One of modern art’s greatest painters and arguably America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns is a giant of the contemporary art world. Recently on the eve of “JasperJohns: Something Resembling Truth,” a massive new exhibition of his work at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Johns was interviewed by the New York Times. As he has explained in previous interviews, he doesn’t like offering explanations of what his artwork means. The Times article underscored his sentiments and revealed John’s jokey side with what is now one of our favorite quotes.
Mr. Johns himself is loath to offer biographical interpretations of his work — or any interpretations, for that matter. He is famously elusive and his humor tends toward the sardonic. He once joked that, of the dozens of books that have been written about his art, his favorite one was written in Japanese. What he liked is that he could not understand it.
As regular readers of Global Graphica know, we’re fans of Apartamento magazine. We always get excited when we see a new issue hit the newstands. It’s one of those rare periodicals these days that is almost exclusively a print experience; There’s an Apartamento website but it’s a mere presence. The magazine’s contents are only fully digestible in the actual printed edition of the magazine itself.
The current issue has been out for a few months already, but we just delved back into it while doing a little research and we got excited by it all over again. The issue looks great and features an interview and photos of artist Raymond Pettibon at home in his apartment in the new Frank Gehry “New York” building in downtown New York. Back in the day, Pettibon (pictured on the cover, below) created — among many other things — the iconic black-bars logo for the seminal American punk Black Flag .