[ ... WORK IN PROGRESS ... ]
QUIET NEW YORK
This is a book slow-in-progress.
In January 2020, I started inviting about 50 artists to collaborate with me. Most agreed happily; but as we all know, everything changed after the shutdown, due to the coronavirus (a.k.a. CCP virus). New York became eerily quiet. It was as if the city was being held in suspended animation. It still is, to a lesser extent. By May 2020, one of the artists wrote back to me, “Quiet New York indeed. How did the whole universe become your book idea?” Needless to say, it was not the kind of quiet I had in mind.
My initial idea for Quiet New York came from a pressing need for respite from the writhing noise, the incessant pulsating, intensity that so typifies the city. A quiet cafe, a quiet spot in the park, even a quiet elevator was not easy to find in New York City.
This book is still intended as a poignant appeal—a call for quiet places for contemplation, for conversing discretely, for noticing time go by gracefully. Quiet New York will be a coffee-table/art book, a book of anecdotes, or very short stories. It’s my love letter to New York City. It’s my way of showcasing artists I admire who will draw and paint some of New Yorker’s favorite quiet places. It’s my shout out for quietude.
As E.B. White wrote in 1949, “New York blends the gift of privacy with the excitement of participation…” The participating artist will be drawing and painting quiet places that behold that quintessential New York state of mind, the possibility of enjoying being alone in the company of familiar strangers.
With “social distancing” conditioning still in effect, the “gift of privacy” has been granted more than the “excitement of participation.” Yet amidst all the uncertainty, New York continues to emanate vibrations of cacophony. No doubt, the city’s noise level will rise again. Then the need for this book will acquire new relevance, at which point I may be tempted to change the title to “Slow New York.”
[ ... WORK IN PROGRESS ...]
*Note, I must emphasize the “fine” in “fine art” because this resurgence is happening at a time when drawing, painting, and sculpture, in the traditional sense, must distinguish itself as such—not to be conflated with other kinds of contemporary art)……..