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  the royal flush

by Charlie Finch  

Jackson Pollock
by Hans Namuth
It's a washing machine,
It's us, It's a soap powder,
what does it matter?

         -- Mick Jagger

Although he has no formal role in the Museum of Modern Art's historic Jackson Pollock retrospective opening next October 11, the museum's photography czar, Peter Galassi, was happy to give us a peek at Pollock prep.

MoMA plans to recreate Pollock's Hamptons studio in toto (as it did with Mondrian).

"It's a tiny shed," Galassi commented -- barely able to accommodate two people, Pollock and Lee Krasner. "We also discovered extensive Hans Namuth photo documentation of Pollock at work, which shows his whole painting process."

These will be shown in a room of their own, although MoMA is still negotiating a fee with the hard-bargaining Namuth Foundation.

We're sure Jackson didn't charge Hans anything for taking the famous fotos, however, way back then.

editor Jack Bankowsky

Candace Bushnell's
Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker

Tina Brown, as
seen in Salon Magazine
(Mar. 8, 1998)

Vilhelm Hammershøi

Clinton and Burleigh, via the Web

Maureen Dowd

Yayoi Kusama
at her MoMA opening

Yayoi Kusama
installation view,
Infinity Mirror Room...

Bruce Wolmer
Breaking a 35-year journalistic blackout, Artforum has decided starting in December to report actual art news!

Editor Jack Bankowsky will fall into line with every other art magazine (and ArtNet) by commissioning assistant editor Billy Harris to write a news column that will initially appear only three times per season, September, January and April.

One little problem -- Bankowsky's idea of "news" is decidedly esoteric: Jacques Lacan conferences in Belgium, and Sartre manques on the left bank.

What brand new magazine owner is allegedly going around telling people that he works for the Wall Street Journal?

Journalistic sources there tell us he did no such thing!

Inquiring minds want to know why Candace Bushnell's totally blind Sex and the City column has disappeared from the New York Observer, just as HBO debuted its series based on the randy column, starring the always delectable Sarah Jessica Parker.

It seems that Bushnell allegedly phoned her column in to her Observer editor in a stream-of-consciousness style which required Mr. Editor to reportedly spend long hours redacting the telespew into readable prose.

We also hear that Mr. Editor was allegedly promised a nice chunk of development money from HBO fro the TV treatment -- and that somebody stiffed him on the deal.

Hence, no more column.

Now, follow the bouncing ball: Bushnell's ex, publisher Ron Galotti (aka "Mr. Big" in her column) has left Vogue for Miramax, joining Tina Brown.

And who was odd man out in the search for a new New Yorker editor? Observer editor Peter Kaplan.

Tina Brown is a guinea pig for synergy.
         -- Peter Kaplan, quoted in Time

Hilton Kramer spent most of the Guggenheim Museum press preview for Rob Rosenblum's "Vilhelm Hammershøi" show verbally splicing, dicing and dissing the long line of Dutch-boy gray paintings.

Yet, a week later, word spread that, out of affection for the pixieish Rosenblum, Kramer would give Hammershøi a good notice, anyway, in the New York Observer.

When the salmon-hued rag hit the stands, sure enough, Hiltoid hailed the Hammer as an esthetic antidote to motorcycle mania.

I want my ArtNet!!
         -- Josh Baer

After the New York Post broke a story on Time reporter Nina Burleigh's lusting for President Clinton, the following happened:

1) Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post did a piece quoting Burleigh saying she "would give Clinton a blow job for protecting abortion rights."
2) Maureen Dowd, in her New York Times column, charged Ms. Burleigh with leading "a mass suicide of feminists."
3) Lefty columnist Mary McGrory and right-wing reporter Robert Novack both defenestrated Nina as "a disgrace" on NBC's Meet the Press.
4) Burleigh offered a tepid defense in the New York Observer, mentioning her mother's incredulous reaction to the media meltdown, and exhorting women, "Sisters, wake up!!" to male sexuality.
5) Dowd attacked Burleigh AGAIN in her Times column, saying, "Get a life!!!"

Of course, Nina Burleigh's sexy Air Force One card game with the President is not news to ArtNet readers -- we broke the story, at length, six months ago.

Was there anything phonier than the MoMA garden smooch for the paparazzi betwixt artists Marisol and Yayoi Kusama?

Yep, the Kusama '60s bric-a-brac upstairs, bad copies of the Carnaby street paisley dot esthetic that were originally nothing more than props for Yayoi's '60s nude-ins.

You know you're in trouble when the far and away best piece in MoMA's show is a recreation of the gorgeous polka-dotted mirror piece which "Art Bor'em" appropriated for a spring cover last year.

Otherwise, Kusama, unlike Roy Lichtenstein, couldn't paint a decent dot on her ass.

And we also hear that a lot of "the late Kusamas" you might be seeing on posh gallery walls these days were allegedly fabricated without her awareness.

Summertime means poetry corner here at the Flush. Mindful of new publisher James Regier's and old editor Bruce Wolmer's efforts to resuscitate "Art & Auctionstein," we lovingly offer The Love Song of J. Wolfred Brufrock or It's Getting Wolmer, with apologies to T.S. Eliot.

We only had to change half the lines!

Let us go then, Reg and I
when the magazine is spread against my thigh
Like a patient etherized upon a table
let us go, through half-deserted suites,
The muttering retreat
from restless nights in top hotels
and four star restaurants
filled with art world swells --
Suites full of argument of insidious intent
to lead you to an overwhelming question:
"The magazine, where is it?"
Time to call my shrink
and pay a visit!

In the room, the Cogans come and go
talking of Michelangelo

There will be time, there will be time
to raise the money on the street,
Time to go to Davidge and entreat,
to cash in my shares in Christie's
(have to be discreet),
Time for Reg and time for me
to overcome my hundred indecisions,
my incisions and revisions
before I turn to toast at tea.

Those goddamn Cogans come and go
talking of Michelangelo
And indeed there will be time
to wonder "Do I dare?"
to walk by Gil Perez,
ascend the stair
with a bald spot
in the middle of my hair.

They will say "His clothes are getting thin"
or, "Do you think he has the 'withal
to cash in?"
My morning coat, my collar
mounting firmly to the chin,
my necktie rich and modest,
but asserted by a simple pin.
(They will say, "Was his constant groveling such a sin?")

Diana Brooks
(Courtesy of the BBC)
For I have known them all already
Al Taubman, Wilson, Burge and Brooks --
Old money, arbitrageurs, and crooks.
I have measured out my life
in catalogues and coffee table books.
I have known the hammering
of the auction room.
Peter Watson, I presume?

No, I am not Prince Reggie,
nor was meant to be,
am an attendant lord,
one that will do, to print a price,
start a scene or two,
advise the prince, dear Reg,
an easy tool,
deferential, glad to be of use,
politic, cautious and meticulous,
full of flowery sentences,
obtuse, ridiculous, a fool.

I grow bold...I grow bold...
Nah I'll just shut up
and eat my dinner roll.

Shall I pinch a fair behind?
Do I dare to squeeze that peach?
I'll don Patti Hambrecht's low-cut gown
and walk upon the beach.

I have seen the wealthy bidding,
leech to leech,
I do not think that they will
bid for me,
And if I don't watch out,
I'll fall into the sea!!

CHARLIE FINCH is the New York editor of Coagula Art Journal and has coauthored the forthcoming Most Art Sucks from Smart Art Press.