nancy OM invite


MAY 21 – JULY 30, 2009


. . . . some “blogger” has an art show up at OTHER MUSIC !!
if you are in the city – come check out the new music releases – incl. GRIZZLY BEAR !! , and . . .
some low-fi art !! it’s neat how the mylar-coated banners shimmer and reflect – just like the brand-new vinyl and CDs do !!
. . . if I don’t say so, MYSELF !!

bye the way, OTHER MUSIC, is not just a music store – it is the Indie music store.
check out: OTHER MUSIC/news !!

just in case you are in the DARK AGES,
NANCY SMITH is best known for running this site – ARTLOVERSNEWYORK.COM
This Spring 2009 she received national attention for her participation and founding role in ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ – the story of web visionary & dot.com guru JOSH HARRIS. Directed by ONDI TIMONER, ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ won this year’s 2009/SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL GRAND JURY AWARD – DOCUMENTARY, and had its NYC premiere at the APRIL 2009 ND/NF NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS SERIES at MoMA/LINCOLN CENTER.
NANCY SMITH is also known for her art world photos, first featured on artnet, in the PEOPLE SECTION, as:
‘ART LOVERS NEW YORK – PHOTOS BY NANCY SMITH’, which ran 2002 thru 2004, and brought a whole new wave of art and artists, usually termed … the “underground” – to the mainstream’s attention, and which can still be found in the artnet archives.
She is also a professional, self-taught repairer, re-cycler, and archivist of early American quilts and loves nothing better than to stitch all day on some old quilt. artlovers is just her day job, hate to tell ya, guys.
She’s also always been into low-fi art, esp watercolors, banners, paper cutting, and origami.
an insider outsider/folk artist/cutting edge participant. yo, it’s all good.

. . . that being said, since I don’t have my own website !! and since a good part of the artlovers audience is international, and very curious !! re: all things NYC !!

nancy OM # 1
love how the windows say: “OM” !! – in blue and orange, yet . (for OTHER MUSIC – duh.)

Nancy OM # 2
that’s my work – up on the wall, paper banners to the left, watercolors to the right.

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so, the deal about showing in venues outside the art world gallery scene – is you have to be flexible and present the work according to the givens. nobody is going to remove their store displays and product shelves to give you a gallery-like wall.
to me that was the fun – to come up with a way to make the best of the dynamic !!
plus I loved being honored for this, pretty much – first real art show at OTHER MUSIC – and, my first real show in more than 7 years, by fans from the music world. how friggin’ cool.
don’t even get me started on how retarded – the art world proper is. even in NYC !!

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I had eyeballed it just right – my watercolors fit just so, on that shelf.
even the folks at OTHER MUSIC loved how the work looked like … art. as in A-R-T !! even in the midst of all the album & CD cover art, not to mention the super graphics of the cutting edge Indie music industry.
In fact, that was one of the things that most interested and motivated me, that these super talented musicians with their cottage industry of self-made, and friend-made, and even professionally designed – vinyl album and CD covers – would be in ‘concert’ – all around my own stuff. so cool. the best part about the whole thing, in my mind – was to be considered relevant to – and have my OWN work – recognized and respected by this community.
again – how friggin’ cool.
it’s amazing how much one can contribute to the art world, and still not be acknowledged by the broader base.

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well, here’s a bit of an insider’s joke !!
on the night of the opening (Thursday May 21, 2009) – I almost jumped when I came in and saw – the brand new LEONARD COHEN releases on the wall directly under my work . . . LOL x 1,000 !!
who would have ever thought, growing up in MONTREAL, a few generations later, and listening to his music – I would find myself, and Leonard Cohen – on the very same wall – in a music store in NYC.

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LEONARD COHEN in the house !!
life is so bizarre.

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ok. back to the show.
of course, the downside to this kind of alternative exhibit – is – it’s not the optimum presentation for catching the details, so here’s a close-up of 2 of my watercolors. they are 18 x 24 in. they are on top-quality arches paper.
I can make out the narrative – but you can come to your own conclusions.
this watercolor was completed way back in like 1994 – so, I guess it was still about being super-observant and willing to collect, and to dish it back up and at ya. just visually. not via the web.
and, in my own color range. kind of Tibetan sunset meets early American sunrise – !!

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NANCY SMITH – watercolor ca. 1994.
of course, the other downside to showing in an alternative venue – is … who’s gonna sell the stuff ?
there is a price and contact sheet – near the OTHER MUSIC desk.
the watercolors are priced at $1,400 (framed). if interested, contact me/artlovers homepage has the link.
think about it – how could the handi-work of the person behind this site – not be worth something ?
beats me. the banners go for $80 to $400 ea. each is signed and unique. a steal as they say in these pages, for long and often enough – to have a proven track-record, or what !!
that I have to promote my own – work – well, c’est la art vie 2009 – and right on.
some people are just born to just fly over the heads and radar of everybody – else, that’s why I started artlovers, to help give them a voice !! – seems like everybody around here was always missing that top 2% – and, you know, I’m right. and so, in a weird, but exciting, PAR-TAY!! – way, these hard times – are actually good times for all the rock-hard, dyed-in-the-blood – indies !!
art rebels – take back NEW YORK !!

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before, I get into the low-fi stuff – proper – the banners !!
these long, strung-out black and white ‘streamers’ – made from – a ‘found’ – alphabet kid’s coloring deck – they used to sell at the MET – are my way to define the space, and put my name on the wall – without being obvious, or is that: obnoxious ? but, I concede they are a little hard to read – but so what !! what’s great art – without a little mystery !!

they spell out my name, and the show’s title, ‘LOW-FI PAR-TAY’, and on the other side, its says: artloversnewyork.com.

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. . . “N – A – N -C – Y ” !!

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NEW YORK . . .

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that’s – the dot !! . . . for “dot” . . .

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. . . com !!
note that: that OM/OTHER MUSIC hand-made sign, already there: “FEATURES LOCAL ARTISTS” !!
tarot card reading, or what !!

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you know: the expression – wall of sound ?
this is my wall of art.

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to me – LOW-FI doesn’t mean – just bad photo-copies !! artwork that can just as easily be downloaded or even sent by computer – au contraire – LOW-FI – is art that is made from ‘thin’ materials: usually ingenious, as in totally simple but never thought of before – like alot of the art featured on these pages !! from hand-made zines, like those of … ALEX BARRY, that pretty much crack you up !!, to the “I Ms. Grandpa” sculpture of JORY RABINOVITZ and GEORGIA GRAY, up in a day and down; to the ZERO LIABILITY of the recent JAMES HUGHES construction signs slash political ALERTS !!

. . . and, bye the way – re: web pages.
don’t these artlovers’ “pages” – like most blog formats – unscroll – just like banners ?
really, what’s a blog – if not a BANNER.
for that matter, what’s the web – if not, a community – BELL.
so I even put little bells, on the banners too. also for music. music store. OM.

virtual insanity
and yes, Maxwell Williams, that is a cut-out of your ‘VIRTUAL INSANITY’ – card for CINDERS !!
I’ll let someone else write – about what – virtual insanity – might meant to me !!

closer up

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well, surprise surprise, that – I’m so into MY OWN WORK !!
especially considering I’ve been covering everybody else’s, duh !! for how many years now, since 2002 counting artnet !!
well. its been a great exciting trip. I’ve been witness to, and helped kick off – so many amazing careers.
these are pix I took – of DEVENDRA BANHART, and ZACH CONDON of BEIRUT !! at OTHER MUSIC.

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next to them, my most fav pix – those of my family !!
that’s my daughter Kate – when she was a typical early 90’s L.E.S. punk – at what 8 or 9 yrs. old !!

Om # 40
DONNA FERRATO took this photo. it’s me and my son, THEO, at ‘QUIET’ – the JOSH HARRIS MILLENNIUM party that is the back bone of the film – ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’. first it appeared in some articles and then it became the poster for the film festival screenings !!
. . . it was probably the most freaky experience of my life – to be sitting in the MoMA theater and see my ‘self’ – flash up on the screen – as ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ – had its NYC premiere.
why do I talk so much about ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, ‘QUIET’ and JOSH HARRIS ? I guess it was a defining moment – not to mention the most lucrative time I ever had, just for doing what I loved most !!
it was the first and, apparently – only !! – time somebody really took me seriously as an artist, and not only showcased and bought my work – but funded my visions and concepts. as well as, gaving me a credit card to buy $5,000 early American quilts, AND !! hired me as an art world liasion for his million dollar dot com.parties !! those were the days, were they not !! I guess some people have it that way: all or nothing, once in a lifetime – in one big grand gesture. they went from calling me the ‘Quilt lady’ to the ‘canary’ – because they thought my art instincts were that sharp and prescient. that time at ‘QUIET’ actually catapulted me into the artworld photography gig at artnet, 2 years later.
who’d athunk it. from hand-stitching worn-out quilts – to calling the art world ‘underground’ shots !!

Om # 20
as the banners evolved, I began to think of them, not only as a ‘presentation’ solution – but, as way to – showcase – my own art.
a lot of people never knew I was an artist – yo guys: artist first; photog second; blogger last. trust me.
this is a pen & ink drawing from 1997. it says: “I saw you in a blazing light”. !!?

I saw you

om # 21
you can catch me at 27 – an artlovers fan – before there even – was – an artlovers.
thanks to the power of photo shop !!

nancy close-up

om # 22
a watercolor sketch forms a paper lantern – made for the ‘QUIET’ – ‘WE LIVE In PUBLIC’ – millennium par-tay – back, in the day . . .

Om # 24
some of the banners are ‘found’ cards from the immediate world. shows I’ve seen. that’s actually how they started out.
except for the cards, the other elements are all coated with mylar. and have little charms, like my black and white ‘QUIET’ bunny. magic rabbit. black and white. good and evil. logo. it all comes down to that.

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this one actually has real origami flowers, not photo-copies.

OM # 27
these are laser copies of actual embroidery cross-stitch samplers – I do.

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those reversible black & white bunnies are cut-outs from a card I did for a show I was in with: with JOSH HARRIS and ALFREDO MARTINEZ, in SUMMER 2001. my last real show. it was called: ‘GUIET, GUNS and QUILTS’. it was at the DANIEL SILVERSTEIN GALLERY, CHELSEA, back in the day.
Danny got a little flipped out, just a few months later, watching the “jumpers” on the WORLD TRADE CENTER, up close and personal, when the towers came down – a few blocks away from his hi-tower downtown apt. – didn’t we all – who happened to be eye witnesses to history. I saw it from my 20th floor terrace – bird’s eye view.

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AMERICANA – whatever, gave you that idea.

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that’s a found . . . . PRINTED MATTER poster – cut-up.

OM # 36
here’s a close-up of that photo of my daughter Kate. yep, she grew up in a storefront on the Lower East Side, back in the day when it was for REAL !!
we were on landlord tenant strike for 9 yrs. (translate: paid NO rent !!) – but we had a really nice garden in the back.
we actually originally sublet the place from RICHARD HAMBLETON !! aka ‘the shadow man’. the scariest crack-head tagger of them all. JEAN MICHEL, as in BASQUIAT, lived just around the corner. when she was a toddler – running around at his openings – he’d sign posters to her: “4 KATE”, all, now long sold for fairly big bucks – well, in the 4 figures. not bad for a crummy low-fi poster.

note: some pix are studio shots.


. . . can’t help thinking about HOLLAND COTTER’S recent, and depressing, ramble on the ‘generational’ shows at the MET and NEW MUSEUM. (THE NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2009 – ART SECTION – PG 1 & PG 25).

FIRST OF ALL – GENERATIONAL SHOWS are bullshit, if in the one case – re: the MET – they are going to be revisionist – meaning the curator didn’t have the smarts or ‘eye’ to get it right the first time – and, two, in the case of the NEW MUSEUM, the GENERATION – they claim to be catching – is really the sum of the curators’ lack of imagination, smarts, and eye !!
the ‘generation’ and the artists are out there – it’s the curators who are off the mark. and in the NEW MUSEUM’S case – that also calls into account the leadership. LISA PHILLIPS, I’m talking bout ya – and it’s not good.
Instead of being a dynmaic force showcasing the talent, of any kind or age !! in this town – the NEW MUSEUM is looking more and more to be it just a wasted monument to a bunch of rich people who got conned. Who knows what their ulterior motives were, maybe they are East Village landlords, 3rd or 4th generation who wanted to keep the real estate values high. . , who knows, but I bet its ugly – and its taking a whole ‘art’ neighborhood down with it. The a saddest part of it all – are the young artists – and really, the ever incoming waves of relevant and bright – artists, new, young, or just coming into play – who are really are here – but who can’t find a voice, let alone exhibition support or funding. . regardless of age – who are left to scramble instead of flourish. come on, get real !! – friggin’ NORWAY shows better NEW American art then this place, and besides having this super new building, multi-curators on full-time salary – most of the NEW MUSEUM is supposedly right in the heart of the action. so what gives ?

SECOND OF ALL – I PERSONALLY – having lived long enough to have claims to having had BASQUIAT running around as a neighbor, as well as KEITH HARING, and on that very same Lower East Side !! have issues with ‘generational’. some generations are just defined by one or two people – shooting stars – no doubt – but still – what’s at play here – market forces or equal opportunity for creative output ? and, hey, some people are just way ahead of their generation – or – better put – the institutional deadbeats called ‘curators’ – for short – in place at the time.

THIRDLY – OK. its alright to have a generational show, for a joke – though this show sure upset anybody 34 or older !! as well as anybody 33 or younger with talent – !! cause they were left out !! – but the deal is – bottomline – where’s the beef, where’s the inspiration. where’s the dialog ? its never just the idea or the format – its always the talent & the content – that really seal the deal – esp in the art world.

I MEAN – NATIONALMUSEUM, a small, and looking more brilliant, all the time – international, sort of – artist collective in BERLIN – had an arbitrary show – curated solely on height !! you had to be over 6 ft. or ovr – a giant !! – to get in. but the deal was – you had to over 6 ft. and good. duh. basic art 101.

IN CONCLUSION – MR COTTER’S last paragraph really haunts me. I guess when there’s not much real art to write about – art writers become visionaries, seers, and wishful dreamers !! but. the thought he was lead to pull seemingly out of his hat – like some bewildered musician – only hoping it made sense – and was a rabbit, not a rat – actually and, really rang true, so here it is:

“Isn’t the point of art, though, to acknowledge that some questions can never be answered, but to ask them anyway? Isn’t part of the job of artists to refuse smoothness and to keep opening up space, formal, temporal, psychic, emotional, whatever you want to call it? In the end the generational model may be most useful for showing us the artists who don’t fit, who aren’t interested, who think old when they’re young and young when they are old, to whom it may or may not occur as they walk past the hall of fame, ‘not me, not here, not yet.'” – right on, thank you MR. COTTER.

and . . . thank you OTHER MUSIC and the music world – for being to the Lower East Side, and NYC – what the NEW MUSEUM is not !! and looks to be: never will be – its just one big professional exhibition space gone to waste. and people wonder why NYC artists are seeking alternate venues, its not just the economy – its also the severely impoverished academics and poser deadbeats – ‘curating’ – usually with a trust fund baby running a quote unquote non-profit – at the top – oops, did I really say that. that day-glo sign should be: WHAT THE HELL, – certainly not, HELL YES ?!! or maybe, yes, as in HELL IS US !!
and, yo LOWER EAST SIDE – its not just the anemic academics and administrative socialites – in the hood – taking so many of you down – I have never seen so many wannabes, without a single original thought, let alone original art thought – in their heads – in my entire life. who wants to see art in a warren on Clinton St, that even the locals wouldn’t have rented for their pit bulls to crash in. if you want to know who the losers are on the LES – just check out the recent back issues of ART FORUM. well back to DEC 2008 , at least. forget about being able to call talent, let alone new, young or old – forget about tapping the real juice – all these guys care about are their names in ART FORUM !! as if they get there on merit in the first place – LOL !!! if I have to hear another – “Oh I just got my first ad in ART FORUM ” one more time – I’ll see BASQUIAT’s ghost !! coming round the corner of Prince and Elizabeth !! yeah you got your name in ART FORUM – you’re still going down.

ok. so apart from being pissed off, and feeling like the FORREST GUMP of the art world – seriously, have you been to OTHER MUSIC. It’s a great scene. its a great cross road of art and music. when I’m down and that’s often, and when I’m up. too up – – to function in this world – the only thing that sustains me is music. I think 99.9% of America is like me. the best thing America has going for itself – is its music, and its art, including movies. and its early folk art, esp the Shakers and the quilts !!
in particular 2 groups, BEIRUT and ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, and esp PANDA BEAR & PERSON PITCH are the backbone of my listening – the stuff that I run on. I’ve heard tell, that OM – OTHER MUSIC is the unofficial headquarters of Animal Collective .. I believe it. and when I feel down about just about everything and everyone else in this stupid art world town – when I think that a member of ANIMAL COLLECTIVE has strolled in and seen my work – whoa – the sunshine comes out into play. never mind that we’ve obviously ruined the entire geo-climate.
and of course the best part was making it:

so here’s a little more of my OTHER MUSIC – ‘NANCY SMITH – LOW-FI PAR-TAY’ – but, from behind-the-scenes !!
and, hey, one: YES, I am really into my own art. two – didn’t you know, or couldn’t you tell – an artist was behind this site, and three – if you don’t like it – go buy an ART FORUM. . or check out ARTNET – you know the site that claims ROBERT LONGO is the hottest ticket in town !! – still. if ever ?

p.s. just case anybody is really reading this far – don’t tell anybody, but the BICYCLE FILM FESTIVAL, at least the art part – is looking to be lame this year, last year’s was great, this years, I’ll (yawn) skip. hopefully not everybody is coming up with “homeless chic”. I’m down – but at least, I’m not making homeless chic !!


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NANCY SMITH – WATERCOLOR – 18 x 24 in. low-fi cutting edge / the EMPEROR WHO WORE NO CLOTHES – or going right over yer head !! your call.

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all the photo-copies were adhered to a thin mylar, back and front – low-fi, 3-D, and durable.
not to mention in synch with the store’s music product.

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