Los Angeles, 2022
56” x 92” Unframed 71” x 107” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 61” Unframed 52” x 76” Framed Edition of 12
Private jets are mainstream in 2022. In celebrated American resort destinations such as Aspen, they can outnumber grounded commercial aircrafts 20 to 1. Flying privately makes travel comfortable and appeals to those long of cash and short of time, but to film in a private jet and merely tell a story of luxury, has always struck me as banal and creatively stiff.
Instead, I wanted to use the tube of a private jet to tell a story of excess and bad behaviour; if jets are private, then by definition anything is permissible and the word PJ can elicit imagery of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It is not, of course, a linear relationship and most passengers on private jets are model citizens simply travelling in the most perfunctory of ways from A to B. But in the art world, I feel no need to play to percentages. I would rather have some fun and tell some stories.
My focus was the PJ journeys that get out of hand.
The real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ - Jordan Belfort - was not shy of excess and I persuaded him that we could build a frame around some of the infamous moments from the movie and host that aggregation in a PJ. I knew that we needed an emphatic reference to the film over and above Jordan and a wolf - and the dollar bill mule girl was core to my intended vibe.
Many will remember the scene when the Wolf of Wall Street woke from a drug fuelled flight to find himself tied to his seat by a number of seat belts. It was a novel storyline and wonderful black comedy. My sense was we could merge this vignette with the dollar mule girl and build from there. Holly Graves and Josie Canseco both played their roles on the plane as well as I could have asked, especially given the amount of fun everyone was having. (Holly as the money mule and Josie as the pantomime stewardess). I recognise that it is tough to play “bad ass” when everyone else on the plane is trying not to laugh.
I hope this photograph finds itself on the walls of a few private jets; we all know it depicts a flight that none of us will ever take.
~ David Yarrow