The Art Assassin 2

a nonfiction novel by Albert Wang, or a portrait of the artist as a young failure…

introduction by david b. smith

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David B. Smith said…
I first met qi peng through the internet when we were both featured on culturehall.com The next few months we developed a virtual relationship, keeping in touch about art activities, collaborating on some collage works, and on an interview portrait.

I was intrigued by his apparent honesty and overwhelming and scattershot energy. When we met in person at his show at Envoy I realized that he was who he said he was, an earnest documentarian of a fragmented view of the artworld from the view of an emerging artist, wrestling with the enormous amount of information and personae involved. I found myself identifying with this position, and admired his indulgence in the surface of things and in the skeleton. He seemed to ignore the muscles, the heart of the artworld. the art itself.

I agree with Powhida’s characterization of qi as someone who is not aware of how others see him, but I think that even more than that, he is obsessed with the infinite ways that one can be seen. He documents things that are un-seen, and pays obscene amounts of attention to things of seeming un-importance, ie. his purchases of food and spending the time to interview gallery guards, etc.

There is a tension in the work between his admiration of the canon of the art world, ie, jerry salz, mixed greens, the new york times, etc, and his f-you attitude that seeks to rip art off its pedestal. i found his spray painted canvases quite powerful in their throw away quality, and the way they were leaning on the wall under printouts from the internet.

I see qi as an internet personality and albert as his physical personality. He uses the internet and all of its recent trendy tools, ie, flickr, blogs, etc. to create a virtual body for the artist he is creating. A frankenstein, composed of body parts from various artists, images of things he has consumed, maps of his activities, and his social pathways.

In the end we are left with a bit of a void, as Powhida points out. The gap between the skeleton and the skin. I believe this void is predicitve of the way things are heading for many artists. As qi emerges himself as an artist and as a physical person, the void may begin to be filled, and it will be interesting to see what character develops in that space.

July 24, 2009 8:58 AM
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Written by qi peng

July 25, 2009 at 2:51 am

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