Events: Desire Obtain Cherish

Desire Obtain Cherish, Anti-war protest

Desire Obtain Cherish, Billboard hijack

Desire Obtain Cherish, First the sex-tape

Desire Obtain Cherish, Is this illegal?

Desire Obtain Cherish, Basquiat punched

Desire Obtain Cherish, Blood sugar high

Desire Obtain Cherish, Mid-sized Meltdowns

Desire Obtain Cherish, Delicious mess berry

Desire Obtain Cherish, Addicted at birth

Desire Obtain Cherish, Designer drugs, Hermes

Desire Obtain Cherish, Designer drugs

Desire Obtain Cherish, Fat cat

Desire Obtain Cherish, Good business

Desire Obtain Cherish, Path to riches

Desire Obtain Cherish, It\'s no wonder why

Desire Obtain Cherish, Jim Morrison\'s bet

Desire Obtain Cherish, Marylin unveiled

Desire Obtain Cherish, Heresy\'s crosses

Desire Obtain Cherish, #Selfmedicated (On a wall of The McLoughlin Gallery, San Francisco)

Desire Obtain Cherish, portrait

Enthu­si­asm is sky high, in San Fran­cisco, where on July 11th Desire Obtain Cher­ish landed with his works at The McLough­lin Gallery at num­ber 49 on Geary Street. Surely Joan McLough­lin is gloat­ing. Many artists have passed through her gallery, such as Chris­tine Comyn, David Mid­dle­brook, Sil­via Poloto, McKay Otto, Kristina Quinones, MoE Thomas, Renaud Delorme, Ah-Young Jeon, Pia Maria Mar­tin, Colin McRae, Daniel Healey, Christo­pher H. Mar­tin, Meghann Riepen­hoff, Doug Thielscher, Evan ESK Wil­son, Kirs­tine Roep­storff, and Cristo­bal Vale­cil­los, the artist with a mus­tache like Sal­vador Dalì who cre­ates envi­ron­ments and objects in paper and card­board, from chim­neys to shoes, from wag­ons to skate­boards, from pleated dresses to those from the six­ties and human comics in space.

Joan, a nice lady with a beau­ti­ful smile and polite ways, made a hit and doesn’t hide it. In fact it’s in her gallery that Desire Obtain Cher­ish, the irrev­er­ent artists based in Los Ange­les, has had his first solo show in San Fran­cisco. “There was an incred­i­ble flow of peo­ple” Joan tells us. A great sat­is­fac­tion for this gallery owner who loves artists that “cre­ate unique and stim­u­lat­ing works, that is to say works of art that make you think”. Art work that makes you think is also the gallery’s motto, con­ceived as a social hori­zon, a space that can “edu­cate” and “intrigue”. Really, what are you going to do with art if it doesn’t make you reflect or laugh, even bit­terly, about your­self, your vices, your obses­sion, about what you are and that maybe you don’t know you are?

A bit like Desire Obtain Cher­ish, that iron­i­cally slaps you in the face with your obses­sion for fash­ion, the brand über alles, sex, the world of celebri­ties, and it doesn’t mat­ter if the star that you liked so much was a per­son that spent their life among vices and a cos­mic empti­ness. He explains this to you him­self, also by writ­ing anec­dotes and mem­o­ries on the gallery’s walls in San Fran­cisco: “The other day some­one asked me, what art do you do? Art that makes peo­ple smile, I said. So for you every­thing is a game, some­one asked me, mak­ing fun of me. I stopped for a minute and I sighed. No, peo­ple smile when they see my work, because they laugh about them­selves”. And on sex: “One time a guy who was inter­view­ing me about a book on fash­ion, he asked me, and what will you do next?”. And Desire Obtain Cher­ish, who had been a cre­ative direc­tor for a big fash­ion brand per­plexed the inter­viewer: “Sex!”. “What are you talk­ing about? Sex is every­where in fash­ion. Half naked peo­ple on mag­a­zine bill­boards”. And the artist in reply: “No, sex is the only thing that fash­ion can’t lit­er­ally sell. If Gucci sould sell sex, peo­ple would buy it. If Tom Ford sold blow-up dolls I would surely buy one”.

And one night to a friend, who was tired of the boyfriend that she had told him about and who thought she could find some­thing bet­ter, “You want to get rid of him because you’re bored”, was his answer, and she, finally free of what was weigh­ing her down, “Oh, yes, the world is so big. Next please”. This was a din­ner that inspired his cre­ations based on lol­lipops, you suck on one, you take another, metaphor for today’s rela­tion­ships. Irrev­er­ent and orig­i­nal, and Joan, some­one who doesn’t set­tle for what is triv­ial, knows this. Artists like this come to you, because they know who you are what you think, or it’s you who goes to them, open­ing the doors wide. Joan’s are emerg­ing artists or ones that are at a half-way point in their career, whose work is “unique, emo­tional, with bril­liant and auda­cious col­ors”, a bit like that of Desire Obtain Cher­ish, who under his big sun­glasses and met­ro­pol­i­tan hood is actu­ally Jonathan Paul: “His work, with his use of lucid and viva­cious col­ors, is aes­thet­i­cally beau­ti­ful”. And then his irony on drugged love for fash­ion, with those “pow­er­ful and rec­og­niz­able brands”, the blis­ter packs full of Louis Vuit­ton, Her­mès, Yves Saint Lau­rent, Chanel pills, swal­lowed as if they were Advil and Tylenol. Fash­ion is a drug and only Desire Obtain Cher­ish could laugh about con­tem­po­rary society’s vices, where you’re nobody if you don’t walk around with huge Louis Vuit­ton glasses, Gucci jew­els, Her­mès bags, if you don’t spray your­self with Chanel, if you don’t dress with Yves Saint Lau­rent and rather than leav­ing the house with­out these you stay locked in your home.

Once an unripe star­let, who later inspired him to cre­ate Judy pur­ple pop­pies, landed in his stu­dio: “All this mak­ing paint­ings with pills of yours is absolutely obses­sive, I don’t under­stand where you find the patience”. And he, mak­ing fun of that petu­lant guest: “I con­ducted a research on celebri­ties, poets, and artists that died of drug use, dis­cov­er­ing how many pills and nee­dles they had taken, killing them. There, that num­ber is the exact num­ber that I used for mak­ing these paint­ings”. And that lit­tle star­let, with eyes rolling over the tens of thou­sands of plas­tic pills spread around the stu­dio: “Wow! I only take the ones that my ther­a­pist pre­scribes”. Mar­velous! Even in this, Joan tells us, color play apart, Jonathan Paul is “a truly unique artist. He puts things into you using these tech­niques, hit­ting you with social crit­i­cism. An exam­ple? The half-eaten lol­lipops, that make us reflect on a waste­ful soci­ety, that throws food away, rela­tion­ships. It reminds us of our faults and we, smil­ing, admit to them”.

Joan then remem­bers the suc­cess of the works she showed at Scope Basel 2013, like Addicted at birth, Amy fuck never, a pop por­trait of Amy Wine­house, and Basquiat punched, pop as well, homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, friend of Andy Warhol and lead­ing expo­nent of amer­i­can graft: “It aroused a whole lot of inter­est”. And if in Basel an adver­tis­ing flyer was cir­cu­lated, the exper­i­ment was repeated in San Fran­cisco. The invi­ta­tion for #side­ef­fects wasn’t bad as a lure with that The McLough­lin gallery wel­comes you to the open­ing night recep­tion for Los Ange­les based artist DESIRE OBTAIN CHERISH’s solo show in San Fran­cisco on a grey back­ground and with The Path riches, the work with a Hol­ly­wood red car­pet, golden plaques and white gloves that sweep across in front. In San Fran­cisco, in suite 200 at 49 Geary Street, you walk on the red car­pet and you enter, star for a day, find­ing your­self in front of pop por­traits with Elvis Pres­ley, Jim Mor­ri­son, Michael Jack­son, Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, Amy Wine­house, the sleep­ing girl in Judy pur­ple pop­pies, the black boxer of Basquiat punched. 

And again the rosary neck­lace of Carpe mundum, the one with grass hockey balls and sticks; Gucci’s bejew­eled hand­cuffs; the frame of Short term mem­ory with the can­vas that slips away; the lit­tle sol­dier in Sol­dier skater; the jew in The critic and The investor in front of a can­vas with lots of embell­ish­ments; the naked candy woman in plas­tic candy wrap­per with a red bow; the lol­lipops; the lip­stick of All the good ones are gay; the Chanel pills, Her­mès, Yves Saint Lau­rent, Louis Vuit­ton; the pur­ple and scratch­ing nails of Omg. I caught him wear­ing under­wear again; the acrylic col­ors of Mouth­wa­ter­ing mat­ters reign of Adder­all, Prozac, Via­gra; the lady with swollen breasts in Daty 1 with that turquoise brush­stroke that trans­forms into a mouth that comes closer to suck those invit­ing nip­ples; the heretic choco­late crosses, the green one, mint fla­vored, light brown, milk, dark, bit­ter: the Fam­ily Jew­els, the Gucci fam­ily jew­els, in real­ity a banana, phal­lic sym­bol, inside a metal­lic case sup­ported by lit­tle black leather ropes with lots of lit­tle studs; the lit­tle black girl in The prob­lems we all live with, walk­ing around with a white dress with a train and with a micro­phone, escorted by four goril­las with a yel­low crime scene band on their arms, on a celebrity red car­pet; the tow­ers made with pieces of wood of Feel­ing roman­tic. You look at them in front and you read Feel­ing roman­tic, you go to the back and you read Flam­ing erec­tion and you want to say that you feel roman­tic, when really it’s some­thing else that you feel. And then, the big mon­key with binoc­u­lars that looks down the road with a sign that reads Looks like zom­bies from here; the teddy bear on the back­ground of chip­board who with big ten­der eyes holds up a sign to tell you that he’s dumb and happy; the orange sign of Left with for rights and that of Watch your dub step and, inevitable, almost as if it were a met­ro­pol­i­tan must, the shop­ping cart of Less is more full of tied bags, news­pa­pers, lit­tle flags, drapes, frames, empty cans.

This is Jonathan Paul, class of 1975, cal­i­forn­ian from Sali­nas, a bachelor’s degree at Parson’s School of Design, a street artist in the past, with an eye for pop cul­ture and mod­ern day society’s obses­sions for sex, drugs, celebri­ties, fame, com­merce. An art, his, that makes of desire, that which turns dreams into depen­dency, his favorite tar­get. Desire Obtain Cher­ish, are there still doubts as to why Jonathan Paul chose this name?


Desire Obtain Cher­ish, #sideeffects

The McLough­lin Gallery 

49 Geary Street, Suite 200, San Fran­cisco (CA)

July 11th — August 31st, 2013

PLEASE NOTE: The world exclu­sive rights for the artist Desire Obtain Cher­ish belong to Unix Gallery. The artist’s show in San Fran­cisco is part of a col­lab­o­ra­tion. The offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Desire Obtain Cher­ish is of Unix and all the major present and future events tied to the artist will be housed in the gallery start­ing from March 2014 in New York.