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Posts Tagged ‘John Lurie’

I don’t know about you, but the term “art crime” makes me feel giddy inside.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get on the FBI’s Art Theft Task Force for about 6 years now, but my steady barrage of infiltration tactics does not work on those people.

My new favorite art criminal is one Thomas Doyle who is somewhat profiled in a Bloomberg article that I don’t fully understand as it is so filled with twists and turns of art grifter identity I am left wondering who the bad guy really is.

But what I really want to talk about in the art crime arena is the disappearance of John Lurie (right).

John Lurie was an avant garde musician in the late 70s.  He played the saxophone back when the saxophone was cool.  Then Jim Jarmusch (pictured left) decided to cast him in some of his films including Stranger Than Paradise and Down by Law.  About two weeks ago The New Yorker came out with an article about John Lurie’s explosive fame and subsequent celebrity demise.  The article starts like this:  “From 1984 to 1989, everyone in downtown New York wanted to be John Lurie. Or sleep with him. Or punch him in the face.”  Lurie, an East Village triple threat, musician, actor, painter, went on to do some cool things in the 90s, but his story gets really good in the 2000s, with twenty years of distance from uber-stardom and a best friend who turned into a stalker.  The “frienemy” in question is artist John Perry who is also interviewed in the article.  The story of this friendship turned nightmare for both heterosexual men reaches so deep into their psyches that they appear deeply obsessed with each other.  “The protracted duet has become a kind of living performance piece, but neither man is able to see it as art: Perry because he views himself solely as a painter, and Lurie because he never before associated art with a fear of death.”   Besides the initial restraining orders that both artists filed against each other, there’s no evidence of foul play on anyone’s part.  In the meantime, you can find John Lurie hiding out in California, painting at Flea’s house in Big Sur, or sequestered in a rental home in Palm Springs.  So long as Perry remains in New York, Lurie will not go back.  Read the abstract or purchase the article here.

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