5+5 with John Jannuzzi | GQ Editor. Social Animal. October 20 2014
He’s also an art guy, which I didn’t know until he name-checked our very own Amze Emmons when he spotted his editions on 20x200 a few months back. He was also the first guy to step up to the plate when I mentioned that I was having a hard time finding qualified fellas to contribute to 5+5. As you’ll see when you read about his selections below, it’s not like I lowered my standards just to be able to feature a man. Read on and you’ll see for yourself that there’s a lot more to him than 140 characters and a pretty face. - Jen
5 Perfect Picks
1) Balsa Planes #4 by Paul Madonna
When I was a kid, my grandfather used to buy balsa-wood planes for my brother and me. We'd go up to visit their farm and since there wasn't much else to do, we'd just fly them around all day long. It's one of those completely blissful memories of childhood, and it all came nostalgia-ing back when I saw this. Whenever you find something like that, you've gotta go for it.
2) The Sleepwalker's Language by Amze Emmons
I'm completely biased here: Amze taught me everything I know about printmaking (or at least everything I learned from 2003-2007). His work has a very strange vibe about it—there's a level of familiarity in the subject matter, but something feels off. And that “off” feeling is what keeps you looking. It's almost like a glimpse into the not-too-distant-and-not-too-bad future. They're thinkers.
3) Prensa 1, by Carol Padberg
This one caught me right away; my eyes kept trying to read it as text. It's a fairly straightforward piece, but that little trick makes it pretty interesting. Most people might have the same reaction, considering Carol's work is rooted in typography, but that's not a bad thing. A fine (and soothing) piece to have in the home. Plus, that's a pretty relaxing tone of blue.
4) Dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History, by Jason Polan
I always love Jason's stuff; he's one of my favorite artists out there. He's got great skill when it comes to line drawings, and there's a good humor to his subject matter. Every time I see his work, I'm always reminded of great illustrators. It's like he's carrying the torch of Shel Silverstein or Sir Quentin Blake. Who doesn't love dinosaurs?
5) Hatō zu 1, by Uehara Konen
In my hometown, there's a massive farmhouse that was converted to a museum and they've got a great collection of Japanese prints, including a lot of Hokusai (a favorite of mine). And while this isn't Hokusai, it still has that same vibe. I'm especially into the movement going on at the top right.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) What's your favorite museum?
The Hillstead Museum in Farmington, CT for their surprisingly robust collection of impressionist masters and Japanese prints.
2) If you could be reincarnated as another artist, who would you want to be?
Joan Miró, any day of the week.
3) Most coveted coffee-table book?
Not sure if it counts because it's technically not a book, but this zine called BEST is killing it right now—a good collection of photography and poetry.
4) You've got $5M to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
Today? I'd go with Matisse's cutout “The Fall of Icarus.”
5) Favorite Color?
The 411 on John Jannuzzi
I'm an editor at GQ in New York City, but have always been into art. I studied printmaking and art history in college, and continued my work at Parsons The New School for Design (but I dropped out after a year). My bulldogs are my second most prized-possession, behind some artwork I've scrimped and saved for over the years. I'm a friend to all those who offer me Oreos.