Benji Knewman #10

18.00

Benji Knewman is a man, around 41 years old. He’s trying to be genuine, and it seems he sometimes manages. He also curates a biannual bookazine telling stories about people who don’t pretend and who can simply be. Covering a myriad of vocations and lifestyles, as well as geographical locations, they’re living proof that you don’t have to be conventional to have a good life.

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“We watched Saved by the Bell and later Beverly Hills, 90210, and have all experienced what it means for Super Mario to eat a mushroom and double in size. That’s us — we were still acquainted with deficit, but had already been infected with gluttony.”

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“Once, they bought Komar and Melamid in Los Angeles; I wrote to the transport people that they would be bringing it all and they’d have to then take it to New York for further shipment to Europe. They said, “Okay, no problem.” The next day they wrote to me, “You know, the painting was brought to us attached to the roof of an Escalade with a rubber band. Good thing there was no rain.””

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“The nicest thing about my current situation is that I can do what I’m doing and have fun in the process. Someone told me some time ago that it was extremely important for me to get a board of directors as soon as possible, but I wasn’t really sure it was my path. And now this person has lost his investors and board. So I believe in there being different types of companies and different ways of doing things.”

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“The only way I could react to my divorce, which can’t really be called that because that’s not what it was, but I’m sure that no one would like to read such tasteless words on these beautiful pages, so, the only way I could write about my divorce and not collapse under the weight or stench of the words was to laugh about it.”

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“I remember when some Polish relatives came to visit, bringing toys and a bag of chewing gum. One toy robot could even stand upright, its demon eyes gleaming like lights in a faraway port across the sea, in a prosperous land. We couldn’t even get batteries in our town, so the revival of the robot had to be postponed, but no one could stop me trying the chewing gum. It was a Friday. On one hand was the option to take the chewing gum to school on Monday and be the hero, on the other — that intoxicating smell. Needless to say, I tried every vividly coloured variety of gum that very evening, and later even threw up.”

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