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by Gordy Grundy

5 May 2023


In life and history, it only takes One. One good Samaritan. One soldier. One mark on a canvas. One influencer. One open heart. Just One.

The arts and culture offer a potent, warm and passionate commonality between strangers. Fists rarely fly when arguing about representation versus the conceptual. The arts offer a meeting ground, a sacred place of civility.

I remember meeting a lively, much older couple at some art event long ago in Los Angeles. As we talked about our lives in the arts, they 'let slip' that they were one of the original founders of the iconic Artforum.

Born in San Francisco in 1962, the magazine was raised in Los Angeles in 1965 with a new publisher Charles Cowles. The fledgling rag took office space on the floor above the seminal Ferus Gallery on La Cienega, run by Jason Blum's dad. In 1967, Artforum ditched the California art focused format and moved to New York City and into art history.

My old couple gushed about the good old days in LA when fine art and art making stood on the edge of a new frontier. The crew of magazine founders plotted and planned the magazine's growth and influence, yet their memories sounded more like a party. They were proud of their involvement in the magazine and its tsunami-like ripple, much more than the art they had collected and the artists they had championed.

If such an Artforum legacy honor were mine, I'd chisel it on my tombstone.


Rough waters are here and the weather outlook is dismal. Icebergs are slicing open the hulls of major media companies and presumably steadfast banks. The whirlpool of economic recession is drowning the poor and the unfortunate. The Sirens are singing a shanty to those left with a dingy and a single oar.

Culturally, we are adrift in an apocalypse of conjecture, gimmicky vocabulary, newfangled morality and bad manners. Far from the desired dry land, we stand in knee-high bilge water.

Socially, there seems to be an uptick for what many used to call religion. Authentic folks, who are honest with themselves, are crying out for meaning and purpose.

Within a surprisingly short time, the last four years have flipped the art world upside down. For once, these influences were not mandated by the elite. The changes were organic, from the bottom up. Unlike the art world machine, let us not ignore the 99 Percent, the populous who have received an arts education over the last thirty years; they were paying attention in class.

In this cockamamie world, how can Art Report Today grow, to spread the philosophical joys, practical wonders and lifestyle benefits of the fine arts? Kindly read on.


Art Report Today has a keen master plan. The design is as yar as a sleek ship with tall sails for speed and the design lines for agility.

Only a fool would seek a cash investment in these mad times. We won't ask anyone for a dime. Money is always a complication and we don't want it.

Our international arts and culture platform must grow organically, propelled by the new arts audience and favored by the advertisers who will benefit from our clever promotions, a populist old school marketing tool of which we have vast film studio experience. Let's put on a show!

We seek two crews to man the yacht:

The invitation-only 'Founder's Circle' is the rudder of the ship, for wisdom, direction and strategy. We seek those with a passion for the arts who will invest five (5) minutes of thought a day. They know people who know people. We need their influence and a pointed finger for direction. Our team will do the rest, with gentility and style.

The second crew represents the ship's sail, which powers the vessel, naturally, like the wind. Untitled, we're thinking of something romantic for this squad, like 'Comandanti delle Arti.' These are the public influencers who collect art, who have experienced the revelations and who have the power of voice to share these ideals. Yep, the Leos, the Parises, the Brads, the Santigolds, the Olsens and the Owens shall be invited to dance the hornpipe with us.

Since no one reads anymore, we will keep the profound details of our practical proposal for a later date. We are putting on a show. It's a doozy!

Should you be snorting with derision at our proposition, we will stick a finger up each nostril and slap ya around like the Three Stooges. Hard work, accountability and honesty is our only play. We have no other choice. Unlike a trust fund baby or a federal government, we don't have the cash to throw at it.

We got a dingy, one oar and a strong back. In future columns, we will detail our voyage through the Seven Seas of Hollywood, the finer arts, the One Percent, the hacks, the liars, the truth speakers and the valiant.

All it takes is One.

GORDY GRUNDY is a visual artist, arts columnist and Editor-in-Chief of the international Art Report Today.


See the complete Artforum cover art and print archive:
"Covering the Art World: Six Decades of Artforum"
presented by Sotheby's, July 26, 2019

Image: Artforum, No. 1, Artist Jean Tinguely 1962, Courtesy of Sotheby's


A Sailor's Hornpipe (Sweden 1915)


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Gordy Grundy