Friend of the Pod / Untitled
Sam Lipsyte’s Friend of the Pod introduces readers to Jason, a stalled Gen X playwright from Queens whose friend Nando lands him a job producing a podcast. But when Ted Goldsworthy, the aging but irrepressible host of Inter Alia, New Jersey, insists that Jason commutes to his house in the Garden State, his egomaniacal daughter Roanne begins to cast her spell.
Matched with an artwork by Jordan Wolfson, the publication is part of Gagosian’s Picture Books, an imprint conceived by author Emma Cline and dedicated to publishing fiction by leading writers alongside contributions by celebrated contemporary artists.
In the photographic self-portrait Untitled (2022), Wolfson portrays himself clutching a smartphone, his mouth reddened with lipstick, as he shoots a selfie in a mirror smeared with dirt. The image reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in the psychological power of the confrontational and prompts consideration—as does Lipsyte’s fiction—of the ways in which new media further complicates the already myriad challenges of self-expression.