ALL THE MORE BEST-RICHARD PRINCE
BY JONATHAN PAUL AKA DESIRE OBTAIN CHERISH
CURATED BY CHÉ MORALES
SPRING/BREAK LOS ANGELES
The Stalls at Skylight ROW DLTA // 1925 East 8th Street, Los Angeles
February 15 - 17, 2019
Friday, February 15, 2 – 9PM
On Friday February 15, Jonathan Paul aka Desire Obtain Cherish debuted All The More Best at Spring/ Break Art Show in Los Angeles. Those who attended witnessed his appropriation and impersonation of Richard Prince. VIP guests were allowed to choose one of 12 celebrity photos shown and were told that Mr. Prince would then sign the photo for them. Jonathan Paul then signed hundreds of 8 x 10 celebrity photos for VIP visitors and fans of Richard Prince. Signing the photographs and posing for fan photos sealed the performance.
Celebrity fandom exists even in the art world and the excitement can be extremely potent in creating an aura of disbelief. The guests willingness to believe that Jonathan Paul was Richard Prince continued through the performance, and it wasn’t until after guests received their signature and left did a few begin to process what might be happening. Appropriating the identity of an ‘artist’ is the art, and a natural contemporary step of art appropriation, especially in this burgeoning digital age. Identity thefts, fake instagram celebrities, and fake news outlets, coupled with the mass amounts of hijacked imagery at our disposal create very blurry narratives of truth.
‘Truth’ inevitably becomes our personal truth. As Richard Prince has challenged us through the years to accept this fact, Jonathan Paul has simply continued it into the next step of appropriation. The idea of truth can extend though identity appropriation and will be very difficult to navigate as culture progresses into the next decade.
At our core perhaps, we simply want to believe. Jonathan Paul painted his face and set up red rope with stanchions. That was all it took for VIP art show visitors, the art press, and artists alike to believe.
ABOUT JONATHAN PAUL
Jonathan Paul (alias Desire Obtain Cherish) b. 1975, California, has become known as conceptual artist working across a wide variety of different media and a combination of styles. His controversial art work explores contemporary desires and obsessions with sex, gender, drugs, commerce, media and fame. Transporting controversial, satirical messages, Paul's vibrantly colorful, entertaining and impeccably produced art exposes society’s inability to control itself and examines the commercial promise of fulfillment and happiness that ends in dependency.
Meant to have an impact on its audience, Paul employs sarcasm to tackle and provoke society’s value system. Aiming to avoid the conventional, stereotypical standards of “good taste” in art, his ideas are more in line with contemporary commerce and marketing methods than traditional artisan methods.
The esteemed New Yorker art critic Benjamin Genocchio characterized Paul’s work as “not malicious, even if his works cut to the bone. He is more like our social conscience, delivering up uncomfortable and unpleasant truths wrapped in the most beautiful and seductive of packages.”
Born in 1975 in Salinas, California, Paul graduated from the nationally acclaimed Parson’s School of Design with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. Since his first solo show, he has been featured in numerous galleries and art fairs worldwide, and his work has propelled with unusual fervor amid collectors and the public respectively.