Thursday, May 23, 2024

Jubal Brown | DIE SCUM

Jubal Brown
Toronto, Canada: Impulse [b], 2021
276 pp., softcover
Edition size unknown

Not too many Canadian artists receive feature articles in the New York Times when they are 22 years old, and still in school. Toronto artist and OCADU student Jubal Brown received international coverage for a performative event in which he ingested blue icing, blue gelatin and blueberry yoghurt, and vomited it up onto a Mondrian painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The headline read "Student Says Vomiting on Painting Was an Artistic Act."

Twenty-five years later (almost to the day1) Brown released his debut novel, with Eldon Garnet’s Impulse imprint. Subtitled Sex & Drugs & Contemporary Art, DIE SCUM is described as a "punk pulp love story by a post-post-modern dandy, boy-about-town, lost in the perverse underworld of sex & drugs & culture wars.”

Now working as a Social Service Worker and Addictions Counsellor, Brown’s current work deals with addiction, dysfunctional relationships, depression and mental health issues. The book follows the protagonist, a drug dealer for the arts community obsessed with ants and old movies, during a paranoid and misanthropic depression. 

Die Scum is available for €20, here

1. The article by Anthony Depalma was published in the NY Times on December 4th, 1996, and DIE SCUM was launched at the Embassy Bar on December 2nd, 2021. Depalma penned a follow-up, "No Stomach for Art” a week later. 

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