"It’s about giving back to everyday people—the schmucks, the normals, the dopes, the ordinaries," explained Therek Assberg, Professional Wealth-Fluffer for Larry Gagosian. Assberg is photographed above at a Dayton, Ohio Applebee’s, one of the stops on a 2014 road tour organized by the international empire of galleries in a self-conscious effort to "introduce salt-of-the-earth Americans to the wonders of Art." The initiative thus far has involved Assberg serving artist-designed cocktails at various suburban chain restaurants (here he carries pomegranate tingle-fizzies concocted by Richard Phillips and a free-trade coconut water mocktail by Ed Ruscha). "The thing about Americans is they’re not as stupid as you’d think," says Assberg, who is also using the road tour to promote his self-published book, The Sassy Girl’s Guide To Being A Boss And Retiring To Chic Heaven. “Most of them think that art is just, like, Norman Rockwell or Thomas Kinkade. We’re here to tell them that art is a lot, lot more—that art can be someone’s semen, slowly drying on a brick wall. Or a walrus carcass filled with bitcoins. Or a set of directions explaining how to change a car tire, written in Aramaic and buried in a golden box in an undisclosed location in Kansas. I met an old lady in Pittsburgh who asked me, ‘Therek, what IS art?’ And what I did was I just held up a mirror to her face, real close, and I said: Take a good look, old lady. Take a good, good look.”
Gagosian’s cross-country initiative will conclude at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, where the silver-haired mega-dealer will co-host a pig roast alongside Alice Walton.