Frank Gehry Takes a Joke


By way of Gothamist, we were pointed to a story coming up in the new issue of the New Yorker about Frank Gehry finding a shirt made by Barnaby Harris, the maker of extremely popular, pointless shirts with the set-up: “Fuck [insert product, event or person here]” that read “Fuck Frank Gehry.” And Frank, being the nice guy he is, decided to just start wearing it around the office, sort of like those bands who get t-shirts printed “[band name] sucks!” just so they can jump ahead of the curve. Here’s a bit:

It was suggested to Gehry, who once had a cameo on “The Simpsons,” that for a high-powered architect he had an unusual ability to take a joke. “Yeah,” he said, “because as I’ve gotten to be pretty well known there’s a lot of negative stuff written, right? People potshot at you. So I sort of ignore it. You know, when Bilbao was presented publicly, there was a candlelight vigil against me.” He let out a rueful laugh. “And then there was a thing in a Spanish paper saying, ‘Kill the American Architect.’ That was scary. So I stood beside the President every time there was an event. I figured, if they’re gonna kill me…Anyway. Once the building was built, I could live there for free. And the same thing with Disney Hall — when it was first shown they called it broken crockery, and now everybody thinks it’s great. So it takes a while.