Friday, April 7, 2017

Remembering Glenn O'Brien

[Image via]

There are many tributes today for Glenn O'Brien, the writer, editor and downtown personality, who died at age 70 following an illness.

Per ARTnews:

A dapper, instantly recognizable art world fixture with bright white hair and reliably impeccable jackets, O’Brien trained his dry, deadpan wit on art, music, and fashion as an editor and contributor for Rolling Stone, Oui, High Times, Allure, Esquire, and The New Yorker, among many other publications.

O’Brien was born in Cleveland. He spent his college years at Georgetown University, where he became friends with the art writer Bob Colacello. The pair went on to study film at Columbia University and become the editors of Interview in the early 1970s, when Andy Warhol was still publishing the magazine out of the Factory.

“They thought, ‘Let’s get some nice clean-cut college kids who aren’t amphetamine addicts and see if they can run the magazine,’ ” O’Brien told The New York Times in 2015.

In the 1980s, O’Brien effectively channeled the Factory for the Mudd Club crew with his public-access television show TV Party, a blend of live music, half-coherent interviews, zany skits, and idiosyncratic debauchery.

Per New York magazine:

O’Brien borrowed generously from the hipster affect of the Beats, but adapted that stance for the New Wave era. Zelig-like, he made an appearance, by his own account, as the underwear model on the Rolling Stones’ Warhol-designed Sticky Fingers album, helped mastermind the controversial CK Jeans ads denounced by Bill Clinton, and edited Madonna’s Sex book (not that many people were focused on the text). Even if you hadn’t read his work or seen his picture, you undoubtedly saw something he had created, and it shaped your consciousness in some way.

He lived nearby (Bond Street?) and in recent years invited cameras inside his home...


Scuba Diva said...

Oh, fuck. Just shoot me: I can't deal with all this death.

JQ LLC said...

Fascinating video, I like the part of the Basquiat interview when he explains his multiple choice graffiti, with the multiple cuts of his expression afterwards.

I miss real art made by locals. And when the term hipster wasn't a obscenity or an obscene infiltrator.

Anonymous said...

Still reeling from this one. What a loss for the art world. Glenn was a terrific writer and he had a great personality and heart. Sad, sad day.

Anonymous said...

so fucking sad...perhaps more comments on a shaved ice cream spot opening up in the future

Giovanni said...

What another sad loss. TV Party was one of those shows you had to watch if you had cable. So many bizarre moments and weird guests. As this clip shows Basquiat was even weird when he was young, the master of giving the media elliptical answers to help mystify and promote his art. Of course he was much more normal for in person, but like Warhol he knew how to wear an eclectic persona. Back then we had shows like Time Takes a Cigarette andThe Anton Perich Show for art and music. And who could forget Ostaro, the Indian psychic who would scare rude prank callers by telling them not to leave their homes for the next week or else something wry bad would happen to them. Most of these charcters are gone, including Midnight Blue's Al Goldstein but we still have Robin Byrd.

Anonymous said...