Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi
In the fateful month of March 2000, shortly after opening a hugely successful show in New York that unveiled the more nefarious financial connections of Presidential candidate George W. Bush, the hugely ambitious Conceptual artist Mark Lombardi was found hanged in his studio, an apparent suicide. With museums lining up to buy his work, and the fame he had sought relentlessly at last within his reach, speculation about whether his death was suicide or murder has titillated the art world ever since. Lombardi was an enigma who was at once a compulsive truth–teller and a cunning player of the art game, a political operative and a stubborn independent, a serious artist and a Merry Prankster, a metaphysicist if not a scientist.
Lombardi's spidery, elusive diagrams describing the evolution of the shadow–banking industry from a decades–old alliances between intelligence agencies, banking, government and organized crime, may have made him unique in art history as the only artist whose primary subject, the CIA, has turned around and studied him and his art work. Exhaustively researched, this is the first comprehensive biography of this immensely contradictory and brilliantly original artist whose pervasive influence in not only the art world, but also in the world of computer science and cyber–security is only now coming to light.
The Man Who Might Have Created Peace in the Modern Middle East
Aaron Aaronsohn was one of the most extraordinary figures in the early struggle to create a homeland for the Jewish people. Brought to Palestine at age five, as a young man Aaronsohn was a rugged adventurer who became convinced during years of solo explorations that water should govern the region's fate. He compiled both the area's first detailed water maps and a plan for Palestine's national borders that predicted and—in its insistence on partnership between Arabs and Jews—might have prevented the decades of conflict to come.
In World War I, he ran a spy network with his sister, Sarah, that enabled the British to capture Jerusalem but also made him the rival of his colleague T.E. Lawrence. There is evidence that beautiful, rebellious Sarah, who died tragically in 1917, was the only woman the enigmatic Lawrence ever loved.
Ultimately, Aaron Aaronsohn also paid for his devotion to the new nation with his life. A history that speaks directly to the present, Aaronsohn's Maps
reveals for the first time Aaronsohn's key role in establishing Israel and the enduring importance of Aaronsohn's maps in Middle Eastern politics today.