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the royal flush

by Charlie Finch  

Stan and Ollie


Catherine David



Ruth executed

   After three weeks of assertions from Art and Auction editor Bruce Wolmer to the Royal Flush that a three-person consortium from the Jewish Daily Forward was going to buy Art and Auction for $1 million, the deal has, of course, fallen through.

That's what we get for parroting "scoop"-bearing Wolmers.

Wolmer was also quick to send out sidekick Steve Vincent, who urgently phoned this reporter with further "news" concerning the sale.

According to Laurel and Hardy, "the deal would definitely go down in a week" and "the new owners were pleased with Wolmer."

Now Wolmer and senior editor Paul Jeromack tell us that "they took too long coming up with the money" and "they didn't want to buy I.D. magazine."

Uh-huh -- I.D. won two 1997 National Magazine Awards.

What we do know is that Art and Auction broke off major online negotiations with another player in the art world in order to brook this phantom deal, thus looking both naive and foolish.

Their punishment? To quote one of the above named staffers: "We're stuck with the Cogans!!"

....Word up: Leading the way for Thomas Krens on the Googer's Far East money trip -- Krenzy's old Williams College buddy, Morgan Stanley macher Jack Wadsworth....

The hottest September opening? Patrick Painter's Sept. 18 kickoff for his spankin' new Los Angeles gallery. It sez here that Glimglam and Gogo will be eating Paintdust.

...."If I had an effigy before me now of Catherine David, I would be sticking pins into it. What exceptional arrogance she has shown this year. What curatorial stupidity. What coldness. What ungenerousness." -- Waldemar Janusczak in The Sunday Times of London.

This is the same Waldemar J that Hilton Kramer criticized in the New York Observer for allegedly liking Documenta and praising its use of new media?

Ol' Hilt's one bellboy short of an elevator, per usual....

Speaking of which, why did Robert Rauschenberg cross the road?

Because Jasper told him to!!!

....When the New York Times switches to six color sections this fall, with an arts section every day (just like all those cool papers in Arkansas), who do they call?

Simon Watson, of course. The Downtown Arts Festival diva opened his apron and the Times poured in $75,000 in free advertising, plus a dozen street kiosks, co-sponsored by Castelli Gallery, Gagosian, et al., filled with perky people handing out the Times and the Festival's $10 passes, which will provide a week's free admission to Manhattan's comedy clubs, among other goodies.

....Try this one out on your P.C. date or spouse: What's the best thing about a blow job? The five minutes of silence.

....Now that he's doing a show of Sally Mann photos in his L.A. space, maybe Larry Gagosian should know what the barely legal models at Balthazar are calling him -- it's "Gramps" Gaga, behind his back!

Larry has even more to worry about from the mass grave Dinos and Jake Chapman are constructing at downtown Gagosian. There's a new spirituality in the paint-thinned air, as witnessed by the recent Times piece on artists' residencies at a Maine Shaker colony.

The new stuff by Nari Ward, Mona Hatoum, Janine Antoni and others will take up the fallen flag of Felix Gonzales-Torres. Artists will start creating with their souls again, instead of their rectums or dicks.

No place for Gagosian there.

....How does MoMA's Rob Storr spend August? Meticulously touring a dozen artist's studios in Greenpoint and Williamsburg on a hot Monday night with Harvard pal David Brody....

The last woman to be executed by New York State?

Ruth Brown Snyder, on Jan. 12, 1928, for killing her husband Albert.

There's a mitigating circumstance, however -- he was an art editor!!

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