THE JEWISH PRINCESS

Draft of Book













Pitch and Critique | Draft of Book | Update I | Update II | Update III





 

 

 

 

 

 

VOSPAWMENANYA

By Claudia Emilyn Schwalb

 

 

 

It was a very different world than mine. As Isabel answered in Henry James, “The Portrait of a Lady,” “I try to judge things for myself; to judge wrong, I think, is more honorable than not to judge at all.” They were doing it. And they were so secretive about how they did it. I felt it as a great passion. Nobody like myself knew and nobody understood. But, I had never seen anything more awesome. I was too involved in my own path to deviate, even to resolve my own curiosity. I just assumed that they were purists and had no tricks.

 

Table of Contents

Forward…………………………………………………

Chapter One

Beauty, Intrigue, Danger……………………………….

Chapter Two

Rothschild’s Trash.………………………..…………..

Chapter Three

Gisela.……….....……………………………………...

Chapter Four

Invasion of the Nest……………………………………

Chapter Five

Apprenticeship Was Over……………………………..

Chapter Six

Tibetan Love Affair…………………………………...

Chapter Seven

Madonna….……...……………………………………

Chapter Eight

Andrey………………..…..……………………………

Conclusion…………………………………………….

 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 

FORWARD

What explanation can be found for the experiences that I had during my first moments? How did these abstract physicalites which came from caregivers begin to define themselves in an infant’s mind vis’ a vis self-preservation and compassion toward others? How damaging was it to have to wait for half a century to decipher what had happened? This intuitive process is like an abstract expressionist painting to me.

Physical pain to an infant is an emotion. Infants are like small animals and their responses are immediate. A traumatic experience can injure a small animal or kill them. They have extreme physical reactions to fear. Their cries can deform them for life. What were the powers that succeeded in configuring my future from the standpoint of my first responses, my distance and idolization of my mother and the immediate horrors which became memories of mania felt during the bardo or the in-between life?

I remember screaming like in the painting, The Scream, by Edvard Munch, a dark hole emitting an earth shattering cry, my ears inside out. I remember a dark soul diving and weaving through death chattering endlessly to myself, afraid of the silence. My twentyish father, attempting to follow the status quo in a crisp and ironed striped shirt, thick red curls, rocking me in his sensual arms, walking me back and forth up and down our long hall leaning like all babies do with my nose nestled in his chest, with the wood floor below us. Then with my mother I was nauseous and heaving unable to grow up and take control. The smell of gasoline, rubber and smoke caused an immediate allergy and vomiting. I was a helpless child with a brilliant young mother raring at the bit to get out and experience the world, unable to adjust to the constraints of having a new family. She only wanted her life before.

Later, there was the distinctive smell of strong perfume, old and combined with the sweat of someone anxious and hiding something. Dead animals, fur coats, stopping and starting of buses sent me into a tailspin. I fell. I became dizzy. The dark halls were without any end in sight and I wanted to be at the beginning for mother, but I was somewhere in the worst part of her life.

Why had Gisela Perl chosen to separate me from my mother for twenty-four hours and to permit an otherwise healthy baby girl to starve and cry incurring a significant abnormality? I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. After such horrific crying, I suffered traumatic vestibulopathy, and subtle brain injury. Not only was I a burden on my mother, she had to resort to depending upon her mother, Helen to care for me. My grandmother and my father were secretly in love. We were all third-parties for her and ultra-feminine. Father was overwhelmed with women and enjoyed all of the attention. I’m sure mother would have preferred a son.

In 1942 Rabbi Michael Dov-Bar Weismandel, a Jewish activist in Slovakia approached SS Obersturmbannfeuhrer Adolph Eichmann’s representative, Dieter Wisliceny: “How much money would be needed for all European Jews to be saved?” Wisliceny went to Berlin and returned with an answer. For a mere $2 million dollars they could have all the Jews in Western Europe and the Balkans.

Weismandel sent a courier to the World Zionnist Organization in Switzerland. His request was denied. The Official, Nathan Schwalb sent enough money to save only Weismandel and his cadre.

Schwalb wrote:

“About the cries coming from your country, we should all know that the Allied nations are spilling much of their blood, and if we do not sacrifice any blood, by what right shall we merit coming before the bargaining table when they divide nations and lands at the war’s end? - for only with blood shall we get the land.”

Schwalb writes to Rabbi Weismandel:

“We must do everything so that Palestine will become the State of Israel.”

It seems Judeocide, during World War II was one of the Zionist’s postures.

Nathan Schwalb was born in 1908 in Stanislaw, which became a part of the Ukraine, but in those days was part of Eastern Galicia. The Jews of Galicia were looked down upon by their fellow Jews that may have played a part in his decisionmaking. Dr. Perl was the obstetrician at Auschwitz/Birkenau. She was Hungarian. The fate of many women lied in her hands.

A part of Rabbi Weismandel’s cadre was the family of Valerie Maria Schwalb. Born in 1900 in Liptovsky-Svaty Mikula in what is now Slovakia, Valerie was the illegitimate daughter of Albert John Charles Frederick Arthur George Herzog von Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, the son of Her Royal Highness Helena and Prince Kristian of Schleswig-Holstein. HRH Helena was the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Prince Albert was the first cousin of Alexandra, Tsarina of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, King George V, and the Queen of Spain.

Valerie’s father met her mother while he was in the Prussian Army, a Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd Uhlans of the Guard. Despite never marrying, Prince Albert fathered this one daughter, Valerie Maria Schwalb.

What would have prompted Valerie’s mother to stray from her own people and reach out and have an affair with Prince Albert?

In 1882, 500,000 Jews living in rural areas of the pale were forced to leave their homes and live in towns or townlets (shtetls) in the Pale. 250,000 Jews living along the Western frontier of Russia were also moved into the Pale. 700,000 Jews living east of the Pale were driven into the Pale by 1891. By 1885, there were over 4 million Jews living in the Pale. Kiev was barred to Jews without special residence permits.

The Schwalbs in my family lived near Rzeszow in the SubCarpathian Mountains of Galicia, which became a part of Southeastern Poland. Rzeszow was founded in 1354 by King Casimir III of Poland and one of the oldest family castles is there. The Wislok River and the Sandomierska Valley are there. They had been there a long time. Their small town, Niebylec was the size of Washington Square Park on a sunny day.

How odd that these Galicians made their way to such coveted positions in sleek new cities like New York? Just as Gisela Perl was given clemency to come and practice here, I was one of the first babies she delivered. I wonder whether she felt that we were a part of a corrupt society of poor Jews from Galicia and all of the diabolical kapos and industrious, productive Asiatic Jews’ attitudes, ones that in partnership with the Japanese collaborated with the Nazis? Maybe she shouldn’t have been allowed to practice because of her mass murders and infanticide in the name of saving their mothers from the gas chambers. She brought her experience with life at the concentration camp to life in New York City, post Holocaust.

For me, Valerie Maria Schwalb and myself seem one and the same. Her suicide on April 14, 1953 in Mont-Boron, France one and a half months before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II coincides with the beginning of a glamorization of censorship that followed us through the Cold War and the hippie movement until recently, when there has been an uplifting of this kind of chauvinistic master race stigma.

Her name was legally changed on May 12, 1931 to Valerie Marie zu Schleswig-Holstein so that she could marry Prinz von Recklinghausen, 10th Herzog von Arenberg, Herzog von Aerschot und Croy, Herzog von Neppen Graf von der Marck. This was her second marriage. Her Aunts HRH Princess Helena Victoria and HRH Princess Marie Louise attested to her paternal lineage so that she could marry Prinz Engelbert-Charles, 10th Duke of Arenberg.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

Beauty, Intrigue, Danger

At the onset of the Cold War in the 1950’s, the media began to glamorize Russian censorship. Maybe this was an urbane method by which to counteract it, but the resulting void effected the art world by turning it into a media jousting match. Naturally, the petty con artists immediately moved in with their phony galleries which by now, at the turn of the 21st century, are fronts for all kinds of under the table dealings. The galleries are luxurious. They’ve got the best commercial artists to slum it in the art world today. They can get a show anywhere. There is also a predilection for banality and beauty which hints at Russian Suprematism, only on a municipal scale. It effects all of the publications on art, all of the galleries and all of the art stars of the day.

Soviet ideology itself continues to influence the art world in many ways. It may have been because we felt the effects of the Berlin Wall as a door getting slammed in our faces by counter-propaganda patterns in the Russian media. Our culture became like a kaleidoscope of trivia. They weren’t permitted to talk to us because we weren’t good enough. Within the eye of the storm, a positive, healthier and more self-assured attitude secretly grew amongst Russian society. Soviet architecture, for example, is being rarified and examined as great art by traditional architects today because of its classical Minimalism and is a very unique response to the needs of the people.

The Russians knew the course of the free world would eventually turn in their favor. It was walking too thin a line between its purity and its rivalries, which it did under the umbrella of its vapid cartoon characters like The Pink Panther or James Bond. They’d been there and done that. It was in their nature to see themselves as embodiments of Christ. When Stalin forbade religion, many Russians saw this to mean that they themselves were holy. They were all Christs. Tsarist Russia taught them that too, on a part-time basis, when they were sent on pogroms. The Russian people as a whole were a bit wackier than the Germans who were Central Europeans and boxed in on all sides by land. I personally think it was very difficult for the Germans to see themselves as the master race. They had issues about it. They knew that their Royals were good breeders. Most of their royalty had been sent all over Christendom to marry into the highest Royal households. But the Russians had no trouble with it and when Adolf Hitler redefined them in a derogatory way, they simply subdued the Nazis and promptly forgot all about it.

Lenin was disappointed by the nihilistic avant-garde element in revolutionary art. It made him feel culturally lacking and he worried that the proletariat ideal would be relegated to failure and corruption with art gallerists taking over the picture. His aesthetics, aside from cinema, which he rallied in as a relevant avant-garde art form, was based on nineteenth-century Enlightenment.

Lenin hoped eventually that the working class would revel in the old elite culture. He said, “We must preserve the beautiful, take it as a model, use it as a starting point, even if it is ‘old.’ Why must we turn away from the truly beautiful just because it is ‘old?’”

In 1920 only two out of every five adults could read. Cinema was a great tool to reach the masses and Stalin hired Eisenstein to be his “engineer of the human soul.”

I think if you look at Andre Tarkovsky’s movie, “Father & Son” you begin to understand the way that men feel toward their own sexuality and how important their emotions are and their tactile sensibilities. They aren’t really preoccupied with the same kind of judgmental, hostile kinds of behavior that women put on them when they judge them.

The Suprematists intended to create an environment that was more tactile and constructive. Initially, each humanistic revolution is about individual freedom, but unfortunately each generation fails at this because the violence in each century brings things up a notch. The world gets smaller and the ideals which float by seem to be swallowed up by some retro whale and the players that present themselves don’t fully comprehend what they are doing.

Our only hope is working together for a common cause. Global warming will overtake us in the next century. My hope is that we will become a more integrated society and we will have more respect for one another. Maybe as Nostrodamus predicts, countries will intermingle after global warming and flooding have changed our geography. Wars will occur, and finally the strongest country will dominate.

The intention of the art world during these periods is to make life more meaningful so that people can be at lower risk for self-destruction. This rarely happens. The dealers only feign political correctness and are superficially well-read. They are generally unconscious of their surroundings. This is because unfortunately, the lure of the galleries has always been for people to buy their way in. So, they usually revisit an old idea and enlarge it into an abstract entity which is harder to define.

It’s very seductive for art dealers to pull the strings as if they were puppets of prima donnas with no talent. The dealers have always got some way of destroying the character of someone who is approaching the situation from a real position. They love to have control over their audience. It has been so tragic for me to observe the hypocrisy and deterioration of our society. While we were at the Colonial period during the 19th century, the 20th century art world became all about fashion and the 21st century pushes it even further. At Diesel, the mixtures of the different periods in history date back to these untouched environments filled with pure and innocent beings for art dealers to cannibalize. We remain under the radar while trivial versions of ourselves make the party scene.

We were very influenced by their desperation to get work or to place themselves into a situation where they were able to be functional and use their looks to get by. And in this technocratic revolution, they want to dip into our leftover society in a condescending way. They still want to be around when they’re not working on being us. They feel that they are innocent and are even overburdened by their having been chosen to replace us.

Whatever registered as central to them on this non-creative level became targeted by the media for its cleaner kind of method. It’s just that in our religion everything should be streamlined and perfect and so the different lifestyles that emerged were trying to draw on these ideas and make people more aware of what was going on. Being hip meant being off-beat, but still towing the line.

I’m thinking particularly of Alex Katz’s white dog print with the big floppy ears and some of these old vintage prints of women in fashion poses with blindfolds on. They allude to secret societies. The Da Vinci Code alludes to these various plots. It is like that movie about the Marquis D’Sade, “Quill” where his books were being sold out on the street and it was illegal under Napoleon Bonaparte’s rule. They were anti-establishment. Here we have clones of ourselves wandering about on the daily playing fields under the radar of the media.

Shafrazi first became the fanatic who had defaced the Guernica by Picasso. Then he became an establishment art dealer. Certainly, this sends artists a message about what our dealers are like. Similarly, as a child I stood on line at the World’s Fair to come close and gaze at the Pieta. The marble was as smooth as silk and radiated the greatest love and care by Michelangelo. It’s hands were beyond what the heart could bear.

So, when someone had smashed it with a club my reaction was to wonder what the value system was that made him react like that. It was an act of defiance by someone who took revenge on society by destroying a priceless sculpture. I also remember in the Tuillery Gardens, rioters had thrown red paint on the beautiful white marble statues lining the gardens to the Louvre. The kind of people who would do that are the kind of people that end up becoming art dealers in our society.

Society wants to revisit old revolutionary styles of art. They become violent if they are forced to live in real time. They don’t want to be forced to use their minds and struggle to keep up in a gifted society.

Fidel Castro and his Communist dictatorship created another even larger shadow on the New York City skyline reminding us that not so far away, a third world country existed with an ever growing and demanding population. Their Picassoesque femme fatales create fuel for our clones.

Londoners have a Mayor and then a Prime Minister all in the same breath. They have a House of Commons, a House of Lords, and worse yet, Buckingham Palace and the Queen all in the same city. Yet, in New York we only have a Mayor. The Governor is in Albany and the White House is in Washington, D.C. The Presidents are elected once every four years, but there is not this huge pressure on the people of New York City to define them into a class system like there is in London.

On the other hand, a black hole occurs in New York City that permits even the smallest speck on the face of humanity the power to wield the same stature as a king or a queen once overtaken by the media. Andy Warhol expressed this in his famous statement where he said that in fact, anyone could be famous for fifteen minutes. This media attention has spiraled into the New York art scene in a way that many people are frightened to admit.

While the sought after high fashion models are simultaneously treated as if they are incapable of voicing an opinion, they can nonetheless be used to disperse rival groups like Katyusha rockets. Those who have money have always had the power to manipulate what goes on in the media since it’s not based upon class, but rather on these invasive cliques.

We have taught our youth not to bother to communicate with us, and as my old roommate, Madonna sings, just to strike a pose. Since our society is not life affirming, nor do we listen to what our children are saying, they have no identity except the status quo. If you ask them how they really feel, they have lost their ability to formulate an honest response or even to be non-conformists.

Michael Hurson re-did Seurat’s paintings in his cool, modern style. The Pointillists (Seurat, Signac) may have been the first of the more cliché-ish, semi-modern artists that we are finding in the regional galleries of today. Sadly, for all of his struggles with Paula Cooper Gallery, Michael Hurson was found wandering incoherently around the Chelsea Hotel where he lived. He was undressed and not responding to his name.

Maybe it was tapping into the French Impressionists that caused his nervous breakdown. Or maybe it was Paula Cooper. It could have been as a result of Phillipe Petite walking the tight rope between the Twin Towers and signing his name in graffiti on the building’s rooftop. Maybe he felt unnecessary.

In 1896, Paul Verlain slept in the streets of Paris until his death and knew the difference between fame and obscurity was putting on a fine pair of boots and a clean suit. He was a true Bohemian, but that was back then.

Elaine Sturtevant, at her latest show, “Push and Shove” at Perry Rubenstein Gallery briskly walked through and redid the found objects of Duchamp. How depressing to claim the ideas, revolutionary during the Dadaist period, but that were now the spiritual possession of every art student? Duchamp’s urinal had already been capitalized upon over and over again in every advertisement and joke. Of course, he was from France and a carry over from the past. A lot of Dadaists weren’t as interested in how things were going to replay years later as they were in playing a good game of chess.

???, a Vietnamese language specialist for U.S. Military Intelligence used to work with the Air Force looking for those Missing in Action after the Vietnam War. She says that while the music, dance and theatrical worlds are cool, the visual art world is very intimidating to most people.

???'s mother grew up in Hawaii and was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese invaded. ??? grew up in California and was very experienced with the American way of life.

Certainly, musical geniuses are more intimidating than visual artists are, yet with music and dance we can watch the artist’s use of body/mind coordination. With visual art we aren’t sure how it is done. Beethoven suffered from compulsive neuroses, washing his hands over and over again before he sat down to compose at the piano. Large concerts were the most popular form of entertainment during the early 1800’s.

He must have been an object of ridicule whenever he stalked over to the outhouse or the pump. He would finally die as Honore Balzac did of dropsy. Dropsy is a disease where one’s entire lungs swell up with fluid and have to be drained. His landlady was probably unaware of what a genius he was and that he was about to sit down at the piano and create the 9th Symphony. The notes came from the sound of the courtyard chickens as he trampled them on his way through.

He was a brooding eccentric who moved from apartment to apartment, paying more attention to the small animals in the yard than on the petty gossips that drained his life’s blood and the energy with which he wrote timeless masterpieces.

The daily life of artists is usually very tumultuous because they live life to the hilt and don’t want everyone to know it. It is precisely because they have great imaginations that this can also be a problem. Here in yuppie New York many artists are left adrift. Luckily, New York is a big town and so they go unnoticed.

Making statements with nothing but shock value are perfectly acceptable in the art world. Playing mind games in ways that are quick fixes work well to divert attention away from the con artists. But it takes a while to get used to being steamrolled by them. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas played with words during the first half of the 20th century in a positive way. We play with words during the first part of the 21st century, but in a rather negative way because we create total mayhem.

The large galleries and kunsthalls require art to be sensationalist and competitive. One still gets the vibrations that Big Brother is watching you when you see oversized art and billboards. While women artists like Jenny Holtzer had even begun to influence the advertising world of the latter part of the 20th century, somehow the male art establishment managed to press on in spite of the art world’s self-defeating restrictions.

Artists like Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Beuys and Vito Acconci, who I showed with at the Institute of Art & Urban Resources, stuck to their original intent, but expanded their work with hidden funds to reach a core group of young artists and museum people.

Serf artists such as Nikolai Argunov painted during the reign of Catherine the Great. He was elected into the Imperial Academy of Arts. Vasily Tropinin, Alexei Venetsianov, Vasily Perov, Vasily Surikov, Ilya Repin, and Ivan Kramskoi were the great masters of Russian painting during the nineteenth century.

Joseph Beuys went from doing small abstract paintings during the 1950’s to installations about his Nazi bomber plane crashing into the North Atlantic and the Eskimos digging him out from an ice plateau and covering him with whale blubber to cure his hypothermia. Did that prove that he could paint?

Certainly, the invention of the electric lightbulb by Thomas Edison for whom my great grandfather, Emmanuel Spiro worked had a greater influence on mankind than Andy Warhol’s photo-silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe or Victor Muniz’s of Catherine Deneuve.

Another case in point is Dash Snow, the latest new star on the horizon at the Whitney Biennial. He was so sought after at the opening cocktail party that he had to wear a sling and pretend his arm was broken to avoid shaking all of the prurient attention seeker’s hands. Save having grown up in the funky East Village, his only claim to fame was that his grandmother is Christophe de Menile, the great art collector. The de Meniles, Texas oil money, were major sponsors of the international art scene during the past fifty years.

Americana still pervades the regional galleries throughout the countryside. I am from New York City, and yet I find myself showing at Train Station Gallery in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. There, the work is not so much different than what the Russian artists are doing across the board. The paintings are bright and festive. They paint flowers, landscapes, and stylized people and do little bronze sculptures in the same way they do them in the Baltics or in the Ukraine.

Today’s Russian art, excluding the art from the Suprematist, Constructivist, or Soviet days is almost identical except for a little Russian flare. They may allude to a slight bit more of Constructivism or Surrealism. The Russians also have a tradition of folklore that also makes its way into the paintings.

When I saw the top floor of the Russia show, I really felt that this more recent phase of the show was the barometric mean, where the Guggenheim curators had located how it really was in the Russian art scene today without delving too deeply into its substance. Russia is still at a juncture where they are considering opening up their restrictions and exhibiting icons again, religious symbols. I didn’t really feel that they had shown any chemistry between Russia’s past and what was happening with their artists today.

In order to achieve a true reading of the correlation between art and censorship, I think Russia would need to look at her regional artists as well as her artists in exile and possibly re-evaluate their chronology in terms of what we have contributed. While there exists a huge body of unconventional work done during Soviet times that was hidden, the artistic development of painting from the Suprematists to date still relates to much of what Lenin was describing. It also relates to an understanding of John Graham and an exploration of painting by the Minimalist painters of the 1970’s.

If you get the old catalogues of Poland and Russia of the landscapes and cavalry paintings, you always see snowscapes with horses. I think that today’s art collector also needs to reconnect with old European painting and somehow to reinterpret it in terms of modern painting. This does not mean becoming eclectic as alluded to by the major museums as of late. It means studying light and color, and the anthropomorphic power of paint.

Meanwhile, in the regional galleries, anyone can offer to exhibit their work if it is moderately well done and shows originality and skill. They can be from any country in the world, and in fact, our art is what connects us. Yet the drug lords and vicious hippies who are monopolizing the avant-garde galleries aren’t going to solve the world’s problems. The regional art dealers actually like art, and care about artists. They also want to bring humanity together into a more wholesome environment.

Otherwise, as far as Komer & Melamid’s vehement attack on Sots art, the avant-garde aspect of the Russian art world is only happening amongst a few installation artists. I’m sure it will continue to happen, but I feel for certain that installation art has its place only in these giant kunsthalls, and larger than life paintings are not a barometer for authenticity. Nor are the commercial galleries going to change the terrain, no matter how worldly they think they are.

We’ve seen many large new paintings coming from East Germany recently. Today, one painting from a new Leipzig artist is being sold for $60,000.

It doesn’t look like much of substance is happening in Leipzig, East Germany either. Limousines are pulling up with Korean art collectors with money to burn and pretty German artists to have their way with. Creativity can’t even compete when prostitution is a motivating force.

Maybe the East Germans are padding up their paintings a little bit with more oil paint and making their images more artsy. In contrast, many of our artists have sold out and gone into commercial advertising. The computer, giclee printers and all of the PhotoShop software have made painting obsolete, except for the regional art being done across the board.

In America, we tend to be more generic so the people here sort of worship anything antique or multi-culti. These are not mind crashing issues. Whether the style leans toward the antique or tends toward something more modern in nature like Henry Moore’s sculptures; it doesn’t really matter. All of these types of images make sense in a regional gallery environment. I’ve seen installation art also reduced to diorama proportions like Joseph Cornell.

I went to the Phillip de Pury Contemporary Art Auctions and it seemed to me that most of the collectors there didn’t really want their modern art anymore and were selling it off. The secondary dealers, such as Annie Plumb are making more money than the initial collectors who may be taking the sales, of let’s say a Bruce Nauman at a relative loss. Maybe they bought it early when it was cheap and just want their money back.

Yet, the 19th century Polish and Russian landscape painters are available now for little more than the inflated contemporary art. There are many original oil paintings going up for sale at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

The wonderful old dog paintings and sculptures were also up for sale last year at Bonham’s. Naturally, there will always be the forgeries of the French Impressionists.

Anthony Minguez finds the only place where he can reside alone is in abandoned parking lots. His father was a town Mayor in Texas. His family is a combination of Blackfoote Indian and Mexican. He is a trendy Outsider artist who has shown his work at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. He has a wealthy private collector named Robert Meyerhoff and exhibits his work in the Puck Building during the Outsider Art Fair each season.

Louise Bourgeois is in her nineties. She is a well-known sculptor who sits and eats her little Madeleine cookies and discusses art each Sunday afternoon with younger artists and critics. As old as she is, she tries to help everyone. The curator from the Beauborg Museum, Georges Pompidou, Paris brought Louise Bourgeois a 19th century print done like Jonathan Swift’s, Gulliver’s Travels of a giant penis being held down by ropes and little courtiers running around it fastening the ropes tighter. It looks like her erotic sculptures.

For me, whatever remnants can be saved from the avant-garde art world mainly relate to a method of teaching and freeing up of the artist’s hand. Allowing oneself to do art is surmounting the first obstacle to understanding how to be free. Freedom is the tool by which we learn to create great art. Observing the constrictions of our society with regards to the art scene can explain how entire schools have become obsolete.

Why is it that of the 500,000 artists that existed during the time of Rembrandt van Rijn, very few artists’ works exist from that time period today? Most of it was trashed. Today it certainly would be seen as beautiful garbage. Now, because of the banality of so much of the avant-garde art, they’re about to start mixing contemporary painting and sculpture with Renaissance art in the major museums and art fairs.

Imagine having a revolution where regional art succeeded in winning the battle with the avant-garde, who had become like some bad “Spy Kids” movie. People who go into the museum are turned into awful characters and become slaves in a hellish environment. Woody Batts, a Floridian artist who is an Adjunct Art Professor at Parsons found Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle at the Guggenheim Museum too self-referential.

I see European art as part of a dynasty, which will last about 6,000 years and still has a good 4,000 to go. I don’t visualize conceptual art as being the end statement. I look at it as slavery to the neuvo riche and I feel sorry for myself because I know that the only way I’m ever going to get out of this pit is by pandering to the conceptualists. Maybe that’s why I retreated into Tibetan Buddhism that was originally sponsored by people like William Burroughs and the Beat Generation Poets. They were as close as I could get to Duchamp.

Abstract painting is a brilliant method of reconnecting with Western painting. However, as a humanist, I see a gap in terms of who is being neglected, that becomes what is of most interest to me. Right now, I feel our society needs to have a bridge into the classical painting of the past, but it has to be more tactile and less high fashion. At the same time, I am not interested in cartoon art and Japanamation. I also don’t like Keene and his bubbleheaded women with huge eyes.

Some of the classical art needs to be recolorized like in Walt Disney’s black & white cartoons. We have a new sense of color and form that is much more related to what we have learnt from the 1970’s painters.

The portrait painting of Juan de Pareja by Velasquez bridged the gap in terms of the urban population when I was growing up. Today, the painting has been moved into the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The relics that they found in Canaan were Egyptian cat statues. Those must have belonged to Egyptians that had immigrated to Canaan during Moses’ time. The faces on the cats that are portrayed in some of the statuettes are extremely beautiful, and equivalent to the funeral statues of the Pharaohs. I adore the ultimate wig for the Egyptian woman of the time. Rather than it being straight and blond, it has thick curly brown hair and little beads in it.

The African art that is sold in the flea markets around New York is redone within their strict tribal traditions. In itself, it contains the seeds of prehistory and the artists carve the undulations on one mask over and over again each time they reproduce another mask. We are at the dawn of the 21st century. We weren’t alive during the turn of the 20th century. The Bohemian period occurred then in France. We are missing our chance to relive it once again. It isn’t only happening in East Germany.

Not only is there a total whitewashing here as the result of our system, but also many of the galleries make money by taking a loss. The Soviet Union was a place where one had to at least take examinations in art in order to be considered a legitimate artist. It was the same there as we had here at one time for serious art colleges. The free colleges like Cooper Union maintain their old standards. Certainly the architecture school at Cooper Union does.

But you still have an institutional gallery hierarchy here based upon who can pay. Fortunately the publishers of the magazines can pressure the galleries to provide them with magazine ready work. Recently with the flood of new galleries, the quality of the young artist’s work has vastly improved. A lot of times it was just a matter of payment under the table for advertising and then the artists were able to find some generic eye candy (i.e. Will Cotton, Marilyn Minter, Jeff Koons). They’d just continue to use whatever that prop was indefinitely.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, predatory battles for who was the larger bully occurred when Richard Serra brought big money into the arena. When Richard Serra went on Charlie Rose, he was troubled by the larger predator, that of architecture. He hadn’t thought of it. His ideas only related to art school where he studied with the colorist, Josef Albers.

Returning back to the compromised international art scene, you began to get art, which was by Matthew Barney or Damien Hirst. It should really have been by Archie Bunker. It was just completely shocking with images of women drowning in vats of sperm. I knew Barney’s first wife. She was a student of forensics and one of the gorgeous fag hags who hung around in the art scene. She broke up with him and he married Bjork.

Bjork is a new wave singer who must also be a fag hag and is obviously so sweet and naïve, it’s pathetic. She is ready made for his brand of perversion. Richard Serra starred in Matthew Barney’s movies. Characatures of people made them look like they were freaks. His is another version of Shafrazi’s defacing of the Guernica, or Damien Hirst’s dead animal’s carcasses lying in museums and galleries. There was a dead cow in formaldehyde at the Brooklyn Museum and a dead elephant in London. Ofali’s cow manure painting was also the latest art at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago. Now his work looks like Aborignal Art, but is tamer.

When I was teaching at the New York Museum School in Chelsea, the avant-garde threw off the projects kids because it seemed more dictatorial than the old classical art which they aspired to be one with. The program did offer them the opportunity to rename the Egyptian collection with rap poems. They were studying with the finest curators at the Natural History Museum, The Planetarium and the Brooklyn Museum as well as at the Children’s Museums of the City of New York.

Tilton’s M.F.A. graduates, then Clarissa Delrymple’s curatorial stint at Moshe Dayan’s progeny’s gallery, Bartolemo Dayan, illiteracy going mainstream, self-absorption, repetitiveness, mystery seems completely lost at such an amazing time as the turn of the 21st century.

The Grammercy Park Art Show during that period sent a clear message. It was art for under $500. The gorgeous old hotel art show was the first time interaction with the public on a slightly more elitist level had occurred, with affordable prices and a lot of excitement. The excitement stemmed from the fact that someone had sponsored a trendy art show in such a historic old hotel. It did not stem from the art that took away from the show. The attempt to actually try to sell art didn’t work and soon the galleries returned to the idea of being tax shelters where they didn’t want to sell anything.

Simultaneously, the old toilet from the days of the Mudd Club was being sold for $500 at a neighborhood street fair. I have memories of the Mudd Club where Louise Bourgeois in Ray Bans and Susan Cooper curated a performance of topless brides. I was one of them and caused one Swedish boy to go off a cliff in Mexico after driving all night.

Art for under $500 didn’t last for very long. Very soon, the prices were inflated again and the London artists of the 1990’s were here with Saatchi & Saatchi behind them. Coined as “far out” and not conservative, Tracey Emmin stole all of Hannah Wilke’s ideas.

Calvin Tompkins used to work for my father when he was working at Radio Free Europe on top secret projects. Today he covers all the different events in the art world for The New Yorker Magazine, and he’s covered one of the artists that I mentioned, Stefan Eins. A couple decades ago, Stefan Eins created a museum called Fashion Moda that was an improvisational museum of Graffiti Art up in the South Bronx. It was an empty building in the middle of the Hub. I guess the building represented a mode of thought amongst people who needed museums in order to look at art. So, he provided them with one. Calvin Tompkins applauded it.

Jack Tilton said, Oh! This artist is really hot now and looked at me bashfully. But Tilton has a gorgeous duplex in a townhouse off Fifth Avenue that Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were married in. It doesn’t seem like a perfect environment for modern art. The work in his group show of Master’s Students had multi-dimensional elements, but didn’t make love to the space. Calvin Tompkins covered it for The New Yorker. The work that was there was graphic design and illustration on a large scale.

While I studied Tibetan Buddhism which brought into play reincarnation and magic, Americanism is honored everywhere. Most of us have complex backgrounds here and even back in Europe. Some American Blacks are even descendants of the British Royals who ran the plantations in the South.

To understand the art world in today’s terms, the personalities in the art world were born out of their historical surroundings. It didn’t matter if he was rich or poor. Someone like Rembrandt Van Rijn or any artist of that period was so much a part of Dutch society that they were one with Amsterdam.

The 1970’s art scene in New York was severely stigmatized for being left over second generation Abstract Expressionists. And so while students were studying Vasari’s Renaissance techniques of the artists like making your own paints, panels for egg tempera, etc., being inventive in terms of three dimensional stretchers, it was seen in the same light as Howard Hughes’ (Aviator) inventions like the Spruce Goose, as failures.

With the momentous uplifting of censorship by this alpha community, who cares about the put down and stigmatism of Soviet art by Komer & Melamud. A stigmatization of the Soviet period era will submerge Russian art for the 21st century in the same way Shaker art, which was the greatest art of the two previous revolutions, French and American, was submerged.

Because of the Shaker’s arrival on American shores from England at approximately the same time as our emancipation from England during the 1780’s, they were disliked stigmatized by the new Americans and accused of being spies for the British, possibly even witches. Because of the stigmatization of the Shakers, the industrial age and the Russian revolution had a greater influence on the art of the 20th century than the art of the previous periods, 18th and 19th centuries had.

While psychology seems to have been an invention of the 19th century, Pavlovian theory, Darwinism, Eugenics, Freud and the like and it wasn’t as much a player in the course of the 20th century art as in the Nazi’s concept of degenerate art. The French Impressionists, the Pre-Raphaelites and such, the Colonists of the time would flag in this era.

This is a realistic psychological era where the artist isn’t the businessman artist as in the ‘80’s. An artist will be over-educated and underclassed. As a result of this the vortex of the art world will no longer exist and will have a reversal of fortune.

Too bad the Shakers were stigmatized and relegated to some religious sect. I think the Shakers were our greatest American artists. Before the 1800’s, they would paint their interiors like Albers or Malevich using bright yellow orange borders and floors like Minimalists. They also used the rest of the colors of the spectrum.

They were American Revolutionary War artists of the 18th century. They had arrived at a slightly bad time from Manchester, England. It was at the same moment that the Americans had declared their independence from England.

They were like the whirling dervishes who are acknowledged by DIA as great modern artists of today. They were quintessentially modern. They were seen as spies for the British or possibly witches.

Vincent Van Gogh was totally living in his world and responding to his society in his art. He lived it historically at that moment. That’s what was great about him. And then you had his brother, Theo who was an art dealer living in Paris. He wasn’t sure about who Vincent was and really resented having to help him. He bought him an optical box to take out into the fields so that he could get a better reading of the details of nature, and he paid for his expensive pigments and supplies like that. Vermeer used a light box too. But between the people, which Van Gogh encountered, and the difference between Theo and Vincent, Vincent became inconsolably depressed.

I could have had everything. I could have felt everything. In Buddhism they say that you can have everything, but then there are others. When you have little or nothing, you feel God inside and outside. You are impervious to what I would term the higher forms of animal behavior such as jealousy and revenge. You are beyond them. Art is glorified with a halo of God or of Catholic-like religion as a rainbow on the horizon behind all of the glory everyone yearns for. These are the issues by which Kings bankrupt countries over.

Let’s say I was Anne of Austria and I was the mother of Louis XIV. I was born in 1601 as Ana Maria Mauricia, Infanta of Spain and Portugal, Archduchess of Austria, Princess of Burgundy and the Low Countries. I was the daughter of King Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. I was married to the King of France, Louis XIII at the age of sixteen. The Queen Mother was Marie de’Medici.

I gave birth to the future King Louis XIV in 1638 and Philip I, Duke of Orleans in 1640. Peter Paul Rubens painted my portrait. I was excluded from all affairs of state after participating in a Catholic conspiracy against France’s Protestant allies. Louis almost didn’t become King. On his deathbed my husband tried to prevent it, but I was pardoned. He was gorgeous, like Gabriel Byrne but he neglected me and I was drawn to the Duke of Buckingham.

Heather was Maria Theresa of Spain. She was the daughter of Philip IV of Spain and her mother was Elisabeth of France. She was the beautiful girl in the portrait by Velasquez. It wasn’t Marie Antoinette but Maria Theresa who said, “If they have no bread, then let them eat cake!”

No matter what the dynasties were which ruled during that period, in Vincent Van Gogh’s case his greatest paintings were done in the late 1880’s in the French countryside. He wasn’t really a part of La Belle Époque. The Visconti film, “Death in Venice” portrays another type of a crowd, the Lido crowd that existed simultaneously. These very elegant families going to these beautiful beach resorts, living in these marble hotels where their schedules were arranged moment by moment related more to Theo.

Van Gogh had been a priest in the French coal mining area. He had worked with the miners, and then he gave that up, but his work confronted the workers, and the people whose mindsets were pretty tough. The day to day lives of the people of that period were a reminder to Van Gogh of what he didn’t have. He didn’t believe in reincarnation, so he got very depressed. We all know that a lack of understanding about the art of the day can cause the failure of brilliant artists. Recognizing specific cultural changes is very important to the security of the free world, yet no one cares to look at what is evolving.

Had he believed in reincarnation and not just in the power of his own myth, he wouldn’t have been as helpless. Theo was probably involved with selling art to more of La Belle Époque’s crowd. The art that he was selling was probably Corot or Rodin. I don’t know. I think a lot of artists then were afraid to be political cartoonists as they are today, which is much healthier. Van Gogh wandered around the fields in a black top hat. He must have been ashamed of his poverty and Theo must have rubbed it in that he was of means.

Maybe in England artists like William Hogarth and writers like Charles Dickens weren’t so sensitive. They were also involved with the press and with being published in episodic chapters and men’s quarterlies. They enjoyed their lives a lot more. I think when you have a combination of great talent and a literary connection of some kind, there isn’t as much of a tendency to freak out the way Van Gogh did.

They don’t mind being part of a group that’s deposing a Tsar or a King, anti-war or anti-Presidential or illustrating a revolution, but they didn’t really know how to be an individual. Especially during that time, Van Gogh most likely was overwhelmed by his own perceptions of the time in which he lived. Since it wasn’t a psychological timeframe, although they had the goddesses Psyche and Aphrodite, so I suppose he was at fault for behaving too self-destructive. I myself feel much like an Indian horse thief on a mission in the night.

I remained submissive until I had the opportunity to do what I wanted and then I stole “modern art” and brought it back to the Renaissance. I redeposit it as a new color theory upon classical old paintings. This is my game and my revenge against the art establishment. I hold in my hand the essence of modern painting and color from the Impressionists time. I understand the holistic nature of Abstract Expressionism. My desire is to experiment like when I was a child with cut outs and paint and turn the world into a topsy- turvy Neverland.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

Rothchild’s Trash

My mother, at the age of sixteen, stood on the banks of the Hudson River in her black wool coat looking down toward the Atlantic Ocean and wondering how she had survived. While attending Music & Art High School, the Jews all across Europe had been tragically annihilated. Her friend, Marianne Weil had escaped in 1938 from Frankfurt, Germany, but mother knew that even if you had money, it was very difficult to escape from Hitler. Further on she would realize that she had not escaped, and that she and I had also become two of Hitler’s and further on, the art world’s solemn victims.

Audrey’s persona in the late 1940’s was more evolved than any of the young artists from the London School of Art. I personally think it was a strange coincidence that no one considered artist’s personas until the 1980’s. The Abstract Expressionists weren’t very interesting looking people. Even when Hollywood immortalized Jackson Pollack, he was a tragic figure, a pathologically suicidal drunk who cheated on his wife.

She was a 1940’s woman artist with dark hair that was shoulder length with short bangs and shell white skin. She had the figure that men’s magazines liked. She was buxom with muscular legs and lots of flesh. Her features were soft and she had an Asiatic touch to her.

When dressed in a navy and black wool coat with raglan sleeves and t-strapped black shoes, mother was part of New York in a more timely way than any of the women muses of the 1970’s were in their jeans.

Mother had been born in New York City a month after the crash of 1929. Soon, outside on the river’s edge shanties were everywhere. Street kids fought. Noisy cars obliviously sped down Riverside Drive. Young nannies watched over these disassociated babies who crawled off into traffic. Three-year-olds were permitted to play outside by themselves tapping their wooden hoops down the drive. Irish bullies from the ghettos as well as her own older sisters taught little Audrey to fight.

Sometimes her sister, Muriel, a Tina Turner look-a-like with fifty-eight dark brown banana girls and a penchant for science fiction would take Audrey on an excursion down by the water and through the shanties. Mother looked up to her older sister, and felt at one with her. Brilliant older sister Sybil looked like a Matisse reclining on her chaise. Within this bustling urban environment Arna Gregorovna Yampolskya emerged as the first visual artist in her family.

At Music & Art she met Malcolm Delacorte. He resided across the street from the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue in a twenty-room apartment. His stepmother was anti-Communist, and pro-Hitler. He was in love with my mother, but the Rogows were afraid that they would become the first family on line to be exterminated if the Germans won the war.

Mother went on to pass the three-day exam for Cooper Union Art College and there unbeknownst to my father became jailbait for Wolfgang Kahn, a well-known landscape painter who taught there. She was into silhouettes of trees at night with moon discs in pen and ink with washes of watercolor. The branches would sway and intermingle with one another. The colors were like early Abstract Expressionism barely filling the colors in. The effect was like a dark stained glass. Her influences were Japanese because her work was very flat. The patterns were detailed and black on buff. The colors were glassine. The terrain was either Riverside Drive or Cape Cod, but wasn’t Americana in that it was left unsure.

After my birth in 1952, her work began to resemble Phillip Guston’s red cartoons, which he exhibited in the late 1970’s at the Barbizon Hotel. Her subject was the playground and she painted the trees with children on swings and playing hopscotch or jumproping. They were simplified and delineated in black. She handled black reductively painting around the white areas of the numbers of the chalk hopscotch grid.

My mother retains a part of Russia and Asia that is now a part of me. I respect her because she is a very good artist and also a cultural link. Cooper Union College was in very close in proximity to the Cedar Bar, but this was a few years prior to its heyday.

It was right after World War II. Her father, Harry Rogow would have been starting up a new import/export business on 28th Street and Fifth Avenue, and then unexpectedly died of cancer. During the late 1940’s, New York City was still a glistening vision of the Jazz Age and Art Deco architecture, but for my mother leaving home was her foremost goal. Her older sister, Sybil was not yet married and fought constantly with their mother after their father’s death. Radio City Musical, the ice skating rink, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building were timeless symbols of this period.

The Jazz Age of the 1920’s gave rise to the big bands of the 1940’s. Shirley Temple placated the masses. Meanwhile, on the good ship lollipop, the art world centered on the WPA Art Program and Diego Rivera. Industrial landscapes and social realism fought for the rights of the immigrants in their gorgeous black dresses and vintage coats to die from. The young women’s silken black bangs and shoulder length hair, ballet slippers and Kafkaesque angst was not isolated in space, but within the asphalt jungle and teeming with the faceless crowds, New York City at its height of glamour.

For my mother’s family business, import/exporting with Japan of antiques, the 1930’s and ‘40’s were about Japanese patterns and textures, carved wood and lacquer finished objects of art. Amber lights greeted guests. Turkish carpets and dark blue velvet chairs and couches filled their sunny apartment on Riverside Drive. The immense Hudson River moved by from their balcony. On both sides my parents’ families were in the arts & antiquities markets. My mother’s father dealt in Asian antiques, especially from Japan.

Her father, Harry Rogow had jumped ship at Ellis Island and swam to the teeming Lower Eastside where in no time he became a successful import/exporter of antiques from Asia. He was part Asian. He resembled Ernest Hemmingway. Because of being an illegal, he was targeted by the FBI. His Japanese partner’s family went into the internment camps. He was responsible for sending them money. His business partner who fled back to Japan had left it for them.

Harry had a large frame, and was very masculine. He must have already arranged these Japanese connections. It didn’t take long before he was in total control. His beautiful brother, Louis, a cross-country biker went into armaments, missile parts, and worked for NASA building parts for spaceships. He left all of his money to Boystown of Israel and gave none to us.

From the time I was little she never let anyone in the family know how she did anything, ever. She kept everything a secret and I had no clue about how she did her paintings. It wasn’t until much later that I would begin to desperately try and understand her methods and incorporate them into my own work.

During the 1950’s, the Jewish question was prevalent in our minds throughout the Eichmann trials and the formation of Israel. My Uncle Louis who owned Birken in Hartford, a missile part factory gave all of our inheritances to a charity for Boystown of Israel when he died.

I was born in New York City on August 25, 1952. Meanwhile, when I was little, Marilyn rode the pink elephant at Madison Square Garden. My parents attended the event. Naturally, she was my idol. She must have been a talented actress because she succeeded to get into Strasberg Actors’ Studio, which was very difficult to get into unless you had real talent. She also married Arthur Miller, who was a literary genius.

If you want to know whom the prototype for Marilyn Monroe’s was. It was I. When I was a child and my father worked for the Mayor of the City of New York, Marilyn Monroe’s girlish voice was an echo of my aura and her face was like mine. She resonated a certain feeling about America that was New York.

As a toddler, brushing my teeth in the morning next to my Dad, who was in his early twenties, I absorbed a lot of information by osmosis. He married my mother, Arna Gregorovna Yampolskia or Audrey Rogow, who came from a wealthy Jewish family that resided on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. Her mother was from Yampolsk in the Ukraine. He joked about her disinterest in what he did for a living. He commented to me that if the Russians were coming over the George Washington Bridge, she wouldn’t have noticed.

It always confused me because as far as I was concerned we had already come over the George Washington Bridge. As a matter of fact, my bedtime stories were about the 1905 pogrom, where my grandmother, Galya Yampolskia had been trampled in the woods and raped. Her oldest sister, Yeva, a doctor, had been imprisoned with Lenin’s sister, Maria Ulyanova in Siberia for inciting revolutionary activities against the Tsar.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s sister, Maria was a kind of wacky girl, and a quirky girl. Yeva was a big, butch feminist who was similar to someone from today’s art tribes of California who are trying to make their names here. Unfortunately, they got rounded up by the Tsarist police and were sent to jail in Siberia. Her code name was Mother Russia. Yeva’s son, Ulya became a Colonel in the Soviet Army. I’ve seen photographs of my distant cousin Ulya who wore those sailor hats and the little sailor shirts from Tsar Nicholas’ period. His hair was a soft blonde and he had a sweet face.

New York City treated us well. My father, Lloyd Daniel Schwalb was Cultural Liaison and speechwriter for the Mayor of the City of New York during the 1950’s. He worked for the Commissioner of Commerce and Public Events, Richard Patterson. My father was refined and athletic as a young man. He was also very quick-witted and clever. He attended Bronx Science High School, New York and Columbia Universities where he managed the track team and was a member of the German Language Society.

His father, I. Charles Schwalb attended an Orthodox synagogue where the men and women were segregated. He was a well-known criminal lawyer and worked for the most prestigious law firm in the Bronx. He also was on the board of a prominent credit union and was well-liked and trusted by many people in the political arena in lower Manhattan.

In Europe, many of the Schwalbs from Galicia spoke German and had lived and worked in Germany although our immediate relatives were subsistence farmers in Galicia and so had nothing to keep them there. They spoke Yiddish. They came here in steerage. At the onset of World War II, the more prosperous Schwalbs along with all of the Jews of Europe were sent to the Ghettos of Lodz or in the cattle cars to the death camps where they perished. They wrote many letters to their American relatives asking for used wool coats to keep them warm on their journey.

Father’s grandfather, Harry Schwalb had emigrated here from Neblitz in the 1880’s and had a horse and vegetable wagon on East Fifth Street. He was illiterate.

The year was 1911. It was around the time the serious troubles began for Tsar Nicholas and for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Charlie and his sister, Jean had just lost their mother, Pauline from a pneumatic fever. Jean had been sent away to live with old relatives by their father’s new wife. Her stepmother, a customer at his vegetable stand, didn’t want her.

The appearance of Charlie’s stepmother began a pattern of ruthless women swapping that makes the fundamentalists in Iran look progressive. Isadore Charles Schwalb, motherless at the age of seven, rode the ferry from Desbrosses Street with a cigar slid into the perfect circular hole gored into his teeth from opening up soda bottles. He was bound for Newark to see his younger sister, Jean.

Although Jews had gained full rights by 1867 in Europe under the Hapsburg monarchy, they were still banned from the army and the diplomatic and civil services. For my father, a second generation American, this country provided him with great opportunities. Composer and conductor, Gustav Mahler had to be baptized into the Catholic faith in order to secure his position as Director of the Vienna Court Opera in 1897. In America even up until World War II, it was legal to state religious preference in job advertisements. The job ads specified, “Christian Only.”

My father’s great grandfather, Louis Spiro arrived from Krakow as a silver dealer of Medieval Judaica with a letter of introduction from Louis Comfort Tiffany. He came here from a fine family with many political contacts all over Europe. They were members of the Dumo Parliament, which encompassed much of what switched back and forth from Tsarist Russia to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It is my feeling that a phobia against Judaica and a stigmatism of the Slavs caused many problems leading to the wars. In America Paul Revere’s silver is totally Minimalist and yet it was able to appeal to the Puritans. It may have been too confusing for Louis Tiffany to incorporate Judaica into his stain glass. He left the lead natural and got ornate in his stained glass designs.

Maybe that’s why they became purely decorative and not great art and were copied by the 5 and dime stores. The Puritans incorporated their religion into their art concepts. They cared about luminosity and how purified they were in their daily life. Here on the other hand, Judaic concepts and Diaspora-style luminosity was too complicated for the public then. Symbolic liberation, peace for humanity was a big secret and very costly in lives.

In a way, which I think it would have been something that would have carried the art world through. Instead, you got these nihilistic artists who emerged like Dan Flavin who worked with fluorescent lights.

The Jews of the Pale were being conscripted to go to the front lines and fight during World War I. They had just survived the Pogrom of 1905. This act was in retaliation for the Tsar’s loss of pride which occurred after the Japanese had destroyed the Russian’s Naval Fleet during the Russo/Japanese War.

The invention in Bochum, West Germany of the King Gustav machine gun would decimate an entire generation of soldiers during World War I, causing mass desertion in Russia and the Communist Revolution. The Russian soldiers refused to fight and they just put down their guns and they joined up with the Communists. Even the Tsar’s military high command weren’t going to submit to being murdered by those German machine guns.

On the other hand, my grandfather and his brothers on my mother’s side were asked to join the Cossacks and kill their own people in the Tsar’s pogroms. They were large men and they had a lot of Mongolian blood in them. They were great horseback riders.

They used to know how to ride and jump frontally off of the horses into the lake. That’s what my grandfather had to do when he reached New York. He had to swim to shore, which he did. Otherwise, he would have been sent back to Russia. He had Tuberculosis. He spent many a night at the Plaza Hotel when it got bad.

On my father’s side, the French and the English Rothschilds were cousins of Dora Levinson. My great, great grandmother had been part of a large family and her cousins had all been married into the great Jewish families of Europe. In Krakow, they housed Talmudic scholars and sponsored rare and valuable Torahs. They vacationed in Carlsbad, Chekoslovakia at the Baths. There many marriage matches were made between their daughters and the great Jewish political and banking families from all over Europe.

One of Dora’s cousins was married to Montague who was a famous politician in England during La Belle Époque and invested in gold bullion. Another was wed to Prinz who was the consultant to the Queen of the Netherlands. We were related to the German Auerbach banking family. We were also married into the French and English divisions of the Rothchilds of whom we closely resemble. My father looks like Guy de Rothchild.

Louis Citronsky had begun a car manufacturing company. The Citroen had replaceable parts and became the national car of France. My Great Grandma Spiro, Annie Spiro and her husband Emmanuel flew in one of the first airplanes from New York across the Atlantic to the Italian Riviera to visit the Citroen family before World War II. He was sent to the death camps and died a miserable death there under the hands of the Nazis.

Countess Irina von Schiller and Helena Rubenstein had visited my father and his parents in their apartment in the Bronx before the war. They were all cousins. Helena Rubenstein’s cosmetic empire still ranks in the top ten in the world. Annie Krex’s mother had had phenomenal skin, which was one of the reasons Emmanuel Spiro was attracted to the family. I inherited it.

My grandmother was the last to the youngest of eleven children. And she was a Yampolsky. And that meant that they had been in the Ukraine under the tutelage of some Polish nobleman’s estate. Yampolsky means “I am Polish.” The town took its name in the 10th century. Her family became the prototype for Scholom Malechim’s Fiddler on the Roof. Scholom Malechim married one of our cousins. For me history is most interesting when it related to Rembrandt’s portraits of the Jewish ghettos in Amsterdam during the 1600’s. I don’t want to hide my past. My parents were up in the high balustrades of New York society. I have no need to.

The Yampolskys were living in a schtetl. But Galia’s father was the manager of a wheat mill. So they had enough money to escape to New York through Denmark on a vacation with their sons. They left their married daughters behind.

Yeva and Maria got out of political exile alive and she had a son. Yeva and her son were very involved with the Soviet Russian military that had a settlement in the Kiev in the Ukraine. Yeva obviously wanted to stay in her politically changing country. But my grandmother and her sister, Jenya left and after sightseeing and going to Coney Island Amusement Park, Jenya died of an inoperable heart condition.

My grandmother was about fourteen. It was right before the Revolution and during World War I. Galia Yampolskia was a great beauty with a startling figure, slender arches, grey eyes and high cheekbones. She sang and danced and attended her town ball’s with her Christian girlfriend, Claudia.

All I ever heard from my beautiful grandmother, Galia Yampolskia, Galina was about her first love, Volodya. My grandmother was not destined to be together with him. The difference between my grandmother and my revolutionary Aunt Yeva was pretty pronounced. My grandmother loved Tsar Nicholas and after they immigrated to the States, if she recognized a princely relative of the Romanoff’s, she would bow in deference to him.

Harry took her as his wife because she was so beautiful. She was a trophy wife. She maintained her beauty all her life working out and doing gymnastics. Within only a short time, the Rogow men had become millionaires. The first thing that Uncle Louis did was to buy a compound, which had been the President Calvin Coolidge’s estate. It was next door to the Kennedy estate at Hyannisport, Massachusetts. Mother dated Teddy Kennedy for a little while.

My Russian grandmother, Helen used to sit for hours and copy African sculptures. Everyone thought she was an amateur, but I think in her mind that she was very involved with something greater. She appreciated African art.

Mother’s father had gone bankrupt at the onset of World War II. He was in the import/export business with Japan and they had become America’s enemy. He was also an illegal who had bypassed Ellis Island because he suffered from Tuberculosis. They were Cossacks, having a good deal of Mongolian blood in them and were great horseback riders.

They had left a gentlemen’s’ carriage business behind. They knew how to ride powerfully and jump off of the horses into the water. That’s what my grandfather had to do when he reached New York. He had to swim to shore, which he did. This made him paranoid later. His deportation would have resulted in his death if he were forced to return to the Soviet Union. He spent many a night at the Plaza Hotel when it got bad. I was only second generation American on my mother’s side and on my father’s side, third.

I wonder if sixth generation Americans weren’t also fertile grounds for a similar kind of social transposition because of the colonists having desecrated the sacred burial grounds of the Native American Indians. Not only had we, who call ourselves a democracy, guiltlessly massacred millions of Indians, but also we raised cities on top of their burial sites.

On the other hand, why should we have been blamed for our curiosity? Our seaward journey westward was a brilliant part of our attempt to define our planet during the Renaissance. We wanted to find the link between our trade routes. Navigating the Atlantic Ocean in massive sailing vessels and exploring the vast sea to find out whether or not the Earth was round was a natural step for humanity.

The annihilation of the Native American Indians and our taking over Mexican lands were a part of this thrust towards the Pacific Ocean. Many of us were seafaring people. The Vikings had visited these shores in prehistory as well. Europeans and Russians had Viking blood. It was a magnet that pulled us westward. This must have been why the Native Americans didn’t build seafaring vessels and travel eastward to Europe.

We did get our first television set in about 1956. While comic books were off limits, unlimited TV while doing arts & crafts was fine. My father, who welcomed visiting Kings, Queens, and Bishops to New York City, thought what I was doing was cute and chatted about it with them enroute to parties or public events. I still have my portfolio of drawings from the time I was age 4.

Even before working for Mayor Wagner, my father had worked at Radio Free Europe doing top secret writing and transmitting of current events. This type of thing still occurs today with Radio Free Europe and Voice of America broadcasting in Russia. Recently, the Russian government has begun a policy of blockading as much of it as possible. It riles up the people and causes pockets of rebellion.

One of the people who worked for my father at Radio Free Europe was to become the great art critic for the New Yorker Magazine, Calvin Tompkins. Radio Free Europe employees were exempt from scrutiny during the McCarthy era but Voice of America employees were scrutinized as being Communists.

Julian Hess also worked for the Mayor. He was from one of the oldest and wealthiest German Jewish families in New York. He had been on the swim team with John F. Kennedy at Harvard. His grandfather had been a part of the first Temple Emmanuel congregation in Manhattan. He was one of the quintessential bachelors in New York at the time. He was also one of the most elegant bachelors in New York.

The Cuban Missile Crisis seems to have been the catalyst that ended this state of depravity. Whether it was a blessing in disguise for a moment in history, I don’t know. But, I do remember how terrifying the thought of being annihilated along with 90 million people along the eastern seaboard was.

Miraculously, the Russians responded to our diplomacy and took their missiles away. This was in the early 1960’s. It makes me think of when Fidel Castro visited New York City.

He stayed at the Waldorf Astoria and brought his own chickens which he let wander around the hotel suite. Kruschev went on the Ed Sullivan show and made a joke about how the cold war happened as a result of the Russians not having television. The Honeymooners, The Lone Ranger, and I Love Lucy were his excuse for flagging in a new era where the media was the great conscience of society. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the art world.

I guess it was a more psychologically attuned place to grow up. At least, that’s how I was treated growing up in the 1950’s in New York City, which at the same time was also a newly established megacity. So, it was an established fortress and anything goes in that kind of an environment unless it mysteriously disappears from the social scene which on the upper Westside was an uncommon occurrence.

Playing music on pots and pans was a fun thing for Christine and I to do and very 1950’s. Some of the foremost avant-garde percussionists were up on Audubon Terrace. Pat Argiro was in love with Jacob Druckman who lived in the large apartment building next door.

Harlem was up on Broadway and there were the dignified old Black ladies at the Public Library. The mixture of perfume and gas on the Broadway bus would trigger an episode of labrynthis. When my mother and I were on the bus going down Broadway, I would automatically have a seizure and become dizzy and nauseous if we entered the bus and I smelled those two things. I would sit huddled next to my mother and the scents would mix into an old perfume smell and I recognized the odor. It made me very ill.

My vertigo was accompanied by this heightened sense of smelling a specific odor. According to my mother, she couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but she knew something was very wrong. So, she had her mother take care of me a great deal of the time.

We lived in Harlem before the civil rights movement. It was a residential community. I went to an all Black public school up on 160th Street. I played the piano on the old wooden stage in my little petticoats and plaid dress. There were many children there whose parents had suffered during the Holocaust and were the known as the children of the Holocaust. Certainly, the Blacks were still struggling with inequality.

One day no more school existed. A large fire had leveled the school. We were transported to a condemned school deep in Harlem. We stayed there until a brand new school was completed. I was the only child in my class who took home by notebook that day. I thought that was prophetic.

My daughter’s best friend when she was in Pre-K was Eden Bellow, and her father Adam was one of the children of Saul Bellow, who was considered one of the greatest American writers of the latter half of the 20th century. What was remarkable about Bellow’s writing, was that it was all about us. He was writing about our existences and our inner feelings during the 1950’s, the open marriages that went on with these very tight marriageable facades. I was particularly moved by the passages in his writing which described young fathers cheating with nubile young mothers who still had their baby’s nursing milk spouting out of their breasts as they rode around with each other in those old cars.

While the last breath of the Austro Hungarian Empire could be heard clear around the world, and whatever U-boats from the Nazi era sunk under the waters of the Hudson River, our demise had not happened. The American Dynasty was about to begin, not the Thousand-Year Reich.

My applauding of the uplifting of censorship as I have witnessed first hand from observing my mother-in-law, Natalia Ivanova tolerate my husband, Andrey’s work. It’s her graciousness and feelings of support as perostroika happened. Freedom of speech for the Russians would have begun to reach them with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

By permitting Heronymous Bosch type art to emerge, it was a new period where anything that you wanted to say, you would be allowed to say. It was as if their new credo was that when the Russians decide to do something, they really go all out. And when the Russians decided to uplift their censorship codes, they really uplifted them with a powerful psychological release.

Metaphysically, New York never truly established its own identity. The loss by Great Britain of the Colonies during “Mad” King George III reign imprinted itself onto our souls here. His six daughters became archetypal prototypes of the kinds of alpha women that dominated New York Society.

The first daughter of King George and Queen Charlotte was Charlotte, the Princess Royal. She was the most traditional of the sisters. Princess Augusta, the second daughter, was an able commentator on family affairs. Their third daughter, Princess Elizabeth was the artist. Princess Mary, was the beauty of the family, and the most fashionable daughter, yet had the blandest personality.

Fourth on the list was Princess Sophia, who was the most childlike and I associate myself with her. The last and most favored daughter, Princess Amelia was the King’s favorite. I would associate my daughter, Heather with Princess Amelia.

And now America is becoming a different place and we’re way past the Industrial Revolution and it’s like the Roman Coliseum in New York City watching people trying to make it here. The young people, no matters if they are the brightest of the bright, are unable to pay the prices here. And even if they have two jobs and are combining incomes of $300,000 a year they can’t afford to live here. Unless you’re very poor or very rich, it’s very hard here to maintain any stability.

And I think in a way that was why I felt that I would almost be better off to be under the poverty level here, because that would be the only way to survive really, under the radar. The artists who previously were able to venture into New York City, now have to move into the rest of the country in order to survive and live. America has a lot of natural disaster belts, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, deserts, uninhabitable mountain ranges and the great cities of America are there because they were near waterways or in safer havens.

Worthy of dismissal by the art world is the kind of art which delves into the hearts and minds of the living. I’m not referring to Social Realism, but rather to an idealization of the truth, similar to the German, Dutch and French Schools of the seventeenth century. The human soul is completely unthinkable at this time.

It will be the subject of the art of the future and only after this nihilistic movement passes. At the moment the art of the living is seen as being too angry, even more impossible and worthy of disdain than the art of the dead.

Damian Hirst’s dead animal carcasses are placed in these gorgeous galleries and famous museums all over the world are a barometer of what we can deal with in our transitional society today. Obviously, our tokenism and mob mentality might get exposed.

My father documented, through his photography, this transitional period in history where the young Mexican vendor tried to support his family through an honest day’s work, the Japanese priest wandered through his neighborhood or Moroccan boys gathered together for a moment in front of the camera. This was like virgin snow when the first American tourists began to visit their countries after World War II.

It set the precedent for the educated class to begin to enter international society as tokens. What happened to them was their fault as much as it was anyone else’s. They depended upon the latest fashions, the most genuine smiles and on the hope that no artists would be around to shake things up. They were really fundamentalists and were very small-minded. They only looked cool at first glance. There was nothing inside of them. They were uncreative. They were also part-timers. Their lives were back in their own communities and with their habitual smoking, drinking and drug consumption were always on edge to get back to their old homes. There, they could brag about what they had done and they could impress their married sisters and “old school” relatives.

These tokens could go home if they needed to, whereas the upper middle class didn’t permit it and referred to it as retarded adolescence. I remember the painting Ron Gorchov called “Retarded Terror.” It was based upon a discussion he had had with the sculptor, Carl Andre. It may have circled around Anna Maria Mendieta, his wife (1948 – 1985). She was an earthworks artist who would die under mysterious circumstances leading to a murder trial against him for having thrown her out of the high rise window. As a result, Mendieta gained a name in art history.

By 1968 I had whisked through the racks in the room behind my Russian grandmother’s kitchen for antique dresses that had belonged to my mother and her sisters. I found several sheer 1940’s florals and danced gracefully around with my long hennaed red hair flowing in a circle while under the influence of LSD in Central Park. Several young men stepped into my circle and asked me to be theirs.

There was an unwholesome atmosphere for artists where even in the free world they found themselves working under political persecution. Of course, they wouldn’t be arrested or killed, but the group would ostracize them for asking too many questions. What is even more difficult is that these gifted people were purposely used as food for these pagan demigods. I saw this vignette played out over and over again from the time I could walk.

Alpha women and supermodels were substituted for anyone who might interfere with the plans of the scenemakers to present a plausible facade. These interferers would then withdraw into their invisible jungle in the same way the Vietnamese were able to when they drew back into the jungle and won the war.

Alexander’s mother was Polish. His father was German and related to the Prime Minister under Kaiser Wilhelm. If I hadn’t listened to Ron when he got down on his knees and begged me not to have an affair with Alexander, I would have been even more in my old element than being with Ron. The only problem was Alexander’s disease. Since I was constantly getting pregnant, even whilst using contraceptives, I couldn’t risk the bad genes getting together.

I was scared of Alexander because he suffered from an aristocratic disease similar to cancer, but of benign tumors which popped up inside and outside of his body. His twin sister had died of it when she turned twenty. One had grown in her brain. I knew that he and I would create a child with him that would be sick. My mother had diabetes and I had a psychic premonition about it.

I had already gone through what appeared to me to be my mother’s illness. I had been long used to being terribly sick myself, yet hadn’t located where it was coming from. I felt it belonged to my mother who suffered from Diabetes. I had somatacized it and was in denial about it coming from me. I did sense that Alexander and my genes would yield a sick baby and I didn’t want to go through that again.

Alexander’s letter to me was curious citing he couldn’t come to America himself because of health problems. In fact, he felt righteous in that he had sent his secretary, Klara from Bochum, Germany who would marry Richard Serra. Bochum, by the way was the only city in Germany, which never sent a soldier to war for two generations because they were arming the war. The Krupp Iron Mines were there. Bochum had the highest relative marriage and birth rates of any city in Germany during the twentieth century.

When Alexander von Berswordt came onto the scene, I was creating beautiful copper coffee tables marked with encaustic. And when he toured the art shows along West Broadway, he was shocked to see sculptures that were lamps. America overwhelmed him. He disliked the American art collectors because they were not from the upper classes.

He didn’t know how to communicate with them. My work was so experimental that he said there was nothing to buy. This wasn’t true. He couldn’t market an artist who was in flux. I had to remain behind the scenes and struggle to stay afloat.

Maybe we would have gotten into a more linguistic kind of Abstract Expressionism had Leo Castelli and h.l. Alexander von Berswordt Wallrabe had not been so financially empowered to take over the art world. You wouldn’t have young kids from the projects illegally riding the tops of subways and shows about “Graffiti” at the Brooklyn Museum.

When we try to decipher what we’re going to paint today in these new museums, there’s a certain prejudice against classical art. I see a great flaw and manipulation by the Germans in that kind of disdain for our past. They have been force-feeding us the avant-garde, which is why the Blacks have reinvented Rap, Hip-Hop and breakdancing.

Evolved in the early 1980’s the graffiti art that emerged became part of this whole secondary art dealing that was going on under the table. The inspirational art was completely misunderstood as the translation from the 1950’s in New York into the 1980’s.

And as usual, it’s the poor children who are the prodigies. It’s the tough little 8 year olds who are breakdancing in the subway at 42nd Street with their older brothers and are reinventing the art of the turn of the 21st century because they sense the bad influences of the fascists in the art world. They’re protecting the North. They understand the Eastern European Jews are Einsteinium, a brilliant, psychologically orientated group.

Religious art such as the icon paintings of the dark ages and medieval times were confusing to Andrey because God didn’t exist when he was a boy in Moscow. His grandfather, Roman wisked him off to a Napoleonic era Russian Orthodox Church and had him christened. I guess he felt the same as I did about giving Heather some kind of backup. The Holocaust was not far behind. I had been registered in my grandfather’s Orthodox temple after I was born and given the name, Manya Sheyna, which means beautiful face.

But with my baby, Heather, the Archmandrite of Australia, who had just come out of a deep spiritual retreat, had christened Heather Andreyovich at the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Synodal Cross on the Upper Eastside. They used a surrogate mother named Tanya.

Then I converted, under the Pastorship of Barry Shepherd, to Presbyterian. I luxuriated in studying both the Old Testament and the New Testament and I accepted the New Testament as well as the old. I did this until the parishioners began to want to do face to face mediations with Reform Jewish Synagogue and even made plans to travel to Israel.

I knew it would precipitate the Hammas being elected in and the subsequently terrible war with Hezbollah. The American Christian community didn’t understand that when the Jews say that they are the chosen ones, they are only speaking of being protective toward one another within their own community.

Anyone can convert to Judaism and be a part of the Jewish community. It only requires following the Jewish law concerning diet, the calendar of Jewish holidays and circumcision and the mikvah ritual. Then, three Rabbis need to give their permission. Mel Gibson’s drunken tirades really aren’t worth a war, but of course, I don’t know how it feels to be him.

Was it delusional or was it a conscious act for him to submerge his ego in the same way I had? Andrey became psychotic. For me it was different. I became absorbed in visual art. I dealt with a physical impairment, which no one diagnosed, until I was fifty years old. When do we resurface? Maybe I’m resurfacing now.

Is that what the notorious Nazi, Josef Mengele’s drowning accident was about in 1979? At age 68 and right when Richard Serra’s career took off, was Mengele attempting to protect himself from the Israelis? They were after him in the same way they had gone after Eichmann. Both had fled to South America after the war.

From a Tibetan point of view, the Israelis could even have gone so far as to have been a reborn generation. They may have even have been those very young soldiers that Hitler facetiously designated to die in the front lines at the Battle for Stalingrad or in Erwin Rommel’s desert war in North Africa. Both were one-way tickets to hell.

Did Mengele feel the same way that I felt toward the people I loved in the outside world, that I had to hide my true self from them? His Holiness, Dudjom Rinpoche used the word, “nga” to describe the hidden self. “Nga” is an awareness of parasitic dependence upon people because they make you feel superior. If they want to leave, you try to destroy them.

In inter-racial marriages with children, or adoptions from exotic places like China we tend to behave in an immature fashion. We are too obscured to be in touch with our true feelings and while we have the ability to love, we depend on having the upper hand.

Heidi Klum and her marriage to Seal are an example of a relationship that is based on her animal fears of becoming obsolete. It emerges as one transits passivity. He along with Tiger Woods, O.J. Simpson and Jimmy Hendricks attempt to use the safety net of being part of a new and progressive society, preferably in Britain to avoid the slavery association.

Seal’s aim is to present the international community with a “Black parent being” in order to counteract the total kid rebellion that is taking place in America. It is a reaction against being force fed the Marshall Plan’s version of the avant-garde by the rich German art dealers. He’s right to present a role model.

The problem is that there is a further step to be taken and this is a more streamlined step. There is an appendage-like fellowship of artists’ work that sees the lesser fortunate as subhuman. They secretly believe all of the characatures of head shapes and pseudo-scientific relationships between animals and humans established during the Nazi regime. Even Leonardo Da Vinci’s street people are so radically characterized that they aren’t neutralizing the human dilemma, but are sensitizing the ground in favor of the petty and superficial.

Everything is fine as long as no one gets rejected. Once rejection occurs, unless in this case, the family are celebrities and on public television (then they have to behave) the one with the advantage begins to see the other, in this case her independent husband as a subhuman form.

I learned about this first hand when my lover, Lama Rinchen Phuntsok Vajracharya changed our lives and returned to Nepal. My initial response was disbelief and then it transited into the vilest superimposition of him into a subhuman, maybe not even as evolved as a Neanderthal.

Because I’m so kindly and non-violent by nature, His Holiness found it amusing. Lama Rinchen did too. I was completely in a trance state, which by the way, he fully reveled in and made all kinds of fingers in his ears motions trying to get my attention. I didn’t notice. I was convinced that he had turned into a lower form.

His Holiness had an emergency group talk with his daughters and kept repeating to them and to another Lama in his retinue about the word I had blurted out. His Holiness was very impressed by me and explained to his daughters that I was Vajrayana and only had to go through this lifetime before reaching enlightenment. He had already evaluated me on my first visit to see him where Tulku Pema translated and we talked about tanka paintings and modern art.

It’s no wonder Russia quietly closed itself off from the West. Many countries surround Russia and they have never known democracy like in America. After three types of leadership over the past 150 years (Tsarist, Stalinist, & perestroika) the Russian people want order and safety. This supercedes freedom.

Meanwhile, alpha women still sit in denial of their traumatic effect. They excuse their behavior feeling that nothing is going to happen to them because it is normal for women to be parasitic in our society. Internally, the U.S.A. portended to be a religious country, yet its people have become addicted to an atheistic concept of narcissism and social promotion. This is especially true amongst the Catholics who segregate themselves and play into the alpha woman phenomenon in every way.

Process dominated substance and it became a one-sided situation when the media in New York somehow got repeatedly and uncannily bribed. Hilton Kramer wrote about hermeticism in the art world and what a big mistake it was in defining the new age. That’s why I stopped writing for the art magazines. Journalism seemed corrupted, like its advertisers were blackmailing it. Similarly, wherever the investments were, it became the new America, only they didn’t get rewarded with citizenship nor passports.

Prescott Bush and J.P. Morgan even helped to finance the Russian Revolution. After the Tsar was deposed, they gave the Mensheviks $300 million dollars. The media sent us a strange message that it was O.K. to be a mercenary, as long as you looked great in the process. Bohemians worldwide scrambled to look good and to get interesting clothes and army boots. This took place in France at the turn of the 20th century. It is taking place presently all over the world.

One can see this behavior in all the different influences that have been attracted to New York City during the past century. From the Scandinavians, and the Germanic tribes to the Asiatics and the Arabs, there were all kinds of peripheral belief systems interacting here as a result.

It’s true that an African sculpture by a certain tribe, let’s say from Nigeria, is still being crafted and sold today. For the Africans, their art is an act of divine intervention by God. Imagine! Sitting beside the magnificent Pyramids and cities of Egypt, beautiful African sculptures were carved that were imaginative and full of joy.

They reflected the highest aims of art. Their overall image contained many symbolic shapes and forms which related to their living in a natural habitat which had every conceivable animal, giraffes, tigers, gazelles, monkeys, cheetahs, lions, etc. They themselves were hunters and their conquests became holy crowns for them.

And somehow, it all happened too fast in the West. We suddenly went from having a multi-dimensional culture in New York to a lot of fanaticism. My idealism dissolved when I saw that artists were limited to being superstars and alpha women. The radical weather changed from hailstorm of snow coming down on Times Square to one hundred degrees in the shade and remnant tropical storms flooding the tenements.

Being in the media capital of the world, we were challenged by the Confederate losers, the entrenched and dodgey Roman Catholics, the entire world’s intelligence agencies, and now the extremist governments and terrorists.

I remember that I went to a flamenco-dancing boutique in Mexico City and bought a long white skirt with a textile of large red flowers. My hair was wavy and hennaed bright red and came down to my waist. I was a mere 97 pounds. I had attended the High School of Art & Design where I was an Honor Student in my junior year. Once Cathy and I had arrived in San Miguel, we moved into a commune on the edge of town and lived there for free. I bathed in a little birdbath in the garden. The sky at night was dark blue and filled with stars.

I love the movie about Camille Claudel, Rodin’s assistant. Isabel Adjani plays her so brilliantly. She is true to life when she climbs into a dark ditch and digs out a large lump of terra cotta clay to sculpt with. It is pouring rain and her long skirt is soiled and her dark brown curls are wet as they tumble down her face. She removed the clay and drags it in her wet skirt to her studio where she begins to sculpt it into a timeless work of art.

A friend, who was in his twenties, followed me down to Mexico. He was a waiter at Yellowfinger’s. My girlfriends and I teased him for months during lunch at The High School of Art & Design. Once we had chosen a place to stay, Richard threw me onto the bed and had his way with me. I was disgusted by him and had nightmares about what kind of a child we might have.

A mere sixteen, I found myself pregnant and in the doctor’s office. I was given a day after pill and then Depo Provera, a new birth control shot which lasted an entire year. I loathed Richard after that, and was terrified of having his baby.

In the middle of the night when I was on acid and sitting on a table in the marketplace, an old 1960’s battered up Chevy drew up and around six drunk and violent Mexican men got out. They came over to me and began to grab me backwards by my hair and kiss me. Richard’s quick thinking saved the day. He began to kiss them as well and pretended that he was gay. They became very disturbed by such a reference to them as being gay and promptly got back into their car and drove away. I had renewed respect for Richard.

Drugs were forbidden in San Miguel de Allende, although my older friends from Colorado and California knew how to get their hands on them. We heard of Federalistes walking poor tourists threw the mountains at riflepoint and no one ever heard from them again. They were also brutal toward the starving dogs in the town, dragging them off and putting an end to them.

On the other hand, the women vendors in San Miguel always had pet dogs. Their tortillas smelled like doggy sweat as the dogs guarded their stalls. My dearest friend, Vanessa Roe was thrown in jail for climbing a tree in the Jardin without panties on. She was a buxom and very fleshy woman at sixteen. We even had a scorpion in our room, a transparent one and had to call for help from our neighbors who were experienced with such large and fatal insects.

I ate everything there and never got sick. I hired models to sit for me and did colorful watercolors of mothers and children. It was an upscale scene with many cocktail parties and school art openings that we went to. We watched a funeral procession in the village where our commune was. We also washed our clothes outside in the stream with the Indian women.

I forced myself on a handsome Vietnam Vet who was engaged to be married and was worried about losing his fiancée if he cheated. I forced him to drive Cathy and I to San Antonio. He became violently angry and forced us to get out of the car as we were approaching the border because he was afraid they would find remnants of Marijuana in our car. He made me search for any specs of dust I might find which I did.

Once we arrived in San Antonio, we flew back home to New York. My father and I had gotten into a fight before I left Manhattan. I had been staying at his apartment on 107th Street. He went to the airport on the agreed upon date and I didn’t show up. Not only that, but I had made plans to go to another school and to live elsewhere. I returned to New York and went to stay in Riverdale at mother’s love nest.

I would leave Art & Design and go to a professional school called Quintano’s Professional School on 56th Street behind Carnegie Hall. It was in a ballet school and had one room with a large mirror. The Headmaster and only teacher, Mr. Quintano was a blind man who sat in a mirrored room.

School only lasted a couple of hours a day. While I was an Honor Student at The High School of Art & Design I didn’t understand the curriculum choices so I wasn’t able to find a direction that was compatible with my needs. It was insurmountably hard for me there. Our graduation from Quintano’s was at Tavern On The Green in Central Park where I made the class speech and said that “Love Is Contagious.”

Mexico is a country where everything is a different color. And they also have beautiful shocking pinks and exquisite lime greens! I can’t imagine anything more beautiful except maybe in India or Africa. The people are like landscape paintings. They’re so exquisite, just huddling together just on their own. They’re like flowers, all millions of flowers in different colors.

Not only did mother have two older sisters, but she also had a large family in Hartford that had a munitions parts company called Birken. There, she had many cousins who she was close with. She also had the opportunity at any time to move there and my father would have been given an executive position at the factory with all of its perks such as an expensive home and car. My cousin, Mimi who was my age, had a farm and an airplane part factory by the time she reached twenty-one.

My mother never took advantage of any of these things. My father was so confident in his abilities that he preferred to work for government facilities such as City Hall and subsequently, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey whose offices were in the newly built World Trade Towers.

Our life urge is even purer and more instinctual as infants. We feel everything intensely and are traumatized more permanently. Lying and pretending to be know-it-alls has pros and cons. We want a God or for there to be adults there for us when we are children. On the other hand, when we reach our teens, some of us are maturer looking and others are more childlike. Those who think that because they are maturer in body don’t need to develop their minds end up becoming bullies.

This plays into the problem of the master race. Breeding is controlled by governments who practice euthanasia and kill humans who don’t comply with bodily expectations. The underlying fear is that communities might be able to hoard the wealth, especially if they are more intelligent at math and science. It becomes a vicious circle when groups who are better at math and science are subjected to persecution by the lesser talented in those subjects.

This effects aesthetics because the perfect body always registers like a sideshow thrill. Elegance comes from the roots of ancient civilizations like the stylized Egyptians, the Mayans, Incas, and Africa and China as a whole. Of course, there are exceptions such as Carravaggio and Botticelli, but then they are a part of an entire Renaissance where fat was beautiful and a sign of health and money.

Carravaggio was possessed by the idea of becoming a Knight, became of Knight of Malta with the permission of the Pope, but then unexpectedly died from a bad sickness. With Botticelli, his muse died from consumption. She was only a girl when she died. Those are paintings of a teenager and for a young girl, she’s not that thin.

Everything is relative. I can manipulate a poor innocent child if I am in a position of responsibility. I can corner that child and I know it has no one except for me. I can have many sisters and a dead world of victims who I can rely upon. I can abuse that child and the child not only has no where to turn, but has been seriously wounded and is being stalked by a vicious war criminal. The child senses all of these things. What keeps this child alive is her wisdom about human nature and her desire to break the chain of this kind of misery and help other children.

Most of the women in Greenwich Village find that there’s nothing more interesting than the Viennese, Jewish psychiatrist. They long for a Freudian therapist. They adore Anna Freud, his daughter. She’s one of those types. I was lucky when I went for therapy because I got like an Iranian woman who for my problems, turned out to be really good. She understands that a therapist is someone who is supportive. She solves the problem many creative minds have regarding the relationship between yourself and others.

My best friend, Deborah Jenney’s adopted mother was an art collector, and loved Chaim Gross’ sculptures. Deborah was adopted and favored by her over her other adopted children because she was Chaim Gross’ baby. They had made an arrangement whereby Deborah was taken from her teenaged mother, a student in Massachussets during one of Chaim Gross’ teaching stints and given to the Shulmans.

Deborah was brought up at One Fifth Avenue and was a talented ballerina. She was on her way to becoming a professional with Balanchine when she went to a party for Nureyev at a big club on 14th Street. There, she met her husband of eighteen years, Neil Jenney.

I can’t imagine anyone not getting along with Deborah because she was so intelligent, but she and her husband were unable to get along. They had two children who are extremely charming, and Neil Jenney became very withdrawn from them all.

Finally, Deborah got a divorce. The reason I am interested in Deborah is because she reminds me of the sister I would have had, had it not been for what happened to me. She may even have been that poor soul, Allison who never made it.

After that my mother took on more responsibility for Christine and a transference occurred. Christine was of German and Welsh decent. Her playing techniques were very sadistic, trading games of Candyland with bizarre requests like acupuncture and whipping. It sounds like what would happen to me in the art world.

Uptown on the Upper Westside we lived around the corner from the Hispanic Society and the impressive American Indian Museum, which was filled, with totem poles of bright colors. Velasquez and Goya were in the Hispanic Society.

The Upper Westside was the land of Saul Bellow. When I read about women cheating on their husbands, sitting in the cars of their lovers with mother’s milk dripping out of their swollen breasts at the same time, it reminds me of what childhood felt like in such an environment. We were the prisoners of beautiful young American women as they seduced our fathers and our mother’s stole our hearts by taking in their gorgeous daughters and showering all of their love and affection upon them.

Peggy Guggenheim made her way uptown to pay a visit in our building to one of her Guggenheim fellows, Alan Hart. But what was mostly happening uptown during my childhood was the jazz in Harlem and experimental music composers in our neighborhood. Jacob Druckman, was living in the grand old Riverside Drive building next door and Meyer Kupferman who lived up further on 160th Street had a daughter my age named Lisa.

Lisa and I used to sit on the drive and 163rd Street with our babydoll carriages. We sat together and didn’t talk, just felt comforted by each other’s presence. It was rather startling to see her father at his grand piano in the apartment that they lived in. He was a modern composer and was very distant and never communicated with me.

We also had a Chinese cook named George. He had giant hacking knives and used to scare my Siamese cat, Chingus Khan away from the kitchen table when he was working on a giant sea bass with black bean sauce for our family dinner. I remember his delicious dinners.

When Chingy was a tiny kitten he thought my earlobe was his mother’s breast. He used to suck my earlobe. I wonder what he was trying to tell me? Maybe he knew that I had an ear sickness. He always chose my left earlobe.

I played with him in our living room, which was facing the river from a block long distance. Our television sat in the middle of the room and there were bookcases out in the hall filled with art supplies. The programs from the Early Bird Cartoons to about 11 o’clock were extremely entertaining, although color hadn’t been invented yet. I had paints in all colors and lots of room to spread out paper and make cutouts. I can remember watching the colors bleed into one another and feeling a great love of art.

I remember finding a letter in the mail from one of my classmates, named Elizabeth. She was very dainty and blond little Hebrew girl. You could see through her forehead at the little veins under her pale white skin. She was in the Intellectually Gifted Children’s class with me. It was a hate letter. I had gone to her house which was up on around 161st Street. She had her own toy closet filled with little pocketbooks, sparkling toys and dress-up clothes. I was caught aback by her letter. It was true that I hadn’t connected with her, but Christine was at home, so my relationships at school were cut short. We saw the children in my class whose mothers were friends with my mother. Elizabeth’s parents and mine didn’t know each other. They had no idea about her letter to me.

Had I become Elizabeth’s friend, I would have been the more powerful of the two. I was larger and stronger than she was. In my relationship with Christine, while I was already speaking at one year, and Christine wasn’t speaking even at age 3, she was the older, and larger of the two. She was also at her peak of beauty. She had long, straight blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. She was slender and all smiles.

Elizabeth got very upset with me because she gave me the opportunity to be in a dominant role with her socially, and I rejected her offer. So, she sent me the hate letter. I can’t even imagine how good it would have felt to be in a dominant position. As it was, I was always struggling because mother came from a previous life with hidden loyalties to sisters and rich relatives.

Elizabeth saw a normal view, that of my being the stronger of the two, and part of our classroom which was filled with adorable kids from our neighborhood. She was shocked when I rejected her offer. She took it as a traumatic act of negligence on my part. I wish that she had seen through the day-to-day box of our classroom. Maybe she could have rescued me.

It had to do with the situation that was presently occurring within my family between my mother and me. I was destined to be paired with Christine as the weaker of the two. Sometimes I was rejected. Sometimes I was accepted. Mostly my acceptance was a manic self-absorption in what was going on. Then I would be mercilessly cut down to size. I felt extremely safe and protected by my mother who was quite tough out on the street. My situation allowed me more time to set my designs on the other neighborhood kids around my block, and not be so petty bourgeoisie. With Elizabeth, we would have been a couple similar to Karen Romano and Denise Frank. We probably would have played with her toys of which she had many very feminine things. It would have been less taxing and I would have become a part of these lovely little girls of the Holocaust survivors.

As it was Christine was guarding me and no one wanted to come across the street when they saw her. I don’t know what Elizabeth did instead. We would stand in our courtyard, Christine and I. She was to them like a prison guard at Auschwitz. They would stare at me from across the street, but were terrified of that German girl who I was with.

There was a steep hill called “Dead Man’s Hill” which was used for sledding by the fathers and kids. It went under the bridge to the Hudson River, where there were old train tracks. A historic cemetery was to the left. My father and I would maneuver the sled very well together and bang it into the sled in front of us once we got to the bottom of the hill. Denise Frank and her father crashed and Denise went into the wall by the Cemetery for which Dead Man’s Hill was named. She broke her arm. Denise’s mother seemed very nervous at Karen Romano’s house.

She actually zipped up my dress in the back and caught it in my skin. Later in their lives, they died in a terrible car crash. Renata Romano, Karen’s mother had escaped from Germany to Yugoslavia during the war. She was very flamboyant and had a great deal of charm. Her brother had jumped a train and lost his toes to frostbite. She escaped as a young girl because she passed for Christian, but her mother had been too ill to leave Germany and she died in the gas chambers. She was so angry that when mother and I took an astrology course, I asked her what her mother’s sign was and she went ballistic. I understood how she felt and apologized.

Karen and her brother, Bobby shared her room, but I remember being unaware of Bobby’s presence when Karen and I were playing in her room. One day, he must have been sitting in a circle with us. He picked up a shoe and he struck me on my head with it. I was stunned because I hadn’t been aware of his presence. It was such an all girls’ society, I couldn’t see him in front of me.

I remember the Black and Hispanic boys in my class and outside. They were wonderful because they had eccentric body language. I think they had a harder time being separated from their parents than I did, probably because their parents were less threatening. The Hebrew boys in our neighborhood were also very nice and there were birthday parties, which we all were invited to.

Many of the children’s parents in Washington Heights in those days were survivors of the Holocaust. They were living in very large apartments. They kept them very dark and would hobble to the door when I visited their kids. They wore old black dresses and lived in the shadows. Once a woman fell crossing a snowy street on 158th Street. She must have hurt her hip because she couldn’t get up. My mother rescued her, lifting her up from the road.

The benches were a holy place. When we sat on the benches on the island by the Westside Highway, we felt as if we were in heaven. The behavior of the babies was amusing. One of the babies bit, and another fell back before anything would happen and cried. That was me.

Mother was very elegant for that period, as I suppose many women in Manhattan must have been. What was so interesting about my mother was that she looked like a Eurasian, only large-boned and tall. She had strong legs and silky straight hair in a bob.

It wasn’t until much later, when I reached my teens that I was recognized as a beauty. As a child, I wasn’t exceptional. My hair was wavy and long. My mother sewed my clothes on her sewing machine. I wore calico print shifts with knee socks and pointy shoes.

Mother had been a young bride, marrying my father at the Sherry Netherland Hotel. She had a December wedding and wore a long white velvet gown. Her experience with marriage had been rather disappointing. She shouldn’t have tried to escape from the fighting that was going on at home. After Harry Rogow died of cancer, mother’s older sister, Sybil became very moody. She was unmarried. Her younger sister had already married and left home.

My mother was next. Sybil would marry soon after. Alex Langer and his lithe and pretty daughter, Anne arrived in New York via Cuba from Hungary. They had escaped the Holocaust. Anne was motherless and spoke only Spanish. Alex was a doctor. He would become the Head of a Hospital and they would have a lot of money.

Mother moved nearby her mother. With my birth, she needed her mother a lot because I was sick all of the time and mother was unable to handle it. Then she lost the second baby at full-term.

My father went to work for the Port Authority after my mother lost the baby. He had left the Mayor’s Office at around that time. Wagner’s term had ended. He worked on 16th Street and Eighth Avenue. The Port Authority was overseen by Nelson Rockefeller. During his tenure with the Mayor’s Office superhighways destroyed most New York City’s neighborhoods. Luckily where we lived in Manhattan was located between the Westside Highway and the F.D.R. Drive. We were up on Audubon Terrace and were unaffected by the tumultuous changes that were going on.

The World Trade Towers would soon be completed and the Port Authority would move into World Trade Center One. It was a predominantly Irish crowd, and there was a lot of drinking going on.

We had moved to Riverdale in 1963. That summer we traveled to Spain and North Africa. My parents bought a black Barracuda, which had a fast back and mother learned to drive. We had a ten-room apartment. Mother met Eric Solomon.

I probably had the legs for a ballerina, but no one knew that I had a dancer’s body. Anyway, I had no balance. My legs probably saved me though because they stationed me to the floor.

I was a third generation American and at age 1 ½ my experience was pure upper Westside, but as soon as Christine arrived from Kansas, I began to learn to have an American accent, part Manhattan and part German American. Later, when I was around sixteen years of age, Wayne, my mother’s second husband polished up my accent even more. He had a perfect East Coast WASP accent. I didn’t end up talking like an upper class American, but I knew about it.

I know little about my stepfather other than that both of his parents came from the South. His mother Penelope was from Tennessee. His father, Wayne Hall, Sr. was from Texas. Both were bohemians and set down roots in Greenwich Village.

Wayne was born in 1939 and went to Grace Church School and P.S. 41 in the Village. Penelope, Wayne’s mother was related to a Confederate General named Bulger. He was a common man, not a nobleman. He had made his fortune selling kitchenware to the American Indians.

For this he traded land and had his own cotton plantation and slaves. He was not a famous warrior general like the ones written about from Tennessee like Nathan Beford Forrest. His father, Wayne Hall, Sr. was a commercial artist who worked as an illustrator on Agatha Christie novels and on the side he was a pornographer. He painted illustrations in Vargas’ style pin-ups, but the men all had erections, some were in the act of love and they were in nudist colonies.

Sometimes the nude figures in his illustrations wore modified Greek costumes. He also did cloak & dagger spy novels. My mother sold his portfolio to an antique dealer in Beacon, New York who then put them up at auction. Andy Warhol purchased them. In the not so distant future, he would unexpectedly die from toxemia related to his gall bladder operation; his having been shot in the chest had weakened his body.

Wayne Hall, Sr. suffered from a similar disease as mine. He had Menier’s disease. It wore him out to have attacks, especially as he grew older. He died while on a trip to England with his wife, Adela Landau.

When I was fifteen, my mother and father and some of my girlfriends went to a party on St. Marks Place at Violet Gomberg’s loft. Violet and my mother had been classmates at Cooper Union. She was an abstract painter. My mother was unimpressed.

On one occasion, Lori Diskins, who was a strikingly tall, buxom girl from our old neighborhood threw up on all of the coats that were lying on the bed in Violet’s bedroom.

At the second party, my father was even there. As we stood around in the crowd I noticed a tall, beautiful young man in the front room. So did my mother. I remember what my mother was wearing. She had on an oriental dress and her hair was swept tightly in a bun. She was 38 years old and had recently been heartbroken by Eric Solomon.

My mother wondered whether Wayne was gay. I went over to him and asked him out on a date. He suggested that we go to the Carlyle Hotel for coffee. I got very disoriented because I was fifteen and he was twenty-eight. He wandered into the room where my he stopped to talk to my mother. My father was mingling. Wayne took my mother’s phone number.

Meanwhile, Wayne was living in his stepmother, Adela Landau Hall’s rent-controlled apartment on Morton Street in the Village. He had worked as a copy editor at the New York Times, but had fallen apart and had a nervous breakdown. He played cards with his best friends who were modern men of the times. Bob Ribicki was a sociologist who worked as a night clerk in a hotel. He was a heavy drinker. There was Jerry Rapkin, Jim Skoggins and Jack Glickman. The famous character actor, Art Smith’s son, Craig was a close friend. Wayne’s best friend was Ian Baldwin.

Ian’s brother, Michael was a large contributor toward the Nyingma Buddhists, especially their Hawley, Massachusetts Center. That was where I met Khentse Rinpoche. It was also the site of a terrible atrocity when several Vietnam Veterans torched the magnificent larger than life Buddhas which sat in a large tree house. They associated the Buddhist monks with the North Vietnamese who they had been fighting with.

Adela came from a filthy rich Jewish family, but she was such an aggressive bitch that when she came to the end of her life, she had to be tied to the bed where she seethed obscenities and couldn’t control her anger. Adela was from the Landau family who invented the first motorized wagon. Instead of horses, it ran by itself. It was one of the first steps toward inventing the automobile.

Ethan Allen in the Landau Collection reproduced her family furnishings. She loved Wayne and left Wayne and his sister all of her possessions. There was a revolutionary war house in Upstate New York that had 80 acres of land and many valuable rugs and collectibles.

In 1961, we went to Italy, France, and England. In 1963, we visited Spain and North Africa. My father wanted to see all of the museums and archeological sites. Our experiences finally led us to Paris where we spent days at the Louvre. As a young child of eight years old, my early perceptions were what brought me to the conclusion that the European dynasty of art was rare and precious. Whereas I think for someone who grew up around the Renaissance, the art of antiquity is more cathartic, as I grow older, my feelings are crystallizing. Whereas before, I was a part of an ongoing art scene, but hadn’t made my own mark. Now, I see that as an American child seeing Europe in terms of art appreciation, I was able to absorb the essence of a dynasty in art which wasn’t over at the end of the 19th century, but in my opinion had only just begun.

It was before the Beatles, but hanging out in front of the British Museum I remember seeing artists with long hair. We visited Pat and Nick Argiro in Rome where they had an apartment in a high rise and an Alpha Romeo. We went night clubbing amidst the winding streets of Rome.

Pat was a girlish looking woman with red hair. Mother and Pat hung out together throughout the 1950’s while I was growing up. She had been an Army brat. She had great taste and always dressed in clothes which were like Biba, the London designer of the 1960’s during the Beatles time.

Her color sense was khaki and orange, purple and browns. My mother was into black. Pat combined military looks with wools and knitted accessories like shorts and thick knee socks. Her husband, Nick Argiro was a toy designer and had invented the Snow Cone machine where kids could make ices at home. He worked for Mattel.

My grandmother came with us when we traveled to Europe in 1963; she and I shared a room. She and I were very close. I was sick with traumatic vestibulopathy since birth. Mother hadn’t bonded with me because I wasn’t well and she was too upset about her own life. She was only 23 when I was born. She had married my father because she wanted to leave home. She really should have told him that because he was in love with her and wanted to have a normal marriage. Once they got a divorce, they never spoke with each other again. As a child I had to keep up with the Intellectually Gifted Program. At my I.Q. test I did very well registering 151.

The world was changing rapidly. No one knew that I had been part of an experiment or that I was a victim, walking around in a paranoid fear for my life. I had the equivalent of posttraumatic stress disorder and had difficulties with emotional closeness. I didn’t want to be touched. Whenever my mother tried to touch me, I pulled away. She couldn’t understand why.

I suffered from a recurrent and terrifying nightmare of two couples in a parking lot. One of the couples were gangsters and had just committed a crime. They were being chased by the other couples who were the police. The male gangster jumped in the back seat of a car and slid through.

As he exited the car his ankle got caught and his skin was torn off revealing grey bones. The bones were the same as the giant dinosaur in the Natural History Museum. It terrified me because he was primitive and from the other side, from the soul of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and from the world of the dead. I was only around four years old when I dreamt of this.

I remember my mother vacuuming while she was pregnant with my sister, and my coming into her bedroom which was very large and had a giant bed. I remember we had an argument and then she turned off the vacuum cleaner, sat on the bed and began to weep uncontrollably. I sat next to her. At four years old I had no idea the baby would soon die and that our lives were being effected by the Holocaust in our safehaven of New York City in 1956.

I felt the presence of terror. I can remember playing outside with Johnny Athis during the Eichmann trials. He had been caught in South America by the Israelis and was going to be hung. I remember skipping back and forth on our block and chanting Eichmann’s name. I recall imagining his being in a prison cell awaiting hanging.

My mother displayed a marital schism. There was a chronic undermining of the worth of one partner by the other which made it clear to me that my parents did not respect or value each other. My resemblance toward my father was of great concern to me, so I became fat like my mother so as to dissolve my resemblance to him. My father, on the other hand, from the time I was five years old, rejected me because I submerged myself into the identity of my mother.

My mother meanwhile kept characterizing and assigning me an inflexible and simplified role that was inferior to that of Christine. Christine became the ideal child and got all of the attention in our household. She could do no wrong.

This went on until I emerged at the age of fourteen as a great beauty. I looked like Lady Hamilton in the old school paintings. At this precise moment, the flotilla of Cuban children landed in Florida. Jorje Duyos arrived in Riverdale to live with his aunt and uncle. He entered my 9th grade class, which was Special Progress. He spoke fluent English. We were in the process of taking all of the entrance examinations for the specialized High Schools.

I fell so ill during the Music & Art test that I left early. As usual I didn’t tell anyone. I just weathered the storm until it was over. I had been having symptoms since I was born and mostly spent hours on my own, so if I got sick, I just rested.

Jorje Duyos was a tall, elegant Cuban boy. He came home with me and my mother adored him. He stayed with us often as did Christine, who came to live with us in Riverdale during her teens. She hung around with a motorcycle crowd. She brought heroine into our house one night. I snorted up a lot of it, threw it up and became so ill because of my prehistory that I missed the good part and never got hooked.

Jorje similarly got mixed up with a dangerous crowd. One night, he came into the house and fell on his back on the floor next to my bed. Mother came in and a spout of blood was exiting from the right side of his head. He had been shot in the head.

We rushed him to the hospital where he went into shock. We had no way of getting permission for them to operate, but somehow they went ahead and removed a 22-caliber bullet from his head. It had missed his brain and gone through his face where they were able to remove it from his left eye.

He had run home with a bullet in his head from a mile away where he had been shot in a drive by shooting on the West Side Highway. He had no idea who shot him.

Strange coincidences kept happening. Many years later, the death of Andrey’s brother in Moscow was also an unsolved mystery. As a young woman I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder. This was defined by shortness of breath, palpitations, sweating, and dizziness. In fact, I was suffering from vestibulopathy and severe episodes of chronic labrynthitis.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

Gisela

The native Manhattanite Moms were pretty rough and tough, and fiercely protective in post-War New York. They had grown up through the Depression and through the Holocaust and many had even been survivors. They were the intellectual crème de la crème. My aunts had gone to Hunter and were part of the literary elite which ranked higher in the scheme of things than the art world elite who were down in lower Manhattan or out in the Hamptons.

It’s a wonder Hitler wasn’t more attuned to the inner dreams of Lenin. He would have seen it as the ongoing evolution of the serfs and may have even seen his own neuvo riche culpability in the process. He was guilty because he hadn’t identified with the old German motherland.

Rather, he identified with the true and unnamed terrors inflicted by men and that included Lenin. They say his grandmother, Maria Shickelgruber was raped by one of the Rothschilds. She had been a servant in their home. She was shamed and had to return to her town of Heidler. Her son, Aloise beat Adolf. Adolf was sent to the front lines of World War I. Then his mother died from malpractice at the hands of a Jewish doctor. Adolf snapped and became a mass murderer.

One of the first dignitaries Hitler had killed was the Consul to the Austrian Consulate. He had the knowledge and even some evidence of Hitler’s Jewish grandfather because it had come down to him that such a thing had transpired. He could have provided this information as proof and stopped the Final Solution.

Naturally, during each century, no matter how advanced or humane the world is approximately 150 million people will die. This can occur from war, from natural disaster or disease. In various locations on the planet there are both increases and decreases in population and in births. Today, in Russia, the government is paying women to have second children. Similarly, in Germany there are tax cuts. China, as we all know had a one child policy which is just beginning to be uplifted, but it also requires a reduction in their quality of life.

It was such a sin for the Nazis to hurt so many innocent people just for the excuse of eugenics. German blood had been used since the aristocracy was begun for breeding purposes. Princesses were sent all over Europe.

You can see how men’s minds work. A small child with a predisposition to becoming a serial killer is placed into a society with no television, where there is no escape from joining the army and who can’t identify with his own people. His father was the son of a Rothschild, yet his grandfather disowns him. His father identifies with his forgotten dad, this Rothschild. Aloise internalizes his own painful feelings about his mother’s having been fallen from grace and humiliated.

They feel the weight of society from their little town of Heidler and perceive it in a typical nineteenth century way, similar to the way Beethoven conceived of the 9th Symphony. Hitler envisions the near death experiences of abuse at the hands of his father, Aloise, as well as those during tunnel warfare in the trenches of Europe during the First World War as a sign. He witnesses the mustard gas cutting down large bodies of men. He remembers the rage which ran through his father, his lack of identification with his own people because of his mother’s shame.

With his psychotic child’s mind, he makes a decision for the Jews of Europe that there is no hope for them during the famine between the great wars. He blames their higher culture and aptitude at math and science for coming in between him and his grandmother’s people, these serfs, who took her back into the fold, but she was traumatized by them after that.

They were able to remain within a boxed in area, were intellectual and even-tempered. Certainly, that wasn’t enough to win a war. It’s true that the Saxons had invaded England and the Anglo-Saxons combined with the Romans were an interesting combination. Americans were Anglo-Saxons at the time of the Native American annihilation.

According to Francis Fukuyama in a 1998 issue of Foreign Affairs,

“The sad archaeological evidence from sites like Jebel Sahaba in Egypt, Talheim in Germany, or Roaix in France indicates that systematic mass killings of men, women, and children occurred in Neolithic times. The Holocaust, Cambodia and Bosnia have each been described as a unique, and often as a uniquely modern, form of horror. Exceptional and tragic as they are indeed, but with precedents stretching back tens if not hundreds of thousands of years. Violence and coalition building is primarily the work of males. Female chimpanzees can be as violent and cruel as the males at times; females compete with one another in hierarchies and form coalitions to do so. But the most murderous violence is the province of males, and the nature of female alliances is different.”

Conversely, one great female in a pivotal position can set the stage for a great deal of suffering. My story began in 1952. Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt granted Gisela Perl dispensation to come to the United States.

This was after the Nuremberg Trials when she who had been an inmate doctor at Auschwitz-Birkenau was tried as part of the Nazi Medical Community for crimes against humanity. The truth was that she had become a convert to eugenics while an inmate at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. She was distrustful of American society. The Vatican still held that it was Judas Iscariot himself who betrayed Jesus, and that Jesus was not a Jew.

The Fundamentalist Christians held forth that he had purified himself by being immaculately conceived and further still by dying on the cross. As far as the religious right was concerned, this was something that all Jews needed to do as soon as possible. Today, Judas’ Gospel dispels that theory. It places Jesus and Judas together as innocent co-conspirators against the then Roman Pagans.

“You will be cursed by the other generations, and you will come to rule over them,” Jesus confides to Judas in the document, the Gospel of Judas, made public at a news conference at the National Geographic Society in Washington in 2006. According to Craig Evans, a professor of the New Testament at Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and a scholar at the National Geographic panel, some of the dialogue between Jesus and Judas may have been spoken in private, and so did not make its way into the New Testament Gospels… It is possible that the Gospel of Judas preserves an old memory that Jesus had actually instructed Judas in private, and the other disciples did not know about it.”

She had worked with the anthropologist, SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Mengele on the experiments on eugenics and how to form the master race. Mengele preferred working with babies, young twins and dwarfs. His specialties were the Twin Studies and on the Pathology of Dwarfism.

Many pseudo-scientific medical experiments were performed using children. The other doctors of the Waffen SS Medical Corps. experimented on prison inmates living and dead. They had an extensive Corpse Dissection Room which was dismantled as if it had never existed right before the camp was closed. There were also SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Kurt Heissmeyer and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer August Hirt, Director of the Anatomical Institute of the Reich University in Strasbourg at Auschwitz.

What is equally amazing is that Mengele escaped to Argentina with the aid of pro-Nazi members of the Catholic Church and the Italian Red Cross. In their desire to rid Europe of what they saw as the godless Soviet menace, the Vatican helped many Nazi war criminals flee to South America.

Mengele lived under the alias of Helmut Gregor, and applied for a divorce from his wife in Germany in 1954. In 1956 he traveled to Switzerland to visit his twelve-year-old son, Rolf. By 1960, Mengele left for Paraguay and then Brazil. It was not until 1979 that a report surfaced that he may have died by drowning. Today he would be 95 years old. He was born in 1911.

The movie, “Out of the Ashes,” made recently for HBO describes the methods she used to extinguish full term infants in order to prolong the lives of their mothers. This was in the extermination camp, where pregnancy resulted in the gas chambers. I was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck.

My uncle, a doctor from Hungary recommended Dr. Perl, who was also Hungarian, once she had been given clemency to come and work in New York City. Dr. Perl spent months observing my mother, and inviting her to her apartment. She would come to the door in a black negligee, and allude to the fact that she had been lovers with Mengele.

I was sick a lot, but I didn’t start to put the pieces together until 2000. She told my mother that I was the most beautiful baby she had ever delivered, and then said, “at Auschwitz.” Of course, that’s not true. I’ve seen the photographs of the little children who were at Auschwitz and many of them were equally as beautiful but that had been in 1943 or ‘44.

The ears controlled balance and depending on what side of the brain they were near, the left or the right, numbed the observations. She learned a lot working with Dr. Mengele at Auschwitz about the sensitivity and the influence of the ears on the human mind.

Many experiments were done using decompression chambers and measuring the effects of the inner ears on behavior. Observing and experimenting with Twins, the Twins Studies attempted to analyze the psychological effects of altering the senses. What this hoped to accomplish was domination by the master race.

For a right side injury speech and thought were effected, but for the left, disconnection and separation occurred. A 40% abnormality of the ENG corresponds to the various tests that were done on living corpses of water pressure in order to create the pitch, which corresponded to the sound of the concentration camp. 25% is abnormal. 40% and it is significantly abnormal. This abnormality effects personality traits and environmental tonalities.

On the other side, she must have seen the cord wrapped around my neck as a tell-tale sign or a symbol of the gas chambers and my after-life from all of the babies she had had to extinguish as my motherhood, even as a newborn.

I’m sure Dr. Perl remained Dr. Mengele’s psychic hostage and secret lover until her final destination of Israel. My mother said that on those visits to her apartment, Dr. Perl flaunted her body in ways that were wholeheartedly inappropriate. My mother worshipped her as a hero. I’m not sure Gisela Perl wasn’t still held hostage by Mengele after the war. His shadow haunted her, and I also sensed his presence.

Throughout my life I had recurrent dreams of a baby being hidden in a closet and starving to death, my being so terrified by the situation outside that I forgot about feeding the baby. I always saw a little baby shriveling up into a little leather figure. It was such a dangerous situation that I would forget it was there. I had nothing to give to it anyway.

Piles of corpses sat outside the barracks awaiting the crematorium. Dr. Perl became expert at delivering full term embryos. Like an automaton, she smashed their little skulls. She probably had very little luck in sparing these women for more than a short time because they would starve to death or die of cholera.

The wealthy Dutch Jews in their overcoats and plaid scarves entranced her. When they walked by, Dr. Perl thought they were going to a conference. Instead they were going to their deaths in the gas chambers. One man who survived the selection by Dr. Mengele traded a bag filled with sparkling diamonds with one of the Kapos for a few raw potatoes. Dr. Perl saw this as a sign of the New World.

According to the Chairman of Neurology at St. Vincent’s, what occurred during my first 24 hours was either a blow to the left side of my head and starvation or a severe ear infection, which went, undiagnosed and untreated. This lead to vestibular disease, chronic left ocular nerve pain, and a significant abnormality of balance. This chronic vestibular disease has gotten much worse with the years. Now, I take the same medication used for Epilepsy or Cerebral Palsy.

The ears control balance and depending on which side of the brain they were near, the left or the right, they became punishment for certain cognitions. These must have related to theories of group therapy. For a right side injury speech and thought were effected, but for the left, disconnection and separation occurred.

How his experiments with young Jewish twins effected the master race of the Germans, I’m not sure.

The pain in my left ocular nerve is so severe. It lasts for days. I feel so exhausted and depressed that all I can do is remain quiet. As a child I was able to keep up with the gifted kids in spite of my disability and no one knew what was wrong with me until I was 50. Dr. Perl was certain that in New York City Jewish children needed to learn to be quiet.

In Auschwitz the way hidden infants were kept quiet was by starving them during the first 24 hours of their birth. We in New York were still in danger. We existed in an integrated society. Yet, we had to submerge our egos in order to survive. We lived within a Christian majority, but were unfamiliar with the New Testament. The Catholic Church excluded us from their schools. I’m sure Dr. Perl was in touch with Dr. Mengele until she emigrated to Israel. She described his sadism in her book, “I Was a Doctor at Auschwitz.”

With my mother’s second pregnancy, after years of following my mother’s progress, she closely watched my mother’s activities babysitting for the German-American child of 1 ½ years my senior, Christine Wandmacher. How was it then that Dr. Goodmacher assisted in the second delivery? Who was he? It was a full-term delivery in which my sister’s skull was crushed by 60 pounds of amniotic fluid.

Mother apparently was too ashamed to tell Dr. Perl when she swelled up with Toxemia. Dr. Perl had gotten angry with my mother for getting fat. She suffered from gestational Diabetes. Mother lost the baby and she herself died during the delivery, but was brought back to life with electric shock paddles to her heart.

The Germans were losers in a fallen regime, but they still couldn’t understand what had gone wrong. For us in New York, the next period in history was going to be a struggle for survival. Gisela Perl emigrated to Israel where she resided until her death. The night mother died and was brought back to life, my father told me a story about leaves on a plant. He said that some leaves live and some leaves die.

Mother lived but suffered from depression throughout her life. My small animals were my real friends. No one knew I was damaged. How I kept it a secret I don’t know. Probably it was because I was unaware of what had happened to me. I only remember screaming as an infant and my mouth being wide open. I could feel my ears on the side of my head. I remember coming into the world from the bardo, where I can also remember being driven and obsessive. I couldn’t stop ranting and raving.

It was why I was shell-shocked and in such a state of panic. Plus, from the end of the war to more recently, Holocaust survivors were made to feel uncomfortable about talking about their ordeal. That left me vulnerable because it was a shameful thing socially to discuss or examine experiences related to the Holocaust.

He followed me because I am a kind person. The element he lacked in his life was this kind of maternal kindness. While he had been married and had children, his love was for his experiments and he knew I understood the preoccupation he had with dwarfs, Twins and babies. My midheaven is in art and I am a great lover of the European dynasty.

As an anthropologist Mengele must have felt a kindred spirit in me and seems to have been drawn to me for some further understanding of his principles of the master race. Of course, they must be WASPS from the best American families who are able to get their hands on such valuable art. They sell them here at auction for $150,000 and live off the money.

In her mind the incoherence of the Slavs is more like being bottled up and it’s not just their fault and it’s not the fault of the Jews. I mean to a large degree it’s a complicated series of unfortunate events. They’re coming out with one movie after another with Harry Potter to Lemony Snicket that are fascinating because they are fantasies.

Maybe my involvement in art had a lot to do with my having been a sickly child preferring to sit at home in front of the early TV’s for many hours a day doing arts & crafts, cutting and pasting with watercolors and displaying my work next to my mother’s. The first artist that I met was the ailing father of my most handsome classmate, Nicholas Hamlin.

His father, Marsden, a descendant of Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin, had lost his job during the McCarthy era and did Diego Rivera, pure Marxist mural throughout their huge Riverside Drive apartment. As he sat in the midst of the kitchen dying of cancer, his son was the first boy I ever saw with long blond hair.

The Abstract Expressionist art scene was happening downtown in the lofts of lower Manhattan. Uptown on the Upper Westside we lived around the corner from the Hispanic Society and the impressive American Indian Museum, which was filled, with totem poles of bright colors. Velasquez was in the Hispanic Society with the famous portrait of Juan de Pareja, his Black apprentice (and also I think he was a slave or freed slave) which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I loved pure color but apparently my early paintings were limited to figurations of mice and squirrels. My mother’s work was similar to late Phillip Guston’s, slightly Mondrianish, “Broadway Boogie Woogie,” Broadway being around the corner! But of playgrounds and hopscotch courts, children in swings, Sylvia Plath-like mothers sitting on benches.

I can also recall the women’s’ textiles of the period and the amber lights at my beautiful grandmother’s apartment, and little else except Mickey Druckman’s modern dance class where one had to follow graphic charts and move forward toward the front of the room. At age 4 this was impossible to do. I can also remember what I suppose was early Pop Art, Marilyn Monroe riding atop a painted pink elephant at Madison Square Garden, an event my parents attended.

And the Museum of the City of New York was a fun place with its old dolls and fire engines from the Keystone Cops era, and cars and carriages.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain because it was a boom time financially for us all. The 1960’s was a dreamtime for everyone. We moved to Riverdale in the Bronx and had a Barracuda, which was a streamlined car. My mother was always popular and in Riverdale she made many lifelong friends. She became very wrapped up in the sexual revolution, which I couldn’t understand until 1976. This was ten years earlier.

The museums and galleries were magnificent though. Architecture was booming. I remember as a little girl being taken to Marisol Escobar’s show on 57th Street. I felt depressed by it. One always had an addictive thirst for something more, but we were powerless to control it.

Then super-highways came in and the old neighborhoods, except for Little Italy, Chinatown and Germantown were moved to the suburbs. Sometimes people realize who they are in their art, I suppose when people realize who they are they may come to a point where they need to liberate themselves from bondage. Sometimes that means that they even need to liberate themselves from whatever lineage they are emerging out of.

Last night the first Puerto Rican won the Miss Universe Pageant. Usually it is a woman like Serra’s wife, Klara. We’re used to seeing a German or a Swede. The Swiss contestant was mean looking, but a perfect blond. She only came in as second runner up. America came in as fourth runner up. Paraguay came in third. Japan came in as first runner up.

It was interesting because it’s true that the Puerto Ricans are great. They are really used to life in New York and are extremely diplomatic. They know the temperaments of the other New Yorkers. Sometimes, they get too self-engrandised about being Christians, but they never act as brutally impolite as the Brazilians or El Salvadorians. Paraguay is interesting because it’s so South American.

Switzerland has a reputation for being neutral and has to uphold those rules of conduct so they’re kind of trapped in their own rules. The American contestant was wearing one of Heidi Klum’s Project Runway designer’s dresses and was grateful to be in the top five.

She was adorable, but couldn’t compete with Miss Ukraine or Miss Bolivia to save her life. She only won honorable mention because she was wearing that funky gown by a Project Runway designer and America was being given a chance to be as elegant as Switzerland. Miss Canada was manly, but moved like a racehorse.

I’m interested in pageants because my mentor, Alexander von Berswordt’s wife, Kornelia’s sister was Miss Universe Germany many years ago. She is the mother of his four children. He’s had other children as well and I’m sure that’s what absorbs him. He was always playing table tennis and hanging around with girls in his town in Bochum. In the same way that Ron Gorchov is predisposed to his daughter, Jolie and Joachim Friedrich is also involved with his daughter, they didn’t have time for me.

I never pressured Ron. I socked him in the chin at Magoo’s Bar. Porfirio Di Donna was sitting next to him at the time and later said that my punch was weak compared to his. He then proceeded to abandon Ron by dying. He had exhibited at Ivan Karp Gallery, but to no avail. His maroon and brown paintings were similar to the Agnes Martin’s I had seen growing up during the 1960’s.

He lived in a very simple home with his parents who were from Southern Italy. He never had a girlfriend and one day when we were in a car driving to the gas station on Houston Street, he got out of the car and complained of pain in his groin. When he went to the clinic, he was told that he had full-blown cancer and died soon after.

Had it have been Andrey that I had punched, he would have attacked me like a madman. Ron was much more normal. He just felt his chin, and said that he was impressed with how strong my punch was. Then he started up with the Landau twins. They were some distant relation to my stepfather’s stepmother, Adela. Ron said that she had just gotten excited. She didn’t know how to go all the way.

When I went up to stay with Les and Catherine Levine, aside from a huge argument in the car when I bought a quarter pound of liverwurst and began to eat it in the car, I was in agony over the breakup with Ron.

I went outside into a swampy area and rolled around in fetal position until I felt better. Les was looking out the window in total disbelief. One wonders how they could criticize anyone when they were smoking pot. What did they expect? Their lives were so superficial. They thought that they were already famous and that I was a young star. They had no idea what I was in the course of studying.

I remember walking down Broome Street at that time in a vintage coat that fit me perfectly and my wavy brown hair had grown as long as it possibly could, maybe to the middle of my back. Ron was across the street and sighed when he looked at me.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche did too. He said, when I first visited him that they wanted me to become a great artist. Certainly, this didn’t mean becoming a great con artist. It meant studying art and contributing something to society.

If my mother had had better relations with my Uncle Louis in Hartford, Connecticut, I could have been like my cousin, Mimi and had a used airplane factory in Connecticut. I couldn’t keep up with the dictaphone because of my ear. It was very hard for me to work as a senior legal secretary and have deadlines. The dictaphone was murder, but I was forced to work as a secretary for many years.

When I was a child I was used to keeping up with the Intellectually Gifted Class at school. I graduated with honors from Pratt Institute. After that there were no art teaching jobs and my license was a waste of money. While all of this was going on I was pursuing my art career, which was my primary career. I had to make many split hair decisions to keep myself on the same level as my wealthy artist friends.

I studied at Pratt Institute and hung out with the early Andy Warhol apprentice, Rupert who had white blond hair down to his waist and was a rather small man. In those days, lithography was still done on stones, which were sanded down, and heavy black tar-like ink was used. Rupert ran the lithography studio at Pratt Institute. He then went on to run the color photolithography for Warhol. Harvey Fierstein hung out in the Pie Room. It was an addictively fun cafeteria. It was filled with transvestites like him.

You walked in and past oversized women, who were really men in drag. The fag hags were these butch American women with bobs in henna. We studied skeletons and three-dimensional structures in our drawing class. I ended up taking cemetery rubbings of shadows and as was my nature spending a great deal of time catching light patterns on bicycle shadows.

I spent each of my tax returns on art supplies. I took in a check for $2,000 or more to David Davis Art supplies and purchased whatever I wanted. I experimented with all kinds of new materials and all the while I got no acknowledgement. I never understood why Les Levine had no interest in calling me anything but a fuck-up. Elizabeth Murray didn’t even say hello if I showed up at one of her openings. My mother was even surprised and deduced it was because these women artists were unattractive.

I didn’t realize that I could have made money many times over. I was invited to be a small painter in the fashion of Richard Tuttle, who was a small Minimalist sculptor and is now, more than ever, on the international art circuit. I rejected bad painting because it made little sense to me and missed another opportunity to make money like many artists were doing at the time.

I was experimenting with bad painting, but it was an academic exercise. Not much later German Neo-Expressionism was going on.

Ron Gorchov was a brilliant teacher and before him, his teacher was John Graham. And so, I felt that there was a tremendous responsibility and that I had to be a good influence on the 21st century in New York City. I’m glad that I kept my focus on modern art and not in making money. It’s a shame that people are so impressed by monetary success. I had always been awestruck by the Museums of the City of New York.

I was honored to be one of the true apprentices and to be part of the 1970’s art world. As one of the most sincere and craziest apprentice who ever lived, I was also completely absorbed in the graffiti art movement of the 1980’s which was associated with bad painting or what I would call animistic painting.

Of Leo Castelli’s artists, one of my mother’s group includes Lawrence Weiner, who will be having a retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 2007, Colin Barclay and his mother, Aline Barclay and her sister, Alice Weiner.

Alice was a waitress at Max’s Kansas City and Lawrence Weiner is this wild conceptual artist that vents about Judaica, and exhibits his work all over the world. He showed with Leo Castelli Gallery. And Dia. He’s part of the history of the stable of Dia. Alice is also exhibiting her work at the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

I have watched Lawrence Weiner in action at Christine Burgin Gallery and he was pretty aggressive in his approach. Even though I don’t really know him, his work is about words and Judaism. I think peripherally Andrey Goldin and his word art and what he is doing is the phoenix rising out of the ashes. I would like to also bring up one other influence which is James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake which is of course, Andrey to a T. It is an awesome book which is written in James Joyce’s own language in the same way that Andrey writes.

James Joyce was a writer. Andrey is an artist. The lineage from Lawrence Weiner, a family friend of my mother’s to Andrey is pretty interesting. Andrey is also a visual artist. He also writes music, but I would call him for the most part a conceptual artist. Unfortunately for Andrey, writing and visual imagery aren’t about being the quintessential East Village artist that he was presupposed to be. His perception of Manhattan doesn’t really have anything to do with being meditative or simple.

I’m sure our only saving grace from the terrorists has been that we are a complex society. It has always been the environments where the terrorists felt that there was a cliquish and mean spirited climate amongst the service workers that trouble has been spawned.

The artist, in his own way, is very effected by everything. He somehow gets lost within his own mind. There is an endless depletion of his energy by other people around him because of their inability to be supportive towards a creative and not an exploitative mind. The artist has a destabilizing effect on others and probably will always have that effect for the rest of his life. Like many, many people he has a hard time dealing with his aspirations and lack of fulfillment of them.

I had wandered around Soho and exhibited my small paintings at Blondie’s. Ron Gorchov loved the black painting I had up which was done with Margaret Setterholm’s handmade black oil paint. He was in no position to help me. He had lost his edge during the 1980’s primarily because the galleries had become fronts for other things.

It wasn’t just Serra. The art scene was self-indulgent, but the art world people were also enamoured of the mystique of 20th century art. He had gone his own way, but certainly we’ve seen the most exquisitely beautiful Fauvist paintings and Impressionist paintings, and they’re not useless. They are intellectual. They express this Amazon sensibility, this rebellious sensibility about life. There was already a great deal out there that could convey the necessary information to young students of art.

It doesn’t necessarily have to do with being the Rebel Without A Cause or being a celebrity. I really love traditional art as well as modern art and I respect photography’s place in art. I love performance art. I am an avid people watcher. I love interesting dramas. But, for the most part I like to have a connection with the truth. The direction art took during the 1980’s was scene-related. The problem was that the artists were militant about their careers and not about being academic and they so they were good teachers, but weren’t getting past the Children’s Museums. Look at Elizabeth Murray or graffiti art.

The more money you invest into the art world, the more you’re going to be able to deduct as a tax shelter. Large amounts of money can be invested in advertising and it is so luxurious that people immediately are convinced that you are a great artist. The glossies have a great deal of power. There are ways of exhibiting your work at the finest galleries such as Cheim & Reid as exchange artists from other countries where it’s not as complicated to convince the dealers. You fall into a category such as Latin America or East Germany.

Olan had a full spread in The New York Times and he was showing his work at Ward-Nasse which isn’t a glamorous Chelsea Gallery at all. Olan was selling paintings for upwards of $8,000 dollars for each painting. He enlarged fashion clips into giclee prints on large canvases and then painted on top of that with neon colors. He found a formula which appealed to people. He used all kinds of optical techniques and bright glittery colors. He is a very talented painter, but settles for a less than profound front.

I think he was spending hundreds of dollars in order to do each painting but he was making the money back just from street traffic. He had a huge photograph of his work in the Sunday New York Times.

Ward-Nasse is a great place for artists from around the world to exhibit. It is an exhibition possibility which is available and has many opportunities for exposure. The real business end of the art world happens through advertising. The magazines are what collectors read and base many of their sales upon. Now with everything moving out of New York and down to Miami, Chelsea becomes these empty gallery spaces where no one wants to go.

It’s too expensive for artists to even hang out here in New York. Miami Basil has just gotten some 100 million-dollar museum for modern art being built there. You can be a beach bum down there. It’s easier for artists. New York is still where it’s happening as far as the media center of the art world so it’s really important to have a space to exhibit in here. I think with these new Armory shows like Basil, Switzerland and Basil, Miami, Ward-Nasse is a wonderful idea. He’s been in business for 35 years and if you come with a street concept which can be a really, really interesting idea to do.

For a larger painting concept, maybe up to 30 x 40 inches, he shows for I think it’s a 9 square foot space that you get for $50 a month. If you sell something in the racks, it’s a wonderful opportunity. No one can say you are not exhibiting then.

There is very little else that I can think of that is as interesting as Ward-Nasse for artists who are interested in exhibiting their work in New York. In order to show work and to make it available to the public without becoming prey for galleries which are fronts for other kinds of things than art. It’s too difficult to get into these big galleries because there is so much other than art going on there. The New York Times covers it as well.

Even the fact that they secondary deal under the table, which I agree with, but nevertheless, it impedes the sales of living artists. And what they want is very interesting street art anyway. Maybe some of those dealers will pass by in Soho and look at the artists there.

My only other suggestion, aside from selling art on the street, is to form one’s own gallery or galleries. I was amazed that even a small booth at the Armory Shows like Scope, the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair or the Armory Show at the Piers can run $40,000 for one weekend. I’ve started Schwalb & Langhirt which is a kid-run street gallery. My daughter, Heather and her little friend, Cheyenne Cody Langhirt run it on the corner of West 5th Street and Sixth Avenue. There Cheyenne, at age 10, insisted that all of my paintings were signed. I also began Landscapes and a third gallery will be called Princess Portfolio Galerie.

I remember the general feeling that people had in the 1970’s was that if you were a serious artist that you would be taken seriously and make a lot of money. This was not the case for me. I hadn’t pursued my scholarship for a Master’s Degree from Pratt Institute. Although I gave a young artist’s talk to Ron Gorchov’s students at Hunter College, I was too immersed in art to be able to teach art history or contemporary art. There were many other artists I knew who were very young and extremely well educated at schools like Yale or Cal Arts. They used their higher degrees to teach at Bard or Harvard like Louisa Chase and Nancy Mitchnick.

I don’t want to underplay the capacity of certain artists such as Richard Serra or Jeff Koons. The well-educated artists who were examining our preoccupation with kitsch like Jeff Koons, rather than have an elegant muse like Klara Wiergraff, chose porno queens like his wife in Italy, Cicolina. I had the unique experience myself of living with Madonna during the early 1980’s who was a Detroit bubblegum disco musician.

The graffiti artists who were real street artists were specifically that. They were desperately addicted to art, and for myself at that time, when I rode the subways I was amazed at the raw talent. I was also engaged in a day to day reality of being a substitute teacher in some of the rougher schools. I was no role model like the new generation of young teachers. I was disinterested in the job. I was only there for money.

It used to cause terrible fights with the kids. The kids were problematic to begin with, but having someone in there who had a license which was what the law insisted on, who was in the room for a period, but had little to teach caused a lot of antagonism from the students. I remember coming home to Madonna and the other girls I lived with and I was covered with glass shards.

Vrej Baghoomian and Tony Shafrazi were initially good friends of mine. On my rare occasions out during the evening I would sit with them at their table and talk. I knew Shafrazi had defaced the Guernica, but he had done community service. I didn’t realize he was using it to become one of the most powerful art dealers around.

Things dramatically changed when they began to promote Keith Haring and Kenny Sharf. They became hostile and distant toward me. They also became very successful, but Vrej Baghoomian must have gotten involved with something illegal because he went into hiding and was being hunted down by Interpol.

The whole idea of getting nerdy white boys to do graffiti illuminated their general hostility toward Western art. Certainly, Tony Shafrazi expressed his antagonism toward Picasso when he defaced the Guernica. I don’t think it makes sense to see it as a social act. It wasn’t part of the art scene. It was how he felt about Picasso which wasn’t supportive. Similarly, I don’t think that they really were sensitive toward what a lot of artists were involved with then.

I mean it is true that they were remunerated for their choices whereas someone who was a deep literary graffiti genius from New York or Russia might be too high I.Q. for most people. Many people bought Keith Harings and Tony Sharfs. Another artist who was also included by Adam Baumgold in the most respected group of illustrators to ever live was Mark Kostabi. He started Kostabi World and was known for street art which had faceless people.

His work was so mediocre that they have a cable television show devoted to people who hate his work. Tom Otterness was another artist who has sculptures all over the city now of little Pillsbury doughboys and animals that are doughboy animals. The same people who were very antagonistic toward the artists that were working then sponsored these artists during that time.

When Adam Baumgold exhibits Kostabi along with Tom Westerman, one wonders why people like mediocrity and are so antagonistic toward the serious artists that are alive today? I realize that Mark Kostabi is a handsome man, and this may have more to do with it than his art lineage. It was the beginning of punk and PeeWee Herman-like personas that were short pants, eyeglasses and spiky punked hair.

So that finally in the 1990’s everything took this turn where you got the new movement coming along with Saatchi & Saatchi, who were Iraqi Jews who had the most spectacular advertising agency. They were sponsoring these British artists from the London College of Art such as Damien Hirst. He outdid Jeff Koons’ vacuum cleaner in a case. He began to place dead animal’s carcasses in galleries. He had a dead elephant in one gallery.

What this must have been doing is turning artists into total punching bags. If they weren’t attractive they weren’t even able to attend the opening. Or Christopher Ofili who I think used cow manure instead of paint. There was also a purging of artists who were secretaries from their jobs where they were desperately trying to pay the rent and bills. We became the people in the Guernica.

So, there was the type of artist who shot dogs as a prelude to his career and videotaped it, like Tom Otterness. I think it was a reaction against the brutality of Richard Serra’s art. There was a feeling that they wanted attention and would do anything to get it. They only knew how to get attention by behaving in that way so they did it.

And they sort of uplifted themselves into this materialistic realm which climaxed with the World Trade Center terrorist attack. I mean they could have flown down Park Avenue and swept through all of the corporations there who weren’t giving jobs to anyone who wasn’t from the outer boroughs. I was surprised that there hadn’t been a total attack on corporate New York.

Being computer literate was a ticket to the wealthy realm of “high art,” but very few artists were able to keep up with the technology and follow through with really serious academic study of modernism. We always end up in the streets. Artists have a terrible life because they can’t control their passion for discovery. They usually follow the same path as modern science.

I can’t recall ever singling out an artist and trying to make him into an outsider. I would love to analyze the parasites, psychophants and pests that plague the art openings. Under this mushroom cloud of the nuclear age, these people are more and more appealing because they are impossible to hide. I know that people like that attending his openings irritated Serra. They made him feel uncomfortable about himself. He looks too much like them.

A lot of these transitional sculptors were magnified whose drawings were inept, like Richard Serra. They couldn’t really do anything except for work with engineers and build things, until we were liberated by the architects like Frank Gehry who saved us.

Even though I prefer classical landmark style architecture, I can’t express my gratitude at the complete emancipation that I and I’m sure millions of people around the world felt when the modern architects took on Richard Serra.

And then there were artists that were straddling the fence between being figurative and being modern like Ellen Phelan who was always very honest and serious. She was a painter from Detroit, Michigan. As a young artist she loved to play pool at Magoo’s Bar. She was always smiling and seemed very well connected to the important dealers of the period. She paints landscapes but they are very Martha Stewart. She has one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It looks as though she uses a photo-emulsion and projects the landscape image onto the canvas. Then she paints it in pastels.

Today her work is being exhibited in the same gallery as Wolfgang Kahn, who is a really famous landscape painter in this country. I think that there were certain sculptors who were wonderful from the 1970’s. Robert Grosvenor shows at Paula Cooper Gallery and Ronnie Bladen.

There was also Tony Smith, who had been an architect. He created outdoor sculpture as the others did. Mostly there work remained in maquette form. Robert Grosvenor’s early sculptures are at Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. Tony Smith sent around maquettes all over the country. I remember Ron Gorchov got very upset with his apprentice because he wasn’t copyrighting the maquettes.

And there is Carl Andre, whose wife Anna Mendieta was a South American earth artist who fell out of a 30th floor window to her death. He was blamed. Her work wasn’t on the same level academically as his. His metal tiles and archetypal bronzes with balls and cut out cubes were pretty divine. And there were Black sculptors who were completely bypassed whereas Basquiate whose work was kind of primitive got right into Tony Shafrazi. Sculptors like Dino Blanche because his work was, it was reacting to the pristine Minimalism was seen as messy or student level.

He responded to the Minimalists by being totally animistic, but not grotesque the way that artists who show dead bodies are. It was specifically challenging the supremacist quality of Minimalist sculpture and it really threw back Ronnie Bladen when he saw Dino Blanche’s work. Having your work in a very ordinary space doesn’t help. I think that a lot of interesting art was done during the 1980’s that was in reaction to the perfection, the pristine perfection of the Minimalist art. That doesn’t give it an excuse to be a front for the drug market or to close its doors purposely in order to seem more important than it really was.

The art that I saw at the Armory Show at the Piers which was whoever had tons of money and was chosen by the admissions panel which was 303 Gallery was pretty student grade. I don’t even go to Deitch or to 303.

I think that children enjoy art shows like this once in a while because they have tents with bright colors and paintings that look like kids did them. Or the sculptures look like what they made that day in the bathroom. I think that Louise Bourgeoisie was lucky to have been whitebread, and French and at the same time she didn’t mind erotic sculpture. Her touch is phenomenal and she combined the grotesque with Minimalism in the 1980’s and up until now.

And these art dealers are preoccupied with the same kind of hostility and judgmental behavior that castrating women must have put on them when they were judged through their sexual prowess. Many of them are gay. The best art that they show is when they show Caravaggio-like photographs of gay boys that look like Ang Lee’s movie, Brokeback Mountain.

They know that they can’t only show gay art. A lot of the work that is modern is antagonistic toward motherhood and for Andrey, being antagonistic toward his mother is the definition of uplifting of censorship. He loves it when his mother remains unprovoked by antagonistic art. My feeling about it is that it gets larger and larger the infinitesimal bounds of their rejection. No matter how many raspberries and blackberries one eats, nor drinking endless glasses of champagne, the rooms are filled with contemporary art that is up for auction.

Creating an environment that is more loyal and a supportive environment of sorts that’s more sympathetic to the nature of artists all over the world is what the modern art intended to do. Initially, I think that’s what each revolution, each psychological sort of mind-expanding revolution or political revolution for freedom was about.

The intention of the art world during these periods was to make life more modern or more open so that people could read and presuppose. They would be able to have perceptions that would prevent the obstruction of their surroundings and in time it would help. But unfortunately, the lure of the arts has always been very seductive to the criminal mind. So you’ve always had Darwinian kind of arguments where gameplaying and cover-ups resulted in these treacherous periods in history where we were taking terrible chances, doing terrible things or having terrible wars.

It has always been visually so fascinating because of the tragedy and the voyeurism concerning such deterioration. Maybe Tony Shafrazi and Vrej Baghoomian were fans of the Colonial period. They enjoyed the mixtures of the different periods in history reverberating back to these untouched gorgeous galleries. So they filled them with all of these second rate artists and the debate it caused over whether they were beautiful or monstrous.

The differing anthropological climates to the European artists and collectors who were coming to New York with their religions and their high ideals, who at the same time exploited the environment. The visuals were always so tragically interesting for the voyeur.

The modernists in the 20th Century have really had a hard time taking root. They’re still having a hard time taking root. Mostly, the galleries are empty. When I saw Tony Shafrazi, he seemed so proud of himself and gleefully smiled at me. He had accomplished what he had sought out to do. He had turned the serious artists into struggling amateurs. He had given the most average artists center stage.

We were very influenced by the desperation to get work or to secure our work situation where we were able to be functional that we forgot progress and closed our doors to anything that would rock the boat. And in the post-industrial revolution, we were immersed in the uneducated but literate street person.

They wanted to fit into current society in a way which wasn’t going to hurt them, but in a certain respect the world had changed so that everything was becoming more generic. There was a desire for cheap, minimum wage labor and the American government began to work with India and China and soon there was rampant unemployment. There’s always a great interest in art and there’s a great interest in documenting periods in history.

Would a vacuum in documentation of this period in history have aided in the switch over from America to foreign labor? There’s a great interest in what’s going on in the art world by people who aren’t necessarily agreeing with the establishment art world, but by agreeing with autocratic corporate personnel policies, our culture became a haze.

On the other hand, it’s a free country and we’re really not supposed to become paranoid about art. It’s not our right to object to what’s being done. At the same time, we don’t have to subject ourselves to unnecessary pain and suffering, and that includes giving credence to people who aren’t sensitive to artists.

We know the art establishment is arranged by payments for advertising in the glossies and then the art critics are forced or assigned to write about them. We also know the auction houses for contemporary art are rigged. It has been reported in the newspapers that there have been big scandals. The purpose of our doing art was to learn something, and not to force our way in.

Best case scenario, even if we do get some attention, if the support structure doesn’t provide us with any security, should we struggle to amass a body of work that is for the trade only? Or should we follow the path of least resistance and the one where we excel? How long do we need to prove ourselves? Look at King George. He had a terrible nerve disease from stress after losing the American Revolution. Should England have not continued? Maybe he should have abdicated. But, he kept on going.

Ron Gorchov was a fascinating person. His father had been a salesman from Chicago who was knew Al Capone. He ran movie theatres all across the Midwest. Ron had grown up in Hollywood and in Chicago and had been a part of the American dream. He had come to New York to become the apprentice of John Graham.

And John Graham or Ivan Dombrowski was one of the artists from Russia who had fled the revolution to find refuge in New York City. Peggy Guggenheim and John Graham reinvented the art world. And she loved him. He painted kind of like Picasso but he painted Russian faces of people with their eyes in wall-eyed positions.

And the story of his passing is very mysterious because the story goes that he was murdered by Leo Castelli in order to get seed money to start his gallery. John Graham was married to Eleanor and she was Castelli’s wife’s mother. She died and Graham inherited the money.

Anyway all of these coincidental near death experiences began to happen to him. He was being followed and according to Ron there were several attempts on his life. They tried to side swipe him over on the highway. Ultimately, they succeeded in killing him. He was poisoned, according to Ron Gorchov, who was his devoted, beloved apprentice.

And the story goes that that John Graham came to this country as a refugee from Russia. But he wasn’t really as traumatized about leaving his old culture as a lot of people were. Because he brought such a level of timely history to New York that he only had good cheer and happiness about what was going on.

And when he came to New York he was successful in the art world. Peggy Guggenheim and John Graham created the Permanent Collection at the Guggenheim Museum, which contains a great collection of Russian Revolutionary Art and recently held the Russia Show. He painted in a similar way as Picasso handled people during Cubism. He used geometric shapes to define his forms and left them that way.

Only the tactile texture of the paint was finally one of the influences for Abstract Expressionist artists. His figure ground, his sense of playfulness with figure ground was his secret code. He analyzed every inch of the image, and was attentive the way of the paint was sculpturally modeled into color after color.

The way that John Graham used paint was similar to the way Ron Gorchov did. He was he was very concerned about the edges of the color of each section, and how they touched one another. And his paintings were very Duchampian as compared to the Ash Can School. They were more like I suppose Duchamp’s Nude Descending the Staircase. He also suffered a lot in his life. When Ron came to work for him, he left his wife in Chicago and his young children, but he loved his daughter, Jolie. She came to live with him in New York once I had left.

My reason for behaving in a disinterested fashion was really unknown at that point. He still has no clue. But he misunderstood that about me. I’m sure that was because I was so used to hiding my illness. Even my parents were unaware of how sick I was. I couldn’t explain anything because I had somatisized by illness. I was unaware of it. But it effected my behavior.

I worked stretching Ron Gorchov’s canvases, gluing and priming them with white lead into the night while he was out with dealers. I was so interested in his choices of color because he studied with the master, John Graham and their color sense was so unique. It was on a level like Pablo Picasso or a great Impressionist master like Corot. Every time Ron laid a coat of paint, I was in a state of being thrilled. I loved painting and his colors were the finest colors available.

Anyway, Ron’s mother was a gangland moll who used to come around the grand hotel in Chicago. She was ten times more glamorous than any Reginald Marsh painting. She was a fine Christian woman, who was blond and tall. She was photographed with a white poodle. She used to come around and Ron’s father liked her a lot. They soon married and had Maurice Ronald Gorchov. He was a very well endowed boy. As a matter of fact, she had him looked at the doctor because his vein was so huge on his little package that she thought something was amiss.

Schizophrenogenic mothers according to a study by Roff and Knight (1981) have rigid, moralistic attitudes toward sex that cause the mother to react with horror to any evidence of sexual impulses on the child’s part. In many instances the mother is overtly seductive in physical contacts with her son.

Ron’s father was very large and fat and finally perished in a movie theater watching a movie. And so what happened was is that when Ron came to New York he worked for John Graham. John Graham’s sketches are preoccupied with sex. His paintings are elegant and historical. Ron tried to exhibit his work with Leo Castelli, but there was all kinds of problems because he worked for John Graham. So, Ron went out on his own in the art world in New York City. That was during the 1960’s.

His paintings were very eccentric like Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, and didn’t fit into the Ash Can School or WPA period. John Graham fit perfectly into those schools. This was during the time of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Roosevelt had established the Work Program for Artists and Arshiel Gorky was working for the government. He did a big mural in Newark Airport which was painted over until it was rediscovered. I went to the opening for his mural at The Newark Museum. Kiki Smith and all of the Smith women were there because her family home was nearby.

Ron was moving forward with something new, but was relegated to becoming a second generation Abstract Expressionist. In fact, he was a Minimalist period painter. So, he didn’t fit into the 1960’s because they used bright acrylic paint and did pure color drip painting. Amongst the artists of the 1960’s were Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. Ron’s work was nothing like theirs.

He really understood painting in a way which related to the Fauvists. He was one of a kind. Yet, his work really belonged to the 1970’s. His work was more like Robert Grosvenor’s and Louise Bourgeoise’ sculptures. But they were paintings. Nobody was really doing what he was doing at all, especially in painting.

Susan Caldwell Gallery exhibited painters from the 1970’s and they were mostly involved with color in a way which was less painterly. People I suppose were thinking about modern shapes and Minimalism. But Ron was somewhere in between sculpture and painting. I remember Lee Bontecou in the 1960’s.

She worked with amorphous three-dimensional shapes made of canvas. But, she didn’t use color. She gave her work an antique look and they looked like vintage airplane parts made out of canvas or fuselages. They looked burnt. I found her work very interesting when I saw it as a child. It wasn’t what we were used to in painting. It was pretty modern.

When I first showed Ron my work, I was following up something that my mother had retrieved out of the garbage pail in Park Slope, Brooklyn where we had moved. They were shadows from bicycles or light on the wall. I captured light patterns through bicycle wheels or light patterns on my wall. I guess they were similar to Man Ray’s photographs of silhouettes, a progression up from having been an anatomy student at Pratt Institute who was always drawing skeletons.

I still didn’t understand how to paint at that point. My mother knew how to paint. But she was into painting facades of buildings with complicated shadows and fire escapes. I didn’t have a clue about how she was doing them because she kept everything a secret and did everything when everyone was asleep.

I had spent two years at Stony Brook University and had returned home to go to Pratt Institute. At that time, my mother and stepfather were living in a wonderful duplex on State Street in downtown Brooklyn. They had a 60-foot garden and a rosetta shaped stained glass window from the back of it. A Baptist Church was in back of our place. We even had a little old porch on the second floor looking out onto the garden. I lived there in a room facing out onto the garden while I attended Pratt Institute.

We moved to Park Slope after too many robberies. Our car was stolen and almost daily heroine addicts raided our house. Park Slope was no where as nice. There were whitestones lining the streets and Prospect Park was at the end of our block. Our apartment was the entire length of the whitestone and had many large rooms. My room was where I painted. That was where I did my shadow paintings and where my mother retrieved the shadow painting of the bicycle out of the trash. We had wallpapered that room in an orange floral. It had large flowers and was very Roaring Twenties.

From the time I was little she was very eccentric that way and never let anybody know how she was painting or that she was up all night. She retrieved this out of the garbage which was on turquoise Canson paper, a large sheet and it was a shadow drawing of a bicycle and then I tried to color it in unsuccessfully because I didn’t know what I was doing during that period.

By that time I was 23 years of age and had moved into a loft in the American Thread Company Building for $200 a month. And it was about 1975 when I got that prophetic phone call from Ron Gorchov. He needed an assistant. I don’t think he had ever seen such a pretty artist. I vaguely resembled Heddy Lamar.

It was in the late 1930’s. Ron was the son of one of the Chicago mobsters. His father was a Russian Jew and he worked with all of the really famous Chicago and Hollywood mobsters. He managed Heddy Lamar who was considered the most beautiful woman in Europe.

And she was a Hebrew girl who was also a brilliant scientist for the American government. She invented irregular pulses on the decoders for submarines and supply ships. And she was a Grade B movie star who played down her beauty during World War II.

Most of the serious women artists were much more masculine than I was. Ron had several girlfriends which he stopped seeing at the time we got together. They were very good looking and all American. I must have been someone whose personality was completely different than he had encountered before.

We were profoundly and deeply close and yet he was caught in time and never could understand the way my mind worked or why I was so irritable. When we took our car trip to Washington, D.C. it was hard for him to deal with my long-term perceptions of the art world. I would wait for as long as it would take to resolve my ideas.

And I believe that when he came to my studio to see my work and showed him the bicycle shadows, he was very impressed by what I had done. I don’t know whether he ever knew that my mother had rescued the original pastel from the garbage. I worked prolifically since I was little, but wasn’t able to decipher what was timely the way my mother was.

He invited me to be his apprentice and I was able to stretch his paintings, which were being done at that time for museums and galleries. Ron was making a six-figure income in the 1970’s and taught at Hunter College. Kitsy Winslow and I had attended his exhibition opening at Fishbach Gallery.

At that time a lot of the very successful artists of the period were exhibiting there. Ron was included in the Whitney Biennial and at P.S. 1. He also had a handle on the Midwest and California, which I had no experience with. He knew everyone. He needed someone to stretch these gigantic three-dimensional canvases that he had fabricated.

And they looked like violins or shields and they needed to be stretched and primed with white lead while he ran around and did business. And then they needed to be primed not all the way to the edge, just a little bit to the rim. He had a rim that he sliced off. And he would put two marks inside the middle of the painting.

They made the painting look very phallic because of the two marks and the way they were shaped. And it gave the painting a feeling of movement, but it was slightly African looking.

He lived in the most interesting loft on Broome Street that had been an old ink factory and had lots of interesting colors bleeding through the grey walls. He left them that way. And he used to hang the paintings up all over the place. And it was very colorful and period out of the 1970’s. It was very interesting. And he had a wood burning stove and was the quintessential Jackson Pollack or Marlon Brando in his wife beater T-shirt.

He wouldn’t let me talk to his dealers. And I really had to stay behind him all of the time and sit at different tables which caused a lot of arguments. But he wanted an ear to talk to. He had a dream that we were in a battle and while he was fighting, I had fallen asleep. I hadn’t fallen asleep. I was 100% there. I just had a different set of issues.

For one thing, I was interested in figurative painting more in the fashion of John Graham than I was in abstract painting. I was also unsure how to balance my own abstract expressionism, which was not centered yet. I had been a child when Peggy Guggenheim came to our building to see Alan Hart’s work. In my mind I was an Abstract Expressionist, the youngest in the world.

I suppose at the age of five in 1957 I was convinced of my own talents as I did art prolifically and worked with color in an intensive way. It took me a long time to resolve the method and I think I could teach Abstract Expressionism now. I don’t think any art professor I have met has been able to teach such a specific genre.

He couldn’t wake me up and was desperate for me to wake up and help him shoot the enemy. I’m sure the enemy was the art establishment. At that time, during the 1970’s opportunities for Ron Gorchov fell like rain from the sky. He would want to go out in the middle of the night to the corner of Broadway and Canal where they had a soda fountain called Dave’s. We would talk about art and sometimes meet other painters there.

There were very few painters, especially women painters that were up for the middle of the night conversations with him. As time went on he didn’t appreciate my questioning him about what he was doing. My goals were different than his. For one thing I was from New York and Ron was from Chicago. There was the Chicago school of painters too who were doing work that was similar to Red Grooms. It was cartoon art. It was painted as if it was social realism.

Ron knew people who were old fixtures of the neighborhood and who were downtown during the old days of the Abstract Expressionism. When I first visited Ron’s loft on Broome Street, I sat at his very large worktable. It took up almost an entire room. A cat named Ray came in from the window. He was an alley cat and like most alley cats had a torn ear and tail. Ron was ecstatic whenever he saw Ray. Ray would come and go. We had many a joyful sunrise breakfasts eating dim sum. I can recall one of our haunts late at night was on a side street in Chinatown. Ron would order duck blood pancakes on white rice with sauce. I was completely open to interesting foods. I loved Chinatown.

Another fun memory was his theory about eggs. He was certain that they didn’t spoil and needed little refrigeration. As a result, he kept dozens of eggs outside his loft window on the fire escape. When he fried them, they had the most unusual dark yellow color.

On one side of his loft was the kitchen in which he had built a giant worktable where I stretched this huge saddle shaped canvases with the finest linens and canvases. I would use a JT21 stapler with ¼” staples and staple around the rim of the saddle, trimming the edge with a scissors. The stretchers were fashioned by a craftsman who had worked in a guitar factory. Ron was also fabricating various long spokes, which twisted open to a certain tension.

From that moment I would prepare the glue, heat it up, and take my life into my hands by hoping that it wasn’t too strong and wouldn’t cause the stretcher to explode. The glue would immediately tighten the canvas to the tautness of a drum. The next step was to spread white lead oil paint as a ground with a palette knife onto the surface.

Ron had fabricated marvelous hanging devices for these heavy canvases. In those days the Whitney Museum of American Art commissioned a 10-foot painting before he had even painted it. He chose the most difficult colors, in this case a dark brown as the ground.

In actuality the methods we used and experimented with had great similarities to those used by all of the masters. Only, in this case, he taught me to paint the way that he had been taught to paint at the Chicago Institute of the Arts and then in New York by the great master, John Graham and the Abstract Expressionists.

All of the painters were amazed by my color sense. I had access to color since my early childhood. Gorchov loved the way I used color. My peers were teaching at all of the finest colleges. They had Master’s degrees and great art libraries in their lofts.

The rich artists began to buy Mission style furniture for their luxurious new lofts in the 1980’s. Before that, they had more carpentry lofts. I was familiar with Victorian furniture from my mother’s antique store, but the Mission style furniture was very inspirational because it wasn’t an abstract period at that time. The artwork was more figurative. These artists had grabbed up lofts for $40,000 in the east twenties off Park Avenue and turned them into living spaces which were very elegant. Today they are worth millions of dollars.

Magoo’s Bar was funky, dark and condensed. It was filled with wall to wall paintings. There was also Puffy’s Bar in Tribeca and tiny little unnamed bars down near the Odeon. Magoo’s was on the same caliber of what Max’s Kansas City had been for the 1960’s, or the Cedar Bar had been for the 1950’s. The 1970’s were about feast or famine.

Tommy Chapis had a large family and had catered to City Hall during the Kennedy era. He had prostitution going on during that time over there and then suffered what he thought was punishment for his sins. He contracted facial cancer and had to have part of his face removed. It was then that he decided to do good for artists. He traded art for meals for artists. He also allowed them to eat on credit.

I wasn’t sure about how to paint Abstract Expressionism at that time. I had just learned how to paint in the Minimalist genre from Ron. I thought I had a grasp of it when I was little. But, I think it was my fascination with colors blending on a piece of paper that intrigued me. My childhood drawings are very interesting. They range from televisions which were my models to people in all shapes and sizes. My process as a child was more in keeping with the Abstract Expressionists than the final outcome.

Anyway, Ron also really understood a lot about the process of painting and he used to have a lot of paint around. I remember one time he let me have a private exhibition in his studio for all of the artists from Soho to come and see my work. He made them breakfast and introduced me.

Marsha Tucker came over and so did this gorgeous blond from Willard Gallery. The dealer from California, Edward Thorpe also came by and we had an affair. I went right back to Ron though. It was at the very beginning of our relationship so it didn’t count. Edward Thorpe got very angry. I wonder if he had deep feelings about me. I didn’t have any connection with him at all. He was very young and handsome, but there was nothing about me that I could fathom that he would be very interested in. He wouldn’t ever speak to me again. I’m sure Ron did the same thing with Judy Hudson.

In 1979, we had gotten kicked out of the American Thread Company Building so they could renovate and build condos. I panicked and moved into a space in an office building where they had a bathroom that was down the hall and didn’t really have shower facility. I used a health club to take saunas and showers. It was there that my sweeping paintings evolved into schematic paintings. I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel and make something out of the brushstrokes.

I knew that when I was at the American Thread Company Building if I put down a canvas and took a broom, I could see the steps I took with the strokes of paint and there was a holistic quality, which was very original, and no one was doing.

And I moved from there I believe into working with this thesis which was my show at the Clocktower. I shouldn’t have done it because everybody else went into this wild painting, but then I bought a burner and began to melt wax and make my own encaustic paints with pigments.

I bought huge soft dripping sheets of copper at a sheet metal outlet all the way out in Queens on a highway. The copper was thick and malleable. I experimented with color. I placed it down on a low table and purchased many small pieces of copper and mixed metals. At first I played around with color theory.

I had a little talk at a bar down near the Odeon with Richard Serra about color on metal. He complimented me and told me that he thought that I was a very serious artist. He assumed light and color existed in his natural patinas, but the relationships that he had were flattening out his color.

I began to make three marks. And they were red, yellow, and blue because those were the primary colors. Then I would surround them with black encaustic. Then I would removed red, yellow, and blue from the black and deposit it into the red, yellow, or blue marks leaving green, orange or purple instead of black.

The marks then became secondary colors as I proceeded. I worked them into sort of like surreal landscapes that were kind of horrible but they, everybody thought I was a great painter. Richard Prince visited my studio at that stage and said I was a genius. He had behaved in a violent way one late night in a parking lot in Chinatown when Taro Suzuki and Frank Schroeder and I had stopped driving around in Frank’s truck. He pulled a stiletto out of his jacket and threatened me with it. At first I thought it was a performance statement where he was asserting himself, but it was the most terrifying experience.

I remember that period. Tina La Hotsky was a large boned blonde with a very good figure who did performances at a kitchen where in the nude she roasted Barbie dolls. She spent an hour adjusting the flavoring and adding tidbits and things to the pan. It was one of the most enjoyable performances I had ever been to. What I liked about them was that they were period pieces from the 1970’s. I preferred them to music at CBGB’s because they were matinees. Her art was a social gathering, but within the context of a high academic environment. To me, she was as funny as Charlie Chaplin.

This was a period when Jeff Koons was part of our clique and we were all on an equal level. Richard pulled a stiletto knife on me. It was the first time I had ever been confronted with a knife pointed insinuatingly at me. I’m not sure how he could have gotten into a gallery such as Barbara Gladstone or succeeded the way he did. I would have assumed that he would have made some kind of psychological blunder, but apparently he didn’t. Maybe Ron Gorchov threatened him.

He loved my encaustic paintings and said that he thought I was great. Now, his car bonnets went for $900,000 at the auction houses. Can you imagine the cost of creating highly glazed car bonnets and then sending forty of them all over Europe on a multi-city tour of museums? It probably would cost $900,000. Would any artist be fulfilled by car art? I suppose Chamberlains squashed cars with their unique colors, rusted and scratched by the pressing were an unusual experience for his fellow artists and art students to have.

So what happened was is that when I moved to this other bank building which was horrible. I began to do these wonderful schematic drawings with paint. And I just did schematic strokes, which were very portable, and those were what I had taken up on retreat with me, on my Tibetan retreat.

For me, the schematas were a departure, which I found very interesting. They were much more evolved than the sweeping paintings because they were visualizations of larger work. And they really were very calligraphic. They were linguistic in a visual way and very simple and resolved. They were only 11 x 14 inches. I just could tell that these were a breakthrough for me.

When I went on my Tibetan Buddhist Retreat that’s what I took with me. While I was there I managed to buy many 16 x 24 inch pieces of masonite that evolved into animistic paintings that were very similar to the bad art that was being done in New York and in Europe at that time. But I think they were more color intensive and mysterious. They were abstract, but had animistic references which were spontaneous and appealing.

The designers I sold them to when I returned to the city liked them because they were small and yet they were monstrous. They also could be framed in ornate frames. That was the level I had achieved toward Abstract Expressionism.

I had gone from a very passive space to an animistic strong space and it would take many years of study before I had achieved an understanding of Abstract Expressionism which was more streamlined. I used to walk. I didn’t have a car. I walked to the Library there. And I would walk to the antique store there. I loved practicing and studying Tibetan Buddhism. I also spent hours looking at myself in the mirror because I was so beautiful then.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off of myself. His Holiness’ daughter would go crazy with boredom when they came up there. Tsering could drive and would have to take the car and drive to the supermarket. She herself was a great beauty, but had always been in His Holiness’ retinue and hadn’t spent as much time alone as I had.

In Tibetan art there are many ancient texts on visualizations and instructions on how to create the tanka paintings. There needs to be certain colors and drafting considerations. In modern art as far as I knew then, we would just spread our wings and paint. And we didn’t think about visualizations or creating paintings of deities. I didn’t find the drafted congregations of enlightened beings comforting then, nor the deities like Green Tara. I thought there was much too much drafting in the paintings. I didn’t really understand their skies or the color of their deities. Everything had to be painted in certain colors. And shapes and sizes had to be done according to the visualization texts or they weren’t able to meditate upon them.

You weren’t allowed to vary it. It was against their religious law. It was special. It was supposed to lead you into a certain information or knowledge about the path to enlightenment! It was all in your mind! And anyway, I knew that they used drafting and I found out later that they not only use drafting, but they had special books that were secret manuscripts on painting.

Before I was sent home from my Tibetan Buddhist Retreat and I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the transition, I was living up in the attic with this little girl who was very rich and had lots of money. Her name was Melinda. His Holiness had said to me when he first met me that they wanted me to achieve something and to be a great artist. Because they felt that I had the ability to understand their natural laws and their painting, I was brought into their private family.

Few Westerners really understood Tibetan art and mostly Westerners came to the Center because of his or her own fanaticism about their lives. Western artists think that their work is more aggressive and left-wing and Tibetan artists aren’t really knowledgeable about Western art. The Western artists humored the Tibetan Lamas. Meanwhile, His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche and I had many discussions about western painters. I remember a discussion we had about Matta, the surrealist painter’s use of white.

And you right away came to see us and walked in. And you immediately understood that we are different than you, coming from a different culture and have a different concept about art. And so we love you and we want you to succeed in your own culture! And we appreciate your observations of our work and what we’re doing which most of the these geniuses, these artists that were sponsoring the Tibetan Lamas were unaware of. They were very wealthy and bought them a big townhouse in on 16th Street, off Fifth Avenue. They could furnish it with the finest antique tanka paintings. But they didn’t see the reverse of the Lamas situation.

The high Tibetan Lamas had come from the Potala or similar monasteries in the heart of Tibet. They had been surrounded by antiquity from the 7th century and had remained loyal to that period in time. They hadn’t changed. They were so immersed in study of Tibetan scriptures that they really were uninterested in the modern world.

But, somehow the students didn’t know or understand what was going on and His Holiness really resented that. He told me so. And I was so interested in what they were doing that I felt privileged to be in their presence. I had a great deal of respect for the Western artists who attended their teachings such as Joan Jonas and Rudi Burckhardt.

During my first day of birth because I was separated out and put into a very stressful situation, I remembered being in the bardo and my past lives. And I also remembered my first day of birth and my first moments of birth of being in the world. And I didn’t feel injured because it happened so fast. I felt like a giant mouth that was screaming and remembered obsessing and talking to myself in the bardo.

I had a great burden to carry and I know that when I was sick it was because I was forced to work. We had a work ethic. I was allowed to have a mental breakdown, but I wasn’t really ever allowed to ever forget it and I wasn’t really able to recover because it was physical and not psychological.

But I was forced to work unless I wanted to marry and become a housewife and those were the most fascinating times for our whole period. Once I had gotten out on the street, I had the feeling that I was in the same place I had been on my first day of birth. I felt completely separated once my mother hadn’t permitted me to go to school and get my higher degree. I had gotten a scholarship but couldn’t take advantage of it. And I was pressured to get out of the house and get my own place. The exact same feeling that I had was when I was first born.

I probably had a different response than my mother to being forced to work. She continually rejected me and her reasons had to do with my going off on tangents. Wayne would substitute for her on the phone and I would be ostracized for years. She felt that there was a misunderstanding once she realized that I was physically ill and had been traumatized in my first hours.

Whatever misunderstanding she felt there was I had no knowledge of because I wasn’t sure why. All I knew was that I was put out onto my own at what would probably be a normal time. Then I became addicted to the historical period that I was living in because I was tossed out on my own. I wanted to pursue my own creative life. I wanted to continue to be free because I sensed a purpose in my life. I guess my mother expected that by pushing me out, I would get married and I didn’t do that.

When she pushed me out I really immersed myself in the outside world. And I acutely experienced the outside world. I began to examine all of the different kinds of people that were outside and things that were going on. And I always loved my mother, but she really kept her art a secret from me and only showed me the finished product. I had no clue about what she was doing.

Once I had left the Tibetan Center and Lama Rinchen had returned to Nepal, I visited the Oracle of Lhadak, Choji Tulku who had come in his place. I heard rumors that he and His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche had also had affairs with Nancy Newman, who was a giant compared to His Eminence’s sisters and Tracey Chapman who was a girl from Colorado. This all took place in the South of France. It had a lot to do with Tracey being the chauffeur for the Lamas. And also the students were camping out on an estate that French diamond dealers had given to the Tibetan Buddhist Center.

The girls were obviously uncomfortable and pushed their way into the Lamas living quarters as servants or in this case girlfriends. I resented this because I felt that I represented New York City and these girls were once again usurping my position. I suspect that the vibrations were similar on the street because as months went by Nancy Newman became more and more combative during His Eminence Shenphen Dawa’s lectures.

I think he was very shocked by her behavior. She insisted on sleeping outside the Tibetan Center’s townhouse in her car. She left her windows open. This was on 16th Street off Fifth Avenue. I can recall the day I invited my stepfather’s sister, Judith Jackson and her then husband to one of His Eminence’s lectures. Nancy Newman threw open the French windows in the middle of his talk and it was really bitterly cold out. The air came into the room and we were all freezing. I also had another clue to what would become of Nancy Newman when I linoleumed the floor in the kitchen of the high Lamas quarters. The linoleum was a perfect rectangular shape, but there was a sliver left that hadn’t been covered and Lama Rinchen noticed it before he left and directed my attention to the area in question. I hadn’t taken it into account when I cut the linoleum.

When I bumped into Nancy at Bloomingdales it was in the mirror department and she said that she wished that she had a larger mirror. Maybe she had a hard time dealing with His Eminence’s family. There were a lot of women there. His mother, His Holiness’s consort was called the Sonyam. She was a very buxom and large Tibetan female and wasn’t extremely tolerant of these pushy Western girls. His sisters, Chimee and Tsering were too perfect and beautiful and had body sizes similar to their father, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. They were very delicate.

Everybody has their own karma and for me, when they told me to leave, I left. But for Nancy it may have been unthinkable. If they do something that they’re not supposed to do, they get caught, and the big world out there is not just as simple as you think it is. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out so well. Sometimes you provoke really dangerous aspects of the universe.

I have always prayed for my mother’s long life because I see her from a distance. She has a large mirror for me. I was separated from her at birth and she was also tampered with. I lost my sister. Whether my mother failed in terms of her ability to understand me or not, I hope that she will always see herself as I see her and not suffer the way I have suffered.

I felt that my identity was lost in the first hours of my birth. I don’t know what my imbalance did to enhance my lack of an identity, but I’m sure that my not bonding with my mother and my having to take care of myself, since my illness went undiagnosed had something to do with it.

I didn’t do anything wrong. And I got blamed for everything. I go blamed for being too open and being lonely. So, this is what the wheel of karma goes forward and that’s what they teach about karma, the wheel of karma.

And historically, if you look at Muslims, who we’re kind of being forced to look at now, Jihad concept to me, I mean they really believe in moving forward into time. They’re attached to their bodies on the same level as people in Europe are. Yet they feel closer to God and to one another because of their stopping to pray several times a day.

And so they have a more cohesive society and they feel more connected to one another. Obviously, if they’re going to use their body as a suicide machine, that is a great sacrifice for them. But I feel that we are male and female. We are capable of great warmth, but most of the time we are incapable of giving it to one another. Our familiarity with Pavlovian disasters, people with whom we touch and receive an electric shock, continue to exist when we are afraid to move on.

We somehow are afraid we will lose our own essence if we move on. Whenever we extend ourselves someone in the group punishes us. Our enthusiasm is reciprocated by torture. So, of course, we expect those people to receive their just reward. If it is our child, we will protect them. Otherwise, they are in the hands of the street. I’m sure that the latest movies that have come out have very interesting viewpoints about what’s going on in symbolic ways in our real world. I look forward to Denzel Washington becoming a Producer.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Invasion of the Nest

The first person I met when I came to Soho in 1973, was Tom Bronk. He was a modern artist from a small Midwestern town. He was of Polish descent, similar to Jackson Pollack. He lived in the old Leo Castelli warehouse above a television discount store on Canal Street and Greene Street. There he would sit on an old rolling chair held together with duct tape.

It was in the middle of all of these giant Andy Warhol sculptures of Campbell Soup Cans that were gathering dust. All of Leo Castelli’s Oldenburgs and various different art was stored there. Oldenburg had giant toilets made out of plastic which could be inflated. There were also Donald Judds. It was all left there from the 1960’s. It looked like an abandoned toy factory.

He was drinking a great deal at that time and he meditated on his own paintings which were done with nailpolish on Styrofoam balls that were velcroed to twelve inch by twelve inch panels that were also velcroed to the wall. They may have been configurations of nine balls or twelve balls in each panel. For me, who at that moment was maybe 21 years old, it wasn’t a workable environment.

I needed a father figure or a master/apprentice relationship at that time to guide me through. I had just graduated from Pratt Institute where I had majored in drawing. I spent semester after semester in Salvatore Montano’s anatomy class making drawings of skeletons. I had also had some modern art classes. My instructor gave a group critique where she basically told us to do tearing, uplifting and layering in order to see what was underneath.

One teacher was very adamant about the difference between illustration, which was a terrible thing, and modern art. He used to hang strings with feathers on the ends and then spun around and got very defensive.. His ideas were very bewildering and had little to do with Abstract Expressionism or any type of oil painting using amorphous shapes and colors.

I was interested in Tom Bronk because he was a kind man and a guru of sorts. He was, in those days, what I would consider a serious artist and intellect. I watched him while he looked at his paintings. I surveyed the whole scenario with all of the Pop Art around. I could have made a life with him if I had had more courage. I’m sure we could have cleaned the loft and enjoyed living amidst the array of Andy Warhols and Klaus Oldenburgs.

I became pregnant and my mother for some reason made a judgment about Tom that he wasn’t significant in my life. So, rather than really look at the situation which was really not such a bad place to be, I submitted to having an abortion and broke up with him. He would have worked and would have loved to have had a child.

This resulted in my apprenticeship with Ron Gorchov. With Ron, I was a temporal thing. Had I understood Tom Bronk, I would have had a permanent relationship and a fun place to live. I could have turned it into a stable home.

Initially, when I first started working at Pearl Paint, I sold brushes in the Brush Department. Pearl Paint was across the street from the building where Tom lived. After that, I was promoted to the office, because I had secretarial skills. And I was able to meet more prominent artists through that promotion.

When I sat with Tom Bronk, as I tried to understand what he was seeing in his paintings, I began to relax my eyes and noticed that the balls took on a life of their own. These painted balls went through an aerial metamorphosis. From a vantage point hovering above the painting, the styrofoam balls started to perform different maneuvers, almost like cheerleaders with fluffy pom poms were performing during a football game.

They colorful balls which were painted in various formations would start to animate and begin to rise off the ground. They would take off into a marching dance performance, and you could hear the cheering and feel the all encompassing power almost, as if there was a football game in progress.

I was able to empathize with him, maybe from my own gameplaying skills as a little girl playing with my dolls which hadn’t been that long ago. He worked for Lynda Benglis who did poured paintings out of latex and used new materials such as polyurethane and wax, plaster and encaustic. She also did modern art that looked like giant lozenges or geometric shapes and were coated with layers of varigated colored wax and glitter. They were very captivating for a young artist straight out of art school to look at.

Tom still works for Lynda Benglis. He installs exhibitions for her at the Whitney Museum of American Art. And he overseas her loft on the Bowery. It is in the same building as Mark Rothko’s old loft. Michael Goldberg lives there now. William Burroughs lived downstairs and gave up his loft to the Tibetan Buddhist Lamas who were visiting.

One day Tom created a panel and it said “Enchanted” and it had the tiniest little configurations of dots of the E and the N, the C, H, A, N, T, E, D and they were out of little, the most tiniest glitter that he had blown onto a panel. It was very effective. I remember that. And from that time on he began to use words that displayed the combination of the way that he used his language, his art language. He sent out each letter as a signal so that you really got the feeling of the word, enchanted.

It had to do with the way that he felt about our having met. He was enchanted. It was an old word, but his use of words was a very new thing. I’m sure that what he was doing related to avant-garde poetry and to subliminal music.

In the avant-garde, subliminal sounds hadn’t been a part of the visual arts yet. I felt like I was one of the first people to ever cognitize this new art form with language and silent sounds. It was a completely startling experience for me because language was not really something that I associated with painting, nor was subliminal sound or subliminal action. I was sensitive to new things, but because of my having gone to Europe as a child and having been immersed in classical painting and the art of antiquity, I felt very uncomfortable about it. Americana was not something which was as much of a religion to me as the history of painting.

Meanwhile, my mother had gone to Visual Arts and she had taken a course in textile design. She was so talented that soon she was working with all the top textile designers. Tony Putnam, her employer, died of AIDS. They began doing all of the Ralph Lauren home furnishings. And her group was knocking out complicated florals and paisleys.

Language or words and music in Minimalism, in the Minimalist School is different. It’s not that easy for me to understand it because it’s not really like an ordained prayer that’s been given, let’s say by a high Tibetan Lama or something like that.

What happened to the Soviet Union during this time? On an esoteric level, Soviet systemics were reflected here completely. That’s why we had the McCarthy era. Soviet Russian ideology was reflected in America during the 20th Century for sure. The whole alpha-power trip, mega-Hollywood moviestar trip was a reflection of the Soviet ideology and it was a sort of white Suprematist ideology or a kind of like haywire Christianity without God concept. It was the flipside of the media explosion.

It examined how through words we visualize ideas in the media. The abstract painting side of the art world took a major turn at the end of the 1970’s. It went from being totally colorful and three-dimensional to Black paintings.

Black meant something to artists because it was a symbol of the underground and it was not commercially orientated. Black had always been an awesome color and very popular amongst artists, especially the Bohemians. It was their favorite color. And it was used with their great master, Kazimir Malevich’s work and with Kline, Legere, Rothko and Picasso. Picasso always used it with great reverence.

And suddenly the art scene became about black and black soon became associated with Richard Serra, whose ambiance and his whole mystique was very mysterious and provocational to other artists than himself. Somehow this person from an unspectacular background had managed to do these massive steel sculptures and his oil stick drawings were done in Black.

They had no resonance at all and he would have been more convincing had he continued to do his thrown liquid lead sculptures. Had we all known more about the upcoming digital realm, I’m sure eventually his thrown liquid lead sculptures could have been enlarged into virtual sculptures that would have been very painterly and in the great tradition of Abstract Expressionism.

His drawings, on the other hand, were a true reading of his “Tilted Arc” sculptures that should have been avoided like the plague. He was uncannily funded after the Democrats were thrown out of government, and the art funding had been cut to a minimum in this country.

And this preoccupation with black had been sponsored by an outsider and permitted to exist under the name of Serra. And soon you had artists like Bruce Nauman that worked conversely only with light, solely with lights. But these projects were very basic and very generic. It could have been MacDonald’s lights or it could have been the light in the subways. It didn’t really matter. It wasn’t paint.

It became very fashionable because of the gossip mongers and the fashion world’s availability to set the tone for these openings. Graffiti, which had a lot of color in it, was still isolated and illegal. The lettering was there again and while there was still a sense of painting, there were stereotypical kinds of sayings and expressions that related to the gut level of our society, only it was being done by our young street kids.

It’s amazing that it blossomed into a successful art form with rap poetry and Hip-Hop and its various schools. Now the wealthiest kids are switching from classical ballet to Hip Hop.

Everybody already knew that it was going to be a name of someone or that it was a conquest of some kind on an illegal spot. It was some kind of a quick moment of fame because it was something you weren’t really supposed to be doing. It was a serious means of expression for street people and gang members. And then it became part of our higher culture, and a clue to what is going on in our inner cities.

I look at the message and I’m not convinced about the way that people are really using language. It is usually much more compounded with emotional intonations and colloquialisms or worse yet, accents which relate to the old country, or different social stratums.One thing I noticed which was really bizarre was that in Europe during the 1960’s and 1970’s you could get a Ph.D. in Art History, which you couldn’t get here. I mean you could get Master’s Degrees in Art or Art History. You can get a Ph.D. in History, but not in Art History. They also had free Ph.D.’s while we incurred terrible expenses and impossible to repay debts from our schools. And, here there are also limited spaces.

This woman, who was the muse of Richard Serra, had been Alexander von Berswordt’s secretary. She was always very much on the defensive about the fact that she had a Ph.D. in Art History on Richard Serra. Richard Serra was her boyfriend. I mean she did do a large coffee table book on Richard Serra afterwards. And nobody could understand how she could have gotten a Ph.D. in Art History and on Richard Serra. Richard Serra married her. Whenever I asked her what she was doing, she kept saying, “Well, all I have to do is have sex with him, and go out to eat.”

She was referring to Richard Serra as if he was just something she had to do, like watering the plant or washing the dishes. In order to be able to achieve something in art history, I thought it took a great passion for art and a love of humanity. H.l. Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe was already so rich that sponsoring Richard Serra wasn’t really a big deal for him. He could use his iron mines for creating Serra’s sculptures.

During that time, Paula Cooper Gallery represented some artists who were inspired and brilliant such as Robert Grosvenor, whose sculptures were surprisingly more rebellious and psychological, yet also Minimalist. He had also become well-known for his colorful outdoor sculptures. Mark De Suvero was also a less self-indulgent artist from that period. His sculptures were combinations of wood and steel and had see saws and a more medieval flavor. When added up, De Suvero’s possibilities were very supportive toward life. Serra’s work, on the other hand, depleted the life force and at best were indifferent.

All of the new rock n’roll stars came through from the Woodstock era. You had this influx of people into New York from the Appalachian Mountains and from all across the country. They came from Detroit, from Chicago, and from all over the Americas and the European continent.

But I know she retrieved this out of the garbage which was uh on turquoise Canson paper, a large sheet and it was a shadow drawing of a bicycle and then I tried to color it in unsuccessfully because I didn’t know what I was doing! And that was my art at that point.

So when I showed them to Ron Gorchov, it was about 1974. The influx of artists during the early 1970’s into lower Manhattan was straight out of Woodstock. Rents were still low. A 2,000 square foot loft cost a mere $200 per month in the American Thread Company Building below Canal Street.

The building was overrun with stray cats. I took in a pregnant mother cat and named her Lana. She gave birth to her kittens in my bed. One of the kittens died, but all of the other kittens lived. I remember taking the kitten to the back of the loft and laying it down. I sketched it.

On the hand, Alexander Calder was an exception, as was Philip Guston. I went to one of Guston’s last openings at the Barbizon Hotel on Lexington Avenue. He had begun a whole new series of paintings that were a dramatic departure from his abstract paintings. He had taken a completely new turn shortly before his death. I also attended Alexander Calder’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum. He also lived to a ripe old age.

They were renovating the Hudson Tubes and turning it into the PATH Lines from New York to New Jersey. And he went to work in the World Trade Center in World Trade Center 1 on the 68th Floor in the uh at the same time that I had moved into the American Thread Company Building on Canal Street. So, he was downtown and he was very near to what was going on with me.

The people who were part of the Lower Manhattan community that worked around 26 Federal Plaza felt that in the event of a terrorist attack, the Serra would be a dangerous time bomb of shrapnel, quite perceptive of them since they knew nothing about Bochum’s history. They felt it was an arc of death.

The people of New York are always uneasy about the uncanny or unexplainable. While the Port Authority tried to help Richard Serra, there was a public outcry against his work by many of the same people who died during 9/11. They had an inkling that if a bomb dropped or if something happened the giant metal Tilted Arc might explode and cause shrapnel to kill and maim everybody. And they were right.

They won the suit. And they put in a much sort of light-hearted environmental piece, which were all these sort of winding benches that were very pretty and fun to sit on. That is where the Immigration offices are, and the precious Black Slave Burial Grounds.

The artist that was my favorite artist was named Charlemagne Palestine. He had been a prodigy at Julliard, which is one of the finest music schools in the world. He was a composer who created performance art with Bosendorfer pianos. Bosendorfer would send a piano anywhere in the world that Charlemagne went, and Charlemagne was just a person, a young person.

But he was such a genius that Bosendorfer sent pianos wherever he went. He would sit down at the Bosendorfer and he would create modern music where the echoes of the piano were the music rather the notes of the, of the piano.

The echoes themselves had their own concerto. The music that he played in his packed concerts in his loft on North Moore Street, which smelled like cloves, was so ordained and so beautiful that Ilyeana Sonneabend sponsored him for many years. And he had such a good sense of humor. And he was, he would make you laugh, giggles, and just roar uncontrollably. He was always aware of his roots and how difficult his life had been as a child growing up in Brooklyn.

For someone who was wound as tightly like any young artist, he was the most appreciative, most gracious person, who had the funniest sense of humor and playfulness I had ever met. He had the transcendental energy artists have had throughout the centuries. There was heavenliness to his art and his youth. He wasn’t a bourgeoisie artist.

Subsequently, when I met him again after thirty years, he had become very subdued and held up a mask under which he hid the truth of what had happened to him. In his youth, he was the most divine human being that ever walked the earth and stood next to any of the great composers or painters that I can imagine. When I was little and I grew up in Audubon Terrace up in the hundred and fifties on Riverside Drive, Jacob Druckman was our neighbor.

He was one of the foremost modern composers of his day. It was somehow more involved with percussion. His influence was so broad and so scientific and mathematical that it never could reach me in the same way that Charlemagne’s work did. And Ron Gorchov in those days had the same effect on me as a painter.

Rainier Werner Fassbinder’s cinema troupe came to New York during the 1970’s. He was also a great genius in my opinion and their stars were the equivalent to Marlene Dietrich. They were amongst the most fascinating individuals you can imagine, even the lesser stars were. Fassbinder’s movies of the 1970’s were brilliant. I remember his presence around the art scene then and the tone he set with his brutality, yet genius.

Fassbinder really had a terrible effect on some of his lovers who were working class people and were unprepared for his genius. This I believe lead to one suicide of a butcher who couldn’t handle what was going on.

I think the Port Authority was very active. They must have kept things going by sponsoring artists like Alan Shields, and Louise Nevelson. I remember riding with Alexander von Berswordt in a taxicab and he asked me you know about my father and I said that he worked for the Port Authority and he laughed.

They tried to help Richard Serra, but there was a public outcry against his work because it they had a feeling that if a bomb dropped or if something happened like that that the giant metal Tilted Arc might explode and cause shrapnel. And the people won. Many would ultimately die on 9/11.

A series of winding benches were installed that were very personal and pretty, maybe the ultimate in what we as New Yorkers could really handle as outdoor sculpture goes. We love Chagall at Lincoln Center too. We are a very fragile society. We aren’t being looked at, as a thing in itself. The rest of the world is too brutal.

I don’t think anyone did anything hurtful to me on purpose. Because certainly I could have shown with various different galleries. Ron had connected me with Willard Gallery, but when I met her, I had nothing concrete to show her. It was unfortunate that I had to have a falling out with Ron Gorchov and that I kept getting pregnant.

I was also sick and didn’t know it. I had very bad symptoms, yet was unaware of my illness. I just got sick and that was that. I was also in a rollercoaster relationship with my mother who wouldn’t talk to me for months on end. I had no idea what I had done. I’m sure it had something to do with my having emerged sexually and once that happened I was so traumatized that I became an aesthetic about it.

He let me have a private exhibition in his studio for all of the artists from Soho to come and see and have breakfast and stuff. And it was really terrible. Kiki Smith, who was my sort of other woman artist friend and her father was still alive (the great Tony Smith) and he was Ron’s friend, she surprised me because she came over.

And she actually started to paint during my show in Ron’s house like it was her house and her s right to paint. And I don’t think he really liked her work or thought very much of her. And I know she was really rejected by Charlemagne Palestine and I remember sitting with her in his, Charlemagne Palestine’s loft on North Moore Street that was wonderful and smelled like cloves.

And she was sort of sitting spread eagle and very sloth-like. And she was a really beautiful, beautiful girl. And she was crying because he had rejected her, but she was very, very pushy. And she knew that she was going to… she knew how to work the business end of the art world. And her mother was going to help her and she was going to push forward and she knew that.

And nobody else knew that. And she did. She took over and she always did these horrible sculptures that were you know really kind of uneducated for someone who was coming from such a distinguished family as Tony Smith. But Charlemagne, he didn’t really like her very much and he really rejected her. And I’m not saying that she deserved to be rejected, but certainly he never helped anybody and she never did anything for anybody and she just took care of herself.

And Arnold Glimscher took care of her. The 1950’s was a renaissance of modernism in music, cults of poetry, motorcycles, jazz and sex. Painting, while not reported on very well in the magazines, was part of a New York modern art kingdom. This completely died in the 1960’s. Jasper Johns’ American Flag painting was tiresome and Marisol Escobar’s wood figurines were mediocre. Alexander’s letter to me was curious citing he couldn’t come to America himself because of health problems. In fact, he sent Klara from Bochum, Germany. Bochum, by the way was the only city in Germany, which never sent a soldier to war for two generations because they were arming the war. The Krupp Iron Mines were there. Bochum had the highest relative marriage and birth rates of any city in Germany during the twentieth century. I figure it wasn’t because of health problems, although he did have them, but rather he preferred to enjoy a luxurious life in France, and use Richard Serra to do the dirty work.

Louise Bourgeoise also became well known at a very old age. I first worked with her at the Mudd Club during a performance I was in of topless brides. Suzanne Cooper was directing it. There were beautiful wedding dresses, which we put on. Louise must have been 75 and looked it, but had on sunglasses which made her look even more eccentric. Her work was very phallic.

Emily Rhodes was Jeff Koons’ girlfriend, and was in love with the lead singer in the Lounge Lizards. She was tall and blond. She had snake hips when she was thin. Her forehead was large and her straight hair fell back like a waterfall down to her waist. She stayed in the $35 room I had next door to my loft. We were very close. She was born in 1957 like the sister I should have had. She had a similar birthday. She had a Swedish background and was from Minnesota.

When I had to leave the American Thread Company Building, I could barely survive myself. I was desperate and moved into a bank building where I had a commercial space and no bathing facilities.

When I could bare it no more, I begged my mother to let me come back to gather myself. I left my space and went up to Cornwall on Hudson where my mother lived in a greenhouse with her husband. It had been Lowell Thomas’ study and was a glass house with a charming interior.

I was also sick and didn’t know it. I had very bad symptoms, yet was unaware of my illness. I just got sick and that was that. I was also in a rollercoaster relationship with my mother who wouldn’t talk to me for months on end. I had no idea what I had done. I’m sure it had something to do with my having emerged sexually and once that happened I was so traumatized that I became an aesthetic about it.

I used to hang on indefinitely and I was impossible to be around. I would have done well in an Orthodox Jewish family setting. This was the most left wing, progressive environment. I just didn’t fit in.

Here, my pilgrimage began with a decisive perhaps early accomplishment with my exhibit at the Clocktower in 1977 when I was only 25 years of age. Christo was at my show. And it was photographed by the photographer for the Beauborg Museum.

The show was, they were running paintings that were really beautifully fabricated like Christo’s, circles with hoops! Like little children’s hoops, only they were fabricated out of aluminum. I think I got a small grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts. And I had been given a show at the Clocktower or P.S.1/The Institute for Art & Urban Resources. And it wasn’t just the correct thing to do.

The thesis behind the show was how to approach painting these beautiful three-dimensional paintings that were going on in the 1970’s. Ron Gorchov was doing them first. They were these modern totems. And a lot of other artists were also making three-dimensional stretchers for their paintings.

When Elizabeth Murray wanted to start doing three-dimensional paintings, the same Smithson spiralling needed to occur in order to break off of these edges that were all over the place on the surfaces of these three- dimensional stretched paintings. And of course, it was supposed to be a show for a young artist; it was a thesis show, even though I didn’t get a Master’s Degree.

But it was an exhibition which caused a lot of delight amongst the older generation like Malcolm Morley and Ron Gorchov. Many of the artists like Joel Shapiro, Ellen Phelan, John Torreano and many others attended my opening. Lynda Benglis had the first Christmas show at the Clocktower. Having a Christmas show was a historic event amongst the artists of that period. Upstairs, of course, in the clocktower itself, Vito Acconci, who is a genius, had a brilliant installation. In the attic he had a construction ball, poised outside the window, to demolish the Clocktower.

That was an unbelievable, miraculous thing that he did. And my show was constructive and informative. It was something that I did instead of getting into giant bad paintings. I had shown Alana Heiss bad painting, and had gotten my Clocktower show doing that, but I just couldn’t waste a show. I felt that it was not ethical, or something that really represented me at that time. Little did I know that the trend was going into bad painting. Robert Moskowitz followed my show and did bad painting.

At my show, I thought that it would be better to conform to my apprenticeship with Ron Gorchov rather than to get into the typical scene. There were enough artists who were experimenting with the newer trends like Julian Schnabel, and getting into giant bad paintings. I had shown Alana Heiss and had gotten my Clocktower show doing what was generally being done as more or an art test, really.

I just couldn’t waste a show. I felt that it was not ethical to break all of the rules and begin something that I didn’t really understand well enough. I didn’t realize that artists like Francesco Clemente were experimenting with bad painting and that there was German Neo-Expressionism going on or that Gerhard-Richter was becoming known then and was interchanging all kinds of styles. I had no way of knowing, zero understanding that people used projectors or photography in art at all even though I’d seen millions of Rauchenbergs and Lichtensteins.

I could have seen unlimited numbers of paintings done with optical effects and photographs silkscreened onto them and I wouldn’t have understood what I was looking at all. My art didn’t relate to that whole other art movement which was this ‘60’s Pop Art media explosion starring Andy Warhol.

I had no sense at all of anything to do with Outsider Art or in any way, shape or form. I think may have planted the seed in other artists’ minds when they visited my studio. I experimented with animistic images of branches and three-dimensional sort of objects, tearing which was something that I had learned at Pratt Institute, tearing oil and having layers upon layers like Jules Olitski.

When Julian Schnabel came to my studio or Charlemagne Palestine, I didn’t have a clue to how curious they were about what I was doing. Charlemagne, who was a composer, responded by saying that my paintings looked like those of an old warrior. I loved Charlemagne, but wasn’t impressed by his compliment. I still responded to my own work indifferently. Unfortunately, in my studio I experimented with new styles and had no idea whether I was absolutely formulating any new modern art movements. Because I was a female, I was isolated from visiting studios so I wasn’t aware of what other artists were doing.

Had I been a male, I probably would have been pulled into the mindless art of the moment like they were. Ron Blechner, Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, Robert Moskowitz, Susan Rothenberg and many other artists during the late 1970’s became waylaid by bad painting. It kept on going through the 1990’s with the English Art Critic, David Sylvester’s daughter, Cecily Brown. There were great social realists also such as David Salle, Richard Pearlstein, and Lucien Freud. The English artist, Malcolm Morley, who was part of Ron Gorchov’s circle of close friends, came from a superrealist background. He had become almost famous during the 1960’s with his ocean liner paintings.

Unfortunately, he hadn’t been permitted to show in the Biennials at the Whitney Museum of American Art because he was English and they had a rule against foreigners. He was a spectacular painter and knew how to play the game. He jumped right into the Bad Painting School and got himself a powerful dealer. Angela Westwater took him into her large gallery in Soho, Sperone, Westwater, Fisher.

Malcolm began to paint children’s airplanes, toy boats and did fantastic World War I paintings that were purposely sloppy like the bad painters. They sold for half a million dollars each for a short time.

I met Cecily Brown at a bar during the late 1980’s, and she said she was living over at Malcolm Morley’s place on the Bowery. I forgot why we went over there. But she was one of the British artists that were going to happen in the 1990’s. She had put toilet paper all over Malcolm Morley’s apartment in rolls, unrolled it and made bunny rabbits with it, and burned holes in his Mission style tables.

During the 1970’s Morley was considered to be a great mind. I’m not saying he was such a great artist either ‘cause his new paintings, which he has over at Sperone Westwater Fisher, are uninformed. They are like Leroy Neiman, copies of sports figures in car crashes. Cecily Brown was apparently one of seven sisters of David Sylvester who was the leading art critic in London especially about Frances Bacon. And he was dying of cancer.

Anyway, she pushed over him, stepped on his toes and decided she was going to have a big career. And she did. She presented herself as an art royal and got involved with Gagosian Gallery. I guess she capitalized on having graduated from art school. But her work was the same 1980’s style of “bad painting.” Only it was in the 1990’s and it was English. She probably got stoned and fantasized that she was Francis Bacon. It’s pretty lame.

Much later, during the 1990’s I was pregnant with Heather and had moved into a studio apartment on Minetta Street where Woody Allen had been shooting Bullets Over Broadway. Minetta Street is an alley behind Sixth Avenue and the homeless Black drug addicts used to store stolen goods back there when they slept in Washington Square Park for the night.

One morning, I passed by on my way home and saw a stolen Julian Schnabel painting sitting in a shopping cart. I went home and took a shower. I put on my nightgown and carefully snuck out the door and stole the stolen Julian Schnabel painting. I took it upstairs. It had little antlers on it and was even initialed.

I called Pace Wildenstein’s 57th Street gallery. I was so shocked when they informed me that they had a surplus of Julian Schnabel's and didn’t even want it. They were having trouble selling what they already had. So, I returned it to the garbage.

At my exhibition at the Clocktower, I felt that if you wanted to be irreverent, the only way that I would be able to be so was very subtly with these Smithson-like aluminum hoops which were reminiscent of children’s’ hoops from the early 20th century. And they were hoops that little kids used sticks to tap and they would roll along. At first I had found old barrel hoops behind the American Thread Building. Then I placed an oval or circular painting tangentially. I was very drawn to Smithson and his spiral jetty.

They were huge paintings though. And when Dennis Oppenheim, who few have heard of, came to see the show, he dipped me, smiled and said that they were undeveloped. The work seemed very undeveloped to him because he wasn’t a 1970’s painter and so he kind of came in and insulted me.

He was also a friend of Alana Heiss who wasn’t expecting such a cohesive show. It harmonized perfectly with what was going on up in the Clocktower because both Vito Acconci and I were using circular objects and metal. But, Dennis Oppenheim was right. It wasn’t as resolved as Vito Acconci’s installation. It was a young artist’s show so he shouldn’t have really said that.

It was an academic exercise and at the same time was of the same genre as Christo’s Gates. Christo attended my opening. Serra redid my concept many years later in his circular tangential oil stick paintings on paper, which he exhibited at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. It was a very serious show for a young artist and it showed everyone that I was examining how things were done and setting the stage for the future.

I knew Elizabeth Murray pretty well through Ron and at that moment she was doing mud paintings that were muddy browns with lines scratched into them at Paula Cooper Gallery. She was really trying to grasp the three-dimensional paintings that Ron Gorchov was doing.

His paintings had two marks that created a figure ground relationship because he only used two colors. Sometimes he would alter the colors and the result would be the remnants of the first color. It was hard to grasp how one would create a more complex series of shapes or cartoons on shaped canvases. That’s what my show was about. I saw her at my show and she was totally absorbed in looking at my paintings.

The Roman Catholic was not popular in Russia, probably because of the political power of the Vatican. Yet I don’t really think the Russians dislike the Virgin Mary. Their most valuable icons are of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The Prague Show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had wonderful icons too, and many Russian Orthodox priests were there.

Now that perostroika has happened, the churches in Russia are going to be able to have visitors again and rekindle the faith. Artists will be drawn back into the art of their past which is the culmination of their craft.

Will Guy Hensen, a Native American shows in his mandalas how nationalities supercede beauty. This is an American Indian point of view. He sees this as a symptom of how exploitative Europeans are.

Poverty stricken Native American artists were quiet and brooding modernists. They had influenced Jackson Pollack’s sand paintings. They had nothing. There was always a schism between the have and the have-nots, and it intertwined backwards and forwards.

Alexander’s problem was that he was unwilling to learn anything new. When he came to New York to work with Leo Castelli, he had already given up on the American buying market. Maybe that’s what it’s all about. Maybe America posed an unfathomable problem. Modernism wasn’t popular here, although we invented it. He loved our national crafts, but knew that to traditionalists, crafts weren’t considered modern art, nor was African sculpture for that matter.

We were involved in integration and assimilation and causing suffering amongst humanity didn’t help matters or save money. Here comes Alexander, grandson of the Prime Minister of Germany during the Kaiser, and the capital of the experimental art world provided him with the artists he needed for his plan for a new Europe, a new Germany.

And artists who were lucky enough to have purchased lofts and had real estate holdings became very rich and things kind of closed down for all of the experimental stuff that was going on. And then you had your sort of Marxist kind of women sculptors that copied Duchamp or did work which had to do with Richard Serra or the artists that were doing these kind of sexual like phallic things but they were done by women.

And they came in with their cool army outfits on and did their kind of versions of it and they had German names like Heidi Fasnacht. And they were cool, kind of lesbian type women artists, women ladies that like either did videos or did you know new stuff. And you know they were, they were really like cool. And that’s what you know kind of bypassed the art which was …being done that was for me I mean I was really studying Abstract Expressionism.

There was just no idea about anything to do with what was going on. It became just about you know making money. Who was the smartest sensationalist artist around? And then you know in Russia you just became more about being liberal. I don’t really agree with what they did, you know?

You know a lot of these artists, they have a lot of money. They hire a helicopter and they go and do surveillance of farm country and then they just blow up the photograph. They don’t paint. They don’t know how to paint and they don’t understand painting and they don’t understand what happened with or what’s going on with painting at all.

So, in my opinion, you know? They should study the way I've been studying, really studying uh what was going on and try to understand it and not do something sensationalist. You know? But really try to understand it as a classical art form and not be mean and horrible toward art which they don’t understand, they don’t like the period.

‘Cause it’s not really fair to do. It’s not fair to do at all to anybody. You know?

To destroy someone’s art work, what they did. It’s a horrible thing to do. Really mean thing to do. I’m sure that those artists that had done the Soviet art probably feel very upset when they think of their sculptures having been torn down and destroyed and I think that the … It was a period in history that wasn’t a joke.

And the reason it becomes great is because you are expressing your, the process of learning in your work, and that’s what’s so special about your work, about what you’re doing. And you have to really study the techniques of the artists and then to not have people lie to you about what’s going on which it seems is the big thing that artists do with each other is not… You know? They’re magicians. They try to make you think that they did something that’s not real.

If you are doing something really good, I mean you can be. And you can do things that are really good and not have to be a magician, but actually just be working with things in a way that has beautiful combinations of color and honest things like…real honest things like…

The Europeans had to redo modern art. They were doing redoes of Duchamp, or redoes of ideas that were, had already you know been done. Of course, Duchamp was from Europe. But, he wasn’t American. He was from Europe. You know? It’s just that the art world had moved from Europe to New York and there was a reason for that.

Ron Gorchov, who was born in Chicago and had gone to the Chicago Institute for the Arts. He was the Howard Hughes of the art world. He was always coming up with inventions and crazy new ideas. And from there he, I was one of his apprentices, and I think I was his most sincere, and craziest apprentice who didn’t burn out.

And there comes further from me, who also is part of, sort of part of a group that includes Lawrence Weiner, by the way, and Colin Barclay and Aline Barclay and Alice Barclay, Alice having been a waitress at Max’s Kansas City and Lawrence Weiner being this wild conceptual artist that vents about Judaica, and exhibits his work all over the world. He showed with Leo Castelli Gallery and Dia.

Lawrence Weiner has made lots of money because he appeals to the European circuit and he produces a great deal of gift shop memorablia like t-shirts and other conceptual multiples. They are all over the world. His work is still underground and therefore appeals to the urban art collectors who are into ethnic conceptual art.

The American artist seems to be uneffected by success or failure. He somehow gets lost in a battle with the concrete . The Russian artist encompasses the whole picture. I think many New Yorkers underestimate the opportunities that they have here and tend to abuse those who for little or no remuneration create a sophisticated ambiance for them so that they seem like fresh new faces.

There is an endless depletion of energy by people’s inability to appreciate the native New Yorker’s streetwise saavy. Russia is a destabilizing and volatile personality and probably will always be so. Certainly, if Russia set the status quo for the kind of art that we would be seeing, I’m sure there would quickly be many regrets for the way we have been treated. Like many countries, Russia has a hard time dealing with its aspirations.

Here, our artists mature and spend a lot of time in denial wanting things to be carte blance, yet at the same time an adventure. The competition here doesn’t allow for a free ride. Depth of purpose is the only way to go. Equality has to occur.

I wondered if our word art was a useless statement or if the modern art movement was not becoming a useless dimension. Certainly we’ve seen the most exquisitely beautiful Fauvist paintings and Impressionist paintings, and they’re not useless. They are inspiring intellectually. They express this Amazon sensibility, this rebellious sensibility about life. Yet they bring it up to a new level.

I have many questions about American art. Because I had so much experience inside the art world while I was very young, I was able to observe artists at work during a period in art history that was flourishing. There was a lot of really colorful and wonderful art being done. I sense that few people really grasp the meaning of painting now.

We need to begin to see them in terms of past history as the tyrants that they are and go out on our own, however humbly. But, for the most part I like to have a connection with the truth. I love color and I love to paint.

I was someone who had been kept secrets from since the time they were a child about the use of photography in painting. It wasn’t until recently that David Hockney, the artist came out with an expose on the use of optical techniques since virtual antiquity. Artists also used body casts and calipers to enlarge to the size of the Statue of Liberty. It was a fascinating book, but something many artists have swept under the rug.

At F.A.O. Schwartz they had a $5 photobooth in the basement before they renovated the last time where you could select your photo to be done by Raphael, Michaelangelo or Da Vinci.

It was only black and white and was done by a computer, which translated the data and came up with a perfect likeness by those artists. There is enough of a resource of old paintings for me to use for my work. And it would make a lot of sense to test the waters to see whether or not something would sell. I know that certain things do sell of mine. I think I could probably enlarge the ones that are really um interesting digitally. And I could sell the rest of them on the street. I could probably just keep the reference material and even make variations. I probably would need to use the best paintings as reference material for larger paintings. When I am in need of grocery and medicine money for friends, they were sold out on the street.

And the one’s that were just O.K. I suppose I could sell out on the street (my concept of totally beautiful meant the dioramas in the Natural History Museum). I’m very involved with Nostrodamus’ predictions about the environment. I am not a remnant of the old school in New York, although I am a native New Yorker. I am much more of a visionary. I see humanity in terms of the European viewpoint.

I look at the Mideast and IndoEuropean cultures as a step along the way where we took on the perfect body form. In Tibetan mythology the skies are purple and yellow, orange and blue and Tara is part of the sky too. She is like Cleopatra and is red and green.or not sure. The Tibetan women, with their 108 braids and turquoise hair pieces have perfectly formed bodies except that they are as small as our seven year olds.

Adam Baumgold, the art dealer whose gallery on 79th Street specializes in Saul Steinberg was enamoured of my paintings over my father’s photographs which are gathering dust in an old armoir in his basement in Lenox, Massachusetts. There are hundreds of images, some of which are fading. He seemed to hesitate, preferring to exhibit Mark Kostabi.

He also showcased some very superficial, quirky women artists whose work is unconscious of the multitudinous number of street artists who are doing the same thing . They happen to have higher degrees and teach at Universities like Pace. They happen to have sons who exhibit with the young artists at Jack Tilton. So what? They are painting touristy panoramas of New York City skylines in a scratchy amateurish way. Or, slightly seductive little blond doughgirls in apartments.

He said just make copies and sell the reproes out on the street. They could be copied on linen paper conceivably and just sold out on the street and um for ten dollars each. (We didn’t make copies. We sold the originals.) It was a matter of permitting the creative energy to flow and not to worry about the consequences.

While many of these artists would have never been accepted into art school unless they had family connections like David Sylvester or Tony Smith, they might end up teaching at the finest art schools. They might teach there because they had already become so famous that people were interested in them, but they were sort of freaks.

It was a freak show. The students laughed when they went in the class. They knew what they were going into. And the real “design and communications” class was next door where they could learn something.

My paintings from the Tibetan period were very animistic like Tibetan Art but they were more abstract. A Canadian student, David Lewis whose father was a colleague of Timothy Leary wanted to absorb my spirit by destroying my work. I guess he suffered from some superstitions and he hated the fact that I wasn’t interested in the Tibetan scene.

Rather, I was involved with studying art and Tibetan Buddhism. He felt a sense of entitlement. I guess he was jealous that I was having an affair with his teacher, and so he made a fire puja, which is a big fire ritual and fed the fire with all of my paintings. And he burnt them all to a crisp.

I had brought some of the best paintings back to New York leaving the bulk of the paintings in storage up at Orgyen Cho Dzong for some future date. I hoped to achieve some notariety and donate the proceeds from those paintings’ sales to the Center. This wasn’t so far fetched for some of the artists that I knew, but for myself I wouldn’t have that happen. Instead, they would become the object of arsen, a cruel and inhumane punishment for my love of the dharma and for art. I sold a couple of them to the Comptroller of the company I went to work for. And he was an accessories designer. They were very strong and the animistic shapes were in really strong indigo blues and other colors.

When I first began with Ron Gorchov I had started doing sweeping paintings with pigment on paper. I remember when he took two of them back to his studio. He left the American Thread Company Building one night and they were very delicate and on Canson paper. They almost looked Elizabethan as if she had been an abstract artist. As he skipped down the circular set of stairs leading to the street a giant wind blew them into millions of little pieces. They turned into dust. At the time, he laughed and said it felt like a sign from the netherworld.

And then there was this great young woman, Margaret Setterholm who had her own paint-making factory where she did handmade oils that really weren’t very permanent, but they were still really creamy and frothy. I bought a lot of these. Alexander saw those paintings and he said they didn’t seem resolved. He didn’t understand those paintings. They were miles ahead of Serra’s black crayon paintings where he saturated the linen with black oil sticks. He fully understood Richard Serra because he could translate Serra’s work into art that resembled giant Berlin walls. His iron mills were compatible with Serra’s work.

Meanwhile, on my own, I did a show at the Cedar Tavern which was all Margaret Setterholms’ turquoise blues and dark blues. This was in the early ‘90’s. In my press release I related my work to the Abstract Expressionists, in honor of the old Cedar Tavern and to Bradley Walker Tomlin in particular. He was one of the lesser known Abstract Expressionists who died much earlier than the others. Andrey helped me install the show. It was a very enjoyable exhibition. I asked many of the patrons of the Cedar Tavern their impressions. My press release was miles above the sleezy art Stefan Stux was exhibiting which always had darks and lights and had a lot of sexual overtones in it.

From there I met Andrey Goldin and we collaborated. We did a lot of giant posters that really would have fit very well into American Fine Art but Colin Deland was unwilling to take us in because apparently, according to Peter Fend, he never sold anything. He just got artists set up on the exhibition network in Europe. He died. When he refused to take us on I gave it with a Deed of Gift to the Smithsonian.

They were mostly posters of the people that were around then like my father’s friend, Faith Spencer and these metal skeletons and mirrors that were reflecting them and shopping carts. They are in the Smithsonian Archives along with all of the photographs that Andrey took when he went back to Russia in 1994.

I also did a show at a Japanese hair salon up on the upper eastside called Yamamoto. They were paintings in frames and they were painted right on the glass. They were schematic paintings like before but they were done on glass. Then I did hundreds of masonite paintings that were more animistic. They were landscapes and I translated those into large black and white copies of skies with water and waves.

The art galleries did not impede my progress. My ability to sell a painting for thousands of dollars was drastically diminished. I can’t even bring myself to make a comeback and proceed with doing vintage Abstract Expressionist paintings, which I am a master at. I balk at the prospect of being called a narcissist.

They’re wonderful, and I’m doing them under an assumed name. I’m trying to market them in exchange for art supplies. I get different things in exchange for it from my Uzbekistani dealer who has galleries all along Bleecker Street in the Village and caters to the tourists. We get awesome feedback.

They’re beautiful. And they’re under an assumed name, which I created! I called myself Olivia Osbourne and I guess it really means Oh live here in Cockney. Oz born meaning the Wizard of Oz. New York City is like Oz. And I’m Oz born! So, it’s a fun secret code! We were about to being to use glazes, when things changed. John Mamur had them placed all over the gallery on Bleecker Street. His response to them by these tourists was that they weren’t peaceful and soothing enough. By now, we can’t go back to the past. We have to reach out to the future.

One might think that it would have been pretty simple to do an abstract painting, but in actuality it required a great deal of humility. It might be compared to an act of complete spontaneity such as choosing numbers at random for a lottery ticket after having spent thirty years as a bricklayer. The bricklayer won and his title changed from being a bricklayer to being one of the richest men in the world.

Most people fragment when they paint and the nature of abstraction has to do with a sensitive and tactile pulling together of the composition of the painting. Cleaning is a good way of understanding art. When you scour the bathtub or wash the windows, the way you wash the area isn’t in tiny little dabs or in a way which leaves marks.

Your goal is to cover the space with the rag so as to make the glass sparkle. It’s the same way with painting an abstract painting. The composition has very little to do with the painting itself. The strokes of the paint relate to the fact that you are leaving the process unfinished. Yet, it has to be the same process as if you were going to sweep something completely clean.

As in ancient Asian paintings, ego is gained through non-ego. Asiatic art is not like Western art where barriers and obstacles are coveted. Eastern art doesn’t define the audience or the muse, but rather the Buddha’s presence. Nature is worshiped and passersby are permitted to be official guests of the environment where everything is a work of art.

Individuality in Abstract Expressionism tends to become dualistic and breaks up the painting into factionalism. Pointilistic techniques also turns the painting, no matter how favorable the light and color are into a futile attempt to acquire power through a phoney humility. What ends up, as in the case of Judith Murray, is obscurity. All in all, Abstract Expressionism was a fabulous period in art history and also socially. The group shows of artists such as Franz Kline, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline give artists a great deal of food for thought.

This doesn’t mean that we have to copy that moment in history which the dealer on Bleecker Street and I discovered during our exploration. Today, we live in a different moment.

New York is no longer taking center stage as it did after the Holocaust. Europe is overcrowded with tourists and sightseers and has many problems economically. Russia has never lived in a democracy and is on edge. Russia’s artists are unprepared to accept either schools of thought, that of modernism or the old methods. Basically, they prefer applied art which is immune to the art media and falls more into home furnishings and fashion. The Western armory shows are having a hard time when they go to Russia because of this.

I had no idea that simultaneously to my lonely path, little children like Deborah Jenney were being raised a couple miles away who were kindred spirits. It was during her high expectations that I also found myself nude on the old grey floor of the American Thread Building. I was in my own loft space. I had a large industrial space. What made me lie on the floor is unknown to me, but Ron Gorchov appeared and lay next to me.

He suddenly said to me that our relationship was insufficient to him because I was unfulfilled as a woman. He threatened to leave me if I didn’t come to grips with my

The only solution I could come up with was to stop playing myself and wait and see what would happen. This took a grueling six months. It finally occurred to me to touch myself with my fingers during the act of love.

The experience of opening myself up caused me to become completely abberated and to withhold from myself in an Orthodox Hebrew way. Since the only religious training I had gotten was from my mother, who was an atheist, I didn’t get too far as far as Mikvahs were concerned. Oddly enough, one of the only Mikvahs in New York is called the Hannah Schwalb Mikvah. My friend, Muriel goes to one on the Lower Eastside, which still exists today. She says it has a miraculous effect on her husband.

For me there was no comradeship in those days. I wasn’t a Lubovich and didn’t even know what I was doing was Orthodox behavior. I should have been separated out from daily work routines with men at that point and put into some kind of protective environment. I was pretty dysfunctional and there was no one who I could talk to about it.

While all of this was going on, Alexander appeared and made the rounds. Klara Wiergraff, his secretary who looked like Aphrodite in jeans, accompanied him. She was tall and had very short blond hair and would have been breathtakingly beautiful had she have been a man. Alexander and I fell in love. We went out to lunch several times to the Spring Street Bar and my hair, which was very long and mahogany colored was sunlit from the skylight, reminded him of his mother.

He told me that his mother was Polish and that he kept her locked up in a house nearby his in Bochum. He laughed. He said I was an art world nun. I asked him if he stared at me looking down from his loft in the heavens with his binoculars. He got miffed. He must have been angry about my rejection. While I was in love with him, I was unable to fulfill that love. Instead, I wrote to him obsessively and have no idea whether he even received my letters. The Smithsonian Archives of American Art would be happy to take in those years of correspondence as a gift, but it’s probably more likely that he disposed of them all. It’s too bad because they were truly part of an uncontrollable yearning for the truth. I wrote to him for years from 1978 to 1990.

I don’t think he understood how it felt to have what I had or to go through what my mother and I had gone through. The upper middle class in those days really dismissed their kids once they graduated from college and many of those kids were spoiled and unable to handle living in such a difficult environment. They were cast out mercilessly and were unable to fend for themselves.

Even today I am meeting overly confident young people who confuse their own dependence upon the scene as mine. They don’t realize how their hostile behavior effects their own health and well-being. I can always polarize myself up against them and find something wrong with them superficially that the people around them can agree is lower class. If they want to question me about my intentions or my reason for being, I’ve been thinking about those things for a long time. I’d be happy to discuss my rules of conduct with them. This is something I doubt Alexander would be able to do.

He was uncomfortable about our American collectors because anyone could buy art. He was afraid they would question the art the way I did with Ron Gorchov and which got me kicked out.

My new friend, a restorer for Columbia University’s art collection, Larry Sousa wanted me to give him art lessons. He had found some old tubes of paint in his work room. Larry seemed interesting at first because he had found an old painting in the garbage that was blackened with soot from many years. He cleaned it off and sold it for nearly $200,000 at auction. Now, he has found what he suspects might be a Bertha Morrisot. When I agreed to teach him painting, he got very uppity with me about what I was doing because I was painting over print-outs of old paintings.

I was using my color sense which was from the Abstract Expressionists and the Minimalists to recolorize and repaint the paintings so that they were like my old children’s coloring books.

I studied Abstract Expressionism and that is what I did until I was disillusioned. I was so disillusioned by what happened to me that I think I could teach it, but I’m not convinced that it is seaworthy in these times. We are living in a true life Cubist period where steel megastructures are distorted into burning deconstructivist ruins. Abstract paintings are symbols of this. Louise Nevelson’s career was ended by the destruction of her mural in the Lobby of the World Trade Center.

For me, there are no welcoming mats to put up my work next to Franz Kline. It is only in my virtual reality or my imagination that I see it.

Conversely, I feel a need to share my knowledge of Abstract Expressionism and modern art with the world, but in terms of a life enforcing experience which can reaffirm our joy of life and also our connection with past art history.

Larry is unfamiliar with what a palette means and what the different colors of pure pigment and mixed pigments look like. He doesn’t know about pastels and brushes. If he doesn’t want to look at all of these things, I doubt he will be able to dip his brush into paint and create a perfect three-dimensional image.

I explained to him about artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and the extent of their studios, or even, Vermeer’s use of the light box to capture city scapes during his time. Vermeer’s tiled floors were conceived of through his use of a light box. Hockney wrote a fascinating book on this. Modern art has to do with color and a resurfacing of paint to recreate “old” painting in such a way that it enhances the new world.

The real old paintings are the prison guards of the boxed in societies of all over Europe. They have become a part of the tourists’ attraction, which today are mostly from Asia. We still have a society here, although it is rapidly changing and becoming more and more militant like Mel Gibson’s movie, Mad Max.

I have heard that some kids are called trust fund babies and have been given condominiums, stipends and cars. I am more familiar with the very rich kids who ended up living in communes while their parents lived in mansions.

Also, no one told the truth, so it was very difficult to gain any self-esteem if you were really fighting for your freedom. Many women still were householders and married ladies even in the art world, which was supposed to be really radical.

The rents were also very low during the 1970’s, but in the 1980’s you couldn’t work piecemeal anymore and pay the rent. You had to have a full-time job. The rents more than doubled.

People like Alexander lived in the lap of luxury. He wore khaki airplane overalls all of the time. He was born in 1943. I was born in 1952. Ron was born in 1930. Ellen and Joel Shapiro lived on Lafayette Street in a luxury loft building. It was immaculately decorated and they used to entertain and invited me to one of their after-opening parties. Joel showed with Alexander’s galerie m Bochum in Germany. Similarly, Jennifer Bartlett’s loft was amazing. One of her paintings had yielded a million dollars. Paula Cooper had sold it. It was done on many metal panels with enamel. Each panel contained another image. She had no sense at all about what we were working on and no interest. She was a part of the tax shelter art establishment and the boorish academic community.

She had glass brick walls all over the place and a shoe closet that was worth thousands of dollars. Alexander was taken aback when he saw her because he didn’t think that she would be so dull and matronly. She married Mathieu Carriere, a famous French movie star.

I have no idea how they got their lofts or stability. They may have taught at colleges because they had higher degrees and had that slight edge of good credit. There’s no way a teaching job could have given them such wealth. Actually, maybe they shared. They weren’t so many years apart. Ron was twenty-three years older than me. Maybe they were the same age. Between two people with teaching jobs during the 1970’s maybe they were able to afford a loft and fixed it up somehow.

I lived it up for a while in my 2,000 square foot loft in the American Thread Company Building until I was forced out. They never got forced out because they must have found slightly more residential lofts to begin with.

I also wasn’t satisfied to play the game with any one formula because it was painting. If it felt awkward and not a good medium for development, I dropped it. Privately, it was very fulfilling and my experiments with painting were going in the right direction. I had lots of money for art supplies from working.

CHAPTER FIVE

Apprenticeship Was Over

The late 1970’s were fun because everything was still free. There were open bars at the art openings which were getting more uptight, and distant, but the East Village was about to become the new Soho. There, limos pulled up and wealthy art collectors bought up new art from Gracie Mansion. Mostly, I remember being unimpressed by the art because it was made of trinkets and kitch. I liked the outdoor sculpture in the East Village though which was made out of found objects and very colorful.

Before I left the American Thread Company Building many young artists shared my life. Emily Rhodes, a young woman, who was in love with one of the Lounge Lizards, lived in the thirty-five dollar a month room next door that I leased. I had several boyfriends who were quite lovely looking. I especially liked the Austrian artist who I met at one of the fun bars in Tribeca. He had a baby face, was large and chubby.

I also liked my American boyfriend who lived next door. He was born on my birthday. I could knock on his door at night and get a quickie. He had a girlfriend who was a museum curator and was very elegant looking and he found her much more exciting than me. He made it a point of telling me so. I really had no expectations of having a serious relationship with him.

I left the American Thread Company Building loft which Ron came in and just took over until they began renovations. I didn’t care. Maybe that’s why he smiled at me as I walked down Broome Street with my long, wavy brown hair and a little vintage coat on.

The Mudd Club was the happening place then and I performed there one night. I was friends with Phoebe Legere, a new wave nightclub performer and Suzanne Cooper. Louise Bourgeoise in her sunglasses, which looked funny on a really old woman, stood in the wings of the stage. All of these northern European lads who were angelicly faced and had long, lithe bodies sat and watched us line up in all different sizes and shapes. All of the young women artists changed into a dress from the long rack of vintage wedding gowns. We were naked underneath them and topless.

We hardly memorized the lines we were supposed to recite and Suzanne Cooper could be heard yelling at us for that, but once we got onto the stage we were perfect Mudd Club girls. We held each others hips and snaked back and forth on the little stage with noisy music blaring on the loud speakers so that the audience couldn’t hear us anyway. There were a couple of floors at the Mudd Club and it was relatively druggy and most of the guys there were preoccupied with getting drunk and hanging from the rafters.

Once I realized that it was hopeless and that Ron had finally really broken up with me, I returned to my relationship with Dion Grody. He comforted me and told me that I was beautiful. He was impressed by my schematic paintings. He lived in the same building as Media Transcripts which is where I would go to work many years later as a television news transcriber for Peter Jennings’ World News Tonight.

His brother was a commercial jingle singer and was gay. It was before the AIDS epidemic in around 1978. Dion was extremely disturbed and my space in the bank building on Lafayette Street was so uncomfortable that I left it and went up briefly to my mother’s.

My first schizophrenic boyfriend as a young girl of sixteen, Dion Grody was a musical prodigy with guitar. His father had left him and his brother, who went gay, for a Swedish woman. It was during the 1960’s and their father was a nature lover who wanted to get away from the gum chewing, tough girls he had grown up with. That kind of described Sunny, Dion’s mother. She taught at a fine public middle school in Riverdale. Dion was neglected by her.

She loved her students first, and if it wasn’t her students, it was anything that she could do to avoid Dion and his brother. With Sven, he had another two half-Swedish boys, Jimmy and Jerry. By the time Dion was sixteen, when I knew him, his band, Octopus was the front band for the Grateful Dead out at the World’s Fair.

He was about to embark on the life that Eric Clapton or Robert Plant must have had, only Dion was too sick to go beyond his teens.

Dion was a phenomenon until his first LSD trip. He ran over to me smiling in Riverdale at a fountain where he was hanging out. He wanted to share the fact that he had taken the LSD trip and he knew that I had also.

Then I heard that he ended up at Bronx State Psychiatric Hospital. That was in 1968. I visited him many times and had many lovely experiences with him where he played guitar for me. I lost him for many years, until 1978 when he called me. He called me just as I was being proposed to by an adorable guy from Woodstock who worked as an apprentice too for a well-known sculptor.

I probably would have accepted the proposal had it not been for Dion who baled me out. Last I saw him, he was wandering around 23rd Street with a towel wrapped around his head in a turban. That was in around 1978.

All of his sexuality was channeled into his music. His sound was magnetic. As a teenager his group of friends and I would go to these dazzling concerts down at the Philmore East. There were light shows and fantastic music from all of the great rock and blues musicians. I found Dion very cute.

She lived on Lowell Thomas’s estate in Cornwall on Hudson with her husband, Wayne Hall in a little greenhouse that had been converted into a living space. She was under a lot of pressure with Wayne’s fledgling career as a newspaper reporter and her disintegrating relationship with Pat Argiro, who had gotten Wayne the job.

I felt melancholy and claustrophobic. I left for Greenville, New York one snowy day where I would live with several mean, but fascinating women and have an affair with Lama Rinchen while learning about Tibetan Buddhism.

During these years, my fellow artists went to Europe and a much more fashionable art scene emerged than I was capable of affording. Meanwhile, I created monstrous and animistic abstractions on masonite with my beautiful oil paints in indigos and gorgeous rainbow colors.

They were the next step after these perfect schematic brush drawings which were done with a tiny magic marker brush. Subsequently, when I returned to the city, I did a series of four paneled masonite (each 48 x 96”) of monster abstractions of giant peacocks and magical beings.

Those ended up in the basement of my apartment on 106th Street and were probably used for scrap wood. But, from there I was able to control the brushwork more and to produce a great series of giant watercolors. In these paintings, the loops I threw of paint spun off the edges of the rectangle.

They were always based on one playing field. I never deviated into more than one. I understood Hans Hoffman’s repetition of rectangles to be a trap for color, not for composition. I would later use Hoffman’s theories in my vintage Abstract Expressionist paintings.

These were photographed at Fashion Industries Gallery where the dealer allowed me to use the space. They weren’t industrial enough to be exhibited there. Dakota Jackson showed his art furniture there. I just wasn’t able to afford to let’s say create my own textiles and upholstery.

Had I been able to purchase large couches and upholster them professionally with my schematic patterns, I would have been like Dakota Jackson.

It just didn’t happen and it’s really a pity that I followed this path at all since I couldn’t afford to follow-up on anything. I didn’t even have the training necessary to create maquettes or draft examples of my designs. They were just artistic experiments.

My path lead me to Blondie’s, a boutiquey gallery on Thompson Street, which was run by Jill Castlelove. She was from California and was also an artist. She only had group shows and the work had to become very small again to fit into her gallery. Archival photos wouldn’t sell. They never did. I began to work on dainty handkerchiefs instead of giant pieces of masonite or rolls of Arches.

Alan Saret, the sculptor whose work I reviewed in The Journal of Art disapproved of what I did, maybe because of his polio. How he could have connected my handkerchief paintings with his facial deformity, I don’t know, but he did. My purpose was to begin to visualize my paintings as babies or little visions. I wanted to create the same excitement I had felt creating the giant watercolors. It gave me a new outlook on the scale of these paintings and I began a process of visualizations, which could be enlarged into larger murals someday. But, the surface wasn’t right.

As the years progressed I began to work on painting color test samples from Janovich. Michael Karp purchased those 116 oil paintings on paper. He is one of my greatest champions. He understands my emphasis on color and applauds it.

You engage in a study the techniques of artists and then encounter the art scene where people lie to you about what’s going on. They monumentalize the art scene and make insignificant statements into godlike, superhuman accomplishments. This is an extension of the way that artists treat each other. They appear to be magicians. They try to make you think that they did something that’s not real.

Substance abuse runs rampant in the art world and submerging your sorrow in all kinds of drugs and alcohol runs the gamete. If you are doing something really good, no one looks up. Redefining yourself and actually just working with things in a way that has beautiful consequences in an honest way is of no use to them. They approve of being hostile toward the maternal element in society.

Sometimes religion does come into play in today’s art world. You can’t always have what you want in your work. You can’t always be changing everything to suit your dealers, which is what phony artists do. So you end up with an all-male society. It’s only men. And they have these psychophants who are working for them. And they end up in all men’s club. So it’s not right. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a mixed bag of men and women. And the only place that can happen it seems is in the applied arts.

Because then it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man or whoever you are. You’re just working. So to venture forth into such a predatory world and to try to understand what is going on is the plight and the duty of a real artist. You can’t really do it until you’ve understood certain things in your life. Art is a form of meditation. You have to be at a certain stage in your life to really understand painting.

My mother, Audrey Hall creates small antique looking paintings, only she is creative with them so them have little settees in them. Sometimes they have women painted in them or men. Recently, she even did one of a bathroom. But they are very stylized. And they have floral wallpaper or flowers. Sometimes they have little paintings in the little paintings. And they sell upwards of $600 each.

When she did one of baseball, she sold it to Governor Pitaki (who lives in Garrison, NY). Sometimes she just mists up old landscapes and adds new things like little hunting dogs running through them. And those have a lot of success in the country.

My masonite abstracts from the Tibetan retreat worked into these tiny paint chips from Janovich. They were small abstract paintings on these interesting color chips that were about 2” x 6.” They were at Janovich and they don’t have them anymore. I blew several up into gigantic 44” x 68” of barns with two moons reflected on them, just very animistic, very primitive kinds of things. But they were phenomenal paintings.

I also became known for my barges and sailing vessels going up and down the Hudson River. And I know that the wife of Storm King Art Center went through to her dentist. My mother had a garage space up in Cornwall on Hudson with those miniatures in it. And I think she must have felt very sort of shaken up and guilty about them having left the wrong people behind. She suddenly died after that.

From there, I had those paintings heatpressed by Dushan, a Serbian T-shirt designer onto silk charmeuse fabric which I draped like American flags onto antique frames. They were precursors to September 11th, meant to be relics of the Hollywood women left behind when war hit the domestic shores of America. They were also meant to be placed within a Mission style décor and were also like Joseph Cornell’s dioramas. I exhibited them, a year before 9/11, at the Hudson Park Library.

They were women’s clothing fabric, American flags, Abstract Expressionism, they had Mission style and they were relics. I had them draped over old antique frames and put them on easels. And I had toys, a guitar case stamped with a sticker from Disneyland, a Dalmatian Halloween mask, Barbie Dolls, and a child’s Cossacks hat. Actually at the time I was courting the dealer, Christine Burgin. I even gave her a forest green silk charmeuse painting with an even darker green abstract in the stars’ rectangle. She was unresponsive.

She was busy showing artists who she and Wegman were socializing with. She was William Wegman's wife and was more interested in sharing moment which related to her motherhood. She had two kids with him and if I happened to see her at Barney’s she was all smiles. She had been both Kasmin’s and Wegman’s wife. Those were really beautiful. I have photographs of those, millions of photographs in these old cabinets at the Hudson Park Library with all of the reflections of light on them. I used the ideas I had been working on when I was at the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center at Orgyen Cho Dzong, and while painting on 106th Street, and also into the mid-1990’s.

Those were paintings about a premonition of 9/11 because when the World Trade Center attack occurred those paintings were already done a year before. They were American flags but they were done with silk charmeuse, which is the most luxurious women’s clothing fabric. Jean Harlow’s nightgowns were made of it. They were psychic because they kind of had this feeling like something to do with the American flag would happen, something with America on our own home soil. It would finally relate to our families in a concrete way. It would be here. It wouldn’t be fighting overseas.

When we do fight overseas many times, we don’t really acknowledge the women who are there with their children. We fight in those countries without being aware of our friendly fire and the personal reaction we are having. Our only identity is American, this huge megalithic military power. I think it was decent of President Bush to express his sorrow for the women and children killed in Lebanon.

We accused the extremists there of using them as a human shield and placing them next to missile targets. When the 9/11 terrorists entered Virgin untouched American soil, where there has never been a war since the Civil War, it definitely made a large impression. It reminds me of Cristalnacht which was when the Nazis burned all of the Jewish temples in Berlin and the broken glass became a symbol of that night. Our wars have always been on foreign soil and then these women like in Vietnam are seen huddled into groups and as not being somehow as capable our women are or as our tradition is.

The American settlers were originally German and English and Irish/Scottish. They’re the ones that are seen as replacements for the Virgin Mary. The Protestants don’t worship the Virgin Mary in the same way as Stalin forbade religious practice. He became their God and in the free world, the Anglican women take on the persona of the Virgin Mary. So, while many people came to America because of religious persecution, many others came to exploit it. The whole idea of a woman having to take center stage in the art world, yet having to be a holy whore is pretty immature.

How can such an idea of women lead to a non-violent resolution? Only one is allowed to take center stage! Art that cultivates such destructive ideas about women shouldn’t be supported. Of course, Marie Antoinette made the art of Fragonard and Le Brun, who was a woman portrait painter popular. Hyacinthe Rigaud was a fabulous painter during the time of Louis XIV. Caspar Netscher was a part of the Dutch School and painted during the mid-1600’s. I’m sure in Europe you can find paintings that are even Northern Renaissance, in the style of old Dutch New Amsterdam in the antique shops of Europe. There are paintings that are by lesser-known artists that were done during the time of Rembrandt and aren’t that much more expensive than contemporary art.

And there are a lot of artists that did small paintings and they’re landscapes. They’re little, small, dark cottages or seaside cottages or whatever. There’s are a lot of paintings of sailing vessels and old boats. They don’t have to be contemporary photography to catch the light in a colorful way.

When you get up to a more larger space then you, in the antique world, then you were getting into these large like naval battles or portraits that were beautiful portraits of wealthy people or aristocratic people. And then you had your religious paintings, which went in churches or your icons.

When you get to places that are palaces then you get these magnificent allegorical, sort of mythological giant chariots with naked, giant naked women like in Titian or Rubens with little black cherubs. And you get things like that.

The twentieth century brought in all of these other things, these geometric paintings and paintings with letters and larger paintings that were of simple things like waterlilies. When you try to decide what you’re going to paint today in this realm there’s a certain disdain for so-called “cottage” paintings.

Most politicians don’t want to be associated with “The Lavender Girls.” Maggie Smith and Judy Dench are two old ladies in Cornwall who happen upon the half-drowned hot body of a brilliant Polish classical musician on the beach. Their modest seaside home is filled with little landscapes and seascapes. Someone like for example, Tony Blair probably prefers a streamlined, well-framed scene.

The cinema has corrupted us; I guess and are junkies for excitement. In fact, with painting they are missing color, which is more important than streamlined schooners or shattered geometric pieces. Light and color is one of the first things we are taught in art school. We are asked to look out the window and tell the teacher what colors we see. Most students look at the sky and say that it is blue.

As far as the surplus of bad art, the auctioning off of it also has to do with tax shelters and the dealers who bought up work when it was cheap and now they can make a huge killing if they sell it. They can shove in somebody who is a token just for the game of it, just to watch them get made and broken.

And there are a lot of things that I think people from outside have to see more clearly about the art world. I’m sure they already do, but it’s a strange situation when the media in New York somehow gets bamboozled and turned around to seem like it is being supportive. It’s a huge mystery that a phony artist is suddenly getting all this media attention. It’s a flip of the coin of one’s own insecurities and paranoia and very intimidating. Then the art world is clogged up for yet another decade with more machinations and garbage. Maybe we deserve it. It will illuminate how manipulated and ostrich-like people really are. The ostrich sticks his head in a hole in order to hide leaving the bulk of his body outside where everyone can see it.

You can attempt to annihilate “everyone” so that no one can see what a little phony box you’re in, but in truth, the visual art world has the same set of standards for criticism as it has always had. The only difference is that conceptual art brings into play the artist as an actor within his own art mythology. Because of our virtual society, we transit into real time which is not segregated into glorified cages such as exists in the sophisticated welfare society of Europe.

Just the fact that up until the recent riots in Paris, the French were given job security whereas here, unless you were given a golden contract for a very specialized job qualification, most people were victims of the whims of office politics and many times, to cheaper labor. There was no such thing as job security here. It was unbelievable that Europe permitted the influx of Moslems after the Algerian crisis crippled the French. This was also after the Holocaust, when they removed the Jews. The Europeans wanted to be the Jews themselves and needed a minority who weren’t better at math and science. The Moslems actually invented math. They knew exactly what they were doing. Here Lucien Freud portrays the English bourgeoisie as these strange looking fat people similar to Botero’s stylized fat people.

Freud intersperses them with nudes which he captures from younger girls who are posing for him. They are his personal groupies.

The galleries who can afford from whatever tax write-off to advertise in magazines get special priority as far as being written about. So when they say, well, this artist was written about by Roberta Smith or by such and such, the reason that a renowned critic has written about them is because they advertised in the magazine. They put in big ads in the art magazine and continue to spend lots of money each month on advertising their gallery.

What people really want to see is relative. They don’t want to be compared to a Hollywood movie star. They just want to be that movie star for their own kids or ideally, for their own mates. At the same time the most popular prints today are these prints that are takeoffs of Dennis Hopper, the movie stars experience in Malibu, California where he had these sort of windy sheer curtains. And looking out to the water. And people are fascinated by anthropology and by really beautiful, giant animals like elephants and little, little native Indian boys praying, and the elephants also bowing their heads. Those are so nostalgic. This replaying of the relationship between man and beast and the old regime being rekindled into some kind of high fashion Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval by Peter Beard is a little bit of a detour from our own inner truth and is also rather vulnerable and impermanent.

My masonite abstracts from the Tibetan retreat worked into these tiny paint chips from Janovich, of which I sold 116 to Michael Karp. They were small abstract paintings on these interesting color chips that were about 2” x 6.” They were at Janovich and they don’t have them anymore. I blew several up into gigantic 44” x 68” of barns with two moons reflected on them, just very animistic, very primitive kinds of things. But they were phenomenal paintings.

I also became known for my barges and sailing vessels going up and down the Hudson River. And I know that the wife of Storm King Art Center went through to her dentist. My mother had a garage space up in Cornwall on Hudson with those miniatures in it. And I think she must have felt very sort of shaken up and guilty about them having left me behind and left my mother behind. And she died after that. She just died.

From there, I had those paintings heatpressed by Dushan, a Serbian T-shirt designer onto silk charmeuse fabric which I draped like American flags onto antique frames. They were precursors to September 11th, meant to be relics of the Hollywood women left behind when war hit the domestic shores of America. They were also meant to be placed within a Mission style décor and were also like Joseph Cornell’s dioramas. I exhibited them, a year before 9/11, at the Hudson Park Library.

They were women’s clothing fabric, American flags, Abstract Expressionism, they had Mission style and they were relics. I had them draped over old antique frames and put them on easels. And I had toys, a guitar case stamped with a sticker from Disneyland, a Dalmatian Halloween mask, Barbie Dolls, and an child’s Cossacks hat. Actually at the time I was courting the dealer, Christine Burgin. I even gave her a forest green silk charmeuse painting with an even darker green abstract in the stars’ rectangle. She was unresponsive.

She was busy showing artists who she and Wegman were socializing with. She was William Wegman's wife and was more interested in sharing moment which related to her motherhood. She had two kids with him and if I happened to see her at Barney’s she was all smiles. She had been both Kasmin’s and Wegman’s wife. Those were really beautiful. I have photographs of those, millions of photographs in these old cabinets at the Hudson Park Library with all of the reflections of light on them. I used the ideas I had been working on when I was at the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center at Orgyen Cho Dzong, and while painting on 106th Street, and also into the mid-1990’s.

Those were psychic paintings because when the World Trade Center attack occurred those paintings were done a year before, and they were American flags but they were done with like women’s clothing fabric. They were psychic because they kind of had this feeling like something to do with the American flag would happen, something with America on our own home soil. It would finally relate to our families in a concrete way. It would be here. It wouldn’t be fighting overseas.

When we do fight overseas many times, we don’t really acknowledge the women who are there with their children. We fight in those countries without being aware of our friendly fire and the personal reaction we are having. Our only identity is American, this huge megalithic military power. I think it was decent of President Bush to express his sorrow for the women and children killed in Lebanon.

We accused the extremists there of using them as a human shield and placing them next to missile targets. When the 9/11 terrorists entered Virgin untouched American soil, where there has never been a war since the Civil War, it definitely made a large impression. Our wars have always been on foreign soil and then these women like in Vietnam are seen huddled into groups and as not being somehow as capable our women are or as our tradition is.

The settlers were originally German and English and Irish/Scottish. They’re the ones that are seen as replacements for the Virgin Mary. The Protestants don’t worship the Virgin Mary in the same way as Stalin forbade religious practice. He became their God and in the free world, the Anglican women take on the persona of the Virgin Mary. So, while many people came to America because of religious persecution, many others came to exploit it. The whole idea of a woman having to take center stage in the art world, yet having to be a holy whore is pretty weird.

How can such an idea of women lead to a non-violent resolution? Only one is allowed to take center stage! Art that cultivates such destructive ideas about women shouldn’t be supported. This is especially since what we are really talking about with any culture are people shopping for antiques. They have flea markets all over the world.

Of course, Marie Antoinette made the art of Fragonard and Le Brun, who was a woman portrait painter popular. Hyacinthe Rigaud was a fabulous painter during the time of Louis XIV. Caspar Netscher was a part of the Dutch School and painted during the mid-1600’s. I’m sure in Europe you can find paintings that are even Northern Renaissance, in the style of old Dutch New Amsterdam. There are paintings that are by lesser-known artists that were done during the time of Rembrandt and aren’t that much more expensive than contemporary art.

And there are a lot of artists that did small paintings and they’re landscapes. They’re little, small, dark cottages or seaside cottages or whatever. There’s are a lot of paintings of sailing vessels and old boats. They don’t have to be contemporary photography to catch the light in a colorful way.

When you get up to a more larger space then you, in the antique world, then you were getting into these large like naval battles or portraits that were beautiful portraits of wealthy people or aristocratic people. And then you had your religious paintings, which went in churches or your icons.

When you get to places that are palaces then you get these magnificent allegorical, sort of mythological giant chariots with naked, giant naked women like in Titian or Rubens with little black cherubs. And you get things like that.

The twentieth century brought in all of these other things, these geometric paintings and paintings with letters and larger paintings that were of simple things like waterlilies. When you try to decide what you’re going to paint today in this realm there’s a certain disdain for so-called “charming” paintings.

We’ve been corrupted by the cinema, I guess and are junkies for excitement. In fact, with painting they are missing color, which is more important than streamlined schooners or shattered geometric pieces. Light and color is one of the first things we are taught in art school. We are asked to look out the window and tell the teacher what colors we see. Most students look at the sky and say that it is blue.

As far as the surplus of bad art, the auctioning off of it also has to do with tax shelters and the dealers who bought up work when it was cheap and now they can make a huge killing if they sell it. They can shove in somebody who is a token just for the game of it, just to watch them get made and broken.

And there are a lot of things that I think people from outside have to see more clearly about the art world. I’m sure they already do, but it’s a strange situation when the media in New York somehow gets bamboozled and turned around to seem like it is being supportive. It’s a huge mystery that a phony artist is suddenly getting all this media attention. And then the art world is clogged up for yet another decade with more garbage. Maybe we deserve it. It illuminates how manipulative and animalistic people are. In truth, the art world has a different set of standards for criticism.

The galleries who can afford from whatever tax write-off to advertise in magazines get special priority as far as being written about. So when they say, well, this artist was written about by Roberta Smith or by such and such, the reason that a renowned critic has written about them is because they advertised in the magazine. They put in big ads in the art magazine and continue to spend lots of money each month on advertising their gallery.

In the New York Times it’s a little bit different. While they also cover established galleries those art critics are a little more critical. They are on salary by the New York Times and if they take bribes, they will be fired. And I don’t know whether that’s a phony criteria, an excuse to keep getting paid advertising in exchange for tepid reviews. As far as the Village Voice, Jerry Salz has admitted that he is unschooled and he doesn’t really know anything about art except what he is fed by the galleries. And he’s constantly apologizing for that.

It’s a totally different media approach than the regular newspapers. I mean the newspapers aren’t forced to write about things that they don’t feel are newsworthy.

In Royalty in Focus and there was a huge expose. They had done horrible cartooning in England about the King of England, then George III after he lost the Revolutionary War to George Washington. He had this incapacitating nerve disease which turned his urine blue and caused him to go temporarily insane. I could relate to his story because I also had an illness which got confused for mental illness.

I also had a problem with the dictaphone because I had vestibular disease in my left ear, which was significantly abnormal, and I didn’t know it. I also couldn’t go home and had a high rent. When I lost my job the year before 9/11, I had my teaching license so I was able to substitute teach.

I also worked for Peter Jennings World News Tonight and Barbara Walters, but I was unable to keep up to their 15 pages of news transcription per hour because of my ears. I could manage a good 10 pages per hour. This is of each breath, each pause and every word the subject is speaking. We had done all of the early Bin Laden tapes. I had horrid vestibular disease and they didn’t think I was smart enough. They just thought that I was slow. They should have given me a break. I didn’t use my family background to try to keep my job.

I remember calling up for work on September 11th, but couldn’t compete with Becky Garrison who was much faster than me. I went to the Post Office to cash a small check my mother had sent me which I planned to use to pay the $25 Con Edison bill. With the remaining $10 I planned to go to the Warner Brother’s store in the mall at the World Trade Center and buy a Slumber Party Barbie Doll. It was for Neitsche, a darling little girl who was having a birthday party at the playground at Thompson Street that Saturday. When I opened the envelope, I found the airplane insurance my mother had purchased and a check for only $25.00.

I was upset because she had forgotten the correct amount that she had promised. I was walking up Seventh Avenue toward Morton Street when a plane came sputtering down Seventh Avenue and I dove for cover by a wall that was engulfed in old blueberry vines. The plane crashed up ahead. I was weeping and thinking about my daughter, who was seven years old at that time.

Walking up toward my house, I bumped into two women who were Albanian and had large families. They looked at me in disbelief, dreading what was written in the cards. Upon wandering further up the block I looked for smoke over one of the commercial buildings down Varick Street, but saw something I had never seen before. There was a black shape that was staggered horizontally along the exterior of World Trade Center One.

It took up approximately five or six floors of the building. It appeared a plane of some kind had crashed into the World Trade Center. My father worked at One World Trade Center from the early 1970’s when it was built to 1993. He worked in International Public Affairs on the 68th Floor which was under the black mark. I stood outside with hundreds of people who lined the streets. I met an architect who was riding his bicycle to work there and he stopped and called his friend who was already at work on the 73rd Floor of World Trade Center Two. Their attitude was that nothing could bring down the Trade Towers. They were so strong and well-built.

I tried to contact Andrey, but his mother kept ranting about MTV. He had probably been up all night watching MTV and was fast asleep. I returned outside as the second plane crashed into the eastside of the South Tower. The plane looked very small.

The smoke was what distinguished the extent of the fire. I don’t remember the collapsing of the Towers. By then, I was at St. Anthony School picking up my daughter. The following hours were very alarming because I expected an all out attack like Pearl Harbor. My mother-in-law called as soon as she could get through on the over-taxed phone lines and warned us not to go near any manhole covers because she said that the pressure from the buildings going down could send explosions up as far as a mile north.

My mother had enclosed her phone numbers in Europe in case of an emergency, but I didn’t know they were there. I only found those numbers years later when I was cleaning my files. She sent us a postcard where she expressed her concern for us. We were only a mile from Ground Zero. During the following weeks a toxic white colored fog came northwards with the wind and irritated my legs which are still covered with sores. Luckily, the winds usually go southwards into the Atlantic Ocean.

My father lost many friends during this tragedy. He had been very close to the Port Authority Police in his job and 74 had perished along with his boss at the Port Authority. My father had walked down the 68 flights during the first time the terrorists had tried to blow up the building where he worked. His co-workers walked down the same 68 floors again this time and survived.

On the other side, in World Trade Center Two, there was an announcement which reassured them that they didn’t need to begin to evacuate. Janet Gustafson, Heather’s Sunday School teacher was a financial specialist and was last seen in the 78th floor stairwell of the South Tower. People behind her survived, but she didn’t.

My last conversation with her was at the registration for Sunday School at First Church. I had to run up to the 42nd Street Subway and pick up a small child who I had promised to watch while his mother worked for minimum wage as a hospice nurse. She had agreed to pay me a very small amount of money for my trouble.

I asked her to watch Heather if I was a bit late for the picnic. She looked up at me and said that I would have to find another person in the future for backup. My glasses fogged over and I implored her to help me. I explained that it was those beautiful Holbein water soluable oils that I wanted, and that I would make a small amount of money toward some.

In art I look for permanence. I revel in old paintings done with candlelight, which portray new realities, but remain within the realm of experience which we love. Austerity and isolation is not something that little boys from India commonly feel. They are usually in crowded environments which are a more accurate depiction. In our upper middle class world, their innocence is more of an equivalent mood to portray than a vastness of space with them still dressed in their native clothing. Their faces, their bodies and their hands are more perfect in many ways than our own. They have naturally perfect white teeth and little round ears.

The artist that was the most fabulous wonderful artist, genius artist that I can think of that ever existed was named Charlemagne Palestine and he was a prodigy at Julliard, which is one of the finest music schools in the world. He was a pianist who created performance art with Bosendorfer pianos.

Bosendorfer would send a piano anywhere in the world that Charlemagne went and Charlemagne was just a person, a young person. But he was such a genius that Bosendorfer sent pianos wherever he went. And he would sit down at the Bosendorfer and he would create modern music where the echoes of the piano were the music rather the notes of the piano. That was why he needed a top notch piano, and the Bosendorfer was such a piano.

And the echoes themselves gave their own concerto. And the music that he played in his concerts on North Moore Street were psychic concerts composed by the gods. His whole loft smelled like cloves was so ordained and so beautiful.

Anyway, Ron really understood Abstract Expressionism and he really used to have a lot of paint around. And I remember one time when I wanted to introduce myself to the art world, he let me have a private exhibition in his studio for all of the artists and museum people to come and see and have breakfast. I showed miniature Abstract Expressionist paintings.

And it was really terrible. Kiki Smith, who was my sort of other woman artist friend and her father was still alive (the great Tony Smith) and he was Ron’s friend, she surprised me because she came over.

And she actually started to paint during my show in Ron’s studio like it was her father, Tony Smith’s studio and it was her birthright to paint. And I don’t think he really liked her work or thought very much of her. And I know she was really rejected by Charlemagne Palestine and I remember sitting with her in Charlemagne Palestine’s loft after they had sex on North Moore Street. As I said before, it was wonderful on North Moore Street in those days. The whole street smelled like cloves.

And she was sort of sitting spread eagle and very sloth-like. And she was a really beautiful, beautiful Irish/German girl. In between her legs was a perfect pelt of skin and hair, much too perfect for my friend, Charlemagne to have an encounter with. And she was crying because he had rejected her, but she was very, very pushy. She knew that she had a handle on the business side of the art world which I didn’t have. And she was going to play poverty and move to Ludlow Street which was down and out in those days before the chic boutiques moved in. Her mother and she knew how to work the business end of the art world blindfolded. And her mother was going to help her and she was going to push forward and she knew that. And nobody else knew that. And yet she weeped like a little girl.

She took over, and she always did these innane sculptures that were, you know, really kind of uneducated for someone who was coming from such a distinguished family as Tony Smith. But Charlemagne, he didn’t really like her very much from the start and so he, being the womanizer that he was, rejected her.

And I’m not saying that she deserved to be rejected, but certainly she never helped anybody and she never did anything for anybody. She just took care of herself. And Arnold Glimscher took care of her. And that was that. It was all part of their secondary sales scheme.

I used to hang on indefinitely and I was impossible to be around. I would have done well in an Orthodox Jewish family setting. This was the most left wing, progressive environment. I just didn’t fit in.

Roman Catholics are not popular in Russia for some reason. But I don’t really think the Russians care one way or the other about the Virgin Mary. Today, what do they care? To them, they may care, but I mean, how much are they going to go to a crusade over it if they hated it that much before?

I met Cecily Brown at a bar during the late 1980’s, and she said she was living over at Malcolm Morley’s place on the Bowery. I forgot why we went over there. But she was one of the British artists that were going to happen in the 1990’s. She had put toilet paper all over Malcolm Morley’s apartment in rolls, unrolled it and made bunny rabbits with it, and burned holes in his Mission style tables.

During the 1970’s Morley was considered to be a great mind. I’m not saying he was such a great artist either ‘cause his new paintings, which he has over at Sperone Westwater Fisher, are uninformed. They are like Leroy Neiman, copies of sports figures in car crashes. Cecily Brown was apparently one of seven sisters of David Sylvester who was the leading art critic in London especially about Frances Bacon. And he was dying of cancer.

Anyway, she pushed over him, stepped on his toes and decided she was going to have a big career. And she did. She presented herself as an art royal and got involved with Gagosian Gallery. I guess she capitalized on having graduated from art school. But her work was the same 1980’s style of “bad painting.” Only it was in the 1990’s and it was English. She probably got stoned and fantasized that she was Francis Bacon. It’s pretty lame.

Our experience leads us to Paris where we spent days at the Louvre. As a young child, my perceptions are what brought me to the conclusion that the European dynasty in art is rare and precious. As I grow older, my feelings are crystallizing, whereas before I was a part of an ongoing art scene, but hadn’t made my own mark.

CHAPTER SIX

Tibetan Influence

I remember as a child watching the news and the maps being shown of Tibet and the Himalayas. This was in 1959 when the Red Chinese invaded and the culture of Tibet was destroyed. I felt sorry for the Tibetans, although at the age of seven I had no idea about how lucky I was, or who they were. I would meet them later. It would not be until I was sixteen years old and studying art in San Miguel de Allende that the Haight Ashberry hippies I met revealed what was going on with these high Tibetan Buddhist Lamas. It sounded fascinating.

In the past few years I transcribed two documentaries John Halpern created for Boston Television. One is called “Interview With The Dalai Lama” and the other is called “Refuge.” Both played at the Quad in 2006. I particularly enjoyed the part about the Gelugpa monk from England who debates and studies Tibetan Buddhism with the wholly and fully Tibetan monks in Dharmasala, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides. He has learned to speak fluent Tibetan, which is miraculous in itself, and carries on about God from his own perspective very well. He is certainly outnumbered.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s sect, the Nyingma sect, is not a monastic sect, although they also have orphanages and great practicing monasteries. Because of the Tibetan situation with Red China they are in exile in India. His Holiness’ sect is a family sect where Lamas marry and have children. Nyingma Buddhism is tantric and of the highest persuasion. There is also another sect which is monastic called the Sakya tradition and similar to the difference between the Methodists and the Presbyterians. But, they are more monastic than the Nyingmas and less than the Gelugpa’s, the Dalai Lama’s totally monastic and celibate sect.

The practice, in all forms of Tibetan Buddhism usually requires thousands of lifetimes of evolution of consciousness until one understands Enlightenment and goes rainbow. The monks debate say complicated poems, which were written by their Tulkus, and living Buddhistic masters. These are called mantras. They use mala beads to keep count of these prayers. They also do prostrations onto the ground like the Moslems, although they don’t refer to different times of day, but rather to the number of prostrations that they have done.

I have only done 40,000 prostrations to the Vajra Yana prayer and am caught in a demonic blockade. The amount where you can release yourself from demons is 100,000. Unfortunately, an injury I incurred while in a movie theatre with the Director of the Kitchen injured my breastbone for life. I had to stop doing prostrations after 40,000.

They themselves study different practices like self-heating in the cold which is called Tumo. They also like to have themselves cemented up with bricks into caves.

They use mala beads to pray and prostrate themselves onto the ground. They also have group prayers where they use drums and shaking musical dorjes. They also make sounds with begging bowls and mallets which they rub around inside of the bowls until they sing.

There are three levels of understanding. The first level is called Hinayana. This is a more simplistic, humble person who follows the traditions, but doesn’t read the larger picture. The second or larger vehicle is called Mahayana, and most of the famous artists who have become Tibetan Buddhists are in that group and also the Democrats, left-wing politicians, and environmentalists.

Mahayana is about a self-motivated political sensibility, but it is many times unconnected to the universe on a mystical level. Then there is Vajrayana. Vajrayana means that you have only one lifetime left before you reach enlightenment. I am Vajrayana. This is the deep gossip going around the monasteries and high Tibetan people.

The other levels have thousands of lifetimes left to live. In Vajrayana, you are fully absorbed in enlightenment and this is to the point where you would become food for the tigers and lions if necessary just to find the truth. As such this is the feeling I have.

The Tibetan Buddhist’s premise is the Bodhisattva way. This means that your life is for the benefit of all sentient beings. You are born to pray for their enlightenment and release those you love from the vicious circle of samsara.

This means that if you are a kind person you will be a more liberated person. If you are a selfish person, you will be treated selfishly somehow in an area you most value. It is the same in Christianity when Jesus says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Unfortunately, if our culture doesn’t show us the way, we can’t formulate our own identity and therefore, we are unable to be kind to others or to be a stable influence.

Our art must teach and reflect images that can show people the way. Religious art in Catholicism helps to a certain degree, but because they are above us, they can’t define us except as sinners. Then we can deviate because we have no real identity, and then take confession.

Or the Catholic churches can provide community service where schools teach the children and there is parental involvement in the life of the Church. The young parents are more beautiful and it sets the stage for a lot of jealousy and factionalism. That spells New York City and it also spells trouble. I’m afraid I don’t know any other way.

Once you have achieved enlightenment, you do not abandon your loved ones. You are on the Bodhisattva path, so that you will return just to try and free them. And hopefully you yourself will have a friend who will come and try to save you because there is always that possibility that you can fall backwards into trouble. The symbol for this is not the cross, but it is a series of crosses with a woman in the center. She is called Usnisavijaya, and she is the mind of the Buddha. The twelve points face one another and become more and more equidistant, not antagonistic towards one another.

During my long Tibetan Buddhist retreat during the early 1980’s while meditating I recalled my entry into this world from what they refer to as the bardo, which is in between death and birth. His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche gave us many original prayers to chant in Tibetan and English. I indefatigably transcribed the Ngondro which is His Holiness’s special book of prayers. I typed the whole book working with His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche and Arthur Mandelbaum, who was the translator.

I was drawn into Tibetan Buddhism, which was a lifesaver. Their prayers are magical and they believe in reincarnation. Many artists interacted with Tibetan Buddhism including Alan Ginsburg, William Burroughs, Joan Jonas, Rudi Burckhardt, and John Giorno. They changed the cultural body of it into something more current and up-to-date.

Green Tara, Red Tara, black garudas, Guru Rinpoche, and Avalokishvara, the God of Compassion taught me that if I didn’t get what I deserved there was such a thing as karma. In this lifetime, I have seen karma play itself out on many occasions.

The Tibetan Buddhists even multiply the existences of this universe from once to twenty-three times so that the dinosaur foot prints we see have strange genetic time coding. Ancient texts have inside and out meaning, backwards and forwards.

I first met His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, the Head of the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, a tantric family orientated group. They had a reputation of having a quicker and more treacherous path toward enlightenment although no one seemed too concerned about it. His translator was Tulku Pema. We talked about art when I noticed the tanka painting in the room. I noticed that it had drafting. They liked my observations about Tibetan art because they were so honest and spontaneous, and His Holiness said that he wanted me to be a great artist.

I must admit that I had a little trouble with their regional art. I found it too cliché-ish and boring. Lama Rinchen scolded me when I stained one of the common Tibetan’s paintings with rubber cement. He said that it was art too. I think that with the Tibetan Buddhists, wanting things to happen is how they pray. They don’t have clinical prayers which are part of their own “things they have to do to be cool” identities. They delve more deeply into the inner desires of the aspirants. This excites them and is what takes them a step further. Whereas in the art world, sweeping people under the carpet and treating them as if they were untouchables is common behavior, the Tibetans are able to retrack the spiritual paths of art stars and put them in their place as students of Tibetan Buddhism. Mostly, the artists fall into the category of Mahayana and they are happy with that. They are tough and motivated leaders in society.

The unschooled, artsy drama queens that pervade the art world, some of whom become famous muses or actors tend to be the ones who refuse to take their cowboy boots off to enter the prayer rooms, or prefer Kabbalah like Madonna. Once in a while you get a Richard Gere, who becomes a spokesman for the Dalai Lama. I think a lot of movie stars don’t want to donate money toward the Tibetan Buddhists’ cause. The Baldwins, who are a major contributor, have actors in their family, but not specifically involved with the Tibetans. They live in a multi-culti Hollywood way and are wealthy, young hippie actors, but aren’t all practitioners.

A lot of money is spilling into the Tibetan centers around the United States for the cause of Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. It also must be happening in Europe, Russia and certainly now all over Hong Kong, Taiwan, and wherever China is free.

The Lamaistic families, who were aristocrats during Tibet’s medieval society are distant and hollow and know who you are and that you have been acknowledged as a player in their scene, but they don’t see themselves as being agents for change. They merely are on the Love Boat enjoying what they have fallen into. There are diamond dealers in the South of France who are sponsoring them. They are always traveling and living in the finest homes and hotels, some of which they have been given as permanent residences.

I know, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s son, my friend, His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche was horrified by the hunting methods of the Bhutanese aristocrats. They were heartless toward the bears in the forest. His then wife, a Princess of Bhutan even had a baby with another man. He did have a nice son who looks just like him and lives with his father now. His Eminence left Bhutanese aristocratic society and in spite of their being plugged in to all of the newest wave technology, couldn’t take the way they behaved.

He divorced his Princess and remarried a woman who his mother, His Holiness’s wife, the Sonyam chose from a group of marriageable women from Lhadak and Tibet.

Such it was that when I had an affair with Lama Rinchen Phuntsok Vajracharya, I put my whole self into it. My sexual prowess at the age of 28 was such that His Holiness got a kick out of it, especially since Lama Rinchen was the ugliest and chunkiest looking Lama in the world. He was my age and very cheerful and funny. He was the President of Yeshe Nyingpo on 16th Street in Manhattan.

He was boring and thought everyone would be interested in watching him make playdough deities and cook these awful mo mo’s which sat in your stomach like they were made of lead. He relished in the most boring practices like making a hundred butter lamps and folding his boring memorandums.

His Tibetan teachings from the ancient texts were brilliant though and one could sit for hours listening to him. They also transliterated Tibetan into English that even the Russians haven’t done yet. I quickly forgot about Ron Gorchov.

Who can really say what being a link from a past decade entails? Here, it is not the case that Ron Gorchov would ignite and become a household name in the 1980’s anyway. We are responding to all kinds of stimulus and either we fit in or we don’t fit in based on characteristics that in Tibetan terms might be quite empty. I fell by the wayside.

Many of our strivings are territorial and our methods are destructive and unconscious. Many times we are already realized and yet need to reaffirm our strength by becoming public again.

Periodically, we war for booty and social prominence. We segregate ourselves and won’t blend our culture in with another in order to keep the upper hand with our old enemies. One sees it with Japan and their anti-white campaign. It’s a very convenient way of maintaining racial supremacy over the other Asians.

In fact, Asia forgives Japan as it forgives Tibet. Japan is seen as being rather naïve and transparent in that regard. With Tibet, the Red Chinese have a difficult problem. The Tibetans are a minority, and the Mongolians are of an even lesser rank than the Chinese. Yet the Tibetans have a religious autocracy that transcends country or testament.

The Mongolian people are a vivacious and perceptive group of people. They are brilliant and the new post-Soviet countries in Siberia, Khazakstan and Uzbekistan and are rich in oil and other minerals. They may become their own significant world power in the next several thousand years. Being in a good strategic place can be considered good karma. Riding a wave or being on what the high Lamas call “The Love Boat” isn’t. That’s just the wheel of karma where you go up and then you go down. That’s why it is so essential to practice.

Certainly, once King Solomon and King David began their reigns, they used written words as well as art to define their culture. A past as slaves traumatized the existentialist Israelites and made them renounce their Egyptian culture and gods. We have one God, they wrote in their Holy Scriptures. How obvious to me that rather than inventing monotheism, they were cutting the hold of the Egyptian’s dynastic rule. I’m sure the future problems with Christianity weren’t their prehistoric panacea. The demi-gods, the Pharaoh, the similarity between the Pharaoh and the Christian’s notion of a Messiah were unrelated. I’m sure it was all politics.

I don’t think that even King David was qualified to decide on how many gods we had or whether there was one god or two or twenty-three.

Many of the 20th century’s artists had to work under political persecution. This occurred during the last century in Russia and Germany and lead to a fairly destructive result upon us culturally.

They feel that Europeans keep falling back into Mara or illusion. My Guru, His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche says that enlightenment is all about renunciation.

Tibetans may be jealous of our flexibility socially, yet their highest practices are pretty soothing and they can mind travel. They have fascinating universes, which relate to various spinal chakras. We are the highest chakra here, the heart chakra. They feel that they have relived this universe for 23 kalpas and should calm our minds and the environmental hysteria about global warming from the punctured ozone level. The lowly Sherpas who guide these wunderkinds up to the Summit wonder where they were when the Communists were blowing up their 7th century monasteries.

It might create a mirror or a reflection, a psychic mirror or reflection from outside to him, which might send him a message. The accidental distortions from the Rorcharks from the bleeding ink might bring to him, who has very few feelings and only has anger associations and memories. I don’t mean to treat him like a guinea pig, but in fact, we are still trying to decipher what god means and where god is.

The Ngondro or the Preliminary Practice is a daily group of prayers and mantras. I recalled being manic before birth and unable to stop talking to myself. Then after birth I remember a long state of total terror and separation from my mother. This actually happened. I was sick and I was rejected and cast out by my parents. I was unable to clench any negotiate any allotments. My emotions upon leaving were the same as during my punishment during the first hours of my birth. The world outside though was more fascinating than being at home, although there is no one who I love more than my mother.

I went on a retreat with my wedding dowry, which I never used, to study with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche who was the one who knew about all of these secret teachings. He was considered the highest teacher, even as high as the Dalai Lama. He was old and I was just totally into studying and learning. Lots of artists in New York didn’t do the bad painting thing. They did the Tibetan Buddhism thing.

Joan Jonas was there with her spiritually high dog. William Burroughs, gave up his loft and he shot bullets into canvases during the bad painting period there. He would just shoot a gun into the canvas and the burned canvas was his paint. And everybody was fascinated by these ordained words that were from the ancient texts of Tibet.

The Beat Generation poets had brought them here. Then Tony Shafrazi would sell his canvas as a painting.

Actually the actress, Uma Thurman’s father is a Tibetan Buddhist scholar and teaches at Columbia University. Many new ideas about attachment and impermanence are written about in the ancient texts. The more success one has, the more difficult it is to cope. Karma comes around the back way and all of a sudden, our rationales dissolve and the truth exposes us in a way we didn’t expect. It’s why people try to do good right before their death in order to pave their way to a better afterlife.

And I was fascinated by these words that were ordained words of God. Their art was part of their religion. His Eminence said that my art was also my meditation. They had sexual imagery that was much more complex than Ron Gorchov’s work.

They had the most exquisite erotic art. It was so tasteful. And for a young girl, who had grown up in a household where there was a very strong Asiatic influence, I loved it. And I loved their scene which was a combination of these beat poets, acid freaks like Timothy Leary who were clearly involved, and these professors from Berkley and Columbia University who were totally Western. It soothed me after losing Ron. I also found amusing these ugly wannabes, these copies of Western “dolls” who pushed their weight around the center, paying for the telephone bill in order to have clout.

They were clearly mesmerized by these Lamas explaining ancient texts that were being translated and updated. I spent several years engrossed in the Tibetan scene. They let me use an abandoned lunchroom as my studio when I was on my Tibetan Retreat. And I did these animistic oil paintings that were very strong and they were the ones that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche saw and thought were very original.

I worked inside and out so that the background became more of a painting than the foreground. They were very animistic like Tibetan Art but they were abstract. One Canadian, whose father was a colleague of Timothy Leary, hated me because I was having an affair with his teacher, Lama Rinchen. He made a fire puja, which is a big fire ritual with all of my paintings. And he burnt them all, which shocked me. This was the kind of thing that kept happening to me whether it was in the galleries or in outside scenes. There just wasn’t a feeling about me that I was holy.

We waited with baited breath for every word spoken by these ordained Tulkus (Abbots) that were being translated and transliterated into English. It was hard for me to separate myself from that experience and to re-enter the world.

I had to get a job and an apartment because Lama Rinchen was returning to Nepal. I didn’t have the feeling that he wanted me to accompany him there and certainly he was not going to remain at Yeshe Nyingpo, nor marry me and procreate little Tibetan Lamas. I had expected him to remain there indefinitely and to create a life with me.

Meanwhile that was one of the most fascinating periods in my entire life, even if it was a one way relationship. After he left and went home, I wrote to him, but my letters went to the wrong town. Apparently the entire town would joyfully walk the letter over to his compound, which was very embarrassing to him. He begged me to refrain from writing to him because of that.

I saw him a few times at William Burroughs loft when he had returned to the States but he had shrunk into a small old man and sat in a corner. Once, he came up to 106th Street and said many prayers in the Hispanic neighborhood I lived in for some kind of a birth to happen.

I ordered a copy machine for the Tibetan Lamas so they didn’t have to go to the copy shop and get and hand over these rare ancient texts to these rushed young kids who treated them with rough hands. I paid for this thing for years and it cost thousands and thousands of dollars!

If you help other people you will also be helped in some way or someone you love will be helped in the same way that you have helped. Your karma protects you. You won’t be left behind or lose your footing and fall.

I showed His Holiness my paintings and there were aspects that were similar to the Tibetan’s art in the sense of their ability to write backwards and forwards and inside out. The paintings did that.

I painted a painting where the ground had its own painting and the figure had its own painting. I’m not trying to say it was such a great subject. You know everything was phallic, but His Holiness said that it was very original. Because my mind went inside and outside and that’s very original thing to do.

My daughter has a terrible aversion to me because I knew who she was in her past life. My mother sees my attitude as primitive and superstitious, but while I was having my affair with Lama Rinchen, the Tulkus who lived at the Center were getting the feel of the obstacles and barriers that existed for their cause in New York City.

A Tulku is a Lama that has had a good manager and is rediscovered. It is defined by being a reincarnated Lama. Tulkus also become Abbots of monasteries and are extremely scholarly and are oracles. Certainly, within the Hispanic community there exist leaders who are living in poor conditions and have fought many wars for our country. Someone like Raymond Ramos was like that. What also defines a spiritual being is someone who fits into a larger pattern of nature.

Mostly, the uneducated Hispanics worked as maintenance or supers in buildings, and they had a lot of Jewish landlords then in New York. The Dorothy, which was the building I moved into when I left the Tibetan Buddhist Center was on 106th Street. An old Jewish landlord chose me because I looked like his daughter.

We had Benicio del Torro’s movie, Traffic which kind of defined the traffic jam of Hispanics who seemed to have no leadership except the Drug Lords or the United States Army where they were enlisted to fight during the 1960’s and ‘70’s in Vietnam.

Raymond Ramos was crouched down painting the apartment on 106th Street when I arrived to look at it. I was wearing a brightly colored shirtdress that Lama Rinchen had bought for me. I looked lovely. He was irritable and had the nerve to say to me that there had already been thirty people in there to look at the space. What made me think that I was going to get it?

It was a pretty dismal apartment, but it was all I could find. It was near the Normandy, built the same year as the Empire State Building, which was where my baby brother, Jonathan had just been brought home to. That was on 87th Street and Riverside Drive and was a luxury building that took up an entire block and had many doormen. My apartment faced the back, but it was on the ground floor and had two small bedrooms and a living room, kitchen and bathroom. He was painting it awful glossy beige. The apartment had seven windows like the tenement I’m living in now on Morton Street in Greenwich Village.

Raymond was Puerto Rican and was a Vietnam Vet. Next door to my building was the neighborhood bodega. There, the men had cockfights and vans pulled up with prostitutes lying in the back. Up the street were the numbers runners who worked behind the flower store.

I remember offering him a good painting I had done on masonite. It was similar to one that I had sold to a collector named Richard Savitsky. Raymond asked me what he would do with a painting, and that he couldn’t take it along with him. I didn’t know what he meant. I was crushed.

Raymond’s wife was like Miss Universe Equador. Ruth was beyond gorgeous. He was madly in love with her. They had two boys and one girl, Cynthia, who was gifted. Raymond must have watched me through the shadows of my curtains because he sculpted his entire hallway ceiling with little buds that looked identical to my breasts. Ruth, on the other hand had a body like a pageant queen, but was charming and girlish in an ancient, exotic way.

One crazy weekend my bathtub began to explode with the kind of water from a washing machine draining out of the spout. It happened every time anyone in the building took a bath or a shower, which in a tenement was several times a day. I spent the weekend bailing tons of water. Raymond had gone away.

When Raymond returned he crouched down to fix the pipe and suddenly was overcome with such joint pain that he nearly fainted. For several years in the early 1980’s he was in and out of the hospital with an unknown ailment. It was HIV/AIDS. How he had contracted it, could have been explained by either the prostitutes next door, or maybe he was using dirty needles. I don’t know.

Once he fell ill, he asked me if I wanted window guards. It wasn’t in a normal way. He was almost asking me if I wanted him. I said that I didn’t want window guards and I wasn’t afraid. When he died, I never experienced such an endless flow of tears. I couldn’t stop crying. I was the Manager then of a British Computer Software House at the time called Scientific & Business Systems Ltd. I was working during the day he died and I was unable to stop crying. I must have loved him very much and was unaware of it.

I was surprised at how attached I had become to him and how much I loved him. I didn’t even know him that well, and our interactions hadn’t been that much of a daily occurrence. I remember before he got sick, he changed the round fluorescent lightbulb, and I remember looking at his arms as he lifted them up and thinking that he looked like he was reaching for God.

While I lived on 106th Street, I worked and had no lovers except once a year Lama Rinchen would return from Nepal to renew his green card. He would come over and we would try to make love. He had shrunk into an old man and wasn’t interested in sex anymore. He was overwhelmed by my advances and didn’t want to deal with my having waited for him for a year. I waited for him for thirteen years until I heard of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s reincarnation in Lhadak.

Lama Rinchen did banter on about this Benicio del Torro traffic jam and its obstructions to his Tibetan existence and left my apartment after we got together for one of the last times in his knee socks, shiny leather shoes and shorts. He was very squat and bowlegged and he left without wearing his long maroon skirt which was priceless. He was almost sending a message to Raymond and all of the neighbors who were always watching out of their windows that I was procreating with a priest. He walked like that to the 103rd Street subway, without his long skirt on and only in his underwear.

My name is Jampa Chokyi that means appreciator of the ancient texts. Whenever I was present during Khenpo Palden Sherab’s and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal’s giving out of names, they always made a joke and gave me a new name in Spanish. Then they chuckled uncontrollably.

In a high work environment such as being a senior legal secretary, many of the workers were artistically inclined and interested in unusual ways of life. Ellen Ramirez Quisa was from a shipbuilder’s family in Maine, which was the image of a pure American family. All that she thought about was bellydancing. She moved to New York and into a crowded little apartment on Columbus Avenue and studied belly dancing and flamenco.

She and I worked together for Hans Harnick, the Counsel for the Austrian Consultant General at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. She was quite old by then. Yet, she bellydanced around our palatial offices that were a gorgeous apricot color with thick, plush carpeting.

I wonder if Raymond was looking out the window. The neighborhood dwellers up there sat outside a lot. I had become friendly with two Panamanian kids like that whose parents were either street people or in jail. I supported Venus Gonzalez and Stephen Moorehouse with extra money, which I gave to their grandmother, until I became pregnant and couldn’t anymore. Their grandmother was totally understanding when I stopped giving them money. They moved to Florida after that and I lost contact with them, but we had many good times.

I brought Venus and Stephen down to 16th Street to the Tibetan Center several times. One of their students was from a Greenwich Village Laundromat and Dry Cleaning Shop. She had an exquisite daughter named Po Ching. Apparently, Venus tightened her stomach muscles and bounced Po Ching backward like a giant cannonball into the bushes. She came running into the Center crying.

When I gave birth to my daughter, Heather, she had Raymond’s ascorbic personality. The Hispanic community also fascinated her. She told me to be silent whenever a little Spanish kid went by with his family. The Tibetan’s prediction may or may not have come true. One time I saw her reach her little arms up to the sky and I started to cry for him.

Raymond Ramos had survived the Vietnam War as a ground troop soldier. A lot of Hispanics went to war that were a part of my generation. It was only much later that we began to have these cool Hollywood stars of Spanish descent. My favorite male actor is Ernie Hudson who was the evil Conquistador in Christopher Columbus.

After Lama Rinchen and I were gone and His Holiness had passed away, his son, my friend, His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche and His Holiness’ family took over the Center on 16th Street. The Oracle of Lhadak, Choji Tulku taught there for a while and they went back and forth to their center in the South of France which was sponsored by diamond dealers. I heard about it. The students slept in tents. The big house was for the Lamas. Naturally, some of the women attempted to push their way into affairs with His Eminence and Choji Tulku in order to get access to the house. Tracey Chapman lured the Lamas in by becoming their chauffeur. She had her own car. Nancy Newman Nichols who stood at nearly six feet tall Tracey Chapman, who was from Colorado succeeded in getting into the beds of the Oracle of Lhadak and His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche. Nancy even got in with His Holiness’ daughters, Chimee and Tsering.

This continued to go on with Nancy Nichols Newman in New York and she would camp out in her car which was so mysterious to me because I was so hard up for money and she had this beautiful car. And she never seemed to complain about anything to do with money. Nancy slept out in her car on 16th Street. Then I had heard rumors that another beautiful woman from the Bahamas who was a teacher at Fashion Industries High School had also made love in the car with His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche’s French assistant. Finally he had gotten her pregnant and she had a rosy cheecked little boy. This car was kind of the love tryst car, but in any event, I bumped into Nancy in the home furnishings section at Bloomingdales. And she said that she wanted to have a big mirror in her life. Then Nancy, who threw open the windows during the coldest winter night at one of our teachings in the prayer room. The icy cold air came in and froze everybody in the middle of winter. She was the recipient of the worst karma in the history of mankind.

She insisted on sleeping in her car. One awful night, somebody cut her throat. She ran and ran to try to get help and she collapsed in between two cars. I think she drove her car a little and crashed it. And she couldn’t get into the Center because they didn’t let her in. Maybe they were tired of her ringing the doorbell. I had left and gotten a job and an apartment as soon as Lama Rinchen left. I hadn’t forced my way into the arms of an of the other Lamas.

There was a brief interlude with Khenpo Tsewang when I was breaking up with Lama Rinchen where I let him touch me. I needed to transfer my feelings onto someone else that I loved and respected. It was once and only one minute of fondling. Secondly, I had His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche examine me for any infections. He is a Tibetan doctor.

What had really happened was that a psychotic had been working in the High School across the street, Javier High School. He stabbed her in the neck one night with a screwdriver. He was a Hebrew man, not a Catholic.

Later, when he was caught for dressing up as a fireman and creating a fire in a building of an old girlfriend, coming up to her apartment and taking her hostage, he ran away. He went into hiding in another state and there was a manhunt out for him. When he finally was found, he stabbed himself repeatedly in the neck. Nancy had been his first victim.

It was the end of an era for us. I had lost Lama Rinchen and Nancy had lost her life. Faye had a baby boy, a good job and was strong and healthy. I was entering into the 1980’s which was for me the beginning of twenty years of working in front of a computer because even though I had an art teaching license, which was hard earned, there were no jobs in my field. I would have needed to have gone for my Master’s.

As I worked and returned home to my humble life on 106th Street I remembered the loft living in glamorous Soho. They were basically commercial spaces that got artists’ coding. When you get into really modern residential architecture, I’m not sure whether structures like Guggenheim Bilbao are really just ornamental on the roofs or are as unusually shaped as the inside of the Guggenheim Museum.

I’m thinking of catacombs and wine cellars in medieval times or rustic homes like Viking’s homes or the Iron Age homes in the Swiss Alps. When you get into modern architecture, I guess you immediately go back to the architecture of antiquity and pre-history. I think of Vito Acconci’s doing these kind of like capsules that are in the water in Vienna, Austria or skateboarding ramps in Puerto Rico.

While Fluxus and Dadaism made more sense to architects like Philip Johnson in his Post-Modernist buildings, during the 20th century we blamed bad leadership for every mistake we ourselves made. We really had a hard time respecting freedom and rather than trying to decipher our own art world in a more comprehensive way we rejected artists. While in New York City, which became a great new city in the late 1920’s, we were relocating its natives to outlying areas and building superhighways through it, transportation became the art and architecture of the mid-20th century for the great cities of the world.

The people in the Soviet controlled countries almost gave a sigh of relief not to have to be disturbed by exploring the deep inroads of their minds. They were readymade superstars anyway. The imperfect people of the free countries were then pacified by the boob tube, the television that had just been invented and distracted them from personal responsibility with shows such as “I Love Lucy” and “The Lone Ranger.”

One has to look at things from the top and have a more worldly perspective if one is forced to confront winning and losing in a rigged situation. We wouldn’t have had any 20th century art if everything was normal. We’d all be painting flowers.

Here in America things were pretty dismal. By creating a more homogenous society we prepared for the eventuality of a new age where corporations ruled and philanthropic leaders emerged, their brilliant professional strides and good relationships with people becoming a quintessential component for international diplomacy.

Maybe the uplifting of censorship will bring back the figurative in art. That may be something that only the outsider artists have taken on. They have an almost religious meaning to New Yorkers as can be seen by our latest Whitney Biennial starring Daniel Johnson, a self-schooled outsider artist from Waller, Texas.

This pragmatic separatism, Diane Arbus-like nationalism, I can barely stand it, especially when one has the foresight to understand the larger picture from the point of view of one in the substrata. One who actually had a normal capacity to feel, did not actually live in a small box, a plastic reality nor one dreamt up by delusional thinking.

If you get into the underlying civilizations that are duty bound with paranoia, one begins to study the reason why we permitted people to push us over. It was a part of our being pragmatists about democracy. In terms of separatist ideology, it has no place in international affairs. The Monroe Doctrine doesn’t work anymore not in a modern society, and especially not in the art world!

Americans must be looking towards Russia and scratching their heads, maybe thinking the Russians or even the Soviets cared for their people a little bit more. And then the hypocritical, hidden European aristocracy are very drawn to having an uneven playing board. They figure we’ll seem rebellious and they’ll get off the hook. When in fact, we’re being subordinated by their hidden funds and uncannily successful artists, it appears that they have won the battle, when their artists never had to struggle or compete.

They love banal, alternative environments because then they don’t have to sweat or do any real thinking about culture. Putting up these giant, massive steel walls and barricades in order to feed their muses is so seductive.

New York played into the fastlane. Media addiction in New York became the lure of the “free world.” It destroyed the Russian ballet dancers, Nureyev and Gudenov. It provided what at first appeared to be an escape from the working class, when in fact like Romans at the Coliseum, we sat and watched the true artists self-destruct.

Manhattanites resided on a thirteen-mile stretch amidst all of these spectacular skyrises. During the 20th century New York was to surpass Paris and London, but without the stigmatization that occurred in the Europe left behind. It would be a free city in a great country, a reward for all of our suffering.

As modernism took hold in the 1920’s, it had a positive as well as a negative effect on the art world. On the one hand, it was a panacea for the Old World in the sense that it objectified the environment and was more streamlined. It taught basic methods of understanding classical art that became as addictive to the insiders as gambling.

On the other hand, there were dictatorial elements that came in and tried to control the business end of the art world so that it became impossible to penetrate it.

Klara’s suspiciously bought Ph.D. was written doing lap dancing on Richard Serra’s lap. Ph.D’s in Art History do not exist even today, let alone on a Minimalist sculptor in the late 1970’s. She wasn’t even trying to do art! She was just posing in front of his “Tilted Arc” like an alpha bitch.

Certainly, Ron Gorchov would never have been born if it were not for the flamboyant 1930’s and his flamboyant father and lovely mother. Through all of this, women seem to be a great mystery to men. Men try to live in a world protected by materialism and beauty. They may have inner turmoil and conflicts about their mothers if their mothers were suicidal like Richard Serra’s.

Sadly and ironically, the Children’s Museums of the City of New York seem to be the perfect place for artists like William Wegman and Elizabeth Murray whose art appealed to children. She has kept me out for years. Judy Pfaff asked me how I handled it at Kiki Smith’s show at Pace Wildenstein. Someone said Elizabeth and her young parents rode the subways when she was little and had no where to live and nothing to eat. When I began my career, my first show at the Clocktower had Kandinsky-like running paintings. They were Smithson-like spirals. I had circular canvases fabricated, and aluminum hoops, which were nailed tangentially to them.

I remember in 1978 I visited the loft Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe was staying in. He asked me if I wanted his child. I was warned not to get too familiar with Alexander by Ron Gorchov who got down on his knees and cried like a baby. I was impressed. So, I didn’t.

He said that there was nothing to do in Bochum, which at that time was called West Germany, except to go swimming. They had no art openings. When it was time for Ron to return home, Alexander threw him out of the car and made him walk to the airport.

I listened to Ron about Alexander, but that didn’t mean I particularly felt more for Ron than I did for Alexander. The limited period of time I did get to spend with Alexander meant the entire world to me. It was in a modern loft building next door to the dilapidated bank building I was crashing in and to me it was up in the clouds. The loft had windows on all four sides and was so renovated and modern that it felt atmospheric. I showered there quickly. Alexander didn’t quite get the total sacrifice I had made toward art. He showed me the antique grey patchwork quilt he had purchased for one of his pregnant girlfriends. He asked me what we should do. I touched him on his backside gently and said nothing.

He got angry with me because I made fun of one of his friends who we met the previous evening. She had very dark hair and was wearing a cape. I said that I thought she looked kind of weird and he answered, “No weirder than you.” I was crushed. That was our last visit. I remember waving goodbye to him and Klara as they drove off in a taxi on West Broadway. They weren’t aware of what I had gone through or what I would have to go through in the coming years.

I think that there are also problems, which relate to certain conceptual artists’ attitudes towards the old Soviet art world, making jokes about Soviet art or they call it Sots art. I think they’re trying to stigmatize the Russian for the 21st century and I don’t really understand stigmatizing groups.

It’s always children who are forced to do something mindbending in history. My work is born from my childhood but it is not limited to the Children’s Museum or to Little Red Schoolhouse like Elizabeth Murray and William Wegman’s work is. When I taught curatorial class at the Museum School, a middle school in Chelsea, the 6th grade class and Principal and teachers had the students give tours of the museum’s contemporary art.

The Museum School works in conjunction with the Planetarium, whose Director is the famous Black actress, Cicely Tyson’s brother, the Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Children’s Museums. New York’s museums become the children’s classrooms.

The curators get the kids involved in interactive curatorial projects where they have hands on experiences with the art of antiquity as well as with modern art. As with all New York City schools, they also must fulfill their curriculum requirements in math and science.

They were desperate for information and the school wasn’t providing it until I showed up to my Alma mater and I went up to bat. The schools across New York State are now being audited for failing to report violent incidents. Parents are being denied correct information, the state comptroller, Alan Hevesi said. Thousands of incidents occur each year and merely one hundred are reported. White Plains High Schools are inundated with violent incidents, intimidation, harassment and persistently dangerous conditions.

Mr. Evans, who was the security guard at Art & Design High School, my alma mater, was the first person I met when I entered the school. I asked him how it was there, and he gave me a misleading tip that if I wanted to stay there, I would have to control the class, not let the kids run out of the room, and not bother him when he was reading the newspapers.

This sculptress lady upstairs at the High School of Art & Design with her big studio right in the middle of the school was having a secret affair with Mr. Lackey according to the gossip. He was the Dean and she saved her own job that way.

Joseph Amadiz went downstairs to Mr. Lackey’s office to write up a Complaint of Corporal Punishment. I went to see Mr. Leon, the Dean of Social Studies, who helped me by getting Dujan Muse into his office at which point I told Dujan that he didn’t get Joseph off my back I would write him up for what he did and they would have him suspended. Subsequently, the state juvenile law changed, and it would be more like jail.

Ultimately after the Faculty Show, a new program following my orders to improve the commercial quality of the color modulations of their work, a new Principal who looks just like me, but wasn’t an artist, and many subsequent unannounced visits from the UFT, things calmed down. I am heartened that I was able to help the kids with their art. It was volatile and obscene. They were primal and thirsty for real help. I had it immediately once I was allowed to exhibit my art in the Faculty Show.

I had no idea that the high school kids at the school, the home to many rough art students from the ghetto, the projects, and worse were like piranhas, trying to surmount and gather inside information about the art world which would help them in the future. What they were encountering instead were liaisons and sexual affairs of teachers and administrators who were bathing in their own egos.

I didn’t know what was going on, but I beaurocratically tried to feel out cognitive lesson plans that were meant to stimulate the students and the administrators and make them solve the New York City art kids’ dilemmas.

It was just that I wanted to teach the students, who were gifted in art, art history to try to develop their sense of self-confidence as young artists and involve them in what I was doing.

These kids looked like gang members and even had metal fangs glued to their teeth or braces, being around as large and muscular as heavy weight boxers are. They roamed the halls going in and out of classrooms at their own discretion. The High School of Art & Design, which was my high school, had become dilapidated.

It had no working escalators and seven floors of art studios, many of which had no chairs or desks and this, existed on luxurious property at Second Avenue and 57th Street. The Principal, who was relieved of her duties after this happened was a bald old lady with a hair net who thought she knew about discipline, but was incompetent. The first incident took place on April 24th, 2002 on the fifth floor in a large shady room with no chairs, only desks and that’s all. Donna Lewis, who is an architecture teacher on the seventh floor, had advised me not to open any windows because the police had been called when recently a freshman threw a book out and hit a passerby.

I took over for Mr. Ray’s class. Mr. Ray, at the time was painting small cityscapes. He is an African American. I talked about an African curator that had been chosen by Documenta’s panel (which is an art fair in Kassel, Germany which goes on every few years), to go all over the world and find artists.

He bypassed mainstream countries and chose places not usually visited by curators from the west such as Africa, China, Mexico, and India. He must have been advised to go to out of their way for contemporary art rather than come to New York, or major American cities.

They didn’t want that. This caused mayhem in the classroom. The students ganged up on me and I was all alone and said they hated reading and an obnoxious intern named Williamson appeared and stood right in front of me, ignoring me and began to make a silly graffiti cartoon. Immediately, all of these students gathered around him. When I asked him whether he had been assigned to assist in my classroom, he said no. He began to threaten me saying that he would bring me down, and that they would get rid of me. Obviously, he was saving his own skin.

At the Faculty Art Show which ran simultaneously with the yearly student art show, which looked terribly amateurish, even though the students were considered extremely good at art and chosen for this specialized New York City High School. They had to take a test as I had also done. After countless brutal arguments with the students about art, I put in a blow-up on copy paper in black & white.

It was an abstraction, which was a seascape and when it was blown up, the tonalities and the image worked together very well. The other full-time teachers were so enchanted that they hired a colorist from the advertising world to re-colors their imagery into tonalities rather than their angry and violent choices of color. What ended up happening is their work conformed to the sophisticated modalities of the glossies.

Everyone fought with me for the resolution of this art problem. What amazed me was that the faculty actually surmounted the problem after they saw my work. My sailboat painting, which was very monochromatic, yet emotional, was the key to what was bothering the kids. These were such tough artists that they had fangs implanted onto their canine teeth and were of the same body type as Mike Tyson. These kids roamed the seven-story school and didn’t attend classes. The escalators didn’t work and there were no chairs in the classrooms. Mostly rough Hispanic and Black artist gangs congregated in the empty classrooms and terrorized me.

Yet, I felt a closeness with them and for some bizarre reason, the administrators came through for the students with the monochromatic color classes for commercial art.

In trading a floral painting with one of the psychics in the Village whose grandson, Remy was in my daughter’s fifth grade class; she gave me a full life reading. From the tarot, she saw the first card. She said that I had been a high priest in Egypt during the reign of the Pharaohs.

I had not been a nice person, near to a God, had ordered the dragging of stones in the building of the pyramids, the burying alive of servant girls. The psychic said that in this life I would pay the price. My art would be in turn a stepping stone for humanity to walk over.

She asked me if that upset me and I returned the question. It seems my whole life has been some kind of karmic repayal. Slaves who dragged giant stones up mountains created the Egyptian pyramids. Servants were buried alive with the Pharaohs. In ancient Mayan rituals, redheads’ hearts were cut out. These experiences bind us to the present and with all of our advances, we are still playing out our karma.

In classic painting of the Old World, you were getting into these large naval battles or portraits of aristocratic people. You had your religious paintings or icons, which went into churches. When you have large spaces like palaces, art becomes magnificent and allegorical as with Titian’s chariots and voluptuous women with helmets and horns.

Tibetan art deals with visualization. That is another way of looking at art. While grandiosity and power are what everyone wants, many times the message is oppressive and the image manipulates the viewer. The Tibetans have modified their visual images to fit into our minds. They do this by drafting and measurements that date back to the beginning of Tibetan Buddhism. They have archetypal charts for creating visualizations and deities that not only refer back to the founders of their religion, but also are gods of the sky.

It is said that if you are born facing the Himalayan Mountains, you will have a beautiful face. Their cloud formations and sunsets formed their deities’ colors. Tara can be green, red or white. All have beautiful faces and are framed in halos. Their hands are fully realized and making specific, all knowing gestures.

Studying Tibetan Buddhist art had a profound influence on me. It is the art of an individual and not an entire studio. Each painting has specific measurements and takes the artist on a pilgrimage into their future lives as a Bodhisattva, or a compassionate being.

Art as a form of Buddhist meditation didn’t mean only studying tanka painting. It was more about a retreat where I was able to experiment and not focused on selling my work. I needed to verify and recapitulate all of the ideas I had learnt from Ron Gorchov and the Minimalists.

It was a very time consuming process and was so fascinating that I actually lived in a blanket like the Tibetan Buddhist monks. I’m sure that was how they began to wear their robes. The process of attaining enlightenment is one where you are more interested in secret wisdom than in public life.

With art, I was privy to the inner sanctum of the art world with Ron and he was a link to everyone. The final destination is to become free of samsara, and to radiate so much love and compassion that all sentient beings are calm and feel secure. I think if we are going to not feel secure, we had better have great art. That doesn’t mean larger than life art. What it means is alive art. We need art that goes further than just our physical being. Our bodies are part of who we are, but we need to be able to share ourselves with future generations.

Many artists prefer that their work gets lost or that they become tragediennes. Others copy living artist’s lives and try to be more fashionable about it. Sometimes, they are better at being a living artist than the real artist is, but that is only in the movies. The famous movie Alec Guiness starred in was called “The Horse’s Mouth.”

It was a hilarious depiction of an artist from the 1950’s, which was a slapstick comedy. Many of the old British movies were funnier than real life. They spoofed the mob or the contemporary art world in such a priceless way that they righted all of the wrongs that had come before them.

Nothing can ever come close to The Lavender Hill Mob or Arsenic and Old Lace. These were the art forms that sufficed for all of the phony stuff that was going on in the art world at that time. The British art scene has been very prevalent during the later half of the 20th century. Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud spiced things up a bit.

Somehow, while they are extremely famous, their art seems racked with blood and guts and doesn’t really admit as to how overblown their egos really are. I am not sure how they are going to be viewed in the future because they don’t fully commiserate with the art world which for many is a pseudoscience and yet has a tremendous effect on history. Whether or not the Brit’s non-conformism is enough or is too similar to the Roman Catholics because they pay lip service to the experimental, but don’t leave themselves in a vulnerable place.

Rather, they expose their inner selves as tough male artists who show it as a self-indulgent and bourgeoisie world. For example, why was Francis Bacon not seen as a second generation Abstract Expressionist like Ron Gorchov was? Was it because he was English and so his critics were able to manage his career better?

He became the Wilhelm DeKooning who stayed behind, and thus, wasn’t this ugly little dwarf, but was rather part of this cool clique of modern day Anglo-Saxons. He gave the art market a little British bounce.

I’m not saying this is wrong, but how does this play out worldwide? Doesn’t it look a little bit like Baywatch babe, Pamela Anderson boozing it up? Does great art emerge out of suffering and misfortune? I think so. Otherwise, how do you feel anything? What do you feel when you look at a Lucien Freud of a nude couple in England with their genitals showing?

Maybe I’m childlike, but I’d rather look at something more nostalgic and moody. English social realism, even by Lucien Freud doesn’t help me reach enlightenment. It excites a part of me that wants to see my parents together and lying in bed transformed into English people. This helps me to solve my problems. I still feel guilty about my animal instincts. I feel inadequate. English art doesn’t help me in the long run because I don’t live in England. I’m not part of their norm. I have to subordinate myself in this culture constantly because I’m not rich, my relationships are not compatible with my parents and like many Americans, they are in retreat from the city.

Here, we are not all Aphrodites and Ganymede, the Trojan Prince whose beauty enchanted Zeus. Our mythology stems from our being a part of the New World. We came here by sea. We were part of a peyote culture of magic mushrooms and our European natures were evaporated into these native lands which we died in, having never lived.

Our street culture remained the same throughout the centuries. Whether it be renegade slaves or poverty-stricken refugees from Europe, we lost our heritages before they even started to grow. The weather here in New York alone with its remnant

hurricane storms, muggy summers and long winters doesn’t permit anyone to form an identity.

Naturally, our poor are the true arbiters of international fashion and the arts. Whatever the bourgeoisie interposes upon us, it rarely penetrates. What ignites us is within the debates that are going on about art, and unfortunately, we aren’t part of the art establishment so whatever occurs within our exploration stays hidden.

Many Europeans who come here want to be materialists and compete with their bourgeoise lifestyles where they don’t do any work. It’s very depressing to be ignored and lied to year after year. They are unwilling to even make studio visits. They have no interest in what people are thinking here. We are meaningless to them.

I wandered by Bijan Royal on my way to Strand’s bookstore. It is a huge antique store with a giant metal filigree gate in the front of the building. I walked inside. An attractive woman dealer sat at a large old desk and behind her an accounting team. Nissan Bijan, a large Persian man was talking to them. A young woman was anxiously standing around. On my left was a 5-foot oval pastel of Marie Antoinette period. It showed a young woman and her lover playing with each other’s hands and embracing.

She had a tiny corseted waist and a little beauty mark on her forehead. It was water damaged and a rusty colored stain flowed through the bottom of the pastel.

The giant shop was filled with gorgeous antiques and chandeliers as well as with small murals in oil. I asked Mr. Bijan if I could restore the pastel for him in exchange for the pastels. I told him that I was an artist and was interested in exhibiting my paintings there. He allowed me to restore the pastel.

I went to Utrecht and bought Sennelier pastels in the correct colors. I sat my miniature poodle down on a little satin settee while I worked. I had never used pastels before. I had heard about Kitsy Winslow taking a course on pastel at the National Academy of Art. Her work was perfect, but too complex for my taste. It came out almost perfectly in the Western style. Naturally, Mr. Bijan would have preferred it if I had translated it into the Persian style, which is stylized and flat. Pastels must have been used to underplay the grandiose size issue.

My Russian grandmother, Helen used to sit for hours and copy African sculpture. Everyone thought she was an amateur, but I think in her mind that she was very involved with art to do that.

The relics that they found in Canaan were cat statues. Those must have belonged to Egyptians. The African art that is sold in the flea markets around New York are redone within their tribal tradition over and over again. The people that are portrayed in some of the statuettes are extremely beautiful, and equivalent to the funeral statues of the Pharaohs. They are even more adorable.

I heard rumor that the New Testament was written by Hellenistic Jews. What proof do we have that the Hebrews came out of Egypt and escaped from slavery? I’ve never seen any proof except for the Old Testament. When I look at the slave boats from that period, I find nothing except that the faces carved into the wood are African and not even Ethiopian, which psychically gives me the feeling that there were not really Hebrew slaves. Maybe they were consultants on farming.

Certainly, once King Solomon and King David began their reigns, the used written words as well as art to define their culture. Their scribes may have felt the need to redefine their new cycle in terms of past slavery in order to break the bonds with the past. They may have resorted to this method as propaganda which along with Monotheism put the word of fear into the Israelites that they needed to flee from Egypt because there their people were in bondage.

When my mother, Audrey returned to work as a textile designer during the time I was seeing Ron Gorchov, she met several artists. Janice Klein was from Pittsburgh and strived to become an interesting person from New York. That wasn’t possible because no matter how good she was at textile design and no matter how presentable her marriage was, she couldn’t find work.

The situation for older women, baby boomers became very difficult after 2000. There was across the board prejudice. It was a plague in itself. Luckily, we have a great social welfare system here.

Poor people get better medical coverage than the middle class does. I don’t know what had infected her. I only saw her briefly coming out of her chiropractor. She told me about how she had built giant birdsnests throughout the forest upstate.

Unfortunately, she didn’t live to apply to Chesterfield, Massachusetts or some of the other institutions that give grants to sculptors to do installations out of doors. That is where Daniel Chesterfield created the Lincoln Memorial.

The sculptress, Janice Klein, who was perfect and had a head of hair of pure gold curls soon died from ovarian cancer.

In the old paintings, the female nude fascinates both the priests and the generals. She is so emotional and imperfect. Her fleshy form is so immodest. There is huge power in this. The priest wants to become like her. The general wants to remove her pain. Neither god nor man is capable of making possible her recovery.

I think having taken LSD, I lost whatever remnants I had of being a “doll” or of innate self-defense that I had. My inner self emerged and I no longer could defend myself by being self-absorbed or in a hot-tempered mood. I was speechless and my words were even suspect. Ron Gorchov helped me a little by encouraging me to speak because he was interested in those words, and in that culture that I came from. I understood complete silence and the fabrication of one’s identity by the nature of one’s speech which was molded from one’s voice and also from a fund of ideas that were a part of one’s matter. With Ron, I could not speak and absorbed his paints, his loft, his smell of old wool and it wasn’t about me. I was his apprentice.

Most of the successful artists had family money or had been given grants out of Canada, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. After Joan Mondale there was no grant money in the States. Tax shelters were the key. The art was not supposed to sell, but rather was to be taken as a loss.

Ads in the art world equaled art critics writing about them. Most art criticism, including the great art critics like David Sylvester in his book, “About Modern Art” sound incoherent and like poetry. Some art dealers who are a little more righteous, and specialize in the 1970’s mostly exhibit naked men with exposed genitals or anti-Republican paintings with large genitals winding around some politician they dislike or another. Abstract Expressionism is the God, but rarely if ever do you find well-done paintings. Mostly, when you want to see something good, you are force fed the dealer’s psychosis.

Mother knew that Wayne was attracted to her because she was above his culture’s inner sensibility. She also knew that if she coalesced and allowed Wayne’s sister, Judy to feel good, that she would fall back into her elitist behavior. My mother, Audrey understood how the founding father’s daughters acted. Mother had never taken hallucenogenics and was raised during the Depression on Manhattan isle itself. She felt akin to the city. My only problem with her was that it was always about her. If it became about me, then she felt it was too much. She couldn’t control it. So, she would periodically trump up some cause to get rid of me.

I fell into my creativity whenever she rejected me. It left me more open to appreciating different forms of art than my own. You had a pretty sister to back you up. My sister was taken from me. My neighbors were afraid to cross the street because of Christine, that big German girl who stood beside me in her place.

I had no one behind me to take up the slack, no sisters to think of. So, when you misunderstood my illness and rejected me, it felt as though I was motherless. Maybe with all of those sisters, you had somewhere to turn to when your mother rejected you.

Now many years later, your older sister passed away, and now your favorite sister is sick. Is art really enough of a thing to take refuge in? Maybe when you’re 5 years old it is, but when you grow up, you want a career at least, not to be cast away by someone who doesn’t even care about art, but just wants to party like Dash Snow.

I could see from the time I was a child that I wouldn’t have a chance to be in charge of my own destiny. It reminds me of a situation where at every direction you’re trapped by a goalie who is working for the enemy, only it’s your mother. She’s on their side.

I drove my mother crazy too because of this sexual revolution and AIDS epidemic. I wasn’t a narcissist and didn’t understand my illness either. I wasn’t protecting myself by marrying a professional who could support me. This was because during the sexual revolution no one was allowed to enhance his or her natural looks through plastic surgeries and I was too fragile.

Some art dealers who are a little more righteous, and specialize in the 1970’s like Mitchell Algus mostly exhibit naked men with exposed genitals by mother’s old friend, Anita Steckel. Her anti-Republican paintings with large snakes winding around some politician they dislike or another are beautifully executed but seriously “sick.” Abstract Expressionism is the God, but rarely if ever do you find well-done paintings. Mostly, when you want to see something good, you are force fed the dealer’s psychosis.

My common-law husband, Andrey Vadimovich Goldin has a fascinating mother. Natalie Ivanova seemed very interesting to me, not just as an architect (architecture being the nemesis of Richard Serra) but also because in her youth, she was more beautiful than Richard Serra’s wife, Klara was. Natalie was Stalin’s Barbie doll, his Varvara or Barbishka.

They had an old dacha in the countryside where they took her sons during their vacations from school. Both Natalie and her husband, Vadim worked full-time. Vadim was a surveyor for the Army and an engineer. Vadim was also a Jew and would eventually take his son, Andrey away, and they would leave Russia forever. It began when Vadim took Andrey to Khazakstan where he worked as a surveyor for the Russian Army. It may have been in those factories that he was exposed to asbestos, which caused him to contract cancer. Andrey said that Soviet prisons were there and as a young boy he watched the prisoners walked in circles for hours. That was how they got their exercise.

Natalie’s first son, Dimitri Dubovsky, whom she had with a famous architect, became a documentary filmmaker and cameraman. He was well known in Moscow. He worked for Gorky Studios. He was killed in 1999 because he was working on a film that had to do with the transition of the KGB into their new secret police.

He was also part of the old Moscow, and became disoriented as things began to change and a new crowd began to appear. Of course, no one is sure what happened, but his body lay in a coffin in the Prefect’s Building in Moscow. His kidneys had been cut out.

And then her second son, Andrey resembles a Joycean character like in Finnegan’s Wake, only being related to anything outside of Russian still makes no sense to him. He still thinks you’re not allowed to buy products that aren’t Russian. You’re not allowed to read James Joyce because he wasn’t from Russia. And you’re even not allowed to be a Joycean character because that’s not a Russian thing.

I don’t know why he still feels that way, but I think it’s because he is schizophrenic, and I suspect he suffers from an inability to shed the old views and be flexible. A lot of schizophrenics can’t handle change. Once perostroika happened and he could be himself, I don’t think he really wanted to. His dream was to be a part of his mother’s entourage. The following is what I think is in his mind as he presents himself to the world.

They lived in the utmost harmony, as with such a Russian mother it was impossible to be otherwise. Yet the brilliant mother was not insensible that his love for her had his foibles; that it did make some excursions; and particularly, that he had one new and favorite mistress which sometimes engrossed him more than she did. His mother could wish, or be easily satisfied with such news.

However, the art world to him was so good, so generous, so truly kind a pursuit, that it never gave him any uneasiness on this account, except so much as he understood what it meant. And he had such a profound respect for it, as did sometimes shock his generous mind, so as to strain his love for her.

Home, as I may call it out near Brighton Beach, it was not long before, perceiving his rejection and absence, that his mother fell into the vortex of one of his most depressing, hypnotic spells. Your mother here! Your mother there! The game of chasing these impetuously violent currents was to no avail. And yet these personal issues, this game of being the hidden. These forever fat faced people driving themselves into the mire running here and there secondary dealing Bruce Naumans in their fancy sneakers.

Aiming mercilessly at Russia. Censorship has lifted. Does that mean that Woman is no longer the subject of the fame? She is older now and has no personal interests. Her only respite is her relationship within the women’s community, that which she scorned and dismissed in the not so distant past. Were we the source of her alimony? Our having had been rejected by this avant-garde world filled with tennis playing art dealers and desperate housewives without any sense of hobbies, interests or morals. Who are they in fact? They were the ones who won the art world booty, but were they also the ceaseless subjects of the male establishment in the art world? What does an uplifting of censorship really mean?

O.K. Russian mother says, “I am a nice person.” “You can portray me as an ape queen if you so wish.” Meanwhile, her son, is a prince of the art world in Moscow. Russia’s version of Kiki Smith appreciates contemporary art because it humiliates mama. Mama, who looked in her youth better than any dirty magazine, was Stalin’s Barbie doll, would have looked like a gorgeous dynamo had she been a young woman now.

Imagine the banality of the real art world! She blows away the collectors, the artists, the men, and the third world. She said so many passionate things to him, lamented that he had left her and gone schizophrenic, but was still the most beautiful son in the world. Maybe the space, the morbidity determines this matter. So then, while on a certain level, she acknowledges the need for openness; she also grasps the reality of the morbidity of power.

Her schizophrenic son was the victim of bad constitution, environment and genetics, would be the most enthusiastic contemporary art collector, and is a Russian. But, alas he has no money. Ruth Martin says they are color coded by now, all of the poor, crazy people that it seems the establishment art world is attracting.

When he is forced to look at his own work, he sees the schizophrenic who terrifies him, and then he sees some kind of a barricade because of the encryptic language. He sees himself barricaded out of things, avoided because of his violence, throwing beer cans at a vendor selling plastic balloon ducks on wooden poles while drunk on West Broadway, nearly 30 years ago. Were all of the art dealers staring at him out the windows of their luxurious galleries? He was that beautiful.

This insultory group of ex-wives and schizophrenic sons heralds in this contemporary art world. They profit from it, and enjoy watching their mother’s punished by it too.

When French Impressionist painting left France, it briefly alit in Russia and then because of the Russian Revolution and the dictatorship that followed it, it came to New York. So the Constructivists influence like Malevich, the influence on painting came to New York and went through various metamorphoses up through my apprenticeship with Ron Gorchov who had been John Graham’s apprentice.

The avant-garde artists weren’t popular in Russia. So, they left and immigrated to New York. John Graham was a sort of prophetic person in the evolution of the art scene through the Ash Can School, the WPA Period and then finally into the Abstract Expressionism movement. I was the youngest Abstract Expressionist artist of all. It is what I know and what I can teach. My process of discovery spanned many years and culminated in my becoming a regional artist who showed on Bleecker Street under an assumed name. I was the woman who lived across the street. I was the one who exhibited my work alongside mug shots from the time of Al Capone.

I shared my gallery with a tailor. Oddly enough, the rent was $12,000 per month. We were in the heart of the tourist district in Greenwich Village and we owned the street. I was also part of the upper echelon of art directors and well to do Villagers. My problem was that I didn’t know what I was doing, or where to land my plane. The flight of my mind hovered and circled the ground. Was I Lenin’s child? Should I reaffirm my love of the 19th century? Maybe I was Big Sister. Should I paint my father’s hundreds of images of Istanbul’s pink and orange harbor? Should I redo Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock as 17th century Dutch figures in a painting? Alana Heiss at P.S. 1 would not consider my sailboats avant-garde. They were brilliant $10 paintings and good for quick sales and getting groceries. Actually, when I think of it, the person I have always loved the most is my mother. Maybe I am the media machine’s Big Sister.

I am a mini-version of the cows that existed in Hell’s Kitchen. I work well on television and am familiar with being hunted down by every intelligence organization on the planet, merely having grown up within such a milieu.

CHAPTER SEVEN

Transition

Upon my return from my Tibetan Buddhist Retreat, Lama Rinchen had arranged with Saul Braun, who was one of his favorite students to let me stay at his giant rent-controlled apartment off Riverside Drive in exchange for paintings. Naturally, in my mind I always saw things as permanent, even when a sensible person wouldn’t have. I was deeply in love with Lama Rinchen at that time and still very attracted to him.

When I went to look at the room, I knocked on the apartment door. A strikingly cute young girl in boy’s pajamas brushing her teeth with tons of curls falling down her face in all shades of blond, red and brown answered the door. She said her name was Madonna. I introduced myself. She had a military quality to her actions and turned on her little heels and with a tough little voice told me that the room was at the far end of the apartment down this long hall. Her room was to the right. There were other girls renting rooms there. One worked at the shoe department at Henri Bendel’s who she liked a lot. The other one worked for the City of New York in some unknown capacity.

The room was a square. I loved the shape of the room. Madonna’s room was much larger and had a lot of clothes all over the place. She was going out during the day and recording at the Music Building and at night was making the scene at Danceteria and at other clubs in the East Village. She had a tall, blond boyfriend who she tried to keep at arm’s length because he was such a puppy dog and was always invading her space.

She had big blue eyes like Frank Sinatra. All of the young women would sit at the kitchen table and comment on the gossip magazines. At that time there were many soap stars who were hot. She was trying to find her persona and couldn’t decide if she wanted to be the central protagonist or “the other woman.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at all. I only knew the central protagonist. That was it.

What I learned during the time I apprenticed with Ron was how to use paint and apply color on large areas. I experimented with color on an abstract level, yet I began to be fearless about light and color theory. I think I completely grasped Abstract Expressionism, thereby enabling me to reconnect with classical art in a new way.

I think that Native American artists, who were the inspiration for American Abstract Expressionism, also understand color on a level where they combine colors and shapes in a metaphysical way. Maybe for them it was during their heyday before their cultures were disrupted in the Nineteenth century. Certainly, in their crafts their great sense of color can be seen.

For me, being a part of this culture has been very metaphysical. This has become a culture of death where fallen cultures have burial grounds and dislocated peoples of Europe have congregated, yet are not sure of their roots. Societies have changed and been annhialated.

Some of us, like for example, the French Canadians are still speaking in Medieval French tongue and when they come down at Christmas time from their Appalachia to sell Christmas trees, they too bring with them their art community. They have a drug culture up there of Marijuana and have Rastofferian hair. They look and speak like the old French from Medieval times.

I think American art has been dealt a harsh blow by modernism. We certainly have been influenced by the Industrial Revolution, but our claim to fame has not to do with the industrialization of America as much as it has to do with the ghosts of the New World and the depravity of the Old World. Somewhere caught in the middle of these two worlds, lies the true American art.

Will Guy Hensen, an American Indian artist, lived through the Abstract Expressionists , the Pop Artists, and the Minimalists. He was an American Indian who also went to the Cedar Bar. He hung out at Fanelli’s year after year, talked to the other local artists, and catered to the German women tourists who began coming around during the 1980’s.

They loved coming into his cockroach-infested apartment, having sex with a Cherokee Indian artist after clubbing in the East Village. And the upper classes did the same thing, slumming and buying their way in, especially with mediocre, untried artists. Luckily this is the turn of the century and something as cataclysmic as that has a stronger power than any amount of money.

We were living in a Jim Crow America during the 1950’s where the Klu Klux Klan were marching on the other side of the country and the American Dream was on an upward swing strengthening them. With cheaper foreign labor, America began to slow down a little.

Still, the upper classes in America were unwilling to grasp the Bermuda triangle-like vibrations which are a part of the reality here for many people. We may be a welfare society, but we still have a new culture which isn’t the case in post-War Europe. They had a rebuilding of war torn Europe but didn’t sink or swim the way we did culturally. Here being a tourist attraction wasn’t more important than the spirit of our country’s past.

Worthington Winslow sat in a high chair in one of the most sprawling mansions in New York City. His Jamaican nanny fed him mashed bananas. He was a cheerful little bundle of joy and was all smiles. His mother, Kitsy had huge inheritances coming in from all sides. Her family had owned the Meat Market District in Washington, D.C. They were in the Norwegian Diplomatic Corps. on the other end.

There were gigantic beach houses in Rehobeth Beach, Maryland all around with those Southern willow trees and gargoyles carved into the wood. The porch furniture went through every decade from the turn of the century, through the 1920’s and on and on. The wicker furniture was large and gorgeous.

His older brother, Wayne went to Riverdale Country School and dealt drugs. His slightly older sister, Bryn wandered up and down the stair of the venerable home with her nose dripping. Her older sister, Caren resided in a large, naturally lit room. The antique wallpaper accentuated her childlike beauty. She was anorexic.

Caren was a passionate chef and sculpted terra cotta shells around poultry, baking it to perfection in the elegant stove and then breaking open the clay to reveal buttery chicken. We shopped in the children’s department at Macy’s although Caren was a teenager. She was an avid ballerina. Her body was as small as a child’s.

We put on little skis and tried to ski down to the Hudson River. Behind her house in Fieldston there was a little hill down to the water. It had too many rocks and shrubs. When we came into the house, Worth would be there and Bryn.

When we moved to Riverdale, mother discovered an antique shop up the street. It was one of two antique shops in the area and was owned by Jet Wachtel, and Carly Simon’s mother, Mrs. Simon. Both women lived in mansions in Fieldston. Mother soon had taken over the shop. At first she put in consignment pieces which were faux finished Victorian furniture. Penwood was her source. Penwood was located on the upper Eastside.

She created a faux finish workshop in the basement and covered everything she could with lapis lazuli and malachite finishes as well as antique finishes on interesting colors which she used in unison with her distressing techniques. She became well known in the neighborhood and one of her clients was Kitsy Winslow.

They became best friends. Kitsy was a very talented artist. She was studying at the Art Student’s League with Frank Mason. She was learning a lot and producing moving paintings and pastels with soft, tearful light. Kitsy was married to Roger Euster. Roger ran what would be then sold to the Philmore East. It was called the Village Theatre at that time and was located in the East Village. Roger also began radical movie theatres like the Bijou and the Elgin. He used Kitsy’s money to do that.

My father worked at the Port Authority, which was on Eighth Avenue and 15th Street. Nearby was the Elgin. Roger and my father also became good friends and had many a meal together at Asia de Cuba. Both men were antagonistic toward their wives and tried to get rid of them whenever they came to visit.

During the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, my mother, who was then in her thirties, was fascinated by the rhetoric.

Eric Solomon was Black and knew about sex. He was also Jewish. One of his daughters went to Riverdale Country School. His wife, Lila attended all of the events at the school. They lived in a charming little home in a little alcove near the public school. He worked as a Detective on the ferry to Staten Island.

Mother and Christine’s mother rented a little garden apartment. Eric helped mother with the refinishing in his spare time. He taught her about sex. She knew nothing about it. Father was in love with the New York Times and fell asleep in his leather chair every night since their first night of marriage. He would also fall in love with one of the women who ventured into the antique store. Her name was Faith.

Faith was half-Irish and half-Latvian and was in the vicinity of Gwenyth Paltrow and Blythe Danner in terms of her womanliness and glamour. She fit in more easily with his crowd at work. She was charming and fun, and not that complicated. Father introduced her to Jerry Spencer, a wealthy colleague, and she married him. He died suddenly from a heart attack and she and my father got together.

The kids at the Euster/Winslow household grew up and Bryn had her marriage at St. Thomas’ church on 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue. The wedding party was at the Warwick Hotel nearby, the one that Moondoggie used to stand in front of. He was this man who dressed up like a Viking and never spoke.

Oddly enough, Kitsy refused to pay for the wedding. This was the beginning of the end of her favorite child, Worth. Roger didn’t show up at his daughter’s wedding. The kids couldn’t understand why. Throughout all this, began a wave of theories about how everything must be pain-free and none of the grown-up kids should have problems. Similar to the series made for television about the American family, there was a huge gap between what the children were going through and what the parents could handle.

Roger confessed that the reason he didn’t attend the wedding was because he was a Jew. This traumatized Worth. Worth was very upset. He had assumed that he would be well taken care of and that he wouldn’t have to beg for money from his mother.

As a teenager Bryn was also very confused by the stringency which her mother enforced, which was so out of character with the amount of money they had grown up with. She also made a scene and was kidnapped and raped one summer, ending up in the projects in the Bronx.

The older son became a drug dealer. It was only Caren who joined the Army and studied medicine, becoming a doctor for NASA. She married another doctor and moved away. That was it. She didn’t keep in contact with her family.

Worth, on the other hand, felt that the reason he wasn’t doing well was because he was an outsider. He knew absolutely nothing about the Jews and felt that he wasn’t a part of the New York Jewish Society. He began to become obsessed with Judaism and became a fanatic about observing Jewish law. He called me up and asked to come over.

Had I known that he was as disturbed as he was, I wouldn’t have seen him because he soon hung himself. I was in the process of applying for Social Security Disability. I had also had a very rough time in the job market. This was mainly because I had a high rent, and had no housing options open to me because I couldn’t go home in an emergency.

I had struggled between jobs, and because of my illness, and the changing situation in the corporate world, I struggled to keep up with the technology. I kept having to take refresher courses. I couldn’t read the personnel vibes because I wasn’t in my true profession. I was out of touch with what was going on. I didn’t know when to call or when to smile. I was only working as a secondary career to my art career.

Luckily, I had been able to work as a secretary for long periods of time. My last job lasted nine years. The other job was for around five years. In between I had several interesting jobs as well.

Worth was also having trouble. He had grown up with computers and understood them. He had authority problems. Whenever he expressed his opinion, he was treated badly. He couldn’t understand why he had such an overbearing attitude.

He was unable to express his feelings to his mother. She, on the other hand, had remarried Martin Priest. Martin was an actor who was so opinionated and argumentative that Lee Strasburg had rejected him year after year from getting into his school. He had to be in their adjunct program. He became a cult movie star in a movie, which was reconstituted at Canne about a Jewish gangster from Long Island.

Kitsy adored Martin. She couldn’t understand that her kids were languishing in poverty while she lived in the lap of luxury. Her oldest son, Wayne lived in a car. He had kidnapped his Black child from her mother in the Caribbean because she was a drug addict.

Roger had been long gone and had gotten into the sex fetish business. This was common amongst the upper middle class and the wealthy in New York City. The children were unprepared for the corporate world. They had no homes to go back to like the poorer kids. They were usually permitted to return home in between jobs.

The girls from the outer boroughs were hoarding what I found pre-9/11 was that the secretarial jobs. The only way around them was to become an advanced computer person. Then, once you took the more complicated test, anyone could get in. I was so exhausted by the prospect of relearning computers, that I found myself competing for work as a television news transcriber.

I found work near the Natural History Museum working for Peter Jennings’ World News Tonight, Barbara Walters 20/20, Dateline, and CNN amongst other channels transcribing interviews. I had already been a Contributing Editor of COVER/Arts New York and had written long articles on Minimalists for Barbara Rose’s Journal of Art. I worked with a woman who was the Middle East Specialist. She was the granddaughter of the woman from Savannah, Georgia who had been in business with Joseph Kennedy bootlegging liquor.

They were English Catholics who had arrived on the same big ship as the Sephardic Jews who ventured to Savannah and formed their own community there during the 1600’s. She was very unstable, but knew every Russian machine gun used by the Afghanistanian Taliban and the entire priceless vocabulary used in disseminating the news to the public.

To look at the art world and not look the fall of the Austria Hungarian Empire and the obliteration of the Jews of Europe is naive. The emergence of the American Empire, the immigration, the whole issue of the Civil War and the loss by the South and how it effected the 20th century is essential. There are immense pressures upon the different classes by the neuvo riche. Who are the middle and the upper classes in our society? And what does money mean as far as status is measured in a media influenced society? How did Nazism really arise out of a poorer class? Can it reappear with another name lead by another group of people?

And how the inventions of the 20th century by the Krupps and their World War I Big Bertha cannons and the King Gustav machine gun was so effective in annihilating an entire generation of young men. The response of the Russians soldiers in laying down their arms and refusing to fight for the Tsar. The Germans had the advantage, if they were even called Germans then. They were the Austria Hungarians.

The different artisans like Louis Comfort Tiffany with his lack of sensitivity toward the Slavs. The Slavic peoples themselves and the horrible atrocities that occurred to them. The lack of sensitivity toward the Asian peoples and how intelligent everyone knows they are. No matter whatever class they are in, their ability to assimilate is phenomenal.

Their ability to lead the way in terms of their honesty, and their absorption of whatever cultural imbalance may be occurring, just their ability to be open about how they feel is I’m sure as a result of their religion, Buddhism. Our repression and the way that we deal with things when we in the West by getting more competitive, the way we are eternalistic about ourselves and turn ourselves into these kind of endless groups of god-like, demi-god like pagan figures. They have all kind of methods in the East of assimilating all of that. The East’s ability to bounce back and recover is thanks to their being a more homogenous people. They are able to join the status quo and they are still way ahead of the competition.

The fact that the cinema, the movie industry is becoming so unpopular has to do, to a certain degree, with all of the new inventions of the DVD’s and at home paraphernalia where you can rent, or you can buy or download. But it also has to do with the fact that real life is becoming more interesting than the cinema. The story lines are all used up.

I mean when they say that the Bolsheviks came in and they overran the Winter Palace, in fact, soon after people like Kruschev killed 20 million people just from starvation.

At Media Transcripts, our boss was related to Jesse James. I took out the Civil War Series and when it showed a photo of Jesse James I was amazed at the family resemblance. She was married to one of the biggest television news producers in New York and while dyslexic herself, ran the transcription company very well.

We worked on the first Usama Bin Laden tapes. This was the year before September 11th. My father had retired from the Port Authority in 1993 so he had gone through the first attack and had climbed down the 68 floors in the smoky sooty air. A fearless news reporter had parachuted down into Bin Laden’s lair and interviewed him on two occasions. He warned about blowing up the World Trade Center.

As President Bush later said, the news reports were dull and he wasn’t able to get a clear picture about Bin Laden. I’m not sure if Hallburton wasn’t the real rationale behind his confusion. It seemed to me that the investments in oil rigging machinery and oil itself were confusing Bush. Bin Laden was related to important people.

Fundamentalism hadn’t taken hold yet. We were working with a young woman whose father was part of the medical community that met in Iran and were discussing terrorist activities. She fled as soon as the trouble started. She couldn’t even go to school here. She was from Pakistan.

What was confusing to us when we transcribed the news on Bin Laden was that he didn’t kill the reporter. The reporter was able to bring back the news. Later, when Daniel Pearl was beheaded, we understood the nature of the situation. It was very bleak. Of course, we still have only had a few terrorist attacks as compared with the Holocaust where each month 60,000 people were killed. That did not include the war itself, nor the Russian casualties.

The twentieth century was no better than previous centuries in terms of the number of people that died in tragic wars, starvation and genocide.

Another case in point, that innocent children from the upper middle class are placed in a no man’s land of neglect by their families and an inability to communicate with anyone.

An art collector adopted my friend, Deborah Jenney because she was the love child of Chaim Gross, a famous Picassoesque sculptor, and a student he met in Massachusetts during one of his stints there. This avid art collector of Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, and Chaim Gross took the baby in. She adopted six children all born in the same year including Deborah. They lived in One Fifth Avenue. Deborah studied ballet and by the time she was a teenager she was working with Balanchine.

Deborah married Neil Jenney who was a modern artist during the 1970’s. She bore him two kids. She remained married to him for eighteen years and after a brutal divorce was granted his apartment at One Fifth Avenue and a lot of child support and alimony.

Deborah contends that she had little connection with her adopted family and that this extended into her marriage. While Neil Jenney acquired homes in Connecticut and in the Hamptons, and an 11,000 square foot loft in Soho, he beat her and infected her with venereal diseases. He is stoned all of the time and her teenage son is also.

As far as making art goes, Jenney’s paintings sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. He does atmospheric paintings that are very large. He shows with Gagosian Gallery.

Emma Jenney showed her father a small painting I did of a butterfly alighting onto a daisy. It was in the shadows and the colors were purple, black and sunlit. He liked it. He had heard about me, and when Emma told him that her mother had bought so many paintings, he was curious about them.

He didn’t know that we were selling paintings on the street to buy groceries. I had first seen Serena as a small child in the Metropolitan Museum with her Polish nanny, Irina and her husband. I assumed wrongly that Serena was their adopted child. She threw a large rope over a tree at Bleecker Park and because of my illness I envisioned the rope sweeping past me and turning into a deadly noose. I pulled back Heather and Cheyenne and avoided poor little Serena for many years.

Apparently Serena went to Grace Church School, and while she wasn’t making friends there, she became very polished and the next time I saw her was in the dog run. She even had braces on and looked very manicured. She was adopted from Paraguay and her father had been German. I complimented her and she asked about Heather. I felt that she had been well schooled and was safe now. I called Heather who came to the park.

Serena asked if Heather could become her friend. Serena called her real mother who came to meet us at the park. Drucilla Cornell showed up. Drucilla wasn’t what I had expected, but was a hidden treasure. She is a political philosopher and a Constitutional lawyer who is re-writing the Constitution in South Africa to include the Tribal Leaders.

She is a tenured Professor at Rutgers, and has offers to teach in Capetown. Drucilla comes from Southern California. Her family were industrialists who put newspaper printing presses all across the country. They were Germans who had settled in Missouri. They had to be Germans who developed the center of the United States. Germany was central European. They would be able to live in an environment with no large bodies of water. They had other things. Their women became like goddesses.

Heather became an honorary Cornell. Serena changed schools and both went to Greenwich Village Middle School.

Having a high maintenance child in New York City is not easy when one is a forever-struggling artist. Selling paintings on the street for a small amount when one’s contemporaries are getting thousands of dollars each for their small paintings is a surreal experience. This, compounded with feeling ill puts modernism into the back seat to say the least. The barage of shocking art being shown in the magazines and which is so boring, it’s not worth it to waste a subway token on to go to Chelsea for the dry openings, is a further insult.

People want to see themselves and the emotions they feel in the art of their time. They can dress neutrally and have nothing to say, but when they shop for art, they want their experience to be illuminated.

You had old money. And then you had these violent revolutions such as the French Revolution and the American Revolution. Yet now you want the traditional culture that existed before to provide an income as a tourist attraction. The violence brought our culture up a notch and the liberation of the lower class brought with it, through the insistence of the intellectual class, the freedom of the slaves. Now, because of their heroism and the support of their group, what is happening is somehow the new elite is using the intellectual as the lamb that strayed from the flock and trying to kill it.

Then they can prove their strength because in their minds, the lambs all look the same. They want to blackmail the old money.

The Europeans don’t have the same problem, so they now you have them sitting in the middle of a situation in New York providing these warped souls with false friends who are athletic and look very Olympic and superior.

Naturally, the only way to counteract this subtle violence in our society is by seeing it as too demanding in the group, and giving the manic/depressives the status that they want which is obviously to be a sister or a brother. As we know, most sisters and brothers don’t even communicate, except on holidays a few times a year.

New York is the center of the art world at the moment and whatever corruption took place before, it propagated the art world in New York. The settlers in America were indentured slaves also convicts and of course, we also had Southern gentlemen from the gentry in England. Now you have your Northern gentlemen who are these liberals and moderates. They see themselves as honorary intellectuals and don’t want to do anything that will rock the boat.

They provide a way out. And I suppose they needed someone who was an absolute loser, whose work was illiterate, a person whose work was wasn’t commenting on their inner selves, but was rather just innocent and naïve outsider art that would put a smile on even the most blood-thirsty young person, which was Basquiete. And you didn’t want someone like Dino Blanche! He really made a point of commenting on the Minimalist’s work because it was too perfect. And it was too streamlined and too carefully done. By making these really grotesque black sculptures that looked like giant insects, they were really also outsider art like Basquiete, but they weren’t chosen because there was nothing about them that soothed the spirit or turned the art world into “fun.”

And nothing about them looked like defacation or looked like any kind of phallic symbols. They were really psychological. You could see immediately that they related to his personality. And his feelings. Blanche was always in control of his feelings and he was always a sweet and gentleperson. He wasn’t a heroine addict and he was never out of control.

Painting had gotten much smaller with the galleries becoming boutiqueier. My experiments with painting were leading me back into figurative art, yet my path hadn’t lead me there yet. As my work got smaller, my sense of color became larger and more complete. I began to visualize my small paintings blown up into giant murals and began to amass small studies.

Meanwhile, my mother had gone to Visual Arts and she had taken a course in textile design. She was so talented that soon she was working with all the top textile designers. Tony Putnam, her employer, died of AIDS. They began doing all of the Ralph Lauren home furnishings. And her group was knocking out complicated florals and paisleys.

To paint words or to get involved with abstract art in some way which related to language was what was the 1980’s was really about. Cy Twombly was my hero then. The work that I did at that time was accepted into the Smithsonian Archives of American Art as if I was a dead artist. And it sits in the Smithsonian Archives along with Andrey Goldin’s photographic studies of his constructivist sculptures, which were mostly of a skeletal metal subject matter.

Anyway, I’m sure that had I been chosen, that passage of my artistic development would have been fun to move forward with. And I’m sure art dealers like Andrea Rosen are sorry now that they were unable to understand what I was doing and saw it as separate from what they were about. Andrea Rosen got into sensationalism and installation art rather than word art.

What she ended up doing was to appeal to the garment center nouveau riche crowd or the fashionistas with what they thought was conceptual art. She showed things like pillow art. She recreated Andy Warhol’s factory in her gallery. He invented the Mylar pillows for his happenings during the 1960’s.

Basically Americana got promoted to a more modern style. What would become Ikea or Target was born. Martha Stewart’s good taste replaced the polyester look. All of the graphic design that you see in the magazines today is Minimalist based. It is clean and simple and does wonders for our society. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the whole job. Gossip mongering and cliqueish behavior still destroys a lot of lives.

Boys’ Club art dealers’ secondary dealing abandons 1950’s improvisations in favor of Dan Flavin’s fluorescent light sculptures. Something did happen though here, although these statements are elusive and are unknown to the public and the relationships between artists such as Robert Grosvenor and Ronald Bladen remain unintegrated into the stream of things. They didn’t fit into the fastlane either and were more artist’s artists.

I remember going to the Calder retrospective at the Whitney with Ron Gorchov. It was right before his death and he looked old and swollen. I doubt today that his art would inspire the same awe as it did then. Jasper Johns needs to be photographed with the young actress Kiera Knightley in a Vanity Fair version of The Wizard of Oz in order to capture his old mystique.

I remember the phone call at Magoo’s Bar when Gorchov invited me to meet him in Hollywood and see the house where he was raised. I was too sick to go and declined. As a result, he broke up with me.

If he had known that I was sick, he might not have misunderstood. I remember how I felt disoriented. He remarried another girl. I heard from Mel Juffe, a mutual friend and reporter for the New York Post that they all shared the same therapist.

Ron had become extremely aggressive which lead to Mel and his wife ending their relationships with him. He soon remarried his second wife, who by then had three charming daughters, who looked like something out of the Bloomsbury School.

Gorchov was kept out of Leo Castelli Gallery because he knew about John Graham’s murder. I’m sure it was more complex than that because Gorchov was also aggressive. While he worked well with women in the art world, many of them in turn rejected me, and purposely kept me out, Elizabeth Murray, Jennifer Bartlett, Louisa Chase and Lynda Benglis to name a few. They did very well though and I worked as a legal secretary in order to pay the rent.

Their old castles in Schwerin, East Berlin are conveniently there to fall back upon. They want to have more corporate kind of environments, which I have to say is pretty stupid because they are really fortunate to have a classical environment. Really, in my opinion, they should try to cultivate East Germany’s castles and not try to rebel against it and turn it into some kind of sculpture park for like I don’t know, our skateboarding society. But I guess that ‘s what is happening.

I used to hang out with my Cherokee Indian artist friend, Will Guy from about 1982 till he met this alcoholic girl from Germany. At that same moment, I was eighty-sixed from Fanelli’s for not being enough of a drunk. Outside on the streets of Soho Andrey Goldin lay drunk in doorways, the most gorgeous lad ever to be born, and a Russian taboot. Will thought it was very funny.

For the wealthy, I mean it’s perfectly fine for Alexander to live in Paris. He can afford to live on the Isle de Seine with his beautiful wife, Silke. He has health problems? I think the real reason was is that he figured he’d send somebody else here. There was really nothing to be had here except for if you sell through the D&D Building and to Interior Decorators and giant tilted arcs made of raw steel wouldn’t quite make it in someone’s home. And you can go to great decorators anywhere in the world. You can do that in France too. You can do that in any major city. They all have decorators and auction houses of some kind.

Deborah Jenney is so interesting. She is a great artist’s illegitimate love child and she is Neil Jenney’s ex-wife. And he shows with Gagosian Gallery. And she has on her own, single-handedly won a battle with the art world, the establishment art world that is phenomenal.

For someone who is only 40 years old, she is just coming into her prime. She had a gigantic apartment in 1 Fifth Avenue, with a rotunda, a living room overlooking

Washington Square Park. I believe Blythe Danner just bought a dark apartment facing the back, the Mews and she is spent a tremendous amount on it.

She has a huge amount of money and investments. And she has, she’s still young! I mean she’s Chaim Gross’ love child daughter. Mimi Gross, who is the real daughter, I just saw her art work last night over at this big show of the art scene from 1974 to 1984 and they were these giant masks, cartoon-like masks that were ceramic that were completely bad art.

And here Deborah has the opportunity to; she has the genes of Chaim Gross who was a brilliant sculptor and did these beautiful Picassoesque mothers and daughters that were bronzes of doves flying. And they are already famous.

Roman Polanski ended up living in France after he was deported for getting caught with an underage girl in California. He was a small child in the Warsaw Ghetto and became a famous film writer and director. Somehow he became game for the notorious killer, Charles Manson and his cult of murderous young women like Squeeky Fromm. His wife, Sharon Tate was murdered. In his movies, it’s so tragic the way that he understands that nothing is permanent, not even attraction.

Marsha Tucker wanted me to be the Tuttle of painting. She said well you can do tiny little abstract paintings. I said no. She asked Ron Gorchov why? He explained to Marsha that Claudia had to keep on changing her work because she was exploring something other than what Christo and Tuttle were about.

When Alexander came to the city I was doing these beautiful copper melted coffee tables with encaustic on them. And then he saw other shows of coffee table lamps and various things that he really didn’t understand. Because he in his mind, the artists were encountering art people and art institutions which were fixtures. This made him feel ashamed and he was hardly seen or heard of again. We were reacting to that. I think that it was beautiful and it did lead to a renewal of architecture. I mean architectural projects, which emerged recently are being seen as the new art. It was a sort of precursor to that, but I don’t think he could have understood anything but a collaboration on some level with his steel mills that were in Bochum.

The work that I saw at the Pier, the Armory show that stood out were these photographic blow-ups. It was a Japanese art gallery. They were of baby bunnies. Little bunny rabbits. The rest of the show was student grade including big galleries like Cheim & Reed. And then you’d have these elegant printing companies that had giant pieces of Arches paper with some little sort of shriveled up drawing in the middle of it by Damien Hirst. The British galleries had this really interesting feeling.

I don’t know what you would call it. With sort of strange un-paintings that were simply tapestry, they had a feeling, but they didn’t really register on any significant level. I think they had some oil wells in Kuwait that were O.K. journalistic photography, but they were banal oil wells. They were kind of trendy landscapes, but were phoney.

I suppose one of the new trends, which dates back to Woody Allen’s giant blow-up of the North Vietnamese officer shooting the prisoner in the head, is to have powerful journalistic photography enlarged to a larger and life mural. The cuisine is the thing everyone is chattering about and nobody talks except to criticize the chef.

And then Ulriche Schmela at first seemed like an oasis in the midst of a desert. She gave a good first impression that she was a fascinating woman dealer from Dusseldorf. She was a sort of large woman. And she seemed very personable and charming. But when I tried to contact her, she was gung ho for Richard Tuttle. I had turned down Marsha Tucker’s advice to do small paintings, and apparently at the same time Tuttle had taken on the routine. His work is recalcitrantly ordinary, according to one critic. There is no enigma.

Alexander von Berswordt couldn’t understand how a truck driver could buy art or understand what was going on in the modern art movement. Probably it was more likely that he was afraid of the common man and his criticism. For any American to have pointed out that Alexander was sponsoring Germany’s military machine would have turned his stomach. He just couldn’t handle it.

So he preferred to stay in France. It was easier for him. But the fact of the matter is it was really important for me to sell my work to regular people. My curiosity was too strong to be boxed into an artificial environment.

The art that came out after that such as Peter Beard’s larger than life African photographs of wild animals and lovely native children, or Dennis Hopper’s art with the Malibu experience, and the waving curtains in the breeze. Different commercial photographers began to cover far off, distant places. The person on the street got to share Hollywood with culty moviestars like Dennis Hopper. He was basically sharing this idealistic Hollywood life with everyone.

It wasn’t a punishment. And I mean they sold like crazy. And everyday at these framing galleries all across the world people were buying these repros for $75 each. everyday! 30” x 40” prints! Of work that copied Dennis Hopper’s paintings and beautiful work of live elephants with little Indian children smiling at them or praying as the elephant bowed its head were big sellers.

Recently the public has started to have a greater influence on what was seen as being the art of the century. I hope that soon the galleries will become obsolete. Reality is dominating the scene. There is a malicious race for money, homes, and a wealthy way of life that over-rides love.

In France, during the heat wave last summer 4,000 old people died and it seemed their children were no where to be found. They were left to die so that their kids could take over their apartments. I’ve seen parents disintegrate in order to allow their kids to sell their homes and use the money as seed money to start their lives in a new city on a level that is comparable to their parent’s.

On the other hand, there are upper middle class kids who are living in broken down cars with hippie kids and their parents have multiple mansions in the finest resort areas of America like Rehobeth Beach. The sexual revolution really destroyed a lot of upper middle class kids lives because their parents got mixed up in sexual addiction and rejected their traditional families.

There have been so many suicides of upper class kids. One of Leo Castelli’s girlfriends had been used to walking through the gallery and demanding thousands of dollars each month for her rent and art supplies and whatever she wanted to buy. When he died and left his gallery to one of his other lady friends, she ended up wandering through the woods in Vermont somewhere. I tried to help her because she was a trophy for me as well.

But I had remembered her when Jill Castlelove, my dealer at Blondie’s and I had gone over to her art studio on Broadway and Bleecker. I had remembered her because she crouched down and I got a whiff of this eau de perfume coming out from between her legs and it was absolutely divine. Maybe it was because I knew she was Leo Castelli’s girlfriend. It was like a fine Guerlain perfume. I mean it was beautiful.

She was a very delicate dainty blond, but was extraordinarily aggressive. Leo Castelli’s girlfriend, Nancy had him buying her thousands and thousands of dollar worth of white gouache which she was smearing on these giant linen canvases. And they just registered like whipped cream.

She slept with her little dog in its cage on the turquoise straw carpet of my studio on Minetta Street in Greenwich Village. My baby and I slept next to her. She was delicate and elegant, and was knowledgeable about the world in a way that I had never encountered. I had met women who were my father’s fashionable girlfriends and were also very glamorous, but they were heavy drinkers and seemed manic. Nancy was a modern artist and also a very materialistic girl. I wanted to look at her closely. Woody Allen had just finished filming Bullets Over Broadway in front of my building. It was a Depression Era building with a perfect play of shadows on the bathroom wall coming from the window in grey and white. It had a large old sink in the studio area with a working fireplace and old telephone jacks scattered around the room. Andrey and I bought a huge straw carpet in a saturated turquoise.

On that carpet we laid out a futon. I also painted in that room. I nursed my baby daughter lying on the floor. And I courted Nancy because I found her so fascinating. She came from old money and had terrible run-ins with the Smithsonian people and warned me not to get involved with them because they would hurt me.

She even intimated to me that they were capable of exterminating artists. She was very disturbed and yet when I saw her sitting at a café outdoors in Soho, she was the perfect woman.

I tried to help her come down from the woods and live in Andrey’s and his mother’s apartment near Ludlow Street. It was out of place for me to invade their space. I was wrong. Andrey’s mother found out and had her kicked out immediately. She was upset and told me that it was a Russian thing against Americans. I didn’t realize that Natalie was going to use that place to get extra income and that she wasn’t going to give up that apartment. I didn’t know at that time that the Russians could cut through our system like butter.

I met Cecily Brown at a bar and she said she was living over at Malcolm Morley’s place on the Bowery. We went over there for some reason. She was one of the British artists that were about to happen in the 1990’s.

She had put toilet paper all over Malcolm Morley’s apartment in rolls, unrolled it and made bunny rabbits with it, and burned holes in his tables which were all Mission style tables. She was the daughter of David Sylvester who was the most famous art critic in England.

I proposed her for Les Levine’s video, Women & Art, Matthew Barney’s first wife, myself, and a couple of women I worked with at Melito & Adolfsen in the Woolworth Building, one of which was like something out of a Reginald Marsh painting. Les Levine, an Irish media artist was ready to shoot when one of the girls from my office cancelled out. She was a gum chewing tough broad, a quality New York girls have a monopoly on.

I cancelled out because aesthetically I didn’t feel that I could carry it off without her. She changed her mind because she had never heard of Les Levine. He was shocked that I was that dependent upon a non-artist. He had enjoyed making documentaries about real people because he thought that it was art to truthfully portray normal people as they were. But, I don’t think he was prepared to see them as essential to his creative expression.

And she was apparently one of seven sisters of David Sylvester who was the leading art critic in London especially about Frances Bacon. And he was dying of cancer. And I can see why, to have a daughter like that. Anyway, she pushed over, stepped on his toes and decided she was going to have a big career. And she went ahead and got involved with, somehow with Koury Wingate and Gagosian Gallery and succeeded in having a big career basically. I guess she went to art school. But she, her work that she showed at , at the show I saw at Gagosian Gallery was the same 1980’s style “bad painting.” Only it was in the 1990’s and it was English.

There was a point before the Armory Shows on the Piers that they had the Grammercy Park Art Shows in the Grammercy Park Hotel. Everybody realized that the art market had dropped and people were selling work for under $500. Dealers had rented rooms in the hotel which were quite expensive for the week, and they were showing inexpensive work which was a lot more interesting than the work that had been shown in the larger galleries. It looked a lot better when it was smaller in size.

And the art dealers like Clarrisa Delrymple were really cool at that point. She looked like a mixture of Maggie Smith and Kate Moss and was English. And just last week I went to a group show at Mary Boone Gallery and Clarrisa Delrymple was with Cecily Brown. And Cecily Brown gave me a big hug and said hello. She had apparently had come back to New York. Maybe she was trying to court Mary Boone. Maybe she’d had enough of Gagosian.

The floor of the giant Chelsea gallery was a mirror, and there we were, Regina Khidekel, the great Russian art critic and collector and all of these very beautiful women artists and dealers. It was a shame that nothing happened for me. I wasn’t sure why it was so uncompromising, but when I went to Ron Gorchov’s opening at P.S. 1, I had the opposite feeling. I was also with Regina and her husband, the grandson of the inventor of Suprematism, Lazar Khidekel.

Kara Walker is pretty interesting. She shows at Lehman Maupin and she does black silhouettes, and they’re silhouettes that you would think would be kind of like vanity silhouettes, like old doilies. They’re black on white backgrounds, but she does lynchings and characatures of rapes of women slaves by white slave masters.

And everything she does characterizes black people and illustrates the injustices that occurred to them during slavery. And she’s a professor and she lectures a lot. She’s very controversial, and I think she’s a fascinating woman, and reminds me of Harriet Tubman, who was also an artist. I saw Harriet Tubman’s show many years ago at the Whitney Museum.

She documented what was known as the Underground Railroad. It was the plight and path of the slaves as they escaped to the North through a network of people who paid their transportation and hid them from the posse’s that came out after them and would have whipped them or lynched some of the male slaves to terrorize the rest of them. I think that someone like Kara Walker makes all of my suffering bearable and brings something to the to the visual arts that is incomparable.

We tend to refer to classical art because it soothes us to see maternal women and chaste scenes of black cupids and fleshly nudes on chariots riding to the heavens. We have this very generic environment outside. We have our own classical art, American art, which is awesome. It fills all of the museums of America and it is really undoubtedly the most superb quality classical revival.

And then the Europeans are very drawn to catharses and have always loved to gather in amphitheatres and watch mythological tragedies. They rebel against classical environments by putting up these massive steel blockades and all kinds of kinetic sculptures which are basically oversized windchimes.

And nobody was really doing what Ron Gorchov was doing at all, especially in painting. People I suppose were thinking about modern shapes and Minimalism in sculpture. But they weren’t really becoming completely abstract but keeping things more concrete the way that Ron was that was somewhere in between I guess sculpture and painting ideas.

At that moment he was exhibiting his work at Fishbach Gallery which was a beautiful gallery that showed his work. A lot of the very successful artists of the period were exhibiting at the same galleries that Ron was exhibiting and at the Whitney Biennial. The museums and collectors bought paintings! He was exhibiting in Detroit at Suzanne Hillberry, and in New York at Bykert Gallery.

And it gave the painting like a feeling of movement, but they were kind of African looking like masks. He had the most interesting walls on Broome Street because it once was an old ink factory and it had many leftover stains of of interesting colors all over the grey walls. He used to hang the paintings up all over the place. He had a wood burning stove.

He was a brilliant man and very masculine. He was part of the male artists crowd and was thought highly of. He wouldn’t let me talk to anybody or go with him to do anything. I was having to stay behind all of the time and sit at different tables.

But he wanted to talk about art with me a lot. And he would wake me up in the middle of the night and make me go out to Dave’s which was on the corner of Broadway and Canal Street where they had a soda fountain. We could sit there all night and we would meet other painters there.

Ron Gorchov didn’t want to get serious with me because I don’t think he understood what was going on with me. I think he thought that I was being unsupportive toward him. He wanted to get out from under me, which he did.

He used to ask me why I wasn’t bright eyed and bushy tailed like the other young artists. Usually when we all went out to pool halls or funky bars with our friends, Frank Schroeder and Taro Suzuki, they were happy and bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had somatisized my pain and didn’t feel it. But I was very distorted and felt like I was in an earthquake. I was always sitting in the corner by myself.

Even the Tibetan Lamas didn’t understand. Their student were always interested in doing fire pujas and ceremonies. I needed to rest. I couldn’t sit through them over and over again. I wasn’t able to keep up with the rigor or enjoy lighting butter lamps. I only like to go to their lectures and I loved interacting with them and debating the texts.

And I guess he didn’t understand at all what was going on. And he left and went home. He came from a family where his father was a famous Lama. He was a Master of the Dorje Purba, which is the sword. He would return home to a huge library of ancient Tibetan texts on Dorje Purba and all of the other Tibetan Buddhist scripture. His home was in Kathmandu. And he was going to inherit the library when his father passed away. And they were relatively well off. I remember the first thing he asked me when I went on retreat. It was how would you feel if you had to give up your paintings? Renunciation was everything for them.

Finally, His Eminence Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche admitted that art was a form of high meditation and that it was my meditation and so it was all right for me to use it as a spiritual path. I think the younger Lamas were always questioning and reaffirming whatever they were doing as part of the faith.

And if you couldn’t do it anymore since it was always my option if I felt people weren’t giving me the love I needed, I had really lost something. But I continued to paint during my retreat and aside from David Lewis burning all of my paintings in a fire puja, I evolved my ideas.

Before I went on my Tibetan Buddhist Retreat I was living in a bank. We had gotten kicked out of the American Thread Company Building so they could build condos or whatever they were called then. I was living in a space in an office building that had once been a bank where the bathroom was down the hall and it didn’t really have shower facility or a bathtub. I was very uncomfortable there, but it was there that I began to understand more about schematics in terms of art.

I knew that when I was at the American Thread Company Building if I put down a canvas and I took a broom and put powdered pigment down, when I swept that I would come up with a schemata. You could see the steps that I took of the strokes of paint. I moved from there into working with the thesis which was my show. I shouldn’t have done it because everybody else went into this bad painting, but then I got into encaustic, which is boiling wax and mixing in pigment to make paint. And I bought huge sheets of copper in that were dripping down with the copper in Queens somewhere.

And I loved to make grommet holes in it that were three marks. And they were red, yellow, and blue and I would pour colors into the holes and black encaustic around it. I liked the idea of sweeping on paint so that you could see the strokes and where how I did it.

I would let the paint do all kinds of fun things like color wheels. I could take the blue and make it purple and then the black wouldn’t have red in it and it would become green or something. At first I did a lot of paintings with three marks and then I worked them into a sort of surreal landscape. They were so intriguing to Richard Prince, that he subsequently pulled a knife on me in a parking lot in Chinatown.

And artists who were lucky enough to have purchased lofts and had real estate holdings became very rich and things kind of closed down. In came the Guerilla Girls and the sculptors with their cool army outfits on and did their feminist versions of serious sculptures. They had German names like Heidi Fasnacht.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

Andrey

Sometimes people who are schizophrenic can become mediums for malefic spirits. Ghosts of the dead actually possess them. From the time I met Andrey, I felt that I had found a kindred spirit. Like me, he was a survivor. He was very accepting in the very areas where I had been damaged. I was transversing a huge river and was coming from an upper middle-class society which threw kids out on their own and didn’t want them back unless they could entertain them with wealth and fame.

What made sense to Andrey as a substitution for religion were peasant crafts that related to Moscow, which was an old city with Shakespearean Russian spoken. Transformations of one object into another were very meaningful to him and permitted him to express himself safely without insulting the Soviet regime.

This carried over into architectonic drafting and painting of cartoons about life on Brighton Beach. It engrandised Andrey’s mother, who was a great “Sots” applied artist and architect. She would be immortalized by her Soviet era Housing Projects. Eventually, the shortages became the most attractive thing about his work and when the paint began to drool in an offensive way, he began to use only pencil.

With pencil he could still create light effects that in his ascetic Russian reality rivaled Tiepolo, one of the greatest dome painters. His topics were of Russian MiGs that transformed into pricks with babies’ hands catching the light within their shafts. This related to my pregnancy and the birth of our baby girl, Heather.

It is said that one-percent of our total population is deemed schizophrenic.During our first date, Andrey and I traveled to my apartment, which was a small groundfloor two-bedroom on 106th Street off Central Park. We sat in the kitchen. My back was to the stove. He sat in front of the refrigerator. There was a table to my left. He began to interrogate me about my ability to worship him. He didn’t like the facial expressions I had. He had no clue as to what I had already gone through, but my numbness became prey for him.

They are poetic metaphors for what happened during World War II and post-War which is when I was born. The art world that emerged, came out of this series of unfortunate events, for sure.

Unfortunately, they weren’t looking like Doris Days or Judy Holidays. And they kept lesser gods around as favored foils who could do no wrong. Andrey was a male Judy Holiday, but was caught in a torrential wave at the time I met him. His loss of having left his own culture behind, and at the same time coming into a new culture was overwhelming.

In his early twenties, Andrey began to exhibit a disturbance of language and communication which could be described as having a failure to conform to the semantic and syntactic rules. He seemed to be using words in combinations that sounded communicative, but in the final analysis, were his own language.

For me, who had a predisposition to schizophrenic men, I learned Andrey’s language as he repeated the same words over and over again. Becoming an artist and part of an entourage of a very complicated woman artist was fascinating for me. Natalie had had to sublimate her creative life, her eccentricities into becoming a state-approved Soviet architect. She soon took over his creative life and began a double life. Natalia Ivanova suddenly followed her son to New York City!

She was able to emigrate because Andrey had gone schizophrenic and sadly his father had suddenly died of a heart attack. She had given birth to this child who was now escaping on a certain level from what she represented. At the same time the sadness of leaving his country behind, this loss of his culture, his father’s death, and going schizophrenic was quite a burden.

He must have been in the middle of the best aspects of life in Moscow because his mother was so successful and they lived in the old city of Moscow, which was like Old London, a gated in Shakespearean community according to what I have heard from the Moscovites. It was a much different Russia than that of the Northern city of St. Petersburg.

Actually, it was very similar to London in that the seat of Soviet power resided in Moscow, along with the Politburo and their Pentagon which was the Ministry of Defense. This existed alongside the old city of Moscow which still kept the older forms of their language and their customs.

His mother was a tigress. She was very intelligent and I think she loved to live within such a dangerous system. She was in her normal habitat. Her repartee within that system was superb and she felt no fear about her abilities, beauty or performance. She also enjoyed her children and in her mind her domestic life was a natural experience for her. She was very maternal.

I also feel the same difference between homelife and the outside world. I have been fortunate to have been in a freer world from the time I was a little child and I was able to speak in my native language up until now. For Andrey, he became the translator for his mother at this juncture where he was going schizophrenic. This forced her into the Russian community in Brighton Beach rather than to live in Manhattan.

She felt that Brighton Beach would be easier for her since she spoke no English. She realized that Manhattan was much more like the Moscow she had left.

She still has a corporate building in the middle of Moscow that is relatively modern. It is being cared for by her business colleagues there. There was a lot of excitement and newness around the things that she was doing because of course, architecture always has to follow the latest trends, engineering trends and so forth. And his father was an engineer.

Vadim was a surveyor for the military. So he also was up on new trends and building techniques. As architecture took over the art world after Minimalism, she was right on point having been the Commissioner of Architecture for Moscow proper.

Economics. I’m not sure what his preoccupation with this kind of Pinocchio like, Gepetto like small, very like medieval toys are. I think that the Russian toys may have looked like that. I think that maybe what children played with, these little puppets and things that had hinges and had little springs.

I’m not sure but he only had turned 19 or 20 when he came to this country finally, or maybe 21 and I think that it was very confusing for him. He was not able to enlarge his ideas the way that he wanted to. And when he went to work for Jack Goldstein, a very well known modern artist, he wasn’t able to use it to help his career the way Ashley Bickerton did. Jack Goldstein exhibited at Metro Pictures and did these giant lightening bolts on giant canvases.

He probably became even more overwhelmed when he was confronted by Walter De Maria and these lightening rods, lightening bolts in the night sky. I think this was almost an all out effort to intimidate young artists from Europe and from Russia. Maybe they didn’t even know artists from Russia existed and were examining a creative side of themselves for the first time.

And I think artists from Russia may have, to a certain degree desired to vent their pent up anger from the past by doing political cartoons and expressionist painting. A lot of those feelings were soon stilted when they came here they needed to make money.

They were forced to do portraits in Central Park or many of them tried to repeat their experience in Russia and get into the Painters’ Union. They thought that we had the same kind of system as they did in Russia where you would get into a Union and that would be the ultimate goal for an artist in the Soviet Union. Here is was so much more complicated because the creative process would open you up to another dimension. The Arts & Antiquities market controlled the art world. It was very touch and go.

I think schizophrenia and substance abuse causes a lot of anger, because really the only thing he could do was to wait for his mother who followed shortly thereafter his father passed away. He was all alone and his mother came. And then for her it was a retirement, a place where she didn’t have to wait on line, no shortages and she wanted to have a fun time and have an art scene of sorts here.

When Natalie came to New York, Andrey became more and more angry because he became part of her entourage again. And at that moment which was in about 1990, he was in a very vulnerable position. His father had left him alone. He was unfamiliar with what was going on in terms of the business aspect of the art world. His mother, of course, was a pro at the business of art and had complete command of it.

She was a very successful woman artist in Russia. So, it must have made him very angry, plus he wasn’t compus mentus and his health was degenerating at that point. He had full-blown schizophrenia and a substance abuse problem with alcohol, the makings for trouble. He was feeling very humbled like a little boy in a man’s body, he was photographed in his navy blue overcoat on one of those metal horsy rides on the Boardwalk where for a quarter you get a little jingle and a ride.

And the art world had given birth to another pathological drunk, a common dilemma for the male population in Russia. Their average lifespan is a mere fifty-nine years old. He would get into fights and he really didn’t understand how severe our punitive system was here which was much more serious than in Russia.

I met Andrey for our first date at a deli on West Broadway. He was wearing a bomber hat made of lynx. It was white with little snippets of black in it. His eyes were huge pools of blue. I was deluded into thinking that he was attracted to me, but in fact he was interested in settling down into a very Nordic family where he became cool and distant. I took him to my apartment on 106th Street and we had sex. The first thing he said to me when he mounted me was, “Let’s have a baby!” It caught me by surprise. I wanted to have children all along. I had lost three possible chances for children because at first I was advised not to by my mother because Tom Bronk’s living situation was overwhelming for me to figure out at that age.

With Ron Gorchov, he did want to be traditional and have a family. With Lama Rinchen Phuntsok Vajracharya, he wanted to get back to his intensive practice and he didn’t want to complicate his life with a Westerner.

Andrey wanted a family. He had left a young girlfriend who was pregnant with his first daughter, Dasha. His mother, Natalie had been very close with Dasha and her mother, Masha while she was in Moscow. Dasha was born in 1980. That was the year after he had immigrated to the United States.

I had a cute two bedroom on 106th Street where I had resided for around twelve years. Andrey invited me to live with him at the Vladeck Housing Project. We sat in the living room of his apartment at a darkly lit table and he suggested that I come down to the Lower Eastside.

A luncheon at the Broome Street Bar was arranged where my mother and stepfather could meet Andrey and his mother. My mother said to me later that he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. I allowed a shady friend of his to take over the apartment and he never paid the rent, but went to court for an entire year and fought his eviction. I was hit with an $8,000 back rent bill, but went bankrupt and my debt was dissolved.

I moved down to live with Andrey, but he was so completely addicted to alcohol that once he actually went to the bodega to get more beer totally naked. It was an experience I will never forget where he was unable to walk and would fall like an animal onto the sidewalk in front of the housing project. When he finally pulled himself up and entered the apartment, he would beat me up. He continually acted in such a way. I was constantly running to the red box and talking to the cops outside and having them come over and subdue him.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t getting pregnant. I was going to work throughout this whole episode. We went to a funny Indian woman internist in a penthouse in back of Trump Tower and she asked us to have sex at home before we arrived and when we arrived she put the sperm under the microscope and saw that it wasn’t moving fast enough, and concluded it was because of the alcohol.

Andrey and I had a heart to heart talk in the public space at Trump Tower where we sprawled on the floor and giggled about it. A month past and when I got my period and had not conceived, Andrey socked me in the mouth. The second month we were together on the circular vintage couch in the circular front room at the Vladeck Housing Project and it took.

But Andrey was continually hitting me, and through all of this I was having to go to work. This was all on top of the fact that I had this significant abnormality of balance and was completely dizzy from chronic labrythitis. I moved out to the Pioneer Hotel on the Bowery and Mott Street. I had a room almost identical to the room in Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of his bed, chair and bureau in the rooming house he stayed at while he was in the South of France.

I brought over many paintings on glass in ornate frames and put them atelier style on the wall of this old Bowery Hotel. The halls had little white sitting rooms that overlooked Chinatown. It was a wonderful place. I lived there and went to work. Soon I walked up to Fifth Avenue and 17th Street and went into an upscale real estate agency and managed to land this studio on Minetta Street without terribly good credit. I had a good job and had remained at my other apartment for many years.

I permitted Andrey to visit me and he was as crazy as ever. When I bought a crib from Ebay, Andrey took it apart and painted demonic paintings on the sections. He took apart my stove burners while I was asleep and made a sculpture out of them.

When I was ready to give birth I had contractions for two days and they happened like clockwork every ten minutes. They were so severe that I had to stand up in order to survive them. Andrey realized the reality of what was going on and even as he tried to sleep, he had to lift me up because I was crying out in agony for the five minutes they lasted. Andrey got so tired that he built a pulley system to pull me up from the chair with ropes and a wood beam. It actually worked.

We checked it out at the obstetrician. He said that I wasn’t dialated enough to go to Beth Israel. Finally, a day later I passed a little blood and Faith, my father’s girlfriend told us to go to the hospital. It was around midnight on a Saturday night. We couldn’t even get a taxi and I was leaning on a stationwagon and having contractions while Andrey was trying to hail a cab. We finally got a cab and on our way to the hospital Andrey made jokes with the cab driver about finding the right entrance.

We entered the hospital and they directed us to a room which was a birthing room. It had a television in it that was blaring Saturday Night Live. I was given Demorol and fell asleep for several hours while Andrey watched late night television.

When I awoke, I was extremely uncomfortable because of my illness and not being on medication. I felt terribly nauseous. I was given an epidural and a large oval mirrror was wheeled in. The midwife put one foot on her chest and Andrey had my foot pressing against his chest. I tried to push. Then I was asked to look in the mirrow and guide the baby out, waiting for a while as she capped so as not to tear myself. Slowly, but surely I pushed the baby out and the placenta. At the moment of birth, I called out, “Andrey!” and he peeked out from under his coat. The precious baby girl was placed on a warming table and cleaned off. Suddenly, there appeared my obstetrician. He had missed the birth, but took a large cutip with antibacterial salve on it and cleaned the area.

There was no pain except for the contractions. She was given to me bathed in light with blondish hair and little almond eyes. What was next to follow would be ten years of a brilliant social life surrounding babies and small children and rays of light out into the neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

During this time, there were other babies being born who were meant to be. Hurricaines would be named after them. They were the rays of light of this country and of the universe to me. The other little girls seemed to me to be manifestations of Christine and a period by which I could go a step further than my own assimilation and share with them everything that I am from the beginning of eternity.

Their names were Camille and Cheyenne.

Andrey had put off hospitalization in order to participate in the birth of his second child. We named her Heather and in Russian, Froisya. As time went on, when Andrey went on binges and blacked out, he began to experience the deterrants which exist in America. If you got into trouble here, you landed in jail! And he was having a lot of mental problems and having a lot of problems with violent tendencies and in was in denial because he would have blackouts and no memory about what he had done.

While this was all happening, he was intensely involved with writing and the writing is a combination of Russian, English, pigeon-French, German, all kinds of made-up accents and almost like Rabelaisian words like in Gargantua & Pantagruel. He lived in the world of his conceptual art writing. The latest paintings that he has been doing recently are basically pencil drawings because he has begun to have his own career and not be a part of his mother’s entourage.

Years later, he finally sold a painting called “Father & Son” at Ward-Nasse which is a wonderful street gallery in Soho and only costs $35 per year for membership. It was a painting of his father and himself sitting at the edge of a beautiful, peaceful pool of water dipping their feet in the little resonating waves. It’s a cartoon and it’s in very soft pastel colors and that sold for $150 recently in 2005. It’s a small painting.

For Andrey, having a sale meant we could experiment with what sells by trying different kinds of work in the racks. For $10 per side, we could see what works. I put several of my own paintings which are collages of dog cupids, dog’s faces on old paintings with cupids and mythological stories like Mephisto and Aphrodite. They haven’t sold and so I’m not going to pursue that avenue.

Andrey has a drawing in the racks of a woman with a begging bowl looking up at the sky and as she’s clasping her hands into a prayer, she’s holding the begging bowl, it looks like a vagina. The sleeve is an Elizabethan sleeve, a capped sleeve or maybe it’s from Romeo & Juliet, from the Shakespearean. And she has short legs and she’s kneeling.

I’m sure that the woman Andrey portrays is me. My great love of art rivaled my father’s love of National Geographic and of the many nations of the world. His fascination with travel, of means of travel, was unequalled to my love of color and images created by the hands of man. My problem wasn’t absorbing the great art of the world. It was adjusting to my own existence in such a large city.

The Russians are different. Whereas growing up in New York, submerging one’s desire for approval worked with groupies and people like that. They surveyed the territory and if you played dead, they went right past you. In this case, my behavior didn’t work as well. Andrey saw my passivity as coldness in the same way as my mother saw it and also Ron Gorchov.

In his case, he began to shake me and try to find out what was wrong. Because he was an alcoholic and psychotic, it triggered an episode in him that went way beyond a first date. He pushed me back in my chair after continually bullying me about my lack of a response and lack of awe of him. He fell on me as I leaned back precariously held up by the front of the stove. He thought maybe it was that because I was an American that I behaved that way.

He continued to repeat a chant, “I like your nigger, Blat!” We went into another small room which had a wall to wall closet and a long table with chairs with a window at the end. We lit up a joint. The Russians, especially Andrey’s mother hated Marijuana. They disapproved of anything but alcohol. He looked like the most elegant private school boy I had ever seen. He could have gone to Calhoun or any one of the most sought after Manhattan schools. I was smitten and desirous of him. He kept getting pushy with me. I had never been physically abused by a man before.

We entered a fourth room, my bedroom. It was a room with a queen-sized bed. I was wearing a brown flannel nightgown with a peasant yoke. As he was lying on top of me, he said, “Let’s have a baby together!” I hadn’t even thought of that. It sounded like a wonderful idea to me. We had sex. It was fairly easy for the first time.

I was unaware of how disturbed Andrey was. Andrey, as it turned out was not the first schizophrenic boyfriend I had ever had. He was my third. Andrey had a charming apartment in the Vladeck Housing Project which was the oldest housing project in New York. It was across the street from the Henry Street Settlement. Covered in ivy and with large trees lining the courtyard, his living room had a circular shape. He even had an old vintage couch that was circular too. Madison Street was near the fashionable Ludlow Street area which has very expensive boutiques now. It was also near Chinatown and had great shopping for fish and all kinds of barbecue duck and chicken.

When I visited his apartment at the Vladeck, I liked it a lot. He invited me to move in with him. I jumped at the chance. He had a friend named Mark who was a book vendor out on Prince Street and needed a place to stay. He seemed very mellow. Little did I know he was going to live rent-free for a year and that I would get billed $8,000. It would cause me to go bankrupt along with my college debt. Since then he has passed away from a hard life.

I left my life on 106th Street, which had been very meaningful to me. My godchildren, Venus Gonzalez and her brother Stephen Moorehouse would move to Florida. My super, Raymond Ramos died in the AIDS epidemic, probably from exposure to drugs during the Vietnam War where he was a brave soldier. His gorgeous Ecuadorian wife, Ruth also perished soon after.

He left two groups of children from two marriages. I never cried the way I cried when he died. It was a waterfall of unending tears. He had been extremely difficult while he was alive. From the time I met him, when he was painting the first floor apartment, he said it would be impossible for me to win that apartment. He said that thirty people had applied for it. I did get it. Then, when I offered him a small painting, he said, “How could I take that along with me?”

The morning he found out he was ill, I had spent the entire weekend bailing water from my bathtub which several times a day backflowed with enough water from a washing machine. When he came in to fix it that Monday morning, his joints were aching terribly. No one knew what AIDS was and he deteriorated over the year. When I saw him he looked thin and in bad shape and said he had no idea what was happening to him. Maybe that’s what was so upsetting about it for me.

He had been deceased for a long time before I moved down to Andrey’s. Once I got there I became the object of his continual abuse. He got drunk and became animalistic. He punched me in the head and arm or in the chin. I lost my old fillings. I made it my business to enjoy sex with him even though he was drunk. I wasn’t getting pregnant.

The old people who sat outside on the benches watched in horror as he punched me in the chin at night. He was so drunk that I had actually seen him consume seven 32-ounce bottles of beer in one night. We visited my mother and her husband, Wayne Hall up in Cornwall on Hudson. I remember how slender I was in my black negligee. My mother was becoming more and more uncomfortable with people being around. It was hard for her to concentrate on her insulin.

When we returned to New York City we went to an Indian woman doctor near Trump Tower. She was in a beautiful rooftop penthouse. She analyzed my eggs and Andrey’s sperm. Andrey’s sperm were the cause of the delay. They weren’t moving because of the alcohol. After that we tried again. We failed another month, which lead to another instance of abuse. Then in that circular room one morning and on that circular couch I succeeded in conceiving my daughter, Heather.

The abuse from his alcoholic blackouts became intolerable and I fled to a hotel off the Bowery where I remember resenting the poet, John Giorno who lived up the street at 222 Bowery. He not only had access to his own loft, but William Burrough’s loft as well. He was a very rich artist.

I stayed in what would have been some Bowery bum’s cheap room. The owner had whitewashed the entire hotel. The showers were down the hall and there were old patios with lots of old chairs outside of the rooms. They had high old rickety beds, old mattresses and funny old bureaus. I brought in many expensive frames with glass that I had done my schematic paintings on. I hung them up atelier style and seethed with jealousy at John Giorno.

I had been tossed out of the American Thread Company Building in 1978. It would become a luxury loft building where fashion designers like Betsy Johnson would reside. From there, I had taken a room in the bank building on Spring and Lafayette where there were no showers, just bathrooms down the hall. Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe visited me there, and called me a nun. I wished he was a voyeur of mine, but he was nasty about it. It was a strange situation where all we did was going out for lunch at the Spring Street Bar and have chicken salad. Once we had rolls, butter and jam. Breakfast was his favorite meal.

I visited the loft he was staying in and it was in a modern loft building next door to me but it was up in the clouds. The loft was completely modern. I showered there quickly. He showed me the antique gray patchwork quilt he had purchased for one of his pregnant girlfriends. He got angry with me because I made fun of one of his friends who we met the previous evening. She had very dark hair and was wearing a passe cape. I said that I thought she was weird and he answered, “No weirder than you.” That was our last visit. I remember waving goodbye to him and Klara as they drove off in a taxi on West Broadway.

As I lay in my bed in this Bowery hotel I got a great gust of energy. I walked, one Saturday, all the way uptown to Fifth Avenue and 17th Street to a luxurious realtor. There, I was told about a studio apartment in a building where Woody Allen was filming “Bullets Over Broadway.” I went to see it. It was on Minetta Street and was adorable. It even had a little fireplace. The bathroom had this quirky light and shadowplay reminiscent of the Depression era. Naturally, there were professionals coming in and out looking at the place. I wanted it badly and somehow managed convince my mother to give me $1,400 to rent the place.

I lived on Minetta Street for six months until my time came. I began to have birth contractions, which lasted for a day and a half, before I gave birth to my baby girl. She was 5 ½ pounds. I brought her home and was on maternity leave from my job as a senior legal secretary for 4 ½ months. When I went back to work I put her in one of the most expensive daycares in the city, Trinity Church Daycare. They were experts at caring for working mothers from the Stock Exchange. She was a favorite there.

During this time, Andrey and I worked prolifically on our paintings, sculptures and writing. Andrey created constructivist sculptures which we photographed up against iridescent copper tinted mirrors in shopping carts. He went back to Russia and photographed old trucks and sunsets up against the foreboding government buildings in Moscow. We also took photographs of the baby and had them tinted in dark magenta. We made posters from the photographs.

One day, I took all of my original photographs of my giant schematic paintings, copies of my ten years of art criticism, the posters and my interesting dialogue with Hilton Kramer over hermeticism in the art world and I put them in the shopping cart. I pushed it outside, packed everything and sent it to Mr. Polcari at the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institute. He sent me a Deed of Gift.

Usually dead artists’ relatives were able to mail work on paper and documents there. I felt like I was a dead artist at that time. I was a passed over artist.

From then on, Andrey went from doctor to doctor, program to program attempting to deal with his addiction and his schizophrenia. Some years it worked and others it didn’t. My landlord offered me an opportunity to either move to a 1,000 square foot loft with two bedrooms over Kiel’s Drugstore on 13th Street and Second Avenue or to a one-bedroom on Morton Street which was a 5th floor walk-up. I chose Morton Street, which is where I have lived for over a decade.

Andrey left his apartment at the Vladeck to join his mother out on Brighton Beach. At first they had a wonderful one bedroom a half a block from the beach. They gave that up to move to Ocean Parkway, which is where the upper middle class Russians are all moving. Bloomingdale’s will soon have a branch across the street from his building.

Andrey was a suitable vessel for Mengele. He was a beautiful Nordic alpha male. His spirit was fertile for possession by a disturbed murderer. It was Andrey who was getting drunk and spending hours in the East Village observing the art scene there. Andrey had an old apartment that he allowed to be used by other artists as a crash pad. It was across the street from the Henry Street Settlement. Natalie would bring in tons of plates filled with home cooked food from her apartment on Brighton Beach.

In Russia 1990 was still a time of censorship for Russian art. For Andrey the activity of doing art was expanding his consciousness and opening up untapped realms of deep emotions. Cosmonauts and fashionable women in large feathered hats were common variety subjects for decorative Soviet era art. Actually tapping into more complex types of art was terrifying and exciting for him.

His mother was thinking about censorship too. She was fascinated by the corporate art market and wondered about the American art world. She was a great fan of Andrey’s art and of the East Village art scene.

American Fine Art, which was run by Colin de Land, was all the rage. One felt as if one was in the Dark Ages and that graffiti art was dead. We sensed that collaborations were the new thing. Andrey and I created pathological shopping carts filled with mirrored shafts that were constructivist sculptures. I bought copper tinted mirrors in Chinatown. Then we photographed the sculpture and created posters. I showed them to Colin de Land and his response was no.

It wouldn’t be until many years later that Peter Fend, one of his artists, expressed to me his exaspertion at Colin de Land’s death and his incompetence at sales. Peter had been put onto the European network of exhibitions which meant that he had to move to Europe. He finally moved to England.

These are things that are important to me because I’m an artist and I’m exploring new, the latest trends in art. When Russia decided to create censorship including Germany and East Berlin, it also created a gap in the art world.

With the momentous uplifting of censorship by this alpha community, who cares about the put down and stigmatism of Soviet art by Komer & Melamud. A stigmatization of the Soviet period era will submerge Russian art for the 21st century in the same way Shaker art, which was the greatest art of the two previous revolutions, French and American, was submerged.

Because of the Shaker’s arrival on American shores from England at approximately the same time as our emancipation from England during the 1780’s, they were disliked stigmatized by the new Americans and accused of being spies for the British, possibly even witches. Because of the stigmatization of the Shakers, the industrial age and the Russian revolution had a greater influence on the art of the 20th century than the art of the previous periods, 18th and 19th centuries had.

While psychology seems to have been an invention of the 19th century, Pavlovian theory, Darwinism, Eugenics, Freud and the like and it wasn’t as much a player in the course of the 20th century art as in the Nazi’s concept of degenerate art. The French Impressionists, the Pre-Raphaelites and such, the Colonists of the time would flag in this era.

This is a realistic psychological era where the artist isn’t the businessman artist as in the ‘80’s. An artist will be over-educated and underclassed. As a result of this the vortex of the art world will no longer exist and will have a reversal of fortune.

The 1970’s art scene in New York was severely stigmatized for being left over second generation Abstract Expressionists. And so while students were studying Vasari’s Renaissance techniques of the artists like making your own paints, panels for egg tempera, etc., being inventive in terms of three dimensional stretchers, it was seen in the same light as Howard Hughes’ (Aviator) inventions like the Spruce Goose were failures.

Analyzing the reasons for the grasping onto neutrality by Soviet regimes, one can learn a lot about our society and the censorship that occurs based on stigmas about class and stereotyping based on sex.

One has to look at things from the top and have a more worldly perspective if one is forced to confront winning and losing in a bullying situation, and a rigged one.

Here in the free world in America things are pretty dismal. By creating a more homogenous society they prepared for the eventuality of a new age. This can be seen in their communes where natural leaders emerge, their brilliant professional strides and good relationships with people are a quintessential component for an international society.

I would tend to say that there are two kinds of liberation. There’s the good liberation and the bad. There is the victorious liberation, which was more like a giant nightmare and punishment than liberation. I think that my discussions with Natalia Ivanova, Andrey Goldin’s mom were wonderful in the sense of what really is a nice person is somebody who allows the doors to open to free ideas and no longer lives in a world of fear and danger.

But she rather permits an open dialogue where you are able to express your emotions. Well, if it doesn’t happen because there is too much competitiveness than you are back to Stage One. But I think in terms of the new ideas since Perestroika. It’s not in our religion to hide our faces and to hide ourselves. We may be cousins of Abraham and we may be descendant from Abraham all of us too, but somehow our religion didn’t impose that kind of limit on our egos. Maybe the uplifting of censorship will bring back the figurative in art. That may be something that only the outsider artists have taken on. They have an almost religious meaning to New Yorkers as can be seen by our latest Whitney Biennial starring Daniel Johnson, a self-schooled outsider artist from Waller, Texas. I also think that the reason we are embracing outsider art is out of our desperation for new ideas.

??? who had worked at Goethe House for years and years said that she had heard terrible stories about the fallen nobles of East Berlin and Poland and that she said it was inconceivable that humans could be that brutal towards one another as had happened to them.

Plus all of their assets were frozen even if they had Certificates to Swiss Banks. In the case of the Jews there were two different sides of Switzerland. One was safe. One was dangerous. And when you hear about the sponsors of the Tibetan movement, our American nobles and you realize that there are so many people that are even the owners of 16th century Dutch paintings.

We still only recently had the Berlin Wall come down, and the Germans, who were bouncing back from have been almost starved to death (i.e. Kathe Kollwitz) then reacted in a very regrettable way and just set the stage for a terrible Central European vortex of catastrophe. They were really, I think punished and very split up by the experience of the Berlin Wall.

I feel that we will all ultimately have a homogenized European society which will most likely end up on the opposite side of the rainbow from the master race, rather what Joseph Mengele was most drawn to which were young twins, infants and dwarfs.

The Nazi’s fascination with Tibet was unrivaled. They could fathom climbing Mount Everest, yet were confused by the unknown reality of self-discovery and the wheel of the dharma.

I could have had everything. I could have felt everything. In Buddhism they say that you can have everything, but then there are others. When you have little or nothing, you are one. You feel God outside. You are impervious to what I would term the higher forms of animal behavior such as jealousy and revenge. You are beyond. Art is glorified with a halo of God or of Catholic-like religion as a rainbow on the horizon behind all of the materialism everyone yearns for. These are the elements which Kings bankrupt countries over. It creates the ability to adjust to the limitations of our being.

Many of the artists I am talking about are numb when questioned. So, when I spoke to Joachim Friedrich, he seemed quite frightened to talk about his inner conflicts and his feelings about the art world. He was a baby when Joseph Beuys was shot out of his plane over the North Pole and landed in a freezing glacier and was rescued by some Eskimos. They wrapped him in whale blubber. Joseph Beuys was his father’s age.

The fact that Joseph Beuys is the German Duchamp is something that is very enjoyable to Yo Yo, and very soothing. And rather than rebelling against Joseph Beuys, the way that I feel about the contemporary art movement, he doesn’t feel rebellious. I suppose that is how he protects himself from getting the electric shock. I need to explore in order to fulfill myself. I am willing to take the pain in order to find the truth.

He enjoys being a part of the group, but doesn’t want to experience the rejection and the pain that comes from questioning and being rebellious. He spends his time thinking about art and doing art, but he doesn’t feel pressured to produce tons and tons of art. He feels harmonious about being a “baby Beuys.”

Our post-industrial world plus war create beautiful children in the midst of bombardment. Yo Yo in infancy within enemy territory is exhalting. His being bombarded with his parents is so tragic that it becomes interesting to us.

Joachim Friedrich was born in 1941 in Berlin of East German nobility. He is an idealist who loves this country. He also loves to be international. His ex-wife is Dutch.

Their daughter is a first generation American. She attends the Seven Sisters Colleges based upon her excellent grades. Yo Yo, as he is called dislikes fundamentalism in religion or politics.

His immense newspaper collages were exhibited during the late 1980’s and early

1990’s by Prisunic, which was run by French dealers in the meat market district, 409 West 14th Street. Now he wanders around like one the Apostles in Moroccan fez and soft clothes. He continues to create daily cartoon collages.

The blanket bombings of Berlin were a pretty violent early experience for a baby. It was upon his dog’s death that he confronted me about why the media finds tragedy so interesting. In the art world, egos rule. Neil Jenney’s ex-wife relates successful artists to

Wimbledon tennis greats. Her father, Chaim Gross died 20 years ago. He was much older. He was born in 1907, probably of Carpathian, or East Austrian descent.

This is what real art is all about. It doesn’t even have to be an original image. Jazz isn’t. They improvise from well-known tunes and create masterpieces on various instruments like with jazz piano or voice. Coming from the birthplace of modern jazz and Abstract Expressionism, the decades leading up to the turn of the 21st century were passive aggressive in terms of the materialistic art world and in particular the influence of the glossies were on the art.

The art magazines and the famous art critics such as Clement Greenberg didn’t have the style that made for good cover. Warhol began, with his factory and the crowd he cultivated, to become a household name. He began an art world magazine and video relationship where fashion played an important role.

It wasn’t really significant though unless the artists themselves were more than exploitative. They needed to do more than reflect the styles of the times. They needed to soul search and share themselves with the outside world on a high level.

Anyone can tell when something is high art or low art, even if it portends to be high art, but isn’t. It’s not enough to put on a façade of being a great artist. It’s possible to be a bridge for a great master to disseminate their teachings through. No wonder this causes jealousy and anger from the character that is getting walked over.

At a certain point, if the artist sees that they are an enlightening soul, they need to begin to protect their work. Someday, they will be a national or even an international treasure.

The Europeans art dealers say, we don’t really understand your society. We don’t understand how you could have had people who came over to this country in steerage without shoes, unable to write their name, and how they could have lifted themselves up over the century.

How could they have become successful and not be dictators and also be interested in art. Society in Manhattan is so advanced as compared to Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. It’s amazing that they are not racists and they’re progressive. They just can’t get it, understand it. And so we’re going supplant our people and we’re going to try it that way. We’ll see if we can’t just supplant our people here because we don’t acknowledge your existence. And we know we can succeed ‘cause we’re the buyers, you know of the art, so we can choose to buy or sell or make or break anyone we want. So we’ll just stick in our own people, you know? We’ll put in our own friends and our own people and then you can deal with that, you know, for the next fifty years.

So, how do we deal with that? Well, we’re used to having to deal with everything so what happens is we either have to go out on the street or we have to change our work so that it’s more you know, traditional. Are we really avant-garde artists? Do we like the avant-garde that much? Yeah! We like it, but we’re not going to lose sleep over it. I mean it’s not like you know, we can’t live without it.

We like it, but we personally don’t really care about it that much. I think the irony of it is that you know, if we don’t do it, if there’s no support structure for it or competition for it, it will kind of, well go by the wayside. Because it’s not going to be part of our method of survival, it becomes extinct. I’m just wondering how the school will even survive. And then the irony of it is that we are these are the ones who need it most. Towards the goal of Fluxus, this sort of idealistic support system keeps struggling within itself in this city. It’s a problem, but he continued to create very beautiful big giant newspaper collages in the meat market district when Joachim’s daughter was little. They were more sculptural. And then he stopped doing those and he started doing his daily cartoon collages on the newspapers. Joachim wanders around like one of the Apostles.

I’m interested in his parents. I know his sister is a television newscaster in Germany. We’ve had some interactions which had to do with the art world, and that’s where Yo Yo got more irritable. His love for his dog triggered an old feeling when it died. My art school sarcasm must have rang the wrong bell. I thought he was too complacent about what was going on in the art world. I wasn’t sensitive to his dog’s death. Now, I can see more clearly where he is coming from, and I can still see it. His connection to the art world has more to do with it being home base. He isn’t fanatical about being schooled. Otherwise, he would have spent all of these years taking courses in art.

Chaim died 20 years ago. Twenty years ago Chaim Gross was 80? So, then, when was he born? If he died in 1985, 1985? Deborah Jenney got married in 1987. So, he was born in 1907. So, he was more like my grandfather, my father’s father than my father. My father was born in 1928. So, he was twenty years older than my father. When I worked for the Counsel to the Austrian Consulate, Hans Harnick, he was a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, beautiful Austrian, German Jewish…oh, God! He was gorgeous. He was also very old. And he used to wear his tie thrown over his shoulder. He was so handsome! And he was in his eighties and so handsome still! You know?

I was warned not to get too Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe by Ron Gorchov who got down on his knees and cried like a baby. So, I didn’t.

I couldn’t believe it! There’s something about wild animals. Did he remarry?

My father? He remarried, but he married somebody who was a garmento, a millionairess. I read an article in the New York Post about how their business was worth 40 million dollars. That was in the 1980’s. Their bad decisionmaking bankrupted them. They lost everything! They were the typical art world collectors of the period.

She had been the Public Relations Director of the Jewish Museum in its heyday, and then The Museum of Contemporary Crafts. Maybe they were on the board. And then, Oh, my goodness! He got a divorce from her. There was no money left and that’s when we ended up with this house. It’s on Edith Wharton’s estate in Lenox, Massachusetts. Shakespeare and Company has the land nearby, as well as the Canyon Ranch Spa which has their castle next door. John Singer Sergeant built his granddaughter a cute mansion down the road.

It’s such a beautiful modern house, but he lost the house to his girlfriend. It may have been because she was tired of his living with my father. We lost our house. I couldn’t have managed it. I don’t drive and I’m disabled. What happened to the house now?

I’d have to have taken a bicycle actually. I’d have had to leave the bright red Subaru on the front lawn. You had wanted to be a ballerina?

Deborah Jenney had to give it up. She would have had to have given it up anyway because you get old, the injuries and stuff. It drove Deborah crazy. Nijinsky went crazy at her age. She was raised by one of his art dealers after he strayed on one of his University stints. Deborah wanted to be a ballerina, but had to give it up to marry Neil Jenney. It drove her crazy. She never learned to be independent without becoming manipulative. She says her stability is a front.

When people use the art world for personal power, they raise the bar for real artists. There is always a love affair, an obsession, a running away. I suppose this is called fashion. The person draws you in and you remember their name, their appearance, their loft, and their entourage.

When people are spiritually advanced, they give you more than just their name. They share with you their country, their time in history. Like such artists as Daniel Defoe, William Hogarth, William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens, William Mallord Turner, Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec there is an accuracy that goes beyond fashion and the art scene.

You enter into the time in which the artist lived and it gives something to you, whether it is Victorian England or Impressionist France. It doesn’t make you fall in love with it like a sadistic actress.

One feels empowered by what you are sharing with them, not old and exhausted by them. Their art romanticizes human existence.

What matter is how you perceive modern people. You may look at them and see something classical from the past. As a result, they may symbolize a lost world to you or the romanticisation of that life. Fixating onto a real person who is a superficial version brings into play the fear we all have of being stalked by a predator, someone who looks like a normal person, but is cannibalistic and primitive.

My morals were pure in that I wanted to work for a living, preferably in my field. But, since this was impossible I wanted to work as a legal secretary, which meant that I had to compete on the dictaphone for deadlines and my ear was slowing me down, plus the stress, was aggravating my chronic Labryinthitis.

From the first time we met, Andrey was in some kind of an alcohol-induced trance. He seemed psychotic and possessed by a demonic spirit of some kind. The spirit wanted to be worshipped on some Tsarist level as if I didn’t know about his society and his realm. It was the elegant land of the alpha beauties where such brilliance existed that one could hardly imagine.

Natalie Ivanova seemed very interesting to me, not just as an architect (architecture being the nemesis of Richard Serra) but also because in her youth, she was more beautiful than his wife was, Klara was. She was Stalin’s Barbie doll, his Varvara or Barbishka.

I can recall my first date with Andrey. He was wearing a bomber hat made of lynx when we first met. But then you can see it in their feelingless icy blue eyes. It could be Andrey Vadimovich Goldin’s ideology as well; his idealization of despotism into Star Trekky psychotic proportions.

Russia wishes only to exhibit exemplary models, wanting pugnacious art as their reward for a lifting of censorship from Stalinist times. Only, in fact, they might be madmen spouting a terrifying psychological message. The Marshall Plan may have worked for today’s post-Holocaust Germans, but to soothe the killers in a malignant society by feeding them lascivious sadism is like walking a tightrope.

Value judgments gone awry can register as science fiction to Russian émigré artists who have never experienced anything but a perilous military dictatorship. What happened to the Russian avant-garde? Art history and times past such as the age of Catherine the Great also got shelved into being well-born snobs from St. Petersburg. Spirituality and nobility became Kafkaesque. Once we got a taste for destruction and banality, off we went on a roller coaster ride.

I wonder what the art world in New York could have done to help Russia dissolve censorship during these precarious times? Maybe their leaders were waiting for us to follow their heraldic trends, but we didn’t have strong leadership in the arts at the time.

We looked closely enough at their early twentieth century artists’ to shelve them into schools of dead art such as Suprematism and Constructivism. We betrayed the Russian avant-garde in the same way we here in America rejected our roots and put undeserving people up on pedestals based upon social promotion.

Maybe the Russian Constructivists’ paintings were symbolizing aerial views of an architectural nature. They sensed that someone like h.l. Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe would appear and try to destroy what was left of the free world. Then there would be no where left to go.

Americans must be looking towards Russia and scratching their heads, maybe thinking that the Soviets cared for their people somehow more. This isn’t necessarily true. It is my opinion that the Russians have been our protectors on many occasions. They were the deciding factor to our victory during World War II. Andrei Gromyko’s speech was supportive toward the formation of Israel after the Holocaust. While we would have liked to have turned to the Poles and the Russians as our fatherlands, we have now turned toward America as having more capability to care about more than just they have.

It would be almost impossible to cast a glance on him because he was so brilliant. As my attention drifted away, his mind became possessed of someone else. I could feel someone inside of him that was different and was fractionalizing Andrey into a living ghost. The spirit of evil seemed to be acting through him. It was Josef Mengele. He had followed me throughout my life.

Natalia Ivanova, Andrey Goldin’s mother in comparison was very happy in Soviet art society, except for horrible shortages in food. That’s what drew her here to New York, and to Brighton Beach. She now resides on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.

Andrey was a Russian artist from Moscow who couldn’t get out from under some of the more aggressive women artists that were wandering around Soho. There were a lot of artists roaming around at that point. And the heroine addicted, woebegone East Village artists that were still left doing sign painting, or selling drugs were also out on the same group of streets. Soho extended from Canal Street up through Houston Street.

Andrey would travel back and forth to Brighton Beach, and I would see him wearing a long navy blue overcoat on his way to Brooklyn. He also lived on the Lower Eastside. He had an apartment in the Vladeck Housing Project on Madison Street. Many of these East Village artists crashed there.

His best friend and I had actually gone to college together at Pratt Institute. His name was Kurt Borgman. The work that he did had the same kind of feeling as the graffiti artists, only he also was a calligrapher and a professional sign painter. Before he died he went to live in New Orleans, Louisiana, which had a booming art scene and had really sensational regional art.

Andrey was also influenced by the street artists in the sense that he used things My applauding of the uplifting of censorship as I have witnessed first hand from observing my mother-in-law, Natalia Ivanova tolerate her schizophrenic son’s work.

It’s her graciousness and feelings I suppose as Perastroyka was happening was that freedom of speech for the Russians would herald in the end of censorship in the coming down of the Berlin Wall. By permitting an almost like Heronymous Bosch type art to emerge, as it was. Anything that you wanted to say you would be allowed to say. It’s like the new credo is when they do something, they really do it. And when they uplift censorship codes, they are really uplifting it with a powerful psychological catharsis.

My mother-in-law, on the other hand, was a real Minimalist.

Her credentials are such that I think when she compassions an uplifting of a certain kind of censorship, there is some meaning and reality to it.

And I think that she permitted her son who is schizophrenic to experiment and do anything that he wanted, even if he insulted her integrity with his art. I mean she let him do anything and so the result was by the time I caught what she was saying that recently for Russia, there was an uplifting of censorship.

When I saw the Russia show I really felt that that show was the barometric point where it really was. It was still at a point where they were opening up the window and exhibiting icons again, religious symbols, but I really feel that somehow there was a correlation between Stalin and censorship. And renunciation of religion and the homogenization of the crowd that this somehow led to the possibility of us having a more idealistic society.

The problem in the art world is it’s really a paid thing so you’ve got these giant monolithic galleries who are paying huge amounts of money to the advertisers in the magazines and then the art critics have to write about them and put them on a pedestal.

So, it’s like a vicious circle where it become more and more about the magazines and creating art that’s magazine ready, for the magazines so that when the magazines publish the art criticism the art is part of the mystique of the magazine in the art world. And the art criticism can just be poetic. Many of today’s supposed art critics are poets like John Yau and Jeffrey Wright. They can say the work looks like this and that. It doesn’t mean its actually criticism.

They are hired by the galleries to consult, so there are terrible problems in our free culture with crimes against serious artists. It’s cultural crime. That’s why I feel this necessity to give this book as an offering to this new period of perestroika and similarly the culture in Russia was a place where one had to take examinations in art in order to be considered a legitimate artist. Same like we have for art colleges here, the free colleges like Cooper Union.

But you still have an institutional gallery hierarchy here based upon who can pay. Fortunately the publishers of the magazines can pressure the galleries to provide them with magazine ready work and recently with the flood of new galleries, the quality of the young artist’s work has vastly improved as well as the previous galleries like Mary Boone.

It was awful what you have. You have people who are basically unschooled by free school’s highest standards who are teaching in Universities under the name of Russian Revolutionary Art pseudo-credentials, Malevich high art from the Revolution, which were the seeds of Minimalism and they use cutting edge art from the past to engrandise themselves.

Plus you have in our Coca Cola culture here or now our Jamba Juice culture here the media culture where you have to say everything as quick as possible and in one word and you have to have a trademark statement. So you’ve got the art dealers running to the bank over the dead bodies of artists who have trademark art.

And…so if you just do art and you’re good at what you do like the Renaissance artists, I mean you’re a loser in art and you’re not part of the art world. I mean everyone had their own personal styles, but that’s not enough anymore. I mean you have to have a trademark, a quick fix.

The architecture especially now that Manhattan is being rebuilt is infinitely costly. Yet, the insides of all of these modern structures are still the same cubicles as we had before. Our gorgeous old architecture in Manhattan, the old skyline buildings and townhouses had more variation inside than these new buildings where only the façade suggests modernism.

When you get inside they aren’t worthy of the modern revolution that has occurred and at best seem like factory lofts or sweatshops. They’re not sure if they are doing the right thing and want the government to back them up if no one wants to rent space in them.

If the buildings were built in the old styles like the Chrysler Building, Woolworth Building and Empire State Building, yet with more modernist interiors, maybe we could get a feeling about how it feels to live and work in modern architecture. We would also retain a feeling of quality of life and not feel that we are spending huge amounts of money for a slightly engrandised factory loft.

Even the 1960’s modern style has a better quality of life to it. No one has experienced living in modernistic environments yet. Elsa Perreti, the jeweler’s lima bean jewelry is the closest thing we have to living within a modern environment or the Guggenheim Museum and the general feeling is that most people prefer conventional real estate and classical Art Deco buildings in a climate such as this.

Maybe in the Caribbean modern architecture would be more appropriate. I know Cuba had breathtaking architectural projects along with their wonderful Art Deco charm, but it is in the Caribbean.

Or is it that you are a genius necessarily, or is it that people want your work around or they want to buy your work? Or is it something that has to do with your fashionable image? Or is it a poster collection that has to be sold in every print shop and on the Internet and everyone wants. Like a multiple? Is it to continue with this eternalistic, male sexual supremacy?

My psychic reading which I traded for a painting, a floral painting, the woman said, Well, you were an Egyptian Priest, and in this lifetime humanity will use you as a stepping stone because obviously you made them create the Pyramids. Does that upset you, she asked? Well, I don’t know, I answered. She said you will also sell your work, and then she went on to ask if she could buy some large florals.

There are tour buses, English double-decker buses coming through, tours of the Village and many tourists. It seems ideal, only middle class people don’t really grasp Abstract Expressionism. It is a rarified style that even most University Professors can’t understand and fits into interior decorating of the 1970’s very well because by then the post-war style has mellowed out.

People live in very uncomfortable small spaces and pay huge rents, or they are isolated in the suburbs and need cars. They live very rustically, so they prefer crafts that have some semblance of modern intellectuality. Wherever they are, if they are in the Swiss Alps or the Berkshires, they want the furniture and these sorts of odd natural sculptural forms or different kinds of baskets or whatever to reflect the rustic quality of their lives. In the city, very few people have large spaces and the ones that do, who have interior decorators, generally, they like antiques and they have 24 x 36” antique paintings of trees or dogs or sometimes they have large portraits.

It’s a strange world today because there are so many natural disasters and then there are so many strange parental problems, there are the jobs and problems with the kids growing up with their jobs. They may not be perfect. They may not get the perfect job. There are problems with everything being outsourced. There’s no work. There are problems with getting medical help if you need it.

The more I fall in love with the old rustic peasant style where there’s like in Switzerland, somewhere where there are these beautiful snowcapped mountains and then they have these almost prehistoric ancient looking houses with artifacts. Anything like that is very pretty. And I also like the opposite end of the spectrum.

I kind of like the Russian Amazon Painters, the Cubists, the women painters and I do like colorfield paintings, Robert and Sonia Delauney. I like Dada. I love Dada. I like all the different schools. Ashcan school, and WPA period, but I tend toward rainbows and my own color sense. And when art is sort of like a coloring book for me, coloring in and copying and going to the edge of my cool boundaries that way. Enlargements, and that’s really what I like. I seem to avoid multi media. I probably would be able to sell florals because I’m really good at florals, but I don’t know if that’s really my forte. I think that I’m really more interested in old landscapes.

My meeting with Vrej Baghoomian, sitting in a dark bistro on Spring Street during the early 1980’s, stemmed from my having had a friendship with Tony Shafrazi and other Armenian born artists in New York culminated with his remark about my being number 300,000th in line to success.

Maybe so, but Mr. Polcari of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art accepted the original slides of all of the giant calligraphic watercolors I did in the 1980’s. My father photographed them from the esplanade over the football field behind Columbia University with equipment we rented.

This is a new phenomena because they kind of are thrown off by it, a lot thrown off by it, let me tell you! It’s like, it explains why Neil Jenney would fall into a successful mold with them because he fits into a more European concept of what it should be to be part of this art world. I don’t think, and I don’t think it’s just from Europe. I think it goes all the way across to California because you’ve got your beloved Southerners who moved out there after the Civil War. You’ve got all your, a lot of big industrialists and magnates in publishing.

When we in the West get competitive, the way we are eternalistic about ourselves, we turn ourselves into these endlessly tiresome, pagan figures. They have all kinds of methods in the East of assimilating all of that. And their ability to recover is thanks to their being a more homogeneous people. We, in America are mixtures. And I think Europeans intimidate us because they are more pureblooded and have kept their own language.

Trotsky talked about the communists’ new, improved version of man, his anatomy, his physiology and that part of his physiology which is called his psychology.” I don’t think he got along too well with Stalin on the subject of his psychology. For that Trotsky would have to communicate with New York.

At that time even New York was struggling with the rest of the United States which was still too right wing. This is what tragically led Trotsky to Mexico and to Diego Rivera.

Similarly, Donald Judd and Jeff Koons portray our environment as something that can be easily manipulated and overturned by their grandiose perspectives and impressive materials.

One has to look at Russia to explain it. Within the Western community styles and

that he had found on the street to do his art. It was a combination of constructivist art with metal or different things that he found and architectonic painting. He had also studied architecture with his mother, Natalia Ivanova and had a sci fi sense of turning these found objects into greater universes.

The paintings would have a vortex and would contain a series of drafted lines that would be radiating in or out from these vortexes. They were usually about plurality in a

Russian sense of the word. While they used a meditative vortex in the same way as Tom Bronk’s work, they weren’t about Americana in words and plastic colorations, but were about multitudinous districts, yet centrally located sensibilities.

The color was subtle, blues and beiges and greens, and flesh tones that were the general architectural painting colors. Sometimes Andrey’s paintings would resonate more like in an American Indian kind of a way, but with a stronger vortex that was reaffirmed with stronger sculptural neutrality. A transformation would occur.

They were snowflake like, like giant snowflakes or like transformers that little boys played with in the 1980’s. There were transformer toys that would go from a snowflake into a palatial hall and then into a monster, airplane or spacestation.

Mostly I saw these snowflakes. There were a lot of snowflakes and there were horizontal vortex schemes with lots of lines, pencil lines that had triangulated shapes radiating out of them. They might break into a constructivist sculpture. And he had paintings of women that were sometimes standing in the middle of these universes, Elizabethan monkey queens with strange bodies whose stomachs would open up with a kind of forensic like detail. There were cubist paintings of their insides that were relatively accurate although abstracted and made to look symmetrical and geometric.

And he and his mother were very involved with each other. His mother, Natalia Ivanova had been a very successful architect and applied artist, or what was considered

someone inside of him that was different and was fractionalizing Andrey into a living ghost. The spirit of evil seemed to be acting through him. It was Josef Mengele. He had followed me throughout my life.

Natalia Ivanova, Andrey Goldin’s mother in comparison was very happy in Soviet art society, except for horrible shortages in food. That’s what drew her here to New York, and to Brighton Beach. She now resides on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.

Andrey was a Russian artist from Moscow who couldn’t get out from under some of the more aggressive women artists that were wandering around Soho. There were a lot of artists roaming around at that point. And the heroine addicted, woebegone East Village artists that were still left doing sign painting, or selling drugs were also out on the same group of streets. Soho extended from Canal Street up through Houston Street.

Andrey would travel back and forth to Brighton Beach, and I would see him wearing a long navy blue overcoat on his way to Brooklyn. He also lived on the Lower Eastside. He had an apartment in the Vladeck Housing Project on Madison Street. Many of these East Village artists crashed there.

His best friend and I had actually gone to college together at Pratt Institute. His name was Kurt Borgman. The work that he did had the same kind of feeling as the graffiti artists, only he also was a calligrapher and a professional sign painter. Before he died he went to live in New Orleans, Louisiana, which had a booming art scene and had really sensational regional art.

Andrey was also influenced by the street artists in the sense that he used things

an artist in Soviet Russia. She was forced to channel her creativity and become an architect.

In Russia, if you had talent, you had to choose to do something that was art related. I think by the time Natalie was in college, the nationalistic sculptures of Stalinist times had already been done. By then, someone like Natalie would have done exactly what she did, which was to study architecture.

And her work was mostly involved with renovations of the Cultural Palace in Moscow, and the Ministry of Defense. She created Soviet housing projects and renovated parks. She did projects within Moscow and also on the outskirts. She traveled, as a Soviet era consultant to India.

Natalie has also been a consultant in Armenia and loved the Armenian people. She was working very hard for the Soviet Government. And she also did her own illustrations that she found enjoyable, little thumbnail sketches of ballroom dancing and various things like that. She could do anything. But she was also a muse, which unfortunately we in New York were unable to do. Being more or less of a muse, in the same way that the Ph.D.’s and the art Minimalist historians and the contemporary art historians of Richard Serra’s were. Only she was an artist also.

She was not just an art historian. Her mother had renounced her Hebrew faith at the onset of the Revolution. Her father didn’t have to. He was a handsome factory laborer. I suppose nobody bothered about him. He was tall and had no hair at all. His name was Roman Ivanov.

Andrey was born in 1960 and his family tree dates back to the Tsar’s Navy in the it was his great grandfather, who was a famous naval strategist during the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905). He was really part and parcel of his mother’s scene in Brighton Beach. His work is almost identical to the genre of work that I saw at the Guggenheim on the top floor of the artists that were born in the 1960’s such as Ilya Kabakov. Kabakov’s composite installation, The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment, 1985-1988 was actually installed in the artist’s studio before perestroika.

What’s unusual about Andrey’s work is that he is part of the Brighton Beach Russian art scene and is the son of such an accomplished Russian woman artist. Andrey was writing conceptual art poetry at the same time as he was creating these complicated constructivist paintings.

And he has enough Russian graffiti art for 1,000 giant art exhibitions at huge Kunsthalls. Each one of his intensive pages of scribbles is a complete art show and could be crafted onto the walls of giant Kunsthalls and galleries throughout the world. If only Kurt were still alive. His perfectly streamlined calligraphy would be the perfect vehicle for Andrey’s work to be enlarged.

Currently, in addition to these paintings and sculptures he has been creating his autobiographical art, and also his most personal messages. He also does drawings, which are very Elizabethan and have very delicate draftsmanship, and have vortexes and lots of

triangulated shapes emanating from them. And he always has strange faces on them and strange women, creatures who look like they’re in the center of some kind of a strange emanation in the universe.

And Andrey’s temperament is similar to that of his pencil renditions. He is filled with anger and suffers from blackouts, an oblivion which probably relates to how intensely he feels. His feelings are very intense, almost cannibalistic. He has trouble controlling his emotions. His emotions get the better of him.

And Andrey really can’t differentiate between having his own life and being unbelievably jealous and appalled by the wealth and the bourgeoisie existences of the wealthier people that he sees. He doesn’t know how they did it or why it’s not happening to him. He blames it on the fact that he is an immigrant and he’s not native.

Yet he left Moscow to come to America and I’m sure there was a higher reason why he left. It may have been a father and son thing. But what I think is that his father, Vadim removed him because he sensed that Andrey was endangered there. He was too outspoken for the new Russia and the way that things really were there. In particularly he would overemphasize the nationalistic presence to the point where he really was overdoing it.

He wasn’t welcomed here in the way that he expected. He wasn’t able to focus on what he was doing because maybe at that moment in time in 1980, his focus was on the travesty that the art world was entering into. We had no concept of internationalism until the 1990’s when the London Art School artists emerged.

We had Gerhardt Richter and his multi-faceted art, but we would only look at countries of origin in terms of art scenes like with London or Leipzig. When he came here, we didn’t have a conceptual, linguistic, outsider art world, let alone one that would welcome a schizophrenic from Russia.

We were underground as far as our own word art was concerned. Graffiti art was going to happen, but only in retrospect so that by the year 2006 the Brooklyn Museum had a museum show dedicated to it.

And Russia was still Soviet at that point. It didn’t have perestroika yet. And after perestroika and the overthrowing of the Soviets style government, there came a reaction to the Soviet era which stigmatized artists who had been a part of that period. There was so much misunderstanding about Soviet era art and people in this country were so negative, that they took advantage of what had been.

During Stalin’s lifetime, he cultivated classical monumental art which was manicured and beautiful. He recreated art in the style of Michaelangelo. The finest craftsman in the country were commissioned. Upon that, most likely, one of the oldest and most creative and poetic countries, they also had brilliant artisans and they worked for Stalin doing classical art.

What was wrong with that was that he had killed 20 million of his own people. The Chinese had killed 30 million of their own people during the Cultural Revolution and they’re still Communists. The Germans had been responsible for 11 million people. There have always been horrible genocidal deaths all over the world, not to say that it’s commonplace, but in terms of the art world after the fall of the Soviet regime, the art was the epitaph of the millions of people who had suffered. It became a joke, and it was immediately referred to as Sots art.

It wasn’t a joke. It was serious art. They did a lot of art during Stalin. And of course, Stalin hated his own peasants and hated Christianity. Russian Orthodoxy and all of the art that related to Christianity was subjugated. In China, religious art in Tibet was destroyed. They actually blew up their own religious temples when they took over Tibet. Tibet was part of China then.

There was no reason to destroy these magnificent medieval shrines. They were of the highest art and antiquities. The Nazis also destroyed their own religious history when they desecrated and burned Hebrew temples.

The empire, which had existed for hundreds of years, was as much an integral part of their history as it was for the Jews. Stalin loathed religious art. His own mother was a devout Russian Orthodox. What he spent millions replacing it with shouldn’t have been treated so badly. It was also art. I’m sure the Tibetan Lamas would agree.

Destroying communities or individuals that feel positively toward the community is ultimately self-destructive. Getting back to Andrey’s dilemma as a young artist awaiting his relocation to whatever country would sponsor him and his father, he emerged as a troubled soul.

He was in his early twenties and sat in a castle in Vienna awaiting further word on his immigration to Israel, New York, Austria or Italy. He was unaware of what was going on in New York City or how the end of the 1970’s had created such a huge rift in the art world. He was in a total vacuum as far as the early history of Russian Revolutionary art was concerned.

His feeling that he could more or less depend on the tradition of craftsmanship Russia had with wood was there. Making constructivist sculptures out of wood or metal, and the old crafts like stenciling were understandable to him. He could somehow relate it to Cubism, but really, for the most part it was a matter of familiarity with basic materials that kept him busy. He invented his own language as he began to learn English and wrote pages of poetry which combined Russian and English. His writing was portable and it resembled James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake,” only it became jumbled as he delved deeper and deeper into his schizophrenia.

He must have seen Duchamp. He must have understood about how intellectuals were funny because they were useless to a society of workers. In the West, they became gurus. When you turned a spoon into a useless object and it didn’t work anymore, you twisted it, you sawed it and you attached a chain, there was no longer any fear of being unproductive.

Pavlovian concepts of getting an electric shock every time you tried to get a morsel of food were fascinating to Andrey. Instances that would have caused terrible domino effects were passable. He spent a good amount of time experimenting with this new unlimited state of being. He found many things to amuse himself about the new leniency of the free world. He and his father kept very absorbed in the new cultural possibilities as they awaited news of what country would sponsor them.

They waited in these waiting zones for immigration to decide which country they would be going to. They didn’t have a lot of money and he didn’t speak the language. He didn’t know which language he would need to learn.

His fascination with language as he was learning English came through in his studies. There emerged a new art form, which related old Shakespearean Russian which he had spoken in Moscow with the various new languages he was learning to speak. In his notes there was mostly a smelting or fusing of his creative energies into drawing. From language his ideas, his obsession with language or with leaving his, his feelings of leaving his own culture behind him were expressed in this new form of art. How sad he must have felt to leave his mother, brother, Dimitry, girlfriend, Masha who was pregnant with his unborn child. He left his brilliant artist mother in Moscow. He felt this feeling of loss, of leaving something behind, losing his own culture.

And upon his arrival in the United States, his schizophrenia emerged in full blown fashion. He camouflaged his illness by becoming alcoholic. Psychology wasn’t even on the map in Russia. Probably it was just too frightening from where he had come from to encounter his own schizophrenia in a totally unknown country.

His language at that time deteriorated and became a new language. Having to learn a second language and relate to a new culture was overwhelming. Plus, worrying about his acceptance into the new culture when we are socially so brutal was really difficult.

I don’t think I would have the energy to really be in charge of anything right now, but I’m able to go to some of the openings. The dealers, like Paul Kasmin, look at me as if they want my approval!

I mean it should have just shot through in a way, which was more seriously committed toward Abstract Expressionism. William Burroughs, the writer symbolized it in his Dadaist influenced paintings done during the 1980’s. By shooting a gun into a canvas he pursued the idea that modernism is like a bullet.

The people of New York are always suspicious of something uncanny or unexplainable and they can’t relate to. Ultimately, what they wanted and agreed upon were swirling benches painted brightly and cheerfully that was part sculptures and part art.

I’m also confused about how art historians can prefer value on a painting by a drunken driver who drove his car into a tree and killed himself when they can just as easily acknowledge the equal value of African Tribal Art or the Art of Oceanic. And Jackson Pollack also killed an innocent girl who was in the car with him in the process. He couldn’t surmount his limitations in the way I’m doing.

Then there’s brilliant, Rothko, who also committed suicide by cutting his elbows. Arshiel Gorky got depressed and hung himself. So did Diane Arbus, Spaulding Grey, Janis Joplin, and Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh seemed to portray the people around him as unfeelingful and crude people. I’m sure they were affected by people’s disapproval of the direction their work was going in.

Their ancient castles in Schwerin, East Germany are conveniently there to intimidate Americans. Kornelia van Berswordt-Wallrabe turned it into an outdoor sculpture park with kinetic sculptures. Nina Goede, who came from Berlin to New York to perform her version of Medea at La Mama reassured me that Schwerin is like Pittsburgh which I have to say sounds pretty lame. Kornelia was Alexander’s wife and the mother of his kids. Alexander von Berswordt-Wallrabe sponsored Richard Serra’s first sculpture, The Tilted Arc. It sat in the circle of land around the Holland Tunnel.

Subsequently, during the 1980’s there was a public outcry when Richard Serra’s “Tilted Arc” was set to be on permanent display at 26 Federal Plaza. That is where the Immigration offices are, and the precious Black Slave Burial Grounds.

The people who worked at 26 Federal Plaza felt that in the event of a terrorist attack, the Serra would be a dangerous time bomb of shrapnel, quite perceptive of them since they knew nothing about Bochum’s history. They felt it was an arc of death.

When His Eminence, Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche and his niece Lanzi drove me there, he said that from seeing my mother’s home, I would become like Picasso. My mother was very private and soon I was headed to a long retreat up in the Catskills where I would paint and study Tibetan Buddhism.

I invited Emily to the Tibetan Center and she made some comment about her fall not being caught by these Lamas.

A short time later I heard that she had jumped off a six-floor building on 145th Street and died.

Many kids in my generation were forced into a corner by the art world, and their families. Even the wealthy kids had broken homes and parents who, while they might even have been favored, weren’t able to trust their kids when they were having a rough time outside. Their parents wanted to be part of the inner sanctum, and didn’t want to think about the rejection their kids were experiencing.

On the one hand, our parents were interesting. They were successful in spite of the value systems of whatever decade had sufficed to take over. Many of the kids were suicidal. For me, survival was normal and rejection was something that damaged my nerves, but I could see wasn’t because of my inadequacies.

I could see prejudice, but was going with the flow. I retook the ATS-W and LAST at Jacob Javits Center and my license to teach art was renewed and extended to include elementary school level. On my way to the test, the subway ride was a roller coaster ride for me. Outside the window another train passed and my eyes were glued to the pattern of the moving train as if it were running through my mind. I was so scared. I was sure I would be ill during the testing.

When I entered the giant testing room at Jacob Javits Center, the college students from Columbia and Bank Street were vibrating the table as they wrote their essays. The feeling of vibration was making me nauseous too. I had no idea that I was suffering from traumatic vestibulopathy. It never occurred to me until the following summer.

As I walked through the kitchen of my apartment, I had an attack and as the room began to spin, I fell on the stove. My weight and my sense of gravity threw me down onto the stove so strongly that I couldn’t lift myself up.

I experienced seizures constantly that summer. I had to hold on for dear life. I recollect being swept away on Riverside Drive as a child by what I thought was the wind. I would have to hold onto railings and cars to return to my balance.

I found myself too sick to continue to work as a Substitute Teacher at Manhattan Technology in Chinatown. The Regional Director of the Upper Westside to work full-time for the summer uptown had just called me. I had to decline the job offer. Instead I sought legal counsel and medical help.

My illness was acknowledged as so severe that I was eligible for disability. Having worked for many years as a legal secretary, I almost had enough to pay my bills. I would only be short for groceries. How can you give restitution claims for someone who wasn’t born during World War II?

The Germans finally announced that there would be restitution for labor done in the concentration camps and each inmate would be remunerated a small amount. It was a token gesture. For people who were guinea pigs in master race experiments, survival was the reward. One could transform oneself into the victimizer for fun, but not against one’s own people. Rather, one could become a disapproving audience for dull people with attitude problems, rather than take the brunt of the butt of a gun being hit over one’s head.

 

CONCLUSION

During Soviet times, all things foreign became objects of suspicion by the authorities for treasonous activity. No longer was Russia enamored of the outside world. The fashion houses of Paris were submerged and the French language was dropped in favor of their native tongue. This may have created a challenge for the French of whom many intellectuals like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre joined the Communist Workers’ Party until they realized what they were doing was incorrect.

Louise Bourgeois was the oldest “it” girl in the art world. When I visited her studio, she looked to be in her nineties. As decrepit and old as she is, she still seemed to have a bad case of penis envy. Her sculptures have phallic shapes everywhere. I felt that she had been given success because she was a placater and not because the art world had accepted her for who she was. I wondered who she really was. I didn’t know. I’m sure she would have not have preferred to be part of an African tribe carving fertility icons out of wood. But here, that’s what she was doing and as such, she was an anomaly.

Because Louise Bourgeois was so Whitebread and French, she served a purpose in the art world. While claiming to be progressive on the one hand we practice hermeticism in the art world. She was a feminist and yet she was in denial about what philosophical signs and symbols she was using. I find African art more vintage and haunting.

It seems to me that we’re better off when we follow the old 19th century ideals and rather than spending a year on one painting like Vermeer did. To accelerate the process and learn from action painting and colorfield painting to do quick redo’s of everything from recolorizing reproductions of the great masters to redesigning Titian, Delacroix, and Gerricault. We have digital methods of gathering old data from the Internet and revamping and recycling the art collections of the past. Maybe the images are great, but the color stifles them holding them in check. Artists can feel that this period is one of a great renewal of art and that we are all evolving into true art appreciators and collectors, as minor as the sale price may be.

I collect African Art. I trade my paintings with a woman dealer from Liberia, and feel fortunate to own some good tribal sculptures. Her mother was a tribal woman and her father was a British Colonialist. Because the American slaves who returned to Africa created new laws to protect Liberia, only Blacks were allowed to own land. That is how her mother acquired so much land. She owns more land than the state of Texas. The African Section of the Metropolitan Museum is immense and goes on forever in skylit rooms with endless sections for each part of Africa. The Egyptian Ruins are even on a gigantic, crystalline pond of water with one huge window facing out onto Central Park. The Modern Section on the other hand is hidden near a staircase. Only modern painting junkies go there.

Many people who are driven with a desire for success use the modern art world as a way to make money and get attention. There are always club scenes and restaurants like Max’s Kansas City, Food or the Ocean Club where they can dominate the social scene during each decade in one way or another. The women are usually posing as waitresses, but are multi-lingual and have been schooled in art outside of the country. They can be quite brilliant.

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They also play games with women. Throughout the history of art, the women are the more exposed of the two sexes and have to be the more inspirational. The President of Harvard said that as brilliant as women are, they can’t follow formulas in math, science and philosophy as well as men can. It may be true that throughout history, women became the forces behind men’s success because they couldn’t get serious. It could be that the act of raising small children requires women to be more lighthearted and playful.

We came from a long history in Europe. The Eastern Europeans were cogs in the wheel. The Russians led the Cold War. They not only built the Berlin Wall, but also in the early 1960’s set up nuclear missile bases all across Cuba, aimed at 90 million Americans.

Whatever Kennedy’s mistake was in depending on outsiders, he may have done certain things with his brother to polarize organized crime against themselves. Possibly the CIA was in on this because of the botched up Cuban presidential assassination. Probably the Kennedy assassinations had more to do with inside vendettas. The final result is painful to remember.

The 1960’s put an end to our Bohemian art world in New York. Andy Warhol and his vicious crowd of Pop artists sterilized the real art world. Copycats clones of real artists appeared and the real artists were sacrificial lambs. America loves libertines and have always leaned on them. So, there is a vicious cycle that continues to go on skipping one generation and using phony displays of weakness to supplement our own people’s imperfections. We think we can make or break whomever we want and that nothing matters. This is probably true.

Severe schisms and the subsequent rejection of the abstract immediately follows when it was no longer provides a support structure. The irony of it since we control the media, we get caught in our own web of deception. It’s fine while young and beautiful, but a moan of “I’m not going to pay for it myself like Christo!” rings out when we get old and flatulent. We in America like classical art anyway, even if it was dictatorial.

After all, we have South America below us and they are a lawless society. We are a Capitalist society. Europe has become a tourist attraction for throngs of Asians. We are at war with the Middle East. Africa is becoming in focus, and eventually the world will address its problems. China is becoming an educated consumer society. Canada has a socialized government like Scandinavia. Russia still has rich oligarchs in oil and minerals and is an autocracy. They see themselves as seventy years behind.

Many of us have been schooled in petty theft. The Europeans on the other hand are stigmatized by Renaissance art’s brilliance. I suppose all the while, Christo made back some of his money selling posters and calendars in gift shops and bookstores. We just get dressed up in our Victoria Secrets lingerie and Diane van Furstenberg’s and go to openings.

Suddenly, the art world opens up and becomes like a giant library where through technology, we are no longer limited to schools of art, and find ourselves able to dip into the scholarly archives of the world’s history of art. The analysis is no longer chronological, but is rather, in my view, about light and color and approach, mood.

If there is a trend toward peaceful, soothing art now, it is because we are under a lot of pressure to compete with the rich. We have problems with dissatisfied kids and the guise of being progressive depends on trying to cause a quizzical reaction, a physical experience of awkwardness and disbelief. The Catholics seem to be falling back into the old belief systems in the same way that the Russians are falling back into totalitarianism. South American society is still very Catholic as it suits them, and uses their religion as a crutch. They are renowned for being heartless crooks in the same breath.

Repopulating the art world with whomever they wanted, my mother’s generation of worthy women painters became exasperated at the situation for her daughter. A much larger picture than mother or father emerged. Yet at the same time, I think that I gathered the information of the ages during my apprenticeship with Ron Gorchov and in the decades that followed experimenting with abstract painting. I know I would be a great art professor if I specialized in Abstract Expressionism.

The addition of all of the new technology creates unlimited opportunities to explore art that the old masters didn’t have. They had their optical boxes and the same pigments and they had studios with entire groups of artists working on their paintings.

The Danish political cartoon depicting Allah with a bomb on his head is another example of insensitivity to an integrated society. Then, when their life is threatened they conveniently equate themselves with the left, and with Salman Rushdie.

Adam Baumgold has George Grosz and Pablo Picasso mixed in with his artists like Mark Kostabi and Saul Steinberg. They’re doing two saggy, baggy old women and it’s a big joke on all the old artist women that never made it and are so desperate. I was thinking of these two Turkish fishermen who were making a barbecue and they are so gorgeous and the two boys from some cool, up to date cartooning magazine. You know, Christine Burgin is into it, contributing artwork towards it. And everybody seems to be in this turn of the century… It’s so fascinating; they’re interested in all of these cartooning artists. Chris Ware, and they’re so cool! And there are these books at Barnes & Nobles and all of the art bookstores, but I just wonder if in fact, thinking about George Grosz and Pablo Picasso is a dead-end. I don’t know if I want Adam Baumgold to even prove to be a dead-end since he is so important because he is right near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

These people themselves don’t realize they have done anything wrong and in fact see themselves as having revolutionary spirit. Since many of them come from Socialist countries where they had lifetime security in their jobs, their deathhold stems more from the French Revolution, the Nazi’s or maybe even the Bolsheviks. They don’t understand how they are being used to blockade and undermine humanity. Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiate’s lives were also very temporal and once they were gone left a generic and superficial heritage.

As far as knowing how to paint a painting, it is too bad that our lives have become more about fake barometers of success than about honesty. If there is a group effort, it is possible to over-ride the hate mongering. But, there is the relative and the absolute. There is non-committal love and then there is higher love. I think this is what my creative statement is about. Unfortunately, the contemporary art market is about banality because too many con artists have infiltrated the art scene.

And now they say that St. Clair Cemin and Julian Schnabel have tried to provide Ron Gorchov with a studio, and try to help him make a comeback. While St. Clair Cemin is related to the Brazilian dictator, nevertheless, he is a talented sculptor whose sculptures appeal to people in the arts.

Robert Storr wrote an article about Ron Gorchov and Vito Schnabel gave him a show down in some car showroom near the Holland Tunnel. It was a retrospective and he sold a lot of the work. I heard it from Bill Copley, who is married to a woman who was Leo Castelli’s assistant for 19 years. The buzz is that maybe he’ll make a comeback and at least bring modern painting back in because it has practically disappeared

I can’t even handle doing vintage Abstract Expressionist paintings cause I’m still confused about how our society works. How could it value a painting by a drunken driver? Pollack drove into a tree and killed himself and killed an innocent girl who was in the car with him that night. I don’t understand how art dealers can validate the art that was made by people that are murderers and suicidal maniacs. Why should we idolize people like that? But the art world is filled with people who are out of touch with their feelings and are irresponsible.

I remember the 1950’s and many women were wearing textiles that were scribble scrabble. My mother had a little jeweler’s kiln and made enamel pins with drip patterns. They didn’t know about Jackson Pollack. Everyone did it then, especially young women.

On the other hand, avant-garde galleries and museums aren’t going to show lighthouses and sailboats either. They want something cutting edge. I recently met Roger Welch at Ron Gorchov’s show at P.S. 1 and we exchanged e-mails. He had done a video sculpture of a lighthouse with moving sky and water from the Pacific Coast on one side and a similar scene from the Atlantic Coast on the other.

We all laugh a lot about Leo’s girlfriends. I had a brief interaction with one of Castelli’s girlfriends and my mother-in-law had made short shrift of this woman when I had tried to help her after Castelli died.

She had had a nervous breakdown and was wandering around in the woods in Vermont and trying to get her family to help her. She was never a household name to begin with, like Warhol or Basquiate.

My mother-in-law looked like an innocent farm girl, but she also kind of looked like a tribal queen because I’ve never seen more gorgeous white blue Asiatic eyes than on her. She was a sight to be seen with long black eyelashes and ice blue eyes. She was very womanly and shapely, not too tall, just the perfect height, with wonderful legs, slender girlish legs. And she was very buxom, with a beautiful Russian smile, a beautiful dark voice and the mind of a genius. I think an Einsteinium mind.

She was the Commander of Architecture and of 10,000 men, and renovated the Cultural Palace, and worked on various Soviet housing projects. She was the quintessential Russian artist of the Soviet period who wasn’t basically a sculptress or a painter of that kind of heraldic art. She was a real Minimalist.

Her eyes were light blue and her lashes jet black. Her features were that of a tribal queen. She had a body like Pamela Anderson, but has a mind like Albert Einstein. She is as immediate as a tiger and in her youth was uncommonly beautiful.

The problem in the art world is it’s really a paid thing, so you’ve got these giant monolithic galleries who are paying huge amounts of money to the advertisers in the magazines and then the art critics have to write about them and put them on a pedestal.

So, it’s like a vicious circle where it becomes more and more about the magazines and creating art that’s magazine ready so that when the magazines publish the art criticism the art is part of the mystique of the magazine is dull. The Tibetans credo is that the wrong view is going to come out dull.

This applies to the art world as well. And the art criticism can just be poetic. It doesn’t need to have any substance either. Many of today’s supposed art critics are poets like John Yau and Jeffrey Wright. They can say the work looks like this and that. It doesn’t mean it’s actually criticism. They’re just writing poetry around the work.

Not only is there total censorship here, but many of the galleries make money by not caring about artists and art historical periods. So, it’s just unbelievable! The gallery system creates its own censorship. And then you have these people who are appendages, that are out to destroy the character of anybody who is seriously into change. Because they are hired to keep things going in a fun but on in a status quo way which puts down artists as being parasites on the economy.

Plus you have in our Coca Cola culture here or now our Jamba Juice culture here. Our media culture promotes saying everything as quickly as possible and in one word and you have to make a trademark statement. So you’ve got the art dealers running to the bank over the dead bodies of artists who make trademark art.

If you just do art and you’re good at what you do like the Renaissance artists, you become the loser in the current art world of which you are a perennial art opening loser. I mean everyone had their own personal styles, but that’s not enough anymore. Today, you have to have a trademark, a quick fix.

And it’s quite a complicated society. At the same time you have this boom of pornography, you know, super Cibachromes, millions of magazines, movies and DVDs and you’ve got a virtual male sexual revolution going on.

I think it was very intelligent for the Russians to include interior design and furniture in their armory shows, as their history of applied arts is a legitimate part of their art expression. I also think that in keeping with the great bond of friendship that we have with Russian art in the 20th Century, it can bridge over our Abstract Expressionism movement into the 21st Century as a legitimate art form and course of study for students.

And maybe they feel sort of that they are dictators. I think that is true in the case of certain artists where they are geniuses and they may be unschooled and they may be from dictatorships. So they may have somehow have transcended their subjugation, and I would say that that would tend to be the case for someone who is in a giant art show and puts in a crowbar. And they happen to be from Austria such as Stefan Eins.

Contemporary art will eventually become waste matter for the auction houses. All of the confrontation and sensationalism will become part of the lore of the free world. What will the alpha mother in Russia say when she sees Rineke Dijkstra’s color coupler print signed and numbered of the most naïve Polish girl in a plain bathing suit? How will her mother react when she sees one of her porcelain figures as a Study for Midlake by Laurie Simmons? How frustrating when it is all part of a sophisticated art establishment. It just seems to me that it is art used for revenge. I’ve never wanted to do that.

The Post-War period in art is all about the alpha mother. So, the uplifting of censorship is a moot point. She doesn’t care what her children think because she is at the top of her game. She is blamed for the wars, inflation and global warming. No matter how glamorous she was or how many upgrades she employed, she is feared and obsessed over by the art world. Part of it has to do with her effect on censorship and the betrayal felt by the creative mind. The art world is completely influenced by all of these games because security is paramount. Culture has no effect on security in a society ruled by an all-compassionate mother. You can say anything. You can be degrading towards her. She can permit you to have a catharsis over her dead body because for her, not only does she know that she is perfect, but freedom of speech doesn’t effect her anymore.

Art collecting has always been connected to the sleazy end of the art world, that of prostitution. Even Vincent Van Gogh sliced off his ear to send to a prostitute who scorned him. While the objects of scorn by many artists, who tear apart their grandmother’s vanity tables aren’t really as evil as innocent, where flashy cars with collectors come, there is always another motivation than collecting student grade art.

The year was 1992. Andrey appeared to be very sweet and kindly at first, almost demure. He seemed very happy to wander the streets of Soho with his group of friends, who were all artists during that time. Some of them showed in galleries in Soho. Some had their own galleries in the East Village, which was the upcoming scene. He was always with Nancy Stark, who was a very aggressive young street artist. She was always covered with paint, but dressed like an art collector. She never wore jeans. No one could get near him when she was around.

I first talked to him at the Manhattan Bistro on Spring Street when I offered to buy them coffees. He immediately reached out to me romantically. His best friend was named Kurt. Kurt had been at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn when I was there. He also had a connection with Jessica Dworkin, my classmate from Pratt. She was very likeable and popular around the Soho art scene.

I kept seeing him on the street for year after year. He kept motioning to me to get together. Kurt also kept telling me that Andrey wanted to be together with me. I saw him in the shadows of Greene Street wearing a long navy blue coat. He said he was going to his mother’s place in Brooklyn. I didn’t know he had such an interesting mother.

Then one day when I was putting on lipstick in the lobby of Leo Castelli Gallery he stood next to me and asked, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life alone?” I was wearing a vintage jumpsuit in white with black polka dots.

My dilemma at that time was that since 1979, I had had an affair with a high Tibetan Lama. It ended somewhere in 1982. From 1982 through the early 1990’s I had a platonic friendship with Will Guy, the Cherokee Indian artist. I had been taught that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche would not return after his death. After the world had become a barbaric place, people would look up into the clouds, and His Holiness would be there beckoning for them to come up. I really believed this. Even though Lama Rinchen had rejected me and gone back to Nepal, I was unable to engage in any type of sexual relations because of this. It kept me from contracting AIDS.

The day I found out that unlike this prophecy, His Holiness had reincarnated somewhere in Ladak, I went to an art opening at Trial Balloon, a women’s gallery run by two Australian art dealers. My feeling was that since His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche had been reborn, which he wasn’t supposed to do, I could have another sexual relationship. Had he not been reborn, I would have remained celibate indefinitely.

Standing next to the beer with an adorable woman by his side was Andrey Goldin. I asked him for a date that next Tuesday. He said yes. We met above West Broadway in a dilapidated old deli. He was wearing a lynx bomber hat and was drunk on Vodka. He looked at me with these huge watery blue eyes and seemed out of his mind. He spoke in his own language. It was a version of English, but had invented words that he used in the same context. Eventually, I learned his language. I didn’t know that he was severely schizophrenic, but it made a lot of sense. I was also sick and didn’t know it. I had very bad symptoms, yet was unaware of my illness. I just got sick and that was that.

We were showing our work at Blondie’s on Thompson Street and my days were spent as a legal secretary in the Woolworth Building working for Melito & Adolfsen, an insurance defense law firm on the 28th Floor. Fordham Law School had been on that very floor where my grandfather had gone and become a lawyer.

The Woolworth Building was O.K. It wasn’t the Chrysler Building. I had started at Rockefeller Plaza working for Andrew Manshell and Hans and Stephen Harnick. There were also Wachtell and Manheim. Grouf had died. At the Woolworth Building, we weren’t doing restitution claims for World War II victims. We were working on projects like polluted rivers and Love Canal. Love Canal was a tragedy like Chernobyl where a chemical plant had caused an entire community to die or get maimed and blinded.

The politics at Melito & Adolfsen were pretty rough from the moment I walked through the door. The office managers were always trying to fire the secretaries and they themselves were getting fired by the partners for doing so. The partners were very mean. The lower skilled women were also really conniving. I was on final notice for around nine years and finally was fired.

On the other hand, the high art world is a front for deluded artists and art dealers. It purposely excludes the new approaches to American philosophy. At best someone like Kara Walker comes along who reinforces us about the negativity that existed in the Black community in America and the British and Dutch colonial properties. This doesn’t engrandise us, but rather is a fascinating study for these giant factories at Mass MOCA or DIA or whatever. Similarly, Hannah Wilke’s swollen nudes of herself readied for intercourse while getting Chemotherapy intravenously are not something that engrandises us, but rather is more about this uplifting of censorship which seems to gravitate to the degradation of women.

When I look at these monarchs like Catherine the Great, I feel a sense of her motherhood. I can smell her taffeta dress. She seems warm and approachable. I can pretend that I am her and my face is hers. I marvel at her creation of Russian style in her pastel colored buildings that also go on for blocks. Everything they did was enameled in cloisonné colors like the Faberge eggs. I’m not repressed by her presence, whereas when people who are using New York as a parking lot and really live somewhere else confront us in Manhattan, the schism occurs in me.

You can peruse the cartooning that is going on in the upper echelon art world, but our only unexplored territory is the Mideast. We’re trying to renovate the Mideast, who according to Nostrodamus will finally be subdued. Maybe they’ll find another source of energy, or a solution to the oil prices.

Within my family there existed a chronic undermining of my father by my mother. This made it clear to me that there was neither respect nor value. The fear that I resembled the type of female that my mother hated, was reflected in her disrespect for my father. This may have been a contributing factor towards my attraction to schizophrenic men.

Christine used to come over. I learnt a lot about language from her. She had had 3 years before she met me, some of which had been in Kansas. She was a late speaker. I think she didn’t speak until she was almost 3. For some reason, maybe because I was so aware of her power over me, that I learned her language. Later, my mother got involved with Wayne Hall. Her marriage to my father failed. Wayne knew even more about the American language of the elite, upper class.

I wonder what made the Europeans sail to the New World? They had trade routes to China. The Native Americans did not have a desire to go across the great water eastwardly. I suspect that we really wanted to know if the world was round. For the Indians, there was too much land going west.

I remember Alexander; he couldn’t even understand how we could have radiators that made the whistling sound because they didn’t have those in Bochum. They had these Krupp radiators that were silent and em we still do that. We’re constantly supplanting working class, even amongst ourselves. I remember my father went to France to consult with the French Metro and he couldn’t understand why the French had mistresses and wouldn’t leave their wives for their mistresses and marry, the way we do here, and we do.

You know, we do anything to make things superficial, superficially glamorous. The older generation would you know, cast a blind eye sacrificing their own children just be superficially glamorous here.

I remember riding with Alexander von Berswordt in a taxicab and he asked me you know about my father and I said that he worked for the Port Authority and he laughed. I mean he knew the Port Authority was purchasing Richard Serra’s art. And he thought it was amusing because he knew he had it over the Port Authority people cause they would always be suckered into going against their own families and their own children in you know, in favor of some you know, muse, some glamourpuss or whatever it was.

They seem to register like rainbows, the Mexicans, and the Tibetans, and there are a lot of cultures that their whole existence is rainbow and they are considered in Tibet to be all rainbow, which means that they have reached a certain level of enlightenment. The entire town, whatever it is, when they die, they just, they go into the god realms that they don’t need to be in this horrible um circle of karma.

Klara must wonder, “What have you been doing to make money!” “Why aren’t you successful?” It’s another instance of wealthy family members forgetting about where their security came from.

Obviously, they totally subordinated the Blacks. Now you’ll have your “Legends” and the Blacks will be the grateful dead. They’ll laugh from above. They just conveniently didn’t get it ‘cause they didn’t have the same problem. And, or the same excuse or whatever it was. And now, you, you have them sitting in the middle of a situation in New York. The New York Times hates the Bush Administration so much that they are exposing top secret secrets to the enemy. They only had water to the east. Europeans knew about Africa, the Mideast and Asia. We had come from there. The Native Americans had crossed the Bering Strait during prehistoric times. They remembered civilization to their east, but they were the same people.

Modernism was a way for artists to reconnect with the past. This applies to African art, as well as all tribal crafts. With modernism, we experience the methods used by artists in the past and also recreate a newer form of the language, i.e. the difference between Shakespearean English and Modern English.

This idea of art being a victory for the common man is really unfair. Art is not a kinetic sculpture seen from an aerial viewpoint as some millionairess’s excuse not to do art or to tap into her creative well. Eating gourmet food and having great sex is what they really want to do over millions of people’s suffering and dead bodies.

My resignation to there being no “American” sponsorship in the art world keeps me growing and improving as an artist. Today we have a Chinese art circus of eye-catching installation art, and analytical Californians like Diebenkorn, who are very elitist. Selling only a few paintings to good people who don’t have a lot of money may carry the torch of the real modern art tradition forward anyway. It may have a more significant effect on the chain of events than having a retrospective at MOMA. There is such a thing as morphemic resonance, which is a psychic manifestation of thought where people diffuse and absorb information through the air.

Art comes from suffering and misfortune. It breeds in an atmosphere of death and ghosts of the past. Our ancestors were sacrificed as well as we are being sacrificed for art. Most of these rich artists started out as trust fund babies. The token few who made it to the top from nothing usually perished from substance abuse or disease.

The people whose hands we grab onto and who created us are our receivers and communicators. Far beyond our day to day existences, most of these tax shelter gallerists are providing nothing more than a large vehicle within which to move forward into the future. Hopefully, something meaningful can be conceived from it. The artists of the past had the art of antiquity as their resource. They made use of mythology in all of their paintings. Today, our technology makes it possible to pull up images from all of the Renaissance’s imagery as well as from the centuries that followed. Yet, we still don’t know the answer to the existence of our universe. Psychology has replaced mythology and countries are on a rollercoaster time warp. Some are ahead technologically. Some are ahead spiritually. Some are at the forefront of the art world. Some people have the inner wisdom. Some have the outer wisdom. Forward were the god-realms.

 

 

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Claudia Schwalb
14 Morton Street, Apt. 17
New York, NY 10014
(646) 421-3048
claudschwa@aol.com