December 02, 2004

The Crobar Follies

If it isn't a parlor game already, Gawker or someone should make it one. It seems that every year or so--the NY Observer puts up an article so hugely embarassing to the person featured so as to cause some major blow-back for the poor soul in question (the interviewees usually appear blissfully unawares that the piece will be greeted with widespread, round derision). One year it's a hyper-arrogant I-banker showing off his toys (check out my Plasma flatscreen!) and getting the heave-ho from mothership Deutsche Bank or such for his gauche display, another year some newbie B list hipster/rocker--who thinks he's the next Mick Jagger--and ends up getting roundly mocked for his risibly effervescent folie de grandeur--another year, another sucker.

Well, here's this year's entry--perhaps not surprisingly--it comes from an "artist"!

Sample grafs:

Mr. Tunney gets up at noonish, walks his pit bull Britney Spears, then has a long, leisurely lunch at Cipriani on West Broadway, where pretty girls flock to his table.

"I’m a hundred percent an artist now. That’s it," he told me. "I’ve got my heart and soul in it: every molecule, every second, every minute—all the time!"

He said he thought he could be the best living artist soon.

"Throughout the history of art, there was always someone who was the Man," he said. "Picasso was the Man. It wasn’t Matisse, it was Picasso! When it was Velásquez, it was Velásquez! When it was Rembrandt, it was Rembrandt! So who is the greatest living artist right now? I’ve been asking everyone for 10 years, and no one can even answer."

Mr. Tunney said Damien Hirst was an artist he respected, then challenged him to an "art-off."

"Get a gallery, put a big red stripe right down the middle and put the exact same stuff on both sides," he said. "Two basketballs, 10 canvases, a gallon of paint, some forks, some salad. You make your shit, I’ll make my shit. Let’s see what you got, big boy! I want to tell you something: I think I’m going to blow him out of the water."

I offered to pay the bill.

"It’s impossible—not here," he said. "No one’s ever paid for a check when they’re with me."


This part almost makes me like the guy, however:

Mr. Tunney, who has no cash, no credit card, no bank account, trades art for food and rent. He doesn’t have to pay for drinks at his various downtown haunts like the Pink Elephant, One, Capitale, because his art is on the walls. In a jam, he’ll find a piece of paper, doodle something, sign it "Peter Tunney" and give it to the maître d’, the cab driver, the doctor, the deli owner. He calls it "Tunney Money."

"I could just sign this plate and maybe that would pay for my lunch," he said. "I sell everything I make, amazingly, or I give it away to girls. I’m basically off American currency right now. I usually walk around with no money. I’ve been broke for the past year. I’m on a different paradigm, in a different life structure. My money’s no good in this city any more."

Only in NY folks.

Posted by Gregory at December 2, 2004 05:36 AM

Ain't it grand

Posted by: Eric Martin at December 2, 2004 05:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What a way to send a hello to the IRS!

Posted by: Dusty at December 2, 2004 09:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

i wish i had that kind of talent.

Posted by: t-rev at December 3, 2004 01:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Britany Spears licked a Brazilian girls ass!!!!!

Posted by: MikeMac at December 3, 2004 04:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

wait, i thought that was the dude's pitbull?

Posted by: jj at December 3, 2004 04:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What Dusty said... I'm sure that article perked a few ears in the IRS. Does Mr Gurley get a piece of the IRS action? Could prove to be a new, ancillary form of income enhancement for journalists!

Posted by: John Burgess at December 3, 2004 04:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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