The Bonfire of the Vanities.
LA-based artist Desire Obtain Cherish (DOC), aka Jonathan Paul was born in 1975 in Salinas, California.
Between engagement and provocation, subversion and (auto) derision, satire and sarcasm, Desire Obtain Cherish castigates through our society through a multifaceted and rebellious work that showcases our darkest our obsessions and addictions.
Sex, drugs, luxury, mass consumption, stereotypes dictate fashion, desire for fame or recognition via social networks … aka Jonathan Paul Desire Obtain Cherish tackles deadly sins of our society, armed with good challenge dose and cynicism. Lambasting our obsession for those brands that we learn to be desired, obtain and cherish from a very young age to become a strong social marker, her newborn already “overlookés” are placed at birth intravenously Prada, Chanel or Tom Ford. Gucci wrist handcuffs, their parents provide a cure pills Saint Laurent, Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes. Even at the risk of overdose and end up like his female life-size dolls, naked and wrapped in a common vacuum packaging covered with logos.
With a background in fashion advertising and art theory, with furniture design and publishing thrown in for good measure, Desire Obtain Cherish is actually a he — Jonathan Paul. But it’s also brand, and beyond a brand — fine art blends with street, pop, conceptual and appropriation art with razor’s edge, using contemporary commerce as a model and as as contextual base for the art, it’s manufacturing and its marketing, commenting on social stratification. In an interview at his studio Paul/DOC explains: “I don’t want to be the focus… My work is commenting on society and art systems. It’s my role as an artist to maintain manufacturing habits…I’m not an activist. I just give you what you want.”
And like any well-positioned consumer brand, he gives you what you want before you even know you want it.
DOC began this phase, high art entrepreneur, of his career only two years ago when he was offered a solo show at LAB Art in downtown Los Angeles. Before that, he had been doing street and appropriation art, including billboard hijacks, which really put him on L.A. gallery radar.