Zine Review: Internet People



Art zine, Andy Borehol, andyborehol.bigcartel.com, [email protected], $5


The clever twist of using a pseudonym like Andy Borehol is that rather than standing in contrast to its anti-namesake, it fits nicely into the Andy Warhol framework: exemplifying the legendary pop artist’s simultaneous fascination and boredom with the everyday. When Warhol prophesied 15 minutes of fame for all, I don’t know if he could have imagined something like the Internet. But it’s here, and it’s teeming with our likenesses while little Warhol-disciples (or, perhaps, Warhol-disparagers) like Borehol are poring over it to make our anonymous faces famous.

Borehol’s Internet People zine is a companion piece to a 2013 exhibition of the same name. Densely sketched reproductions of head shots, presumably pilfered from the Web, are titled with file names like “DSC_0113.” Each black-and-white sketch stands in relief on its own plain white page. Thumbing through the collection is like browsing a file of bizarro mugshots, where the hyper-pronounced details of hair, pockmarks, wrinkles and folds of face skin render faces that might have been beautiful grotesque. Borehol’s technique is like a high-contrast charcoal Instagram filter that makes everyone compellingly ugly.

Making eye contact with Borehol’s subjects is gross and unnerving, but if one reads deeper into the idea of using the Internet as one’s muse — where humanity’s self-obsession is on full display — these could be immortalizations rather than mockeries. Or they could be both. (Joshua Barton)