~CASUAL ART FAIR: ESSEX FLOWERS . . NANCY SMITH
MERRY PRANKSTER ? – YES, YES, YES . . !!
insider – outsider ?
to the . . . MAX !!!!!!!
NANCY SMITH . . . ‘101 DALMATIANS CRIB QUILT’, 2013-2015. 42 x 56 in.
hand-stitched . . repair, embroidery & embellishment on found vintage thrift quilt, vintage Disney 101 Dalmatians sheet ca. 1960-70s.
incls: vintage sequined Andy Warhol patch, vintage sequined Daffy Duck patch.
at the ESSEX FLOWERS booth, curated by JEFFREY TRANCHELL – The Casual Art Fair, Hester Street fair, Lower East Side. NYC, Oct 2, 2016.
on the table: ceramic ‘snacks’ by RACHEL DOMM.
NANCY SMITH, ‘BULLDOG CRIB QUILT’, 2014-2016. 36 x 56 in.
hand-stitched . . repair of a very very raggedy, worn-out & very old (early 1900s, maybe even earlier ??) boy’s crib quilt – found upstate New York, in the Catskills, a few summers back.
(paid all of $7 – that’s how worn-out !!)
all the holes are patched with cotton cut-outs that I hand-cut from a pair of old 1990s ‘holiday’ men’s Old Navy pajamas, they were Simon’s . . French bulldogs in Santa hats !!
and other patches, including a vintage sequined Andy Warhol patch & a Boy Scout Statue of Liberty badge – were used on the reverse side.
and yes !! #puppylove
speak of the dog !!! that is my pup, ZORA, with her tongue hanging out – she’s now 9 months old, over 75 pounds and counting, very very sweet and smart.
there she is with my son, Theo. she’s a long coat American Akita. I never had a dog before, ever.
turns out – she’s a perfect match for a stubborn insider outsider . . . !!
I only realized it – seeing these quilts on display – that omg – I have had puppies on the brain – for 3 years now.
no wonder – I finally end up with one – in real life.
that’s how life works sometimes . . . in the deepest reaches of the outsiders’ art . . world.
amen. magic . . & follow the breadcrumbs.
connect the unconscious . . . dots !!
stitch up a – storm / get a real puppy . . as a reward ?
yeah, that’s MY world.
detail, the multi-colored hand-stitching . . follows the outlines of the original textile, aiming to make it . . pop !!
image via Instagram
yeah, I can’t help thinking about howfunny it is to be called an ‘outsider’ – when I’ve been in the center of things, art world-wise, forever. I’ve been in NYC, living on the Lower East Side in the thick of things from when Keith Haring & Basquiat lived around the corner. early 1980s. collecting art, selling art, writing about / photographing art, making art – even having a gallery, SIMON CERIGO GALLERY on Ave A – for a few years.
I also think it’s supremely FUNNY, and you might too, if you follow me – that my ole artnet boss (2002-2004) WALTER ROBINSON – is showing his stuff at JEFFREY DEITCH this month, and I’m showing mine at ESSEX FLOWERS !!
right on !!
cut it to the bone – Nancy.
UNDER THE VOLCANO – of the LOWER EAST SIDE: watch out !!
only took over 30 years – for someone to show my quilts !! take that !! mainstream NYC art world.
so far behind – it’s not even funny.
don’t get me wrong.
being an ‘outsider – does have it’s ‘magic’ moments.
someone brought me to visit this old guy in the West Village in the 90s – to tell him about his vintage quilts, and he laid all these ANDY WARHOL sequin patches, he had made in the 60s, on me – as a thank you.
turns out – he used to make custom costumes for the Rolling Stones, among others . .
image via Instagram – I’m working on it. very labor intensive. but I love it. all aspects of it, including the history. and re: the stitching, I’m self-taught. wait, does that make me an outsider /
we didn’t have quilts up North in Canada, in Montreal – they used fur robes. heavy blankets. so the whole American quilt culture & evolution, the folklore, too – completely . . blew me away.
it was Fun gallery openings at night, Houston thrift shops by day. and . . Broadway. Broadway between Houston & Grand was still chockfull of ancient textile, button & vintage ribbon shops, with very very old men clerks, mostly old school Yiddish. they were creaking, and the ancient wood floors were creaking, and they had stock that went back to . . Little House on the Prairie – and I’m not joking, colonial times. pearl buttons, woven ribbons, embroidered gauze. the lot.
the quilt pattern (of the original) is a pretty straight-forward, and utilitarian, ‘four patch’ – but rocking on the diagonal. it’s a utilitarian quilt, as in . . made quickly, and from scraps for ‘use’ . . as opposed to special occasions or for heirloom purposes. probably a farm quilt, as opposed to a fancy work quilt – it’s coloring suggests it was made for a boy. it’s stitched through the quilting layers, in, again, a straight-forward and fast-to-make . .’postage stamp’ quilt pattern, one inch square.
it’s seen a lot of life, and now it can . . dance – again !!
JEFFREY TRANCHELL, got it right about my work too: “NANCY SMITH .. will exhibit 2 works, both of which employ contemporary painting practices of process and appropriation within the vocabulary of the more marginalized practice of quilt making.”
hey, when ya got skills – you can make . . jokes.
just, don’t get me started on what I really think about . . the mainstream art world.
yo, just goes to show: every dag . . gets his day.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH