"Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi"

Nov 10, 2015

On this edition of ST, a discussion with Patricia Goldstone, who has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has written for The Washington Post and The Economist, and is also an award-winning playwright. She tells us all about her new book, an interesting blend of biography, art history, and political reportage called "Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi." Lombardi, who died in 2000 under somewhat mysterious circumstances, was a conceptual artist mainly acclaimed for his drawings known as "interlocks." These spidery and sprawling diagrams depict the growth and development of the modern shadow-banking industry -- an unsettling evolution going back over decades, and thriving on alliances between intelligence agencies, banking firms, governments, and organized crime. Lombardi is therefore, as Goldstone points out, not only a unique figure in art history but also probably the only artist ever whose primary subject -- the CIA -- has subsequently (after his death) studied him and his art work. "Interlock" is a book that raises many questions -- about a certain artist's work, and life, and death, and overall subject matter -- and while most if not all of those questions go unanswered, it's a fascinating read nonetheless. As was noted of this book by Artnet: "Goldstone has written the first comprehensive biography of the conceptual artist...which is full of details from those who were closest to him: family, friends, colleagues, and past loves. Goldstone weaves U.S. historical records into the course of the artist's life, citing scandals, political intrigue, and economic turbulence along the way."