How I Became an Art Thief

Media malfeasance

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I stole this. Credit: Daedalus Howell

Ever want to post a nude online but fear future repercussions? Conceptual artist Andy Sewell has you covered—literally. At a recent exhibit of the artist’s work and collaborations at Petaluma’s Sonoma Coast Surf Shop, Sewell showcased his knitted, wearable digital pixelation garments for “When you want to fake that nude but not regret it later … cover your bits with BITS.” Sewell’s tableaux also included a piece of “found art” originally created by fellow artist Johnny Hirschmugl (otherwise branded as Art by Johnny), which Hirschmugl himself offhandedly said Sewell hoped would be stolen at the event. I obliged. I offer my confession here, publicly, to attest to having aided in closing (what I hope was) the conceptual loop as well as heading off any legal pursuits in the matter since stealing the painting was technically performance art. The piece is now on my bookshelf. If either artist wants it back, you know where to find me (on eBay).

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Meanwhile: I have a vague memory of attending the Wine County Distillery Festival. I believe there were distilled spirits and a cocktail contest for which I and other media types served as judges. It stands to reason that somebody won—my congratulations to them. If anyone finds the brain cells I lost, please send them to me c/o of the Bohemian.

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Cult-brew Pliny the Younger returned to Russian River Brewing Company last Friday, causing its usual annual people-jam to encircle Santa Rosa’s Fourth Street and beyond. Days later, the line for the triple India pale ale (which comes in at a whopping 10.25 percent alcohol by volume) persists. Of course between the brews’ namesake, Rome’s Pliny the Younger, and Pliny the Elder, is Pliny the Millennial—known for highlighting the absurdity of his privilege by humble-bragging about enduring a long beer line. #youthiswastedontheyounger

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Our friend John Augustine Moran has shuffled off this mortal coil. He was an artist in every sense who had many a great turn on local stages, was easy with a tune and was the kind of smoke-breathed co-conspirator to pull you into a corner by the elbow and tell you, “This is how it’s gonna go, lad …” He was my friend, mentor and consigliere. Who could resist his Dickensian accent, his Satanically smooth entreaties, the winking charm he used to get me into more and deeper shit than I care to recall? We’re collecting remembrances of Moran at Facebook.com/NorthBayBohemian, which may be used in a future tribute. If Moran touched your life, please leave a note. In the meantime, permit me to quote Hamlet: “I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times …”

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Daedalus Howell is the author, most recently, of Quantum Deadline and is the writer-director of the feature film Pill Head. He is the editor of the Pacific Sun and North Bay Bohemian.

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