Further down the line, this company was eventually sold to individuals with connections to the Bush family, with George W.
himself receiving millions of dollars in stock in spite of the venture’s obvious failure.
Here’s how it got to this point, and “what the internet has been talking about” during the past 12 years.
I first became familiar with Mark Lombardi’s work in April 2000 while in the midst of finishing my master’s thesis at the MIT Media Lab.
Every statement of fact and connection depicted in the work is true and based on information culled entirely from the public record. 1970–84” is part of a series of works that relate the story of a global banking conglomerate thought to have a role in the Colombian drug trade and money laundering of drug money.
In another drawing, Lombardi created a timeline, moving left to right, covering fifty years of organized crime in Chicago.Lombardi began as a painter who was also deeply interested in research, with a natural bent toward reading and absorbing large amounts of information.In 1994, he began to create drawings such as this one to depict the complex narratives he would uncover through his curiosity about anything from failed banks to corruption in government to organized crime.Starting with Al Capone at the left, it follows the network of his associates and how their activities evolved from bootlegging to racketeering and gambling, and also as they expanded their reach into other major cities with more gambling, prostitution, and money laundering.Many of the reviews of Mark’s work frequently reference “conspiracy,” though this seems a disservice brought by articles like this one that prominently feature conspiracy in their titles or as a central theme.On the other, social networking by way of sites like My Space and Friendster (this is 2003) had grown past their early adopter phase and become more common, so the idea of having one or two degrees of separation to a network of people was understood much more broadly.Even in the years since first writing this essay in 2009, there has been a remarkable proliferation of books and exhibitions about his work.After a careful review of the literature I then condense the essential points into an assortment of notations and other brief statements of fact, out of which an image begins to emerge.My purpose throughout is to interpret the material by juxtaposing and assembling the notations into a unified, coherent whole.Lombardi’s image lays bare the complexity of the story, making it accessible even to an audience with neither the inclination nor the mental capacity to understand such a mess.In his artist statement for a show in the late ‘90s, Mark described his work as follows: In 1994 I began a series of drawings I refer to as “narrative structures.” Most were executed in graphite or pen and ink on paper. I call them “narrative structures” because each consists of a network of lines and notations which are meant to convey a story, typically about a recent event of interest to me, like the collapse of a large international bank, trading company, or investment house.