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Ruscha’s Frey Showing At Albright-Knox

from The Buffalo News

‘Wall Rockets’ at Albright-Knox celebrates artist Ed Ruscha



It was the dead of winter in 2006, and James Frey was in a bad way.

His best-selling memoir, “A Million Little Pieces,” had recently come under fire in the national media for factual inaccuracies. He had just appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to defend his work, and Oprah, once a fervent Frey supporter, had torn the author into a billion little shreds.

It seemed that everywhere Frey looked –on blogs and talk shows, in newspapers and magazines –someone was gleefully waiting to vilify him.

Others of lesser conviction might have fled to the hills of New Hampshire or Vermont to become J. D. Salinger-esque recluses, never to set foot in the public spotlight again. But Frey was never much for convention. In his time of need, instead of seeking refuge in alcohol or drugs or even therapy, the embattled author turned to the art of Ed Ruscha.

“I’ve had odd professional experiences,” Frey said on a recent visit to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. And after the odd professional experience that was Frey’s messy evisceration on “Oprah,” Frey’s French publisher called to console him after what she called his “public stoning.” The phrase stuck in Frey’s mind.

“When all that stuff was happening, I don’t know why, I was like, ‘I’ve got to get Ed Ruscha to paint me a picture that says ‘Public Stoning,’” Frey said.

The painting Frey commissioned from Ruscha now hangs in the Albright-Knox as part of “Wall Rockets,” a sprawling tribute exhibition inspired by the work of the legendary California artist. It runs through Oct. 25.

[ click to continue reading at The Buffalo News ]

Posted on August 9, 2009 by Editor

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