Frustrated munchkins and gremlins mobbed the vernissage for Reverend Jen’s expanded Troll Museum, just opened in a renovated suite of a rooms in an ex-Bowery flophouse by deconstructionist architect Vinnie the Mole.
Illustrious troll-manques such as Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith, Joel Wachs, Ingrid Sischy and Richard Flood clamored outside the doors of the museum’s Herve Villichaize wing, claiming they had been invited to the VIP dinner party, but doorperson Gary Coleman refused them entrance. "Only bone fide trolls with four fingers, purple hair, bug eyes and furry feet are on Reverend Jen’s guest list!" The ambassador from Norway, birthplace of the troll phenomenon, was turned away because he exceeded the height requirement for entrance.
Founded by East Village diva Reverend Jen in the year 2000, the Troll Museum languished in obscurity until Larry the Leprechaun found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, funding the museum’s expansion into Manhattan’s hot downtown neighborhood, where 30 galleries, a dozen barbeque houses and copious dumpsters full of day-old Chinese foods have turned the area into a troll mecca.
Verne Troyer of Austin Powers fame hosted the first Troll Roll last spring, in which trolls tickled and fondled Yvonne Force Villareal until she turned over her jewelry and ATM card. Artforum magazine’s "Scene and Herd" blog described the event "as the Yellow Brick Road for the vertically challenged" and "the greatest Happening since Allan Kaprow dined alone." Other scenesters jumped aboard when Louise T. Blouin MacBain was spotted bouncing a furry little fellow on her knee at an awards ceremony in Lilliput, Pa.
Through it all, Troll Czar Reverend Jen has become a recluse, forced to disguise herself by abandoning her elf ears, signature sunglasses and winsome smile in service to the needs of Trollstock. The "Styles" section of the New York Times pictured her in an orgy of fur and feet at the Troll Baths on Eldridge Street. Since then, she has concealed herself behind a tiny phalanx of dwarf public relations flacks, rumored to be employed by Giantess Nadine Johnson. Sotheby’s Troll Tobias Meyer has promised an auction of rare, one-of-a kind Trollabilia for the coming spring. "In the Troll Market, we care more about Ron Perelman than Ron Lauder," Meyer sniffed, "Lauder is just too tall."
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).