Now: Here: This May 20, 2005

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Joel Adas
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Spring Storm
pencil on paper

Thinking about the weather, how important and moving and beautiful it is to me: a simple truth. Can I draw/paint the wind/rain/sun/snow as well as Hiroshige or Hokuai? I don't know... but I can try...

Peter Ferko
Washington Heights, New York City

Good News

On my mind: the opposite of big.

4x6 prints
model train tracks
html designs
6-oz. cappucino

Nick Holliday
Great Barrington, Massacusetts


For me, making art is a way of not thinking, of turning off or tuning out the burden of anxiety-provoking or agitating thoughts. So, if I am successful, I have nothing on my mind when I am creating something. All of my work, I think, is prompted by feelings of longing and loss, however. As I made this piece, I was listening to a cheesy mix of guilty pleasures, including the theme from "Flashdance." Sad to say. It makes some sense, I suppose: That song evokes a very distinct period of time for me, and it reminds me that we can't recapture the past, who we were back then, etc. In far too many pages, Proust was saying the same thing nearly 100 years ago.

Miriam Leuchter
New York City

35mm transparency

At the moment I shot this particular image, I was thinking mainly about what a pain it was to have to shoot from the subway stairs in the very busy Herald Square. During the half-hour I had to shoot a roll of film, I thought about how having to make a living keeps me away from what I really want to do -- making pictures. But by the end of the roll, I'd remembered that I can always make time for art, even on (or at least after) very busy days at the office.

Lilia Levin
Washington Heights, New York City

What The Camera Saw
7" x 9". Acrylics, collage.

This Friday, May 20, is eight days since the wall of my apartment complex collapsed, unexpectedly, onto Henry Hudson Parkway. As soon as it was determined that thankfully, miraculously, no one was hurt, I stopped feeling sad. I do not feel sad about the trees, the grass, the stones, even though I had loved them, they had been my land, the place where my children played and my friends gathered. Because compared to the horrors, the damage, the losses, in the world, and not so far away, the loss of my wall is absolutely nothing. At 11 am I went up to the roof and saw our backyard: efficient sophisticated machinery, technology, and materials. I thought: what a bloody privileged protected life we live!

Pamela Flynn
Freehold, New Jersey

an offering of sorts
mixed media with digital image

I am preoccupied with thinking about the pain and suffering war causes.

For the dead and injured the point of no return has passed.

Renee Watabe
Verona, New Jersey

Getting a Grip on Reality

The most important thing on my mind is being here.

“The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.”

- Galileo

Tim Folzenlogen
Washington Heights, New York City

Mr. Dick
digital photograph

I think the “good guys – bad guys” mentality, that seems to infect almost everyone on this planet, can find its earliest formation in the lines that divides good body parts, from bad body parts.

I try on belief systems all the time, and I simply can’t find one that can convince me that I shouldn’t enjoy looking at, oh, in this case, a penis. I think that they are fascinating things to see: cute when small, powerful looking sculpture when erect.

Even religious people will say that they are holy and sacred. Can you think of anything else that is considered to be holy and sacred, that is embarrassing for people to look at, or talk about?

If we did to food, what we do to sex, we’d spend all our time stepping on it, and throwing it at each other.

Dicks are cool.

You’d think we’d be proud of these things. Put their photo on our driver license along with our mug shots. “Hey. Check out mine.”

Rosa Naparstek
Washington Heights, New York City

Pearls Behind Swine (Front & Back)

I do not want to submit this.
I had started something else,
more elegant, different, minimalist...
All I needed was three painted words:
Less Is More. But what if they were too
thick, or thin, or ran? I stick and glue,
hammer and screw...afraid to paint,
I spend the time finding the place
where the smile sits right.
Not that it's so easy to make a silk purse
out of a sow's ear, or a tail from a pearl
tiara found in the basement.

When people tell me I can take classes, I shudder knowing they only thing I want to learn is to removethe limitations that keep me from myself and you.

Anthony Gonzalez
Washington Heights, New York City

I Heart NY
Pen and Ink and Photoshop

Once my dog Lizzie emerged from under a bush, pleased as punch, holding a large dead rat in her mouth. When I tell that story, especially if I describe the details of having to take it from her, some part of the listener's face always scrunches up.
This time of year as Lizzie and I prowl the neighborhood, the streets are all atwitter with pigeon babies chirping plaintively from their nests atop air conditioner units and within the protective shelter of store awnings. Before long we will witness the occasional dead fledgling fallen from the nest, or ejected prematurely by a more robust sibling. If I see it before she smells it, I can command "Leave it!" and Lizzie will only give it a cursory sniff as we pass. She has the discriminating nose of a sommelier. Her highly evolved olfactory sense blesses her with an appreciation of smelly dead things that I can only dream of.
I have crisp memories of my daughter as a toddler charging the pigeons in the park setting off an explosion of dust and flapping wings.
In the suburban neighborhood where I grew up we didn't have so many pigeons. I personally had quite a menagerie back then - included were the usual all-American pets; cats, dogs, parakeets, canaries, bunnies, various reptiles, amphibians and insects, plus an assortment of creatures that would be judged more exotic by the standards of the 'burbs - quail, chickens, ducks, an opossum, an owl, and a chipmunk. But my parents would not tolerate rats or mice, even those cute little white mice. I felt deprived.
In Deshnok, India there is a temple to the Hindu Goddess Karni-Mata maintained now for hundreds of years by her descendants. This temple houses a colony of rats, thousands of them. A variety of stories explain how the rats became sacred. The one thing they all agree on is that the rats at the temple are vessels for human souls. They eat out of silver dishes on a marble floor, or from a platform under a golden canopy, while priests chant hymns and play cymbals. The only other living creatures you will find in the temple besides human devotees and tourists are, of course, pigeons.
Here in New York City the pigeons own the sky, the rats are the lords of the underground labyrinth of city infrastructure and subway tunnels. At street level are the rest of us - human devotees and tourists.


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