Aubergine ("capricious") carnations & four reads
Art is not the art market. Art history is not the history of the art market. Art is about ideas and civilization, and yet too often it's marginalized by the market in America.
MOMA curator Klaus Biesenbach
In July 2011, more than five thousand miles east of Waco, an assistant designer at the Hermès silk factory, in Lyon, France, unfurled a ninety-by-ninety-centimeter square of the company’s famous silk twill. It was lushly illustrated with the plants and animals of Texas. “This is my favorite scarf,” she said, pointing out the highlights to those of us assembled at the factory for a tour. The scarf, called Faune et Flore du Texas, was designed for the state’s sesquicentennial and had all the romantic detail of a vintage encyclopedia illustration. The artist behind Faune et Flore du Texas, said the assistant designer, first caught the attention of Hermès in the eighties. He was the only American artist ever to have designed scarves for Hermès. Who was this man? His name was Kermit Oliver, and he was a postal worker in his late sixties who lived in Waco, Texas.
Portrait of the Artist as a Postman
In 1961, 24-year-old Ed Ruscha climbed into a 2CV with his mother and his brother and set off on a Grand Tour that encompassed Paris, Venice, Madrid and Vienna. He does not remember the Old World “as a great discovery”: rather than masterpiece-filled museums, what snared his heart was an Austrian girl who referred to him lovingly as “wanze” (bug).
Ed Ruscha: A Catalogue of Chaos
Outside Casablanca’s Mohammad V airport, there are dusty palm trees and low bushes prickly with violet flowers. Vapor from the nearby Atlantic Ocean spreads out in a haze across the sky, diffusing the morning sun to a glare. It’s Ramadan, and the city is asleep. French Montana, wearing sweatpants and slippers, a tattoo that reads “Pray For Me” on his neck, scuffs the parking lot pavement. “I was gonna come down and kiss the ground,” he says apologetically. “But it’s too dirty.” Instead, he climbs in the back of a black van, and heads for the city he used to call home.
French Montana: Homecoming