Vanity Fair II: Franklin Evans + Bradley Rubenstein

Franklin Evans creates painting installations with the artist's studio as his subject. Since 2005, he has had twenty solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe and numerous group exhibitions at venues, which include, among others: MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA. He will create a new site-specific installation spreadsheetspace at Prosjektrom Normanns in Stavanger, Norway in September and a collaborative installation shelflife with artist Kate Gilmore at Art Production Fund/Cosmopolitan Hotel P3 Studio in Las Vegas in December.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – Bandols before 5 and 247 paint brushes

After 5 PM Day 1 – studio A/C

AFAP – digitally printed gingham wallpaper throughout the loft

What is your current state of mind?

After 5 PM Day 1 – a surprising mental tilt

Around 10 AM Day 2 – an under-caffeinated yearning for focus

AFAP – a fixation on the myriad interplays between memory and perception

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – apologetic micromanaging

After 5 PM Day 1 – my uncontrollable penchant to over-explain

AFAP – flagrant appropriation

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

After 5 PM Day 1 – a lack of curiosity

Around 10 AM Day 2 – an absence of drive AFAP – flagrant appropriation

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – honestly, honesty

After 5 PM Day 1 – virtues may be overrated AFAP – auratic juxtapositions of artwork and knock-offs

What is your favorite occupation?

After 5 PM Day 1 – making stuff, painting, exploring materially and thinking

Around 10 AM Day 2 – eating

AFAP – assistant editor of Artforum

What is your most marked characteristic?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – lately my eternal innocence

After 5 PM Day 1 – unfortunately my resting scowl; popularly, my RBF

AFAP – campy abjection

What do you most value in your friends?

After 5 PM Day 1 – open ears and wallets

Around 10 AM Day 2 – passion, intellect, and determination

AFAP – handmade reproductions of their family heirlooms

When and where were you happiest?

Around 10 AM Day 1 - now, today

After 5 PM Day 1 – in the interminable life loop

AFAP – Inside the White Cube in London

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

After 5 PM Day 1 – gravity's apparent power

Around 10 AM Day 2 – its general asymmetry

AFAP – my resemblance to people’s art, all metastasizing into a preternaturally photogenic fever-dream cosmology

Which living person do you most despise?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – Putin and all homophobes, misogynists, racists

After 5 PM Day 1 – impossible to select just one

AFAP – an unnamed transactional choreographer, intimately dipping and reaching among bodies

On what occasion do you lie?

After 5 PM Day 1 – visits home

Around 10 AM Day 2 – whenever necessary, although usually not as well as I should

AFAP – when the distinctions between the actual and the constructed are surreptitious and trompe l’oeil pranks abound

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – easy one: my life love PDY and art

After 5 PM Day 1 – PDY and art

AFAP – Schwitters's Merzbau

Which talent would you most like to have?

After 5 PM Day 1 – a photographic memory

Around 10 AM Day 2 – fluency in all major languages

AFAP – iconic thievery

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – an ability to occasionally rest my overdrive

After 5 PM Day 1 – my limited vocal range

AFAP – my messy sentimental endgame investigations

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

After 5 PM Day 1 – nothing, THEY ARE PERFECT!!!! Thanksgiving is a f #!&ing dream!

Around 10 AM Day 2 – the non-liberal leanings of some family members 

AFAP – its formation through coveted commodities

What is your most treasured possession?

Around 10 AM Day 1 - my studio

After 5 PM Day 1 – my studio! A

FAP – my handcrafted wicker baskets collection

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

After 5 PM Day 1 – meaningless competition surrounding the peddling of paintings

Around 10 AM Day 2 – how can my idea of misery compare with the experiences shared daily on NPR?

AFAP – secret cavities built into gallery ground-level spaces

Who are your favorite writers?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – Faulkner, Borges, Proust, Tolstoy, Rushdie, Richard Yates, among others

After 5 PM Day 1 – Faulkner, Richard Yates, DeLillo, Borges

AFAP – cunning substitutes

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

After 5 PM Day 1 – A conflation of Lady Macbeth and King Richard III

Around 10 AM Day 2 – Hero’s Leander

AFAP – the haptic mnemonic

Who are your heroes in real life?

Around 10 AM Day 1 - Matisse, possibly

After 5 PM Day 1 – in descending order Matisse, Duchamp, Rauschenberg, Warhol

AFAP – Classic pickpockets

What are your favorite names?

After 5 PM Day 1 – Nina and Simone are both lovely

Around 10 AM Day 2 – Tino, Marina, Rirkrit, and Colette

AFAP – John, Carpenter, Leonard, and Cohen

What is it that you most dislike?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – the wealth gap

After 5 PM Day 1 – waking and not waking

AFAP – the tendency to revel in trouvailles

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

After 5 PM Day 1 – adapting to life in New York

Around 10 AM Day 2 – sustaining a daily studio practice

AFAP – my skillful toggling between materiality and immateriality

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

Around 10 AM Day 1 - a sprig of chervil

After 5 PM Day 1 – an eagle, hawk, or cardinal

AFAP – an underripe tomato

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

After 5 PM Day 1 – a Duchamp-like force

Around 10 AM Day 2 – perhaps a Picasso model or a Richard Prince appropriation

AFAP – an overripe orange

Where would you like to live?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – very near The Metropolitan Museum

After 5 PM Day 1 – Gore Vidal's villa on the Amalfi Coast

AFAP – Luxembourg

How would you like to die?

After 5 PM Day 1 – slowly enough to read my own obituary

Around 10 AM Day 2 – with permanent youth

AFAP – In a Rocking Chair

What is your greatest regret?

Around 10 AM Day 1 – too many missed sexual and intellectual opportunities when young

After 5 PM Day 1 – not escaping Reno, Nevada earlier

AFAP – My fixation on the myriad interplays between desire and presence, memory and perception, and, more broadly, the virtual and the real

What is your motto?

After 5 PM Day 1 – hmmmmmm Around 10 AM Day 2 – process about process RSAP – Paint up a storm

Footnotes

Note 1: I answered every even-numbered question first around 10 AM, Day 1 and again after 5 PM, Day 1. I answered every odd-numbered question first after 5 PM, Day 1 and again around 10 AM, Day 2.

Note 2: Between Day 1 and Day 2, I read a summer 2015 Artforum discussion by Annie Godfrey Larmon (assistant editor of Artforum) of artist Alex Da Corte and appropriated language from Ms. Larmon’s piece to give a third answer to each question (excluding the last question). I use the AFAP to mark these appropriations.

Note 3: For the last question I appropriated text from Roberta Smith's review of the Albert Oehlen exhibition at New Museum (New York Times, June 11, 2015). I use the term RSAP to mark this appropriation.

domMr. Rubenstein is a painter, story teller, and smart culture aficionado.

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