The Reel: “National Anthem” – Lana del Rey, A$AP Rocky, Anthony Mandler


Nouveau riche in thé vinage frame. The forever first lady and the one time flame. The brunette bombshell and the trap star, lost and found in the endless hyperreel… Because the spectacle said so – when the young culture is American culture, and Lana’s lyrics drown out Key’s ode to Lady Liberty… Where standing wealth disappears beneath the facade of runaway riches. Where race fades in the place of the envy, the currency, the one, the only, the greenface. Where Cognac and Cuban cigars line the seersuckered pockets of star-spangled bangers… Here in this place in time, suspended in the gilded gift of the omnipresent: the market is the new monarchy, fame is the new family, pledge allegiance to the powers that be: Marilana Yolonassis and A$AP “Call Me More Like Dom” F. Kennedy

Anthony Mandler does what he does best, and directs the archives for the future. Here he pairs American gangsters and doll divas as portrayal of that new royalty in a world where money is the anthem of success. Lingering beneath porcelain faces, and crowns above based heads, the vitriolic veneer of bittersweet symphonies – regal requiems for those most prominent patriots, kings and queens of the capital, Hollywood signs and Hamptonite vines converged atop the new world Capitol… life lost in the lust of Capitalism, that most beautifully dark and twisted love story.

Watch This Space: Decadent depression… The Great American novel for those golden children, spawns of spectacular illiteracy… The Grapes of Gatsby… What a wonderful wrath.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

It ain’t that big. The whole United States ain’t that big. It ain’t that big. It ain’t big enough. There ain’t room enough for you an’ me, for your kind an’ my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat.

– John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

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