PRINT April 2001


Lately I feel nostalgic for the art-historical roads not taken, a retro yen for rebels, troublemakers, and long shots. The atmosphere today is still, the forecast unchanged. We’re in the dollar doldrums. It’s all too peaceful—too decorative or decorous, too in tune with the boom. Watching Attila on cable I drift into a reverie: A barbarian horde rides into Chelsea and crashes the gates, or at least graffitis the pristine white walls.

What’s most interesting to me now are those other “Pop” artists: Ray Johnson, Joe Brainard, and the German Wolf Vostell—category escapists, fame and fortune refuseniks, historical footnotes now kicking all the right canonical butts. I still love Andy Warhol, but his followers pale in his neon aura. Now’s the time to take another look at the Anti Warhols, the Pop practitioners who did for mass culture’s dark sideshows what. Drella did for celebritydom’s pop

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