hilip Whalen's recipe for frugal artist shopping:


Don't shop hungry.

Make a List.

Never shop high.

Don't buy anything that's not on the List.


I leave Sterling's, on Sonoma Mountain Road at dawn for SF, then SF International for a plane at 9AM. I am moving to New York. I arrive in the dark of a March afternoon and reach Allen's at Avenue 'C' and Fifth Street in the Lower East Side at six. It is the first stroke of what I come to learn is called 'culture shock'. We go to see Frank O'Hara's The General Coming and Going, but it's sold out. We join up with him at the box office and walk to Washington Square, the park just closed to Fifth Avenue traffic. The Washington Arch is lipstick graffittied behind O'Hara's pleasant face. The ground glitters from what looks to be broken glass.

At midnight, Allen and Peter take me to Times Square. Allen teaches me how to read the subway names and destinations, how to use the subway map, what to hold onto when passing between cars. We go to arcades, are hassled by hostile sailors, protected from them by police.

The first dealer I 'see' is Lee Nordness who had bought 'White' from Batman years before. He directs me up Madison Avenue to Fischbach where Steve Pepper offers to introduce me (I'm carrying art under my arm) to his friend who's opening a new space nearby.




His friend is the dazzlingly beautiful Paula Johnson (now called Cooper) in her first husband's elegantly appointed (from her knowledgeable hand) town house, a little gallery being built in the back of the ground floor. I can tell she is a lover of paintings. She buys a work or two and asks me to show with her.


HELP 1964


Homesick for Sonoma Mountain and my friends in San Francisco, I come 'home' from New York. Then, kicked off the mountain, I sublet a studio in the Mission District. Rock and Roll has entered a phase much like the wonderful Grange dances of my childhood, dancing all night, children, babies on blankets on the floor. A new America is being revealed. Or rediscovered. Until it became apparent to the impresario that he could make more money from two sit down concerts a night. The first time I'd seen Americans lined up like cattle since the soup lines of the great depression, was when he took over the Village theater on Second Avenue to be the Fillmore East.

As usual, San Francisco has no money for a 'de-generate' artist's paintings. Back to work in theatre.


HUMAN UNIVERSE by Charles Olsen 1965


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