High Art

It’s July 2016. At Los Angeles art gallery Blum and Poe – the same venue that hosted Kanye West’s Famous sculpture – the air tingles with the sweet smoke of cognac-brined hotdogs and marijuana. Reggae plays on the patio, and the sprinkling of guests seems outnumbered by the security guards hulking against the dusk.

In a small back gallery hangs a lineup of 16 framed issues of High Times – the world’s foremost weed-focused publication – pulled from the archive by artist Richard Prince. Across the room, two employees from the high-end medical marijuana growers, Nameless Genetics, pack souvenir joints of their latest product, a boutique strain of weed called John Dogg, bred in the Prince’s honor and named after his alter ego. Go big on terps – AKA terpenes, the aromatic hydrocarbons that give marijuana its flavor – and John Dogg is the result. It’s an interesting mix: Blum and Poe; counterculture stalwart High Times; nu-age grower Nameless Genetics, and Prince. And it’s a meeting of the minds concocted by self-described “creative cannabis agency” Green Street.