Thinking About Art

During the hot summer of 1983, I found relief from my work studio's oppressive heat by spending my late afternoons in a nearby, air-conditioned bar. It was there that I would do the cartoons in "Thinking About Art". The bar, Puffy's, was a block or so away from my studio on Thomas Street. Read more

My studio, along with Puffy's, was located in Tribeca. Most of the imbibing artists, who frequented the bar, lived there in lofts vacated by the former fruit and vegetable wholesalers and others involved in every aspect of the distribution of such foodstuffs. But, those artists paid for their beer and shots by working as non-union construction workers, converting the TRIangle-BElow-CAnal, run-down lofts (some of which had once been their own living quarters) into upscale studios. All of which had them priced out, bought out or coerced into vacating Manhattan which had most of them moving, if not back to their home towns, to the outer boroughs, to New Jersey or upstate New York. And, replacing the artist were lots of well-off, playacting-at-being-an-artist, adults; sophomoric progeny of rich parents, Wall Streeters and their like followed by a gaggle of hangers-on involved in one or another aspect of movie-making.

Gradually, as the 1980's ended, Puffy's was turned into a pub and its clientele turned from an artist-cum-miscellaneous-New Yorker crowd into a mlange of gentrifying, new residents; tourists; movie groupies and well-to-do Euro-trash.

The publication of the very-dated cartoons in "Thinking About Art," is an attempt to remind the thousands of art aficionados and artist wannabes (whether or not they had ever exhibited in the SOuth of HOuston galleries or hung out in SoHo's or Tribeca's bars) of just how much the current Chelsea art scene differs from yet, in so many ways resembles, the art scene that prevailed in pre-mid-1980's, lower-Manhattan.