, Falckenberg's museum in Hamburg and the ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe, along with a publication by MIT Press, Paul Thek, Artist’s Artist. Harald's piece is entitled: "The art world we deserve?" But why should we ever be subjected to anything else? And btw, I sold him the glorious Vito Acconci image that leads off article 10 years ago. 

I basically disagree with the one sentiment below, as there are a plethora of rampant short-term buyers/sellers today as never before in history.  “In the meantime, most of the speculators have disappeared, and with them an art market that relied excessively on the hype of the young and the new.” 

Thek Time

10.09.2013
Peter Hujar photograph of Paul Thek
Peter Hujar photograph of Paul Thek

My essay for upcoming Paul Thek show at Pace London, October 2013


We are all accorded an allotment in life; if you reside in the West and manage to fully live out your lifespan expectancy of eighty-two years, you will have clocked 4,264 weeks in the process. Just shy of his 55th birthday when he needlessly passed away from AIDS related illness, Paul Thek managed only 2,844 weeks. A pittance in relation to all he might have achieved and offered, but as a mightily self-actualized and fulfilled person whose legacy we all share, Thek made the most of it and managed to express a good chunk during what limited time he had.  ... weiterlesen

On Paul Thek

24.03.2013
Paul Thek, 1964, Untitled, pencil on sketch book paper
Paul Thek, 1964, Untitled, pencil on sketch book paper

Not to be overly Thek-nical , but here is a 2.5 inch pencil rendering of a brain from 1964. It doesn’t have to be the size of a vast, sparkling (sterling) ruby to be good, coveted and worthwhile. Though plenty of young contemporary art sells for lots more. Thek was tragic in more than obvious ways.

Making a contribution during a lifelong pursuit of art, art as daily regimented work, but attaining little/no critical or remunerative affirmation during a hard fought life. Dying in poverty prematurely, while lesser talents were celebrated and toasted in shambolic fashion. What was only fashion. at the end of his life the 3-C's were thriving and taking over the new york art world by storm: Clemente, Chia, and Cucchi. In the Spring of 1985 Clemente alone had a triple venue show, embraced by collectors and critics alike, at Leo Castelli, Mary Boone and Sperone Westwater. if that isn't tragic, shoot me.  ... weiterlesen

G-O-D, I’m a Believer: Kolumba in Cologne

14.03.2013
Kruzifix aus dem Rheinland der 2. Hälfte 12. Jahrhunderts, zu sehen im Kolumba
Kruzifix aus dem Rheinland der 2. Hälfte 12. Jahrhunderts, zu sehen im Kolumba

I am not one for religion (or politics, much) and even less for art and religion. Worse than drinking and driving, Sonny and Cher, art and money, blah blah, but there is always an incongruity and here we have it in the extreme—the Kolumba (diocesan) museum in Cologne. Curated and administered under the auspices of the church, yes that church, they have one hell of an inspiring (kick ass even) Paul Thek collection (see pictures here). Brave for MoMA NY, but way beyond even their scope and foresight, this was a revelation, a moment of sheer joy, glory and pontification (shoot me) not on god or a deity (that too) but on the profane reach and possibility of art to effect us, and touch something even deeper.

I realize how cheesy I sound and I apologize. Paul Thek cements the very moment between life and death, the hair-thin line between being alive and the alternative. He sees past our everyday plight and blight and looks at the planet from another vantage point, literally, and philosophically. Thek was a poet, painter, sculptor, and creator of all things strange, wonderful, meaningful and beguiling. His body of work was a hodgepodge of epic proportions, sadly, sadly for the artist himself, it was no easy life or career, cut short by an untimely death from AIDS in 1988 at 53 when whole communities were wiped.   ... weiterlesen

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