David Benjamin Sherry is, in my opinion, one of the most important new photographers we’ve seen in years. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a genius, but that’s just my opinion. However, if you don’t agree, if you don’t like David’s work, chances are you don’t like yourself. Why don’t you like yourself? You’re OK, just a little fat is all. Your breath’s not great either… and you talk funny… otherwise you’re fine. Give yourself a break.
Vice: You going to Art Basel this year?
David Benjamin Sherry:
I think I am. I might be DJing.
That’ll be cool! Have you been down there before?
What was the best thing about it?
What? What’s Twenty Cocks?
Tony Cox. He’s this pro skater turned artist, he’s one of my best friends.
What’s so good about Tony Cox?
Anytime he’s around it’s crazy times.
Like drag shows in the middle of the night, beach parties, acid, mushrooms, the whole… bonfire of the masses, it’s always a beautiful thing. We always sneak away from the crowd and meet some weirdos.
Manorathadayakas, 2008, traditional color print (collage), courtesy of Andre Schlechtriem Contemporary.
What sort of art does Tony do?
Performance stuff. He’s the best thing I remember about Art Basel.
What was the worst thing?
Probably the art fair.
The actual fair?
Too many people. I mean, I’ll go to the Armory a lot cause I live in New York. I attend that, and I’ve been to Art Basel in Switzerland, which is actually beautiful. It’s a lot more… exquisite. There’s a huge amount of space and the work seems more important. Sometimes I think art fairs can be like “Malling.” It’s good if your work sells but as an artist I think it’s nicer to distance yourself from all that a little.
Right. What was the most memorable event from your last trip to Miami?
Well, it’s all about Tony Cox. I wish I could fully remember… it included gold body paint, people I’d never spoken to before and will never talk to again, a hotel room that was out of a movie set, this crazy penthouse thing… I’m not sure if the people in it were even there for the fair…
And you were covered in gold paint?
There was a lot of gold paint, a lot… and a couple of fires started… and… mushrooms, Tony Cox, and me. When I got home there were only a few things I could put together… I think we were naked a lot.
Covered in gold paint.
Yeah. Oh! Look, it’s Tony Cox calling right now!
It is, isn’t it?