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Reply #151: Mark Lombardi (also a hanging) [View All]

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 10:38 AM
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151. Mark Lombardi (also a hanging)
Edited on Fri May-02-08 10:39 AM by mod mom
In the early 1990s, Lombardi began researching the many scandals of the time, such as the BCCI scandal, or the Harken Energy scandal, or the Savings and Loan scandal; his thousands of index cards began to overwhelm his ability to deal with it. To cope, Mark began assembling them into physical outlines, and then into hand-written diagrams. They were intended to be a tool, to provide focus to his work, but he "...soon decided that this method of combining text and image in a single field (called a drawing, diagram or flow chart, whichever you prefer) really worked for me in other ways as well." This decision was spurred, according to Lombardi, while he was talking with a friend (Leonard Gumport, a lawyer in Los Angeles), about one portion of the Iran-Contra scandal, a one Saudi Arabian Adnan Khashoggi, whom Lombardi described as "the Saudi commercial agent and playboy arms dealer who had figured prominently in the Iran-Contra and had made large investments in the U.S. including in Houston. As Gumport spoke, I began taking notes, then sketching out a simple tree chart, showing the breakdown of Kashoggi's American holdings. Within days, I began making more of these charts, depicting other corporate networks I had researched. I was writing several pieces at the time and found the charts a useful, quick reference to the material at hand."

Initially, as the subject of one of his manuscripts, the primary focus was on the drug wars, but because of Pete Brewton's January 1990 newspaper series about the Houston S&L scandal, in which Brewton implicated the Bush family, CIA members, and Mafia members in a de facto conspiracy to steal vast sums of money, Lombardi shifted his emphasis to the laundering of the ill-gotten loot. Interestingly, the scandals were not a completely abstract pursuit; one of his former classmate's husband was involved, and when he disappeared, the only portion of his body recovered was his jawbone.

After Lombardi divorced his wife in October 1996, Lombardi moved to New York City since that would get him away from Houston, and because his work was going to be shown in a show at New York's Drawing Center, called Selections: Winter 1997. Not least, one of his friends, Fred Tomaselli lived in New York, and had been trying to persuade Lombardi to move to Williamsburg, New York.

After two highly successful solo art shows (Silent Partners, shown on 20 November 1998 at Joe Amrhein's gallery, Pierogi 2000, located near Lombardi's apartment; and Vicious Circles - a work drawing upon Jonathan Kwitny's book of the same name dealing with Mafia involvement in the legitimate commercial markets - shown on 14 October 1999 at the Deven Golden Gallery) and a popular group show called Greater New York: New Art in New York Now on 27 February 2000 at the P.S 1 art gallery, Mark Lombardi apparently died of suicide (hanging himself in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City studio apartment) in March, 2000, three years after he had moved to Williamsburg.
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