Posts

Street Art in West Chelsea: alive and ungentrified

Image
ASK ANYONE who lives (as opposed to absentee-invests) in artsy West Chelsea and they'll tell you it's becoming "artless." All but the bluest of blue chip galleries are fleeing to (slightly) more affordable zip codes, no thanks to rampant "condo-mania."  Three of my favorites - Lori Bookstein Fine Art, Alexander and Bonin and Andrew Edlin, which formed an artsy little men-art a trois on 10th Ave have been swept away by the winds of gentrification.
So it I was thrilled to discover that street artists are alive and doodling, pasting, spraying and "throwing up" (in a good way - I'll explain later) in the nabe, on a tour hosted by "recovering street artist," Patrick Waldo.
Recovering from what, Patrick? A fall from a ladder at 2am while tagging an Absolut billboard? 
"I got caught," said the impossibly tall, millennial-apparent Waldo. He's got all the right creds to be leading this tour:  a couple of arrests for graffiti-in…

In praise of the P volume of World Book Encyclopedia

Image
Were you a Britannica kid, or a World Book kid?


I was definitely the latter. With its glossy paper, very readable text and lots of images, World Book Encyclopedia was my first and only "art school." Now and then I'd open a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica in the school library, but quickly close it;  its dense, scholarly text on bible-thin paper, law-book leathery binding scant illustrations seemed to be talking to a different kind of kid than me - one who didn't care for pictures.

This is the volume I took of the shelf most often: The P volume, pages 26 to 77.


I can safely say my obsession with art comes from the PAINTING section in this volume. I'd flip through the pages for hours, poring over the images, reading and reveling in the captions. Years later, on visiting MOMA, there they were, these iconic paintings hanging life-size in front of me.

I felt a wave of nostalgia to see my long-donated P volume again. I went online trying to wrestle it from eBay sel…