A brilliant artist named ANDY FRIEDER passed away from cancer on March 11, 2014.
Presently no one knows his name or work, but that will soon change! A highly original artist, he lived for his work. Profoundly shy, for Andy the social matrix of the contemporary art world
was too complicated to navigate. One could call him an Art Monk. In the last period of his life, the wise curators at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History –MOAH– (in the city of Lancaster, Ca., which is located in northern L.A. County) discovered that they had an undiscovered, world-class artist in their midst. A selected sampling of Andy Frieder’s art will be on display there in a group show beginning March 29. A major retrospective of the work of Andrew Frieder is planned by MOAH for June 2016.
It was my pleasure to have known Andy well, and to have seen hundreds of pieces of his work. I’m thrilled that others will now get to enjoy his art. I can’t wait for this talent to finally emerge. Although he worked in many themes (from playful to those that are wildly provocative), with the mark of a true artist, every piece exudes “Andy Style.”
I honor Andy Frieder, and miss him…he was so sweet and special!
UPDATE: Nov. 8, 2015. Andrew Frieder’s work debuted at the Outsider Art Fair in New York, this past Feb. He was immediately lauded with a flurry of articles in journals like the Huffington Post. His August show at the Good Luck Gallery in LA’s Chinatown was well received with strong reviews in the LA Times and Art News, among others. His work will be shown at ArtBasel Miami next month, and then again at the Outsider Art Fair, followed by the museum retrospective in June. The posthumous recognition is wonderful…and bittersweet.
Yes, I wroteMickey Cohen, the book on the Los Angeles underworld that reveals the REAL STORIES of LA’s mob bosses, BUGSY SIEGEL and MICKEY COHEN. And, yes, I do plan to watch TNT’s MOB CITY beginning on Wed., Dec. 4. I’m curious! It’s more cops chasing gangsters in LA. It was really FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself who was at war with Benny Siegel in the year before the Bug’s execution in June 1947. That story is amazing — and you can only read it in my book.
After the poorly received Gangster Squad movie, in the summer of 2013 Mob City was granted a shooting schedule that essentially gave them a chance to rework whatever they had already shot the year before. The kid playing Mickey Cohen looks like decent casting. Ed Burns as Benny Siegel? He’s married to supe Christy Turlington so he has something going on. Burns may be good; we shall see. To be correct, the actor should be OUTRAGEOUSLY handsome — not just good looking. Dressed like a duke, Ben Siegel was extremely charismatic and could be devastatingly charming. He had huge crystal blue eyes and he flashed a giant grin. Burt Lancaster-ish, no? Tony Curtis worked for years trying to play him and would have been great. I reveal here for the first time that Siegel had affairs with both Golden Age screen goddesses, Ava Gardner, and Lana Turner, when each was very young. AND Mae West!!!
I don’t know what to expect, but I hope the Zombie guy, Frank Darabont, will deliver something historically correct. Remember: Truth is stranger than fiction. Particularly in this case.
UPDATE: This show was not picked up. My favorite thing: Ed Burns. He was terrific as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.
LA’s Capone was born Meyer Harris Cohen on September 4, 1913.
Check out the article on Mickey Cohen’s birthday at PLAYGROUND TO THE STARS. Always an innovator, who bankrolled advanced technologies to be used in devious ways, I feel he would be have adapted well today — RICO laws and DNA notwithstanding.
I love the cover of the Italian edition of my book, Mickey Cohen. They’re calling it Il Gangster ! The back jacket translates to “more famous than a movie star, more powerful than the law, the most feared criminal in America.”