After almost two years away from the media’s glare, Frey was back in the news in September, signing a deal with HarperCollins to publish his new novel, Bright Shiny Morning. “I definitely thought about Ruscha, and his work, while I was writing the book,” he says. “There’s one section about L.A. highways that was inspired, largely, by his photos of Sunset Boulevard. There’s another section about art that has an interview with a character very, very, very loosely based on him. Ruscha is one of the few artists to deal with the city in a way that doesn’t have much to do with Hollywood or crime, which is what most people doing work about L.A. seem to focus on.”
Frey’s alliances in contemporary art predate his commission of the Public Stoning piece, and his collection includes works by Damien Hirst, Cecily Brown and David Smith, among others. In 2006 he wrote a short story for one of photographer Malerie Marder’s exhibition catalogs. His next release is an essay for the new Richard Prince bibliography, to be published in December by JMc & GHB editions. “I haven’t gotten around to asking him yet,” says Frey, “but I’d love to have Richard make a picture for me called Talk Show Nurse.” Just don’t expect Ms. Winfrey to sit for the portrait.