It started unnoticed from when I was a young art student forced to leave Pratt Institute, because of a TAP (tuition assistance plan) foul up (they changed the amount promised, leaving a tuition gap that could not be covered by loans or any other means). They sure found ways to get us radical hippies out of academia.
Anyway in the newly formed Soho area that I frequented from the late 60’s, I happened upon a gallery around 1972. The work there was very interesting and I thought the quality of my work, at which time I was into surrealism, could match. I talked with the dealer owner, who asked to see slides of my work. Being a starving artist still living at home with no job at the time (72′ recession), I hadn’t any slides, let alone a camera to photograph them with. So I got my works together in a portfolio and a rather large piece in 2 sections of 36″ X 72″ (which has since been lost) and got on the NY subway from the Bronx down to Houston St.
In the gallery, I showed my work and noticed how the patrons gathered around millingly walking trying glance and overhear the dealer. He offered to take my work into the gallery on consignment and asked if I knew what that was. I asked him to explain what that meant in terms of the gallery. After his explanation of paying and taking a commission when works sold, I decided in my young mind to take my work home instead, not knowing that even during this recession, only artist on the magnitude of Picasso or Richard Diebenkorn who was hot at the time got paid outright.
Bringing me to the immersion technique, you see at this time I was very confused artistically trying to find my own style. I knew what I wanted to do in my head, but had yet not the tools for with which to do them yet. After all the computer was brand new at the time and far away from any graphics capability. So I kept reading the magazine “Art In America” and lived the common life holding jobs in various capacities to make ends meet all the while observing and mentally noting my surroundings and society.
This is where the Avant Garde becomes important in respect to art. Usually an artist is separate and very aloof from society and noting and observing where they believe culture is. However I believe that an artist should become at one with his environment, bringing him closest to his the subject to observe, problem solve, educate and create!
As one of my old Pratt drawing instructors used to extol, for which I know have come to know and understand, “To draw the itchy ball, you have to get inside of it and draw your way out”! This was the technique I used in my latest and most profound piece I believe, “Green Zone – BGF Yellow Line Down”. I put on the guise as an artist will do, in all truth, as just a simple parking lot attendant at Duke University, for the graduate students. This allowed me to meet the above criteria (observe, problem solve, educate and create!).
I will go into more detail on this in my website with installments of the piece in series.