I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by neural plaques, the calculus of self- interest and unfettered omega 5's consuming, casual addicts at the golden arches...... OK I am in New York and thought I might sort out some kind of sight-seeing itinerary starting with Ginsberg's 'Howl' but sixty years plus after the fact of that and my own birth, self- imposed/important urban victimhood has foundered on the rocks of deja vu. And you can jump on the down escalator anywhere -it's just somehow a bit more romantic than in Tasmania where there isn't such a big choice of has-beens or wannabees to party along with.
So off I went to Chelsea to see where the art market is really at these days and only the featured artists have changed from last time. Or not, you would be unlikely to remember, there are no touchstones or even architecture here except the plastic bollards; interminable tearing up the streets and traffic patterns. The gallery girls and guys stare silent behind their computer screens ignoring browsers and everyone else; its the Gucci routine and they know you aren't a customer or a 'name.'
And if you were they would still treat you like sh** 'cause that's the schtick.
"This is the 5th Avenue of the art market, try Brooklyn maybe." Maybe Ginsberg could have said it better:
Down metaphorical 5th from the Met primped and powdered nail-salon baba yagas; claws paralytic extended as to predate Aryan babes- in- the- wood; peppering on- the- street cafes and each with little white lap dogs sharing bagels, lox or pastrami and carefully- engineered pickles so each goddamn bite tastes the same. Far as possible from freaking un-ever-forgettable Hester Street where my family got its start too; interminable arse-busting back-breaking unto deathusdepart and nobody goofed off until the REAL thing and no-one made good either. Argh!
And on 23rd Street heavy impasto is in, paint on polyurethane foam, penis photos in the next gallery where looker's eyes drop briefly to your own crotch Jesus I am 65 years in this desperate world; next gallery raging sophomoric feminist boozhwah-bait: traditional reclining nudes splashed red pudenda -Ooh this is scandal; the modernist REAL THING.
Further uptown competence manifests, some of these people can actually paint. But they are indentured labour; stuck doing the same trademark crap forever to make a living. Its an investment where the rent is finally paid after dedicating years to the all-important CV and dealer who has also invested lotsa and collectors who hope they are riding winners so heirs might even see valuations cover the dealer's mark-up. For there are many who hear the call and as many who fall by the wayside. Glory be to his name and provenance.