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12/09/2003: Fraud & Conspiracy

The 'Conspiracy' Art of Mark Lombardi
from NPR

lombardi3 (19k image) lombardi4 (11k image)

A few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, an FBI agent called the Whitney Museum of American Art and asked to see a drawing on exhibit there. The piece was by Mark Lombardi, an artist who had committed suicide the year before. Using just a pencil and a huge sheet of paper, Lombardi had created an intricate pattern of curves and arcs to illustrate the links between global finance and international terrorism.

In other drawings, Lombardi explored subjects ranging from the collapse of the Vatican bank to the Iran-Contra scandal. The results are not only detailed slices of history, but also works of art -- some looking like constellations of stars on a dark night, others swirling clouds of abstract lines and points.

A traveling show of Lombardi's work opens this weekend at the Drawing Center in New York City. NPR's Lynn Neary spoke to exhibit curator Robert Hobbs, professor of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University, who discusses why Lombardi's work should be considered art, and not just good research.

I wonder why he "committed suicide?"

Mark Lombardi (1951-2000) draws on the major political and financial scandals of the day to create large-scale linear diagrams that at first glance look like celestial maps; a closer reading reveals the intricate web of connections that lurk beneath current headlines. From Whitewater to the Vatican Bank, Lombardi uses dotted lines and broken arrows to chart the paths of illicit deals and laundered money, keeping track of it all in a handwritten database of 12,000 index cards. By scrutinizing the mutable boundaries that separate artistic practice from daily life, Lombardi wrings visual poetry out of dirty secrets--the results are a chillingly beautiful guide to the facts of life.

Tuesday the 9th of December, ayatollah of rock n rollah noted:

maybe he ran out of pencils

Wednesday the 10th of December, crazywriterinla noted:

I knew about this but haven't ever done the full research on Lombardi, however when I try to explain the Bush/Hussein/Bin Laden connection, almost everyone shrugs it off going "it's all about the oil" when they don't fully realize how intricate it gets.