Written by Michael Tolkin, Contribution by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Bret Easton Ellis and Alex Israel
This provocative new book presents the collaborative paintings of Alex Israel and Bret Easton Ellis, among today’s sharpest observers of the culture of pleasure, their art inseparable from the world in which it finds expression.
Los Angeles is both background and subject in the respective oeuvres of Israel and Ellis. For Israel, the American dream, as embodied by the L.A. mythos, remains affecting and potent, and he approaches his hometown with an uncanny coupling of local familiarity and anthropological curiosity. While Ellis, who became famous for his portrait of an amoral, decadent L.A. of the 1980s in his debut novel Less Than Zero, has continued to elaborate upon his jaundiced vision of a superficial youth society over the past two decades.
Now these two artists have come together to create a lively discourse on their city. At Israel’s provocation, Ellis has written short texts that Israel then converted into various fonts and combined with commercial stock images. These striking images are displayed in full color, along with double-page installation photos of the 2016 exhibition and insightful essays and interviews.
About The Author
Michael Tolkin is an American filmmaker and novelist. He is the recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay for The Player, which he adapted from his own novel of the same name. An art curator, critic, and art historian, Hans Ulrich Obrist is the artistic director for Serpentine Galleries, London. He is the author of The Interview Project and the coeditor of the Cahiers d’Art Revue.