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

In the fateful month of March 2000, shortly after opening a hugely successful show in New York that unveiled the more nefarious financial connections of Presidential candidate George W. Bush, the hugely ambitious Conceptual artist Mark Lombardi was found hanged in his studio, an apparent suicide. With museums lining up to buy his work, and the fame he had sought relentlessly at last within his reach, speculation about whether his death was suicide or murder has titillated the art world ever since. Lombardi was an enigma who was at once a compulsive truth-teller and a cunning player of the art game, a political operative and a stubborn independent, a serious artist and a Merry Prankster, a metaphysicist if not a scientist.

Lombardi’s spidery, elusive diagrams describing the evolution of the shadow-banking industry from a decades-old alliances between intelligence agencies, banking, government and organized crime, may have made him unique in art history as the only artist whose primary subject, the CIA, has turned around and studied him and his art work. Exhaustively researched, this is the first comprehensive biography of this immensely contradictory and brilliantly original artist.

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (October 13, 2015)


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In 2003, I viewed the traveling exhibit of Mark Lombardi’s work and it is fair to say that I walked into the exhibit with one world view and left with an entirely different one. The power of any conceptual or graphical representation is in the pruning away of extraneous information that leaves only that which is relevant and true. Lombardi did this exceptionally well. Twelve years later, Goldstone fills in the connective tissue of Lombardi’s art, deepening and expanding on Lombardi’s work with a meticulous and nuanced history of the shadow world economy, its powerful players, and the effect that it has wrought on our world. Goldstone has the rare ability to write knowledgeably about both the art world and world economics, and this information could not be more timely or relevant. Interlock is riveting reading- I could not turn away from the page.


I bank with the Mafia and CIA, apparently

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