Roundup: Derek Fordjour's 'SELF MUST DIE' Explores a Year of Black Grief
Rupa Bhattacharya

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Derek Fordjour’s ‘SELF MUST DIE’ Explores a Year of Black Grief

This week, the New York Times profiled Derek Fordjour on the occasion of his new show “SELF MUST DIE” at Petzel Gallery. The story goes into Fordjour’s relatively late start as an artist — he came back to art after a tumultuous start in his 20s — and current rise to art-world darling. 

At 46, Fordjour, surrounded by tremendous peers and mentors (Nari Ward and Mickalene Thomas were early supporters; Henry Taylor bought one of his first sculptures, and Hank Willis Thomas is a longtime friend), is rising into a market sensation. He had a big sale at Phillips last year -- “Agency and Regulation (study)” went for $137,500, twice its estimate, while at the Frieze art fair he sold a suite of 10 paintings to Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

In his new work -- which expands beyond painting and sculpture to performance, including a twice-daily puppet show at Petzel -- he shifts his focus slightly from portraiture to ornate works that reference Black funeral traditions, with paintings like “Pall Bearers” referencing the gilded casket in which George Floyd was buried earlier this year. It’s a fascinating portrait of an artist on the verge of prominence, making work that both reflects and influences the world around him. 


This Week in Otis

Johnny Moore wasn't a great basketball player. Moore was one of those players who shows up, helps your team in some mild, under-the-radar ways, and disappears with a few paychecks and an entirely anonymous legacy. No statues, no retired numbers, no Hall of Fame speeches, but plenty to be proud of.

So why on earth is Johnny Moore's rookie card from the 1986-87 Fleer set worth $10,000, making it the second-most-valuable card in that entire set? Sports cards tend to follow conventional wisdom; the more famous you are, or the better player you are, the pricier your paperboard is going to be. Moore checks neither of those boxes, and yet you can purchase a Trae Young rookie card right now for less than half the cost of one of his. What gives?

This week, in honor of our upcoming ‘86 Fleer drop, Luke Winkie goes in on the legend of Johnny Moore.  

Read: The '86-87 Fleer Basketball Set and the Legend of Johnny Moore


Of Interest

• The most important bootleg sneakers in history

• A sealed first-edition booster box of Pokemon cards just went for $300,000.

• Related: Why are Pokémon prices going up?

• J Balvin on the deeper meaning of his AJI collab

• An Air Yeezy 2 “MBDTF” sample just surfaced online

• Inside George Condo’s new music-and-art collab

• 10 Marvel franchises that failed (and why).

• The stories behind NYC’s most famous street art

News From the Otis Collection

• 253 Supreme T-shirts are expected to sell for $2 million at auction.

• Tracey Emin’s early, unseen paintings are now visible for the first time

• Derrick Adams partnered with swimwear darling Vilebrequin to launch a line of suits based on his “Floaters” series

• Futura and Takashi Murakami just dropped a series of collaborative screenprints

• How Murakami’s ‘Flowers’ became a pop culture symbol

• The much-awaited Nike Kobe 5 Protro “Bruce Lee” is official

• The bike accompanying a Banksy mural in the artist’s hometown of Nottingham has been stolen

• Cleon Peterson’s new LA exhibition “Hysteria” showcases a new direction for the artist

• Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack foundation will offer scholarships to Parsons and HBCUs.  

• KAWS released a holiday card to raise money for the NYC Food Bank. 

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