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M. Leary

Mark Dion (and artists that somehow know you)

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Okay, so my wife was walking through the MOMA the other day and came across an exhibit by a guy named Mark Dion that neither of us had ever seen (a few pieces come up on a google image search). One of the first things she sees is a box filled with different layers of things: bricks, jars of glass, and then containers of sand. She immediately gets excited, because she then realizes that every object in the room is exactly the sort of artwork I have always described in detail about wanting to make, and in some cases have. (As with that one piece specifically, I compulsively collect jars of glass, dirt, and sand from various places, as well as old bricks which are stacked up in my bookbinding studio.)

She was thrilled to call me and tell me this story about an artist, who apparently is my aesthetic doppleganger. When I started looking at his work, I was a bit miffed at first. A few of his works, this and this for example are installations that I have even gone so far as to sketch and take notes about. Uncanny. And so I was miffed in that... I could have done that. But then after a while I have begun to feel an unexpected joy about both seeing these ideas come to life, and knowing that there is a dude out there who will continue to use my (I mean our) ideas. Brilliant Cornell meets Hirst kind of stuff.

Don't get me wrong, there are many artists I have a connection to (Richter, Chagall, Cornell, etc...), but I have never stumbled across my doppelganger before. Anyone else have this happen?

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you should check out season 4 of Art:21, which is always great. Dion's featured.

As for doppelgangers, I've definitely had ideas "stolen" and I definitely connect intensely with some artists' work--Miranda July, Tim Etchells, etc. But I don't know if I'd call anyone my doppleganger.

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