Monday, February 21, 2011


  In 1984 I created the artist  Kristan Kohl in order to surreptitiously show in my NYC gallery MO David. Eventually I also showed my other identities - Richard Mauwra and Mike Osterhout. But it was Kristan Kohl, who I had die in 1985, who has become the most prolific of all my personas. With the re-opening of MO David North I've been revisiting the work of this deadist as well as Richard Mauwra (still alive). Mauwra indulges himself with goofy, purient combine sculptures with titles full of pun and whimsy. You can never have enough fucking whimsy with Mauwra. You got: Stuffing The Puppy, Shaving the Grinch, Poking the Love Bug, Stabbing the Bunny, and LOOK!  It's a Penis. That one Tristan titled. But it's work by the deadist Kristan Kohl that continues to force its way to the front, and joins the rest of my problematic dead artists.
    Recently I emailed an art critic friend and informed him about MO David North. He replied that he always loved my work and how lucky I was to still have all of it. He ended his nice little note with "Don't worry. When you die your career will explode." Thanks. I think. I thought I did that. I guess faking it just doesn't fly. I'm starting to know a few dead artists and it's no cake walk in the after life either. Look at Abraham Levin. The poor guy hasn't had a show since 1967. His paintings are fucking great! Shewho manages the estate of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero- both recent deadists and she works goddamn hard keeping the balls in the air. Who knows what's going on with David Ireland's house or all his work. If you don't attain some A-list status while still breathing, it can be a rough road to immortality.
   That old myth of the dead artist being worth so much more can be mightily fueled if the artist dies young and hot. Jean Michel comes to mind. But usually it doesn't apply. If you are just a working stiff, even well known and greatly respected- still a working stiff, a deadist can find a show ending with no where to go but storage. And before you know it the gallerist is calling you "Non-representative." It's a constant struggle even after death. So chances are my stuff isn't going to be worth much more when I'm six feet under, so you might as well start buying it now and do my family a solid by getting it out of my house. Otherwise it's just more work for Shewho and she's got her hands full.    


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