The Art Assassin

a nonfiction novel by Albert Wang

Chapter 1: ASSASSINATION: Rick Herron, Art Slave at the New Museum and Rhizome, Artist, Curator (Part Two)

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me:  holy christ

i’m on like question 10

do you edit this?

Sent at 1:50 AM on Tuesday


me:  I’m on question 10, I’ll try working on it more later tonight

Sent at 1:46 PM on Tuesday

me:  Thing is a monster.  I may be a bit more terse at the end.

Sent at 1:47 PM on Tuesday

qi:  That’s alright… take you time and enjoy the ride 🙂

Never did say that the interview was a cakewalk but it is well worth it

Sent at 1:57 PM on Tuesday

me:  I have two worries.  One, that I just sound like an idiot.  Two, that powerful peeps at the NewMu won’t like me talking about the museum without their approval.

qi:  Well, it is up to you… remember that nothing is edited

So use discretion if you want

me:  I really like it there, which should be clear, but there are obviously things I don’t like or think could approve.

Sent at 2:10 PM on Tuesday

qi:  For me the truth is a good idea… transparency is a necessity

me:  Improve rather. Not edited?  Alright mf is going to be long then.  I think some of what I say reads as sycophantic, but it’s purely honest.  I get really jazzed about stuff.

qi:  We need to change the art game honestly

Nope I don’t censor… I only edit for spelling

me:  Well, transparency is one of the NewMu buzz words.  It’s supposed to have worked itself right into the program of the SANAA building in that the whole front of it is glass, including the loading bay and security desk, and that the staff and artwork go on the same elevators as the patrons.

qi:  Good those small details are pretty essential to what I interview for… after all I’m not artnews! LOL

Sent at 2:14 PM on Tuesday

me:  K.  I have to go to the bank now.  Damn auto-payed bill just made my account go under the minimum balance.  I’m going to try to put all the cash in my wallet into my account and hope that if I get it back up over $100 in the same day, they won’t hit me with the fee.  Boooooooo.

qi:  Cool beans thanks for the answers

me:  It’s a good thing I’m already past the master/slave portion of the interview.  Feeling a bit slavey when I don’t have enough money to buy food.

qi:  Yes I seriously appreciate it very much

me:  I did buy a $300 ticket to see Bjork in May, mind you.  Couldn’t not.  I’ve dreamed of that for years and years and years.  Pay day tomorrow and I can chill a little bit.

Ciao man.

Sent at 2:18 PM on Tuesday

qi:  No prob… bjork sweet. Thanks!

Sent at 2:20 PM on Tuesday


me:  hey

Sent at 1:15 AM on Thursday

qi:  What up man

me:  yeah, so i sent your questions to our press person and director to clear them.

like, i’m tryin’ not to get my ass fired.

and then if they’re cool with the questions, then they should be cool with my answers.

i was just looking at your examiner, there’s so much cool stuff to read on there

you’re busy eh?

qi:  Yeah

me:  what’s up with salt lake? why are you there?

qi:  Very busy but I can’t wait to hear your answers

I am here because I can execute some cool ass conceptual art projects

me:  are you facebook friends with Josh Levey yet? he lives in SLC and he’s rad

qi:  And not focus on the drama in nyc galleries

Not yet I will peep josh

me:  he was my roommate in college, he’s my besty

but he’d love to do more art stuff i’m sure

and he does music, movie, outdoor stuff

qi:  Cool beans

me:  he’d kill to have a concert buddy out there, do you go to shows?

qi:  I am really excited someday for nyc gallery representation

Not much at shows

me:  ok.  it seems like commercial galleries have really stopped looking at new stuff right now though eh?

do you know about exhibition?

or envoy enterprises?

or collective hardware?

qi:  Yes

Envoy would be nice

Collective hardware never heard of

me:  they’re doing a show every day there

qi:  Sweet

me:  i went tonight. a guy who does really fine, life sized self-portraits in colored pencil

qi:  Of course I am interested in feature inc perhaps

Wow that must be straight off the hook

me:  i don’t think so

i don’t see you at feature really at all

qi:  Colored pencils awesome

Really because of?

Sent at 1:28 AM on Thursday

me:  everything is really expensive. to me, it seems a little out of place. i go to all their shows and i’ve seen stuff there i really like, but it definitely has the feeling of a gallery that moved down to the LES, not like an LES gallery.

Sent at 1:29 AM on Thursday

qi:  I see… cool so what do I do to submit to envoy?

me:  i’ve also seen a lot of stuff i don’t like there.  i just think there are more interesting things going on that you’d enjoy being a part of more.

i think i have jimmy’s card, hold on

Jimi rather

well, for one thing, you have to install it.  since it happens EVERY day, artists have to really pitch in.  you have nyc friends who could do it for you?


Jimi Dams

qi:  Their website says not currently accepting submissions for review

me:  maybe not to be one of their represented artists, no. and maybe they also don’t want a flood of new stuff to have to sift through.

qi:  Yes although I need to figure out a nyc friend who could help out

A brooklyn artist with whom I do collabs with

me:  but if you let them know your friends have been telling you about what’s going on there and you think you’re a good fit for it, i’m sure they’d at least listen to you.

qi:  Good for sure… what do I email them?

Sent at 1:35 AM on Thursday

me:  well, i’m not entirely sure or i’d have already done it myself, but jimi’s a nice person. i told my friend Dan about it and he had a show there the next week.  his work kicks ass.

qi:  Cool I will be in new york in mid june

me:  before asking for something specific right of the gate, get to know what they’re doing and have them get to know you and your work and then propose something.

well, that’s kind of perfect

qi:  So perhaps I can install then… I will email a proposal to him tomorrow

me:  he kind of lives there. you could call and see if you get on well.

qi:  Cool would it work to get a referral say from you?

me:  the space is pretty great though, i think it’s cool as hell.  i’ve seen three of the one day shows and i liked the vibe.

qi:  Indeed I dig the idea too

I could post up my interview portraits

me:  i’m just someone who’s stopped by a few times, i don’t think i pull any weight there.

you could post some interview portraits, they would look great in that space and it’s easy to install in there.

qi:  Yeah that’s true

I will emaill this tomorrow

me:  ok.  and you say you do know about exhibition and collective hardware?

qi:  Nope

I need to find out about those guys

me:  exhibition is pretty damn sweet

qi:  Where is it?

me:  it’s right on elizabeth street in a swank new building

and 5 artists have the space for 6 months free

and they’re not really curating it

but they invite one artist or artist team at a time to install in a part of the space

qi:  Cool beans

I will find their website

me:  and when it’s time for a new artist to be in that part of the space or part of that part of the space, then they are free to do with the art that’s there.

take it home

destroy it

use it

qi:  Nope no website?

me:  and the raw space itself is just really pretty

friend elena bajo on facebook

i don’t think she’s one of the 5

qi:  Cool

me:  but she’s kind of their online presence

qi:  I am friends with her already

me:  so it ends up looking really spare and minimal and creepy and messy and weird

well there you are

look at her events and ask her questions and s–t

qi:  So I just email her then

me:  her pics are probably full of pics of the space

well being one of their artists is kind of a bizarre ass process

qi:  Indeed

me:  a lot of what they’re doing there is all absurdist and depends on chance

qi:  I will message her then

:  they pull s–t out of hats

and then roll dice and s–t and redraw imaginary lines for where you put your stuff

qi:  Yeppers

Dada all the way

me:  you know, but whether all the art itself is super strong or not, it’s just really cool to have this hot storefront space in SoHo being used to house a half eaten chocolate bunny and some mylar balloons.

qi:  Indeed… that is very experimental indeed

me:  and i’m not entirely sure about collective hardware yet.  but i think it’s going to be sort of similar. the work is for sale

artist gets half and the other half just goes to the space to exist.

it’s huge and beautiful on the bowery

qi:  Cool beans I need to check into it

Glad you enjoy the interview portraits so far

Sent at 1:50 AM on Thursday

me:  and then this girl who was wearing the tracksuit piece during the YTJ press preview, she’s a photographer and wants to do this curatorial project where she gets E Village realtors to give her free space to show in similarly.  so there’s kind of this trend happening, it’s pretty cool.

qi:  Sweet that sounds awesome

me:  here, you know why not Feature?

because they’re an ignore you gallery.

they’re a gallery that ignores its visitors

qi:  Really

Hudson is supposed to be dope

Sent at 1:53 AM on Thursday

me:  when i visit the LES galleries, I always say hi to whoever’s there and we talk about the space and the work and what’s up and now a lot of them know me when i come by again.  i’ve been to every one of feature’s shows and no one has ever said hi to me there.  they sit in their little room and do whatever they do.

which is how all of the chelsea ones are and that’s fine. it’s not like i mind.

but there are a lot of galleries around the museum with VERY cool, friendly, smart, exciting people to work with.

qi:  Ah I understand

That’s too bad

Interaction is prime territory

me:  when i worked the gallery at The Kitchen, i was so damned friendly.  i wanted to be the friendly Chelsea gallery.  i can’t stand snobbiness.

ok, it’s late, i go now

qi:  Nightienight

Sent at 1:57 AM on Thursday


from    Rick Herron <>



date    Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 1:12 AM

subject    Rick Interview questions


hide details Apr 16 (3 days ago)


Hello, it’s Rick.  An artist currently living in Salt Lake named Qi Peng creates portraits of people by interviewing them and he wants to make one of me.  He sent me the questions and before I answer them and they get published, I wanted to show them to you, so I’ve posted them below.  Is it a problem for me to answer any of the following questions with just my own knowledge and opinions?  I will obviously try to use good judgment and discretion, but my version of those things may differ from that of the director’s office etc?  Just wanted to check, I don’t want to cause a flap.



from    <>

to    Rick Herron <>

date    Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 9:28 AM

subject    Re: Rick Interview questions

hide details Apr 16 (3 days ago)


Hi Rick, Let me review and I will get back to you soon.

from     <>

to    Rick Herron <>,


date    Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 11:24 AM

subject    Re: Rick Interview questions

hide details Apr 16 (3 days ago)


Hi Rick,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will speak for myself, but I find that most of the questions are directed at how your experiences have effected you as a person and therefore see no problem in you participating in this opportunity. I know that you are a dedicated member of our team and have the museum’s interest in mind and will of course present any opinions about the museum in thoughtful manner. You certainly have many good stories to tell being on the front line.



from     <>

to    Rick Herron <>

date    Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 2:06 PM

subject    RE: Rick Interview questions

hide details Apr 16 (3 days ago)


Hi Rick,

Any published statements by employees regarding the museum or its programs must be vetted first by the Director’s office, or External Affairs.   That is a standard procedure.  This is for the protection of both the employee and the Museum.

You were correct to ask though.

See you soon,


Qi Peng BREAKING NEWS: qi peng’s first New York solo show will be at Envoy Enterprises for one day on June 23, 2009 (ten.). Go Interview portraits!!

about an hour ago · Comment · Like Unlike

You like this.

Qi Peng

Qi Peng at 3:55pm April 18

I am going to take a break from Twitter and Facebook for the rest of the day due to this. I need to party in reality now because I don’t want to die of overwork here…

Yeah, 20-30 interview portraits will be featured in black and white offset prints there! 🙂 Also I plan to do a cool spontaneous painting on the spot there too…

Kadar Brock

Kadar Brock at 3:58pm April 18

congrats qi! Look forward to seeing it.

Qi Peng

Qi Peng at 3:59pm April 18

Yeah and your portrait is definitely there along with Matt as well 🙂 I’m giving you guys the pole position.

Mindy Kober

Mindy Kober at 4:03pm April 18


Lauri Lynnxe Murphy

Lauri Lynnxe Murphy at 4:50pm April 18


me:  hey!

I just saw that Envoy accepted your proposal!  Dude, cool!


qi:  Hey there

No prob… now I just love your portrait 😉

To be featured there

me:  So something good came out of this round of interviews eh?

qi:  Yeah thanks so much man

me:  I had an idea for your show if it was there.  Care to hear it?

qi:  Yeah for sure

Or you can email it if its long

me:  During the opening reception, you have a staged reading of some of the interviews with some of your interview subjects.

Except they read you and you read them.

Sent at 4:12 PM on Saturday

qi:  Nice

me:  Interview or discussion panels happen live all the time.  A curator hosts an evening of discussion with an artist.

qi:  Would you like to participate perhaps?

me:  Sure, if you wanted.

qi:  Sweet that would be awesome indeed

Thanks we could do the one between us… some excerpts for sure

me:  So this is a way of taking something that should seem, or possibly could be, spontaneous, you know, that would be natural and in the moment

but it’s not, the whole thing is scripted

and you just read what’s already been done. it’d be interesting to see you stand in for the interview subject even though they’re sitting right there beside you

qi:  Wow yeah that’s sweet

I think that you could pretend to be me

And I you then?

Sent at 4:16 PM on Saturday

me:  well, i don’t think it requires any pretending.  you just read the subject’s answers in a way that feels honest to you, or i guess how you would imagine them to answer.  and i, or the other subject, you.  but i don’t think it requires any sort of acting layer.

did they get right back to you with a yes?  did you have a nice back and forth?

qi:  Yes yeah it was easy

me:  oh great. cool, good for you.

qi:  I am glad they liked it

me:  i have to have my entire interview vetted by the director’s office before I can hand it over to you.

i’m not exactly a hellraiser though, so I don’t think it will really be objectionable to them.

Sent at 4:21 PM on Saturday

qi:  Indeed

me:  so i think i’ll finish it today and give it to them monday.  i’ll have it to you soonish?

qi:  Well we could focus on excerpts for sure

Yes that sounds good indeed

I don’t think that I could play april gornik either ways

me:  oh sure you could!  see, it’s probably the most interesting when it feels most uncomfortable and foreign to you.

qi:  Indeed

But I want that… this being a performance piece as well

me:  how do you pronounce your name.  Chuh or Chee?  I took Mandarin and would guess Chuh, but I don’t know where you grew up, etc.

qi:  Plus I would be interested in the irony of a heterosexual asian male playing the role of a Caucasian gay male

Qi peng is spoken as key pen

Just that and real easy 😉

me:  ah!

very good

i don’t know if find irony in the situation of you reading me, but maybe something slightly disjointed/absurd.  ironic though, not terribly.

qi:  Yes but I really relish this idea

Plus I’m also pitching my artist’s book to the peeps

Sent at 4:26 PM on Saturday

me:  cool well, that’ll be fun.  it’s just that there’s been a lot of anti-conceptual art talk on facebook recently.  i’ve been thinking about how/why.  and i thought about how to bring your concept alive, so that you can convey some of the energy that these interviews have for you and your subjects

qi:  Well I think that it is time to merge works on paper along with new media art and humanity

It’s conceptual art with a heart

Bad rime eh?

me:  excellent, go forth!

no. conceptual art with a heart, would make a great t-shirt or bumper sticker.

qi:  Yeah that’s for sure

I would definitely make them for sure 😉

me:  and there, certainly some irony resides.

qi:  Indeed which is why I love doing this

me:  how long are you going to be in new york?

qi:  Around a week I think

me:  that’s a quick trip!  always so much to try to take in here.  but you’ve lived here before?

qi:  Yes for the first 4 yrs of my life

And a month when I was at yale

Not too much I guess

me:  oh.  you weren’t exactly burning up the art scene when you were 3.  hee hee.

qi:  But it is always in my blood

Well you never know


You can post comments on FB too

Sent at 4:33 PM on Saturday

me:  i was reading a conversation you and i had over again and it was then that I realized that Fellow Yallie was NOT a name!! Ha!  I was like, nope, he’s not in the directory, didn’t make it, sorry.  hee hee.

qi:  Hahahaha

That’s alright I plan to rewrite that sucker anyways

me:  i didn’t know you were referring to Yale at all, I thought it was pretty funny.

ok, i go now

qi:  Yeah I always joke about yale anyways

Have fun then

me:  ok man, take care.

Sent at 4:36 PM on Saturday]

qi peng: What is FLUXCONCERT?

Rick Herron: FLUXCONCERT is an instruction-based performance ensemble directed, and sometimes written, conducted and performed by artist Perry Garvin.  I’m reluctant to go on much further about what it is, because it’s Perry’s project and I don’t want to try to speak for him.  His answers are usually pretty brief, that’s probably good enough.  He has a website.  Well, he has several.  They are worth looking at.

qi peng: How does your involvement with that project connect with your artistic endeavors?

Rick Herron: Well for one, the performances I’ve done with Perry make up the bulk of my artistic endeavors!  I’m still getting my toes wet and being involved with FLUXCONCERT has been a really positive experience for me.  I hope I’ll get to be involved in the next one in some way whenever it is time.  It connects with what I’m interested in as an artist in many ways though.  It’s performative, it has a close relationship to music, it consists of only those things that are essential to getting a piece realized, there is nothing superfluous.  In order for it be successful, it requires honesty and imagination, but not virtuosity and professionalism.  It feels relevant and new and now, but it has very strong historical roots.  The last concert consisted entirely of pieces written by George Brecht in the 60’s and 70’s, but I don’t think anyone there felt as if what they saw that night was an unnecessary rehash.  And I think that’s what makes Fluxus interesting.  If you are present to it and just be honest with it, you’ll make something that resonates with people, whether it was written 45 years ago or not.  Mostly, it’s given me confidence in myself and my ideas.  I admire Perry and his work a great deal, so for him to be happy with me as a collaborator, it encourages me to try other things.  It’s also left my chest all scarred up!  In the first one, I scratched myself till I bled and in the second one, I had an audience member drip candle wax on me.  Both left scars, I’m really sensitive!  I have fluxus souvenirs.

qi peng: With your conceptual art piece of executing Allen Ginsberg‘s poem “Howl” as Facebook status updates, where did the idea for this originate from?

Rick Herron: The idea came from several different things going on in my head at one time and after a bit, the idea snapped together as that.  One of the first things was something I came across on Facebook.  Someone posted a note or event invite or something or other for an event happening ON Facebook by Boston artist Rachel Perry Welty.  So I friend requested her so I could see what it was she was doing.  During her performance, she updated her status every minute that she was awake that day.  I think it went on for 16 hours or something.  So that just kind of opened me up to the idea of Facebook as an end, a venue, a subject, a platform, all by itself, rather than a tool that you use to promote things that happen AWAY from Facebook, offline.  And I’ve been working with Rhizome this season, so my mind is always spinning about art online now.  There was a piece Lauren Cornell put in Unmonumental Montage that was a video collage of people singing the same 50 Cent song on YouTube.  And now there’s a piece in YTJ that’s a collection of Myspace profile welcome videos.  So artists are using appropriation and recontextualization as a way of creating a portrait of where online culture is in a generalized macro scale.  Gathering together bits of internet ephemera that on their own are banal can create something meaningful and greater than its individual parts.  This is a lot of what I take away from a lot of the surf club activity as well.  That is, when I can understand the references or am able to decipher what they’re talking about.  Also, I’m just on Facebook too much.  And there’s a whole slew of people like me thinking the same thing.  I think the cover of New York magazine was just dedicated to this kind of anxiety.  So while I was in the shower one morning, the phrase “I saw the greastest minds of my generation destroyed by Facebook.” popped into my head.  And I started thinking about how the things that are relevant and important to us in culture are not f–king happening in poetry cafes any more.  Were they ever?  Maybe that’s just something I’ve romanticized.  I started thinking about how the beats were really important to me as an isolated teenager in a small town in rural Missouri, but the idea of listening to someone read Howl in a live setting now just seems nostalgic and like a historical reenactment or something.  It’s been canonized, assimilated.  Art/literature people think they already get it, have been there, done that already.  It’d be hard to get an audience to connect to its original urgency, its radicalism, its freshness.  So once all those thoughts merged together for me, I decided to go home one night and copy and paste Howl into my status update and see what happens.  For one thing, it inverts the poem.  The beginning ends up at the bottom and the last line is the first thing you read.  I pasted the maximum number of characters my status update would allow each time.  This had the effect of breaking words and ideas apart.  New breaks are created, it has none of its original momentum.  It is interrupted by news of other friend’s weather or mood or choice for dinner.  It doesn’t look the same to any two people, because everyone’s Facebook stream is different and will be cut up in different ways by their friends.  It’s VERY long.  It inserts my name, Rick Herron into the poem a couple hundred times because all status updates begin with the user’s name.  I liked that a lot because Howl makes such great use of repetition.  Me breaking it up unnaturally, but systematically, took away some of the orignal’s rhythm, but restores a new rhythm of my name coming up about every 160 characters.  It took me over six hours to complete and consisted of several hundred status updates.

qi peng: What was the public response to it and how was this event documented?

Rick Herron: By coincidence, I did the performance on the very first day Facebook changed how the homepage works, now as a real time stream.  This had the effect of flooding all of my Facebook friends pages with all these seemingly cryptic status updates from me, making it difficult to even see their other friend’s updates because I was posting every minute.  This caused some of my friends to delete me as their friend, others to leave comments to stop whatever it was I was doing, some to follow it and cheer me on and others still to privately message me to ask if my profile had been hacked if I was ok.  They also made a comment about how the crazy stuff in my updates was actually kind of cool, but they didn’t know what was going on.  I thought it was nice that Ginsberg’s words still stuck out as really exceptional even when fragmented and stripped of all the baggage his name and his scene come along with.  At the end, ONE person congratulated me who had been watching the whole time and was playing kind of an ASCII/minimalist/jazz game with me on his profile page while I was posting.  It was fun.  Also, remember that Facebook ISN’T public and that tells us a lot about where we are right now.  We share a lot!  Maybe more than any other time in history.  We’re very confessional.  But often, this sharing does NOT happen in a public forum.  It is mediated by YouTube or Facebook or Twitter or a txt.  And maybe because we know exactly who has access to the information we choose to share and because we don’t have to deal with any one person’s reaction face to face, we are more willing to share things that we could not/would not in public.  So there was no public reaction, only semi-public/semi-private reaction.  Some that happened for others to see in comments sections and some that happened in PM’s and IM’s.  It’s still sitting there on my profile though.  Anyone who becomes my friend on Facebook can go back and see what it looks like, it’s a performance that documents itself just by virtue of what it is.

qi peng: Are there any plans for future art projects?

Rick Herron: I hope so.

qi peng: What was it like being an assistant for the New York painter Joyce Kim?

Rick Herron: I met Joyce because she asked Jane Kim, who I was working for at Thrust Projects, if she knew anybody that could help her move her studio.  Jane recommended me and when I got to Joyce’s, we hit it off immediately.  I liked what I saw in her studio right away, but as we got through everything she had in storage, I was able to get a sense of her range.  She had work that spanned over ten years and you could tell it was all her, but it kept moving, she doesn’t allow herself to get too comfortable with one thing.  I love her sense of color, lots of really odd, uncomfortable pairings and juxtapositions.  She uses all sorts of plastics and metals and dried paint pours on her paintings, so her studio is full of little bits of this and that, it feels comfortable to me.  There’s art history in her painting, there’s reference, but it avoids looking like anyone elses work.  There were some though, I told her I thought looked like Matthew Ritchie.  I was picking up on this soft banana yellow and deep rusty red and a baby blue and the hard lines the painting had, creating these rigid, terraced layers you see in his stuff.  Then she told me when she painted it and it pre-dated Ritchie’s.  That was exciting to me.

qi peng: Any cool stories from that time?

Rick Herron: Well, it’s just always a great pleasure to spend time with Joyce.  We talk film and music and art and she knows everybody and has seen everything, so I just try to soak up as much as I can, I look up to her.  But she paid me and I am poor, so that was pretty awesome!  I did do an awful lot of shlepping and sweating, but I always looked forward to going there.  Now I get to see her when she comes to the museum, etc. and she’s been showing a ton, I’m happy for her and wish her the best.

qi peng: How was it interning for the Thrust Projects, a gallery located in the Bowery?

Rick Herron: My internship at Thrust was the first experience in the art world at all.  It’s a small space and it’s just Jane Kim the gallery owner and her interns. Jane is an honest person, during my interview she was looking at my resume and was like, ooh, you’re kinda old.  I am.  I was a travel agent before, I came to this late, but once I made the decision to pursue this seriously, I’ve thrown myself at it headlong and tried to work very hard. I’m glad she gave me a chance, it was great getting see how shows happen and getting to meet the artists.  I was there for a season, I totally loved every minute of it and I think she appreciated the fact that a 28 year old makes for a slightly different intern than a 21 year old one.  She ended up sending me to Amsterdam to bring a piece back for her show last minute, so what’s not to love!  You can’t hate on a free trip to Europe.  I was nervous as s–t though.  I had to pack this really fragile piece with materials I’d brought with me and cut into little sections that would fit in a duffle bag and reassemble with tape!  If it came back damaged, then the point of the trip would be ruined, so it was a little nervewracking packing this piece by myself with no real experience just as I got off a plane from New York, all jetlagged and hungry.  However, I got it back ok and the show was a success.  Just about that time, I got the job at the New Museum.  Jane rules, I love her.

qi peng: What changes have you seen in the art scene happening in the Lower East Side lately?

Rick Herron: It’s not so much lately as the entire time I’ve been in the area.  But it does seem as if something is constantly opening around the museum.  It’s hard to keep up with.  I go to galleries on my lunch breaks and right after work if they’ll still let me in.  Unfortunately, there’s also been contraction as well.  Rivington Arms closed last year and I’m guessing it won’t be the last one to go before all this is over.  It doesn’t seem to have stopped all the new things from happening yet though.  Norman Foster was asked by Sperone Westwater to design this incredibly beautiful new space for them on the Bowery.  Will be interesting to see when/if that ever happens now.  I hope it does.  Right now it’s just a hole in the ground and they are working on it every day, but it still looks like it’s in a stage where a plug could be pulled if the headlines get anymore insane.  Foster doesn’t rank as one of my very favorite architects, but he certainly has a few masterpieces under his belt and man, the renderings of this project are really gorgeous.  I got to meet him and his wife at the museum when, I would suspect, he was in New York visiting the proposed site for the gallery.  It was incredibly thrilling.  He’s a friggin’ knight after all.

qi peng: You said, “This year I want to curate a show at Envoy Gallery and perform a show at Dixon Place of my own dance/music/performance.” Why choose Envoy Gallery as your place for curating?

Rick Herron: Envoy seems like a nice goal because in the front of the gallery, they’re hanging a new show every day.  It seems like a good way to try things and gain experience.

qi peng: What do you like about that place in particular?

Rick Herron: I like the work I’ve seen there, the people are nice to me when I visit and it’s a cool space in a great location.  Pretty solid combo.

qi peng: What would your performance art show at Dixon Place entail?

Rick Herron: I don’t want to talk about something that hasn’t happened yet.  I’ve only been there one time, they don’t know me.  It’s a place I find really interesting though and want to continue to follow.

qi peng: On a lighter note, do you have any Rick Herron-personally favorite restaurants, hangouts, or cool places around New York City or anywhere else that you would like to recommend to fans of your style and following?

Rick Herron: I don’t really hang out like a cool guy.  You will not bump into me at Beatrice.  I don’t drink or smoke and I work weekends and until last week, I’ve had a boyfriend since I was 23, so I don’t really go to bars or clubs ever.  There are a couple things I want to do though.  A monthly called Dub Wars at Love, I wanna go to that.  And Wednesday night at Home Sweet Home sounds interesting.  It’s kind of a goth night or something, but by all accounts, worth checking out.  Maybe I’ll make it there eventually. I’m single now and alone for the first time in my adult life.  I’m gonna need to get out.

I’d like to enthusiastically endorse the midwestDetroit, Chicago, Kansas City, Cleveland, all fine places with friendly folks who can’t wait to make your acquaintance.  Go!  In New York, I can’t recommend the Morgan enough. I only went for the first time last year and was so awestruck by it. The staff was friendly, the exhibitions were strong, the architecture was to die for, the theater was gorgeous.  I couldn’t believe I’d been missing out for so long.  Go to the Morgan!  I think (Le) Poisson Rouge is presenting the most interesting music in the city, I’m there a lot.  Since I’m old now, I like that I get to sit down, have my own personal space and listen to something at an appropriate, but not ear splitting volume level.  I have yet to see something at The Kitchen I really disliked, and a few things were completely revelatory.  Silver Apples and Carole Armitage were two of the best things I’ve ever seen live.  Our Hit Parade! at Joe’s Pub rules. It’s a monthly event that rounds up the top ten hits on the pop charts that are then performed by a rotating cast of New York performance artists and cabaret singers.  It’s f–king hilarious.  Finally, I recommend Sweden. I like their clothes, their music, their men, their taste in design and architecture, all those little islands they’ve got poking out of their city there. I don’t share their affinity for food served buffet style (which is real), but that’s ok.  The men and the music make up for quite a bit. I’ve barely mentioned Japan or China and they are of very strong interest to me so shout out!

qi peng: What do you like best about the places that you have chosen?

Rick Herron: All of these things and places give me energy, insight and inspiration, but also a sense of comfort and belonging.

qi peng: Do you have anything else which you would like to share with your readers and fans of your style and following here?

Rick Herron: If you are a stocky gay man, aged 35 to 45, who doesn’t mind going to vegan restaurants, Steve Reich concerts and hearing about how great Bjork is, I probably want to meet you.  Points for accents.


<> to Rick Herron <>

date Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

subject Re: Rick Herron’s complete text for Qi Peng interview

hide details Apr 22 (2 days ago)


All approved Rick. Thank you for handling this so well. Very professional

as usual =)


me:  hey

interview is approved

i want to read it again for copy editing stuff, change a few little details

and get some pics together for you

so maybe it’ll all be submitted tomorrow?

have a good night

Sent at 1:03 AM on Thursday

qi:  Cool beans

Thanks so much and can’t wait to read it

me:  no prob, i’m excited to hear your feedback

how many images?

qi:  1 image for both your profile and another for whatever you like

me:  two images total?

qi:  I got eric doeringer’s answers back. I am floored

me:  si? why?

qi:  Yes I can have a slideshow for 5 to 6 more

But at least 2 images

me:  ok cool

qi:  And the other ones need captions too

me:  ok, i’ll do like 6 and you can use them how you want

what about eric doeringer floored you?


qi:  Sounds good

Odd his answers were rather academic

Not playful ironically

me:  my answers are not very academic

i read the interview of you with myartspace and wondered if i should have

been more formal

qi:  Yeppers… well I was expecting a prankster at work but his were well

reasoned and so on


Myartspace interview was very much that way

And there is an undertone of playfulness

me:  but the way that i answered them is the way that i talk. it’s the


accurate way to get an idea of who i am. i didn’t want to sound like i was

doing a job interview

qi:  Btw I will be delivering a surprise ending at envoy

me:  oh goodness, ok

qi:  Yeah indeed

me:  well, i’m off to bed for now and i think i’ll send everything to you

tomorrow night. ciao man.

qi:  The only thing I can tell you is that I managed to incorporate XXXXX

XXXXX into the work

See ya soon 😉

me:  ummmmmmmm, ok

qi:  Thanks good night

And thanks so much again

me:  no worries.

qi:  Talk to you soon 😉

Sent at 1:13 AM on Thursday]

For more gossip or dishing me the art scoop: E-mail me at

Written by qi peng

May 11, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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