A bed of my own was a primary purchase. Quads need hospital beds with side railings and electric systems to move up and down and to a sitting position. I decided on a single metal frame with box spring and mattress. determined to make my body move.
A commode next to my bed had a chair frame that I could use to pull up from. A semblance of normalcy.
Coffee at last! There was no way that I could drink hospital or nursing home coffee. Home brewed was hot, fresh and delicious. Everything I had taken for granted and lost became a cause for celebration when it returned. Body, mind and soul!
I still required and aide to do most everything for me. Perhaps the most difficult part of this situation is the invasion of one's privacy at the most basic level. The daily companionship of a stranger requires constant lessons in tolerance, patience and prayer.
1968 Neon and Plastic
Non believers of light and plastic are my ideal viewers. Once inside this unreal world they no longer forget the imagination of childhood nor can they merely preconceive what will occur once involved mentally and physically within the totality of light and translucent plastic.
Light as Art, 1968, Newark College of Engineering
Ray Charles is playing on the radio as if to tell me it's just fine...I just wrote his name only five minutes ago...
|Finances were always a sore area of discussion. I
took care of our son, the house and its responsibilities and the car. There was never
enough for bills. Once again I began a home based enterprise.
This time it was plastic jewelry. Plastic findings were available on Canal Street; why not translate my fine art into wearable art? A very handsome Italian-American befriended me at the store; we spent hours that day sitting on the Post Office steps discussing "the state of money and art."
Vincent Pasacane was a whirlwind of fashion savvy. He'd drop in at Vogue or Bazaar to show them his latest baubles. They'd use them for fashion shoots and he'd get orders. Of course he learned the business at FIT.
Saks and Blooming-dale's took some orders for
chain and circle belts, Beth Levine commissioned me to do a bag. I created a fluorescent magenta arrow with chain straps. In addition, Lucite heels with my typical resin "blobs."
Instead of cash, she paid me with buttery white go-go boots up to my thighs!
The belts were a mediocre seller and some broke as returns. Retail was not my forte.
Luis Jimenez introduced me to David Herbert the director of the Graham Gallery. He in turn introduced me to Elaine Varian, curator of the Finch College Museum, an avant-garde exhibition site. Eddie showed some drawings there.
Arrangements were made for me to create two works for "Art in Process , The Visual Development of a Collage", an exhibit that would travel nationwide. Quite a step upward from the two or three exhibits I had been in already. The clear Lucite piece was a box about 28" x 28" x 4". The frame/box hung flush on the wall; a kinetic entity, free floating clear balls, a colored resin partially reclining female figure, and words inside. Another smaller box with three stacked female figures was exhibited with it.
Perhaps my outfit remains most vivid: I made a coffee colored loose weave woolen dress with a round low cut scooped black velvet collar, hair pulled back with an extra hair piece. Certainly not the grungy look of my working hours.
I spent the entire opening glued to the spot next to my work. Perhaps in fear, or just plain ignorance of procedure. Never met any of the other exhibiting artists: Robert Rauschenberg, A. Ossorio, Roy Lichtestein, Ray Johnson, Larry Rivers...
Watercolors were a relief from the machines. They were used as preliminary sketches for plastic pieces. Tree 1,detail (1968) is based on the flowering Japanese Cherry Tree as it appears through the window. The base is part of the sculpture; the idea of base too academic - placing an object on a pedestal.
Time for my 28th birthday and it was a winner. Vince and Lucille dressed me in a clingy dress of their creation. False eyelashes, straight Clara Bow hair and a chubby fox jacket. I drove us to the Copacabana in that Packard of mine...we were seated five feet from the star attraction... Ray Charles.
Ava Gardner was there too.
The following year, "Summer of Love" and coincidentally Dylan and I spent the weeks with Lenore Skoble and her two boys on the mountain town Cragsmoor 23. It was only a short ride to Woodstock but we weren't interested in going. Our husbands came up on weekends leaving us to walk, talk and be with our children for the whole summer. I picked and painted mushrooms and listened to "The Band." Eddie felt like he had turned into one, mushroom, I mean.
Eve Propt put on an intimate summer show in Chelsea, Self Portrait (1969) was included. Dan Basen was the favored artist. He hung himself soon thereafter feelings depressed that he had not become famous.
Orchid (1969) was shown at the Graham Gallery receiving a favorable review in Art Forum. It also utilized a solitary unified object with the petal pieces fitting together without glue and the base as stem.
Definitely organic and not in vogue with the present minimalism being exhibited in most uptown galleries. Fortunately there were like minds exhibiting with me. It was sold to another artist, Jon Carsman and his wife.
Life accelerated at an unexpected clip. Days were lost to the ether.