Mark Lombardi, George W. Bush, Harken Energy and Jackson Stephens
c. 1979-90, 5th Version, 1999
The late artist Mark Lombardi is well known for his large-scale flow charts of major political and financial scandals. Unlike most works of art, his maps do not depict the hypothetical or imaginary but are rendered based on facts from mainstream publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Lombardi carefully organized these facts in a handwritten database of over 14,000 cross-referenced index cards. He iteratively composed his “narrative structures” in his medium of choice: colored pencil and graphite on paper. This map shows the fifth version of a chart that focuses on the conjunction of illegal arms dealing by Chinese nationalists in Los Angeles and possible White House campaign-finance corruption. Two layers of information are presented: essential elements of the story in black, and major lawsuits, criminal indictments, and other legal actions taken against the parties in red. Interconnections of different types are revealed: a solid arrow represents influence or control; a double arrow, mutual relationship or association; a dashed arrow, flow of money, loans, or credits; a squiggle, the sale or transfer of an asset; and a double hyphen, a blocked or incomplete transaction. Line labels further detail relationships and dollar amounts.