Friday, November 27, 2009

Art Blog: Let’s Pretend

I can remember it like it was yesterday. Back in the late 70’s, I was in grad school. My “advisor” (cough cough) was a Yale grad. I am thankful for him because he had all kinds of great connections. He didn’t think much of me, but that was OK. I got to experience his adoration and promotion of the current art scene back then despite his disdain for me.

Back then at Wayne State University, the B.F.A. and M.F.A. students were so lucky to be introduced (literally) to many of the artists of the day (and this day). There was Phillip Pearlstein, Lynda Benglis, Ron Gorchov, Bill Jensen, and et. al. We never got to meet Al Held, but my “advisor” talked about him ad nauseum. I guess he was his hero(?)

I remember back then thinking I would be on a NY artists “hit list” in decades to come. That never came to fruition. I am not. Life happens. However, I still hang on to the memories of those early visions and meetings. I am still interested in what artists are doing in the oh so awesome ART world and NY scene. I am not there. I am not sure I wish I was. I suppose I could have moved there and made my way. I guess, that was not the UNIVERSAL plan. I think some of my university colleagues might feel the same way. We were all so young and eager back then. We expected the best. We had stars in our eyes. Then, we got out of art school, took on life responsibilities, and got older.

So now, I watch YouTube videos and wonder. It is like a game of “Let’s Pretend”. I see what is going on in the art world and realize it really has nothing to do with me at all. NOTHING. I live vicariously through the artists who are the supposed movers and shakers in the art world. I imagine what would have happened if I had moved to NY in 1980. I just wonder. That didn’t happen, so now I play “Let’s Pretend”.

Click on pic to go to James Kalm’s vid: “Phil Pearlstein, Al Held, Five Decades at Betty Cuningham”,


namastenancy said...

I went to NY in 1965? - anyway, after I left Miami. It was a tough tough place to live. I was studying at Cooper Union during the day and working as a waitress at night, living in the coldest, dirtiest 7th floor walk up flat that I shared with a bunch of other people. I had to carry my money with me at all times or lock it up at the restaurant because my roommates would rob me blind. I finally could not stand it and couldn't see any way that I was going to get "into the NY art scene." The pressure and competition just wasn't for me. I came to SF and while it wasn't the wisest choice in many ways, I do like the city. However, I wish that I'd had some counseling at SFAI about how to make a living after art school. So many of us are still making art, years after graduating but so few are making any money as artists.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed this video over coffee this saturday morning, thanks for the enlightenment!

JafaBrit's Art said...

the more I read about NY art scene, the dealers, the back stabbing, the exploitation, the catty sabotage, petty squabbles, etc the more I wanted nothing to do with it.

It's nice to imagine though.

Sheree Rensel said...

GREAT!!! Thanks for reading and commenting! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

Nancy, You know I think a lot of this is smoke and mirrors. Yes, all the BIG names like Pearlstein, Held, etc. have made decent money. However to be honest, I really think that many of the things I see about artists in NY are more about lifestyle than money. I am not fooling myself. I know living the "artist's life" in NY sounds so cool, but it isn't always a pretty life. As we both know, it is a Yin/Yang world. We make choices and then live with them.

Sheree Rensel said...


meika said...

in 1980 i was only fifteen but a couple of years later I met a few different people who said, "You should go to New York, you'll do well there."
I ignored them of course, saying they are a pack of insular inward looking fools.

(And now it's "You should go to Shanghai.")

Of course, Twenty years later, still in negative Tasmanialand I do wonder...