~SIMON CERIGO: VICTIM of his own KREATION
WAITING for the OTHER SHOE, to drop . . .
a lot of people are writing really nice tributes to Simon.
our very fav is – ‘SIMON SAYS’ by DAVE DORSEY posted FEB 24, 2012. about a year ago.
to his blog: represent – the painting life.
yep, for sure, check out: ‘SIMON SAYS’ by DAVE DORSEY – a very true portrait, that for sure.
of course, though best remembered for his artistic brilliance – I’m waiting for the day when someone has the chutzpah to write: I PARTIED DOWN HARD – WITH SIMON. I mean I might want to burn it, and more so, strangle the author and the players, but . . . still. fact is fact.
I hear ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST has a particularly … colorful chapter. put it this way: Simon loved attention. and let’s leave it – at that.
you do know . . . me and Simon were the battlin’ tragedy caught on tape in . . . WE LIVE IN PUBLIC. there was a lot of jealousy & competition, too. going through his stuff, I just came across a birthday card from that year (2000) to Simon, from Theo. it’s inscribed: good luck with the rest of your life, and with Nancy.
of course, the other show waiting to drop as well, would finally be some well-deserved and long time in the coming – recognition of Simon’s own body of art. back in the day, when he had a small gallery, SIMON CERIGO GALLERY on AVE A, in the East Village, from 1985 & for a few years onward – creative people were not ‘allowed’ to wear so many different ‘hats’, as they are today. and that in a nutshell, is one of the BIGGEST and, BEST evolutions . . I can relate from the 60s, 70s, even 80s – til now.
of course not forgetting the BIGGIE: the freedom we have today to self-publish – on the web. the aggregate democratic street-up vibrancy of contemporary art criticism.
Simon was a stubborn truly indie gallerist, a gifted curator, a talent scout supreme, a ‘frontier’ mentality collector, and a hands-on artist. He followed nobodies trends – but his own.
His first major serious formal collecting began in his teens – he started off buying photography. all the greats, you name someone – he had it. from the complete ROBERT FRANK ‘Flower’ Portfolio of 1975 – to the EDWARD CURTIS classics of the west . . he also had started collecting comics, very seriously . . at a very very early age, and when I met him – he had several treasure chests in his childhood bedroom, full of pristine comics.
and then, there was the record collection, talk about golden vinyl.
in fact, it was like everything he touched – turned to gold. in art school – we used to call him . . . the Midas man. he liked to play cards, and buy art. go figure, nothing ever changes.
and, you didn’t have to be in a gallery, the work just had to catch his eye. he was the first person to ever buy my work.
SIMON CERIGO, detail
though he looked like a ‘messy’ expressionistic painter, at first glance, don’t let that fool you. he had real draftsman-type skills. he used to get into my watercolors every now and then, and I’d be, damn . . . beginner’s luck !!
SIMON CERIGO, detail . . .
the ram’s head. yeah, I’m Aires. right-to-the-wall, and put your hands, up Aires. the ram.
Simon was a crab, Cancer. and thus a flamin’ huge conflict was aborn of . . . great passion.
just in case you were wondering what I was doing then.
damn. but wood, for large stretchers was dirt cheap then. so was a huge roll of cotton duck / canvas. loft space was still pretty ok – cheap. nobody considered that storage space might become … a problematic issue – just 10 short years later. we were living on Franklin St. in Tribeca at that point.
you can see my growing interest in quilt patterns surfacing. just 10 short years late, I had given up the brush, and taken up . . . the needle.
and so it goes . . .
damn, I’m feeling like . . . James Joyce.
come to think of it, it was Simon who turned me onto Joyce. although I had read The Dubliners, several years back. I’m just remembering, that he couldn’t believe I made it all the way through, Ulysses and then, even, Finnegans Wake.
dudes, it . . . was a snap.
and so is life: snap. snap. snap. gone.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, NYC.