Artist Scott Covert might be the world’s most eccentric autograph hunter. He visits the graves of the famous and infamous, bringing massive canvases with him and rubbing into them the names, dates and other details from the headstones. He then twins the layered rubbings with abstract expressionist coloring. We considered the paintings a celebration of notable (and occasionally tragic) figures’ lives and an expression of the subtle relationship between the passage of time, geography and the paintwork. Or so we thought.
Mr. Covert emerged at Edelman Arts last Wednesday for the launch party for his solo show, titled ”The Dead Supreme,” and we explained to him how we appreciated his Rat Pack piece (seen at left) and admired how the gold background represented everything that these men were and stood for: showbiz.
“Yes, I like working with glitter,” was his response.
Friday at dusk, Cheech Marin–better known as the Mexican half of the 70s stoner comedy duo Cheech and Chong–cut into his 66th birthday cake. It was of the chocolate variety, with six joints on top as candles. There was some speculation amongst the crowd as to whether those are actual joints, or whether this was a “special” chocolate cake. (Answers: no, the candles were actually twisted Marlboro cigarettes; and also no, it was just delicious.)
Yes, it was a crazy party up at ArtHamptons, an art fair in its fifth year, where Mr. Marin, in addition to celebrating his birthday–sponsored by Hamptons.com–was also being honored as Patron of the Year for his collection of Chicano art (one of the largest in the world), which was on partial display at the Bridgehampton fair. One would assume that Mr. Marin and the beau monde associated with the Hamptons set (and New York art fairs in general) would mix about as well as tobacco and chocolate cake, but the comedian/actor/collector was quite at home in the festival’s white tents, where he was selling several pieces of from his collection.
One of the first things Mr. Marin told The Observer: “To separate collectors from the art process is facetious.” We made a note to not underestimate the intelligence of Mr. Marin, who, after all, once beat Anderson Cooper on Jeopardy.