— Looking in boxes of old stuff I found some snapshots of myself; two with some friends and one with my first camera, I am guessing from 1976 or so. I also found a paper that I wrote for school, when I was 15, about the 1972 US elections. It is basically my first book. It also goes deep into my early influences, that were really Time and Life magazine. My father had given me a subscription to Life magazine and when Life folded, I chose to get Time instead. Though it was a sad day when Life folded.
I read through my school paper and to my surprise discovered many things are still very much the same. I had created a whole section that identifies some of the financiers behind the Nixon campaign and here we are almost 40 years later and the Supreme Court has just condoned corporate sponsorship for political campaigns. As a caption to a picture of Frank Sinatra and Richard Nixon I wrote, “Two gangsters”. I show another picture of Nixon with Taft Schreiber of MCA and Charlton Heston. I also call George Wallace, “A racist, who appeals to the most primitive feelings in man”. As a 15-year old I also knew what was the left in the US was basically considered right of the middle in Europe, so whenever I referred to the left in the text I wrote “left”.
The most interesting discovery is one of personal note. In 2000 my gallery sold one of my works to senator Eagleton. I had never heard of him; I thought, but here in this paper I describe Eagleton’s demise as vice-president candidate after he publicly announced that he had suffered several nervous breakdowns, basically crippling McGovern’s campaign for president before it even started.
Ari Marcopoulos was born in 1957 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He lives in Sonoma, California. WITHIN ARM’S REACH, the first monograph on Marcopoulos’ work, was published in 2009. He just finished WHERE THE WIND BLOWS a 60 minute film on his friend, snowboarder Craig Kelly. Marcopoulos will be featured in the 2010 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.