~UNDER THE VOLCANO, for real . . !!

damn, if that KATE CERIGO doesn’t have . . VOODOO RADAR, or what !!

I wonder – where she gets it from ?

when she came up with the title, ‘Under the Volcano’ – for her and Theo’s up-coming one night pop-up exhibit of art works by Simon Cerigo, Dan Asher and myself, Nancy Smith – last week, she said she was inspired by a scribble that had caught her eye . . something that Simon, her dad, RIP – had jotted down – in an 1984 Artforum !!

it was only this week – that the awesome power of nature kicked in, and blew up that metaphor – big time. the huge huge CALBUCO VOLCANO erupting over most of southern Chile – !!
awesome fire power, causing evacuation, destruction, change, and more change, trumping the usual tabloid headlines.

but . . close call, or what.
reality vs radar . . ?
radar wins – when reality checks in – !!

science and divination – hand-in-hand.
truth is stranger than fiction, etc etc etc.

in fact, I think the 1984 cult movie of the same name, ‘Under the Volcano’ had just come out, and for sure a movie like that, esp being as it was – based in tragic literature, would have caught Simon’s brain, and held on to it, for quite a while. themes of self-destruction, troubled talent, and star-crossed love, hot tropic setting – you know, the usual suspects !! magnet bait – for the Greek-born dreamer, Simon was born on an small island in Greece – he came here with his family, well first to Montreal – when he was 9.
yep, Greek tragedy was in his DNA. no doubt about it.

yep, check out: . . ‘Under the Volcano’, a 1984 film, directed by JOHN HUSTON, starring ALBERT FINNEY, and based on the 1947 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, by MALCOLM LOWRY.

since 1984 was literally before Kate’s time, she was born in 86, she didn’t clue in to the movie connection, but instantly seized on the scribble – as a great metaphor for her and Theo’s growing up on the Lower East Side, in a raw ‘pioneering’ dirt cheap storefront – at the corner of Rivington and the Bowery. 5 Rivington St, East Storefront. Jean Michel lived around the corner. Dan lived on 10th St. across from the Russian Baths. all the galleries that were really happening, were within walking distance. and history was in the making.
for real. it was a huge huge time. NYC had gone down for the count in the 70s, but art was bring her back. well walking through Alphabet City, you had to have a very pure soul, or a guardian angel, a real grit spine – to make your way through the tent city that was Tompkins Sq Park, on your way to grab a slice (pizza).

Kate and Theo, “you mean, not everybody grows up in a storefront ?”, ran around like wild banshees at all the openings, Basquiat and Keith Haring among them, when they were not checking out the very first SUPREME skate shop on Lafayette, and tossing down the sushi like it was MacDonalds – with ‘uncle’ Dan.

Theo once most infamously took it upon himself to ask, the self-styled silver pompadour’d JIM JARMUSCH . . “if he was a nerd ?” . . to our our profound shock and horror.
one of their first survival, street-wise lessons was: at all costs do NOT make any eye contact with . . . RICHARD HAMBLETON aka The Shadow, and for good reason !!

each one of us, me, Dan and Simon got eclipsed, career/critics/$$success-wise . . for any number reasons, one being how big Jean Michel came on, but mostly just for being the hard-ass beautiful losers !! – that we were, whatever. we couldn’t do the bs dance, fuck the right bs people. that was the way it was. maybe it still is, who knows.

but we never stopped making art, and we never walked away, at least not quietly – !!

we always were there, throwing ourselves hardcore double-dutch timing – into the scene. making our $$ dough on the fringes – its NYC, where you can always parlay a street skill or two – to a lesser IQ. ha.
ha, now you know why – I never made it.
Dan, he was more of a ‘European’ visiting artist / make money gig kind of a guy, a break-your-arm salesman of his own work. Simon was a merry gad-about/collector/consultant – who made the wheels turn, for basically a dinner and a fete !! he gave it away, but he called the scene – he made every single opening, for decades. no one wrong call.

as for me ? well it took 20 tears, I mean YEARS !! but I got my first art world photo published in artnet in 2002. I had caught the only & last photo . . of Colin DeLAND of AMERICAN FINE ARTS, before he escaped this earthly world. and yes, he was wearing – an industrial trucker cap !! they (Walter !!) didn’t use the photo – but I got my own column, ‘ART LOVERS NEW YORK – PHOTOS BY NANCY SMITH’, right then and there, from nowhere to the top, and right back down again, just like that. don’t ask me go figure.
friggin, hard-hearted NYC, and that’s why we love her !!

collectively, we strived to rule, and we did . . rule . . the underground. people knew it, but they weren’t gonna lose their own jobs, or pay checks over it. we also made some great art, that pretty much went under the radar, don’t get me started on who was writing the art reviews at the time – !! Dan’s work was more out there, exhibited more . . but it was all pretty much under the radar, and maybe the fact that it was – was under the radar, but with all that pent-up power, you know, volcano !! and unrecognized – was what made destined to blow up, one day.
we all knew that. Simon and Dan died, knowing that.
my army of ghosts.

yep, we were right in there, like dirty shirts – 3 intense, powerfully smart, about art (and not much else, like making $$$ !!) driven, complex, consumed by art, compelled by art, propelled through life – by art, bio-humans mutated to the times – watching the art scene go by, and . . making it, just not so much, selling it.

we were, each in our own way, compelled to expression, and we each had huge, huge art ambitions, but first JEAN MICHEL blew up big, and then the next guy, and so on. and somehow – it was never our slot. we were like the consummate insider – outsiders. basically we just flew over everybody’s heads.
there were too many greedy, dumb, or just plain jealous idiots – what can I say ?

we were kept, by forces we couldn’t quite figure out, under the shadow. a natural born threesome, collective creative force – back in the day when the gallery system was locked in, tight. and indie, newly re-born thru born of social media, was not born yet. we were, a big intellectual artistic force bottle-necked under the ‘volcano’ of the mainstream grid-lock. we were the outsider powerhouse just under the radar, under the volcano, what we called: downtown, the downtown scene art of 80s NYC – the hardcore underground. just waiting to explode, even if it took a lifetime, which it . . did !!
or future tense, might – !!
Theo and Kate will throw down the first samurai blade, the deciding coin – this June 6th !!

all it takes is – one night, NYC 2015 !!

ours names might not be known to the Eli Broads, and Peter Brants of the world, let alone the Rubells, oh lordy !!
but we ruled the underground. we rocked the scene, and we called . . the shots.
between the 3 of us, we made the buzz . . and delivered the street cred.
and, on point. hardcore.
we were – the gritty of the grits.

for KATE and THEO, growing up on Rivington St in the 80s, ‘under the volcano’ . . was for real – !!

“ASH AND AWE” – After more than 42 years, the Calbuco volcano first erupted last Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – and it has just kept on going, erupting yesterday, Thursday April 30 – for the third time in 8 days . . “spewing clouds of ash and sparking evacuations.”

magic numbers:
we all were in our 20s, about 40 years ago – setting out to make our mark on the art scene, and hopefully to burn a hole right through it.

we are 3 , Simon, Dan, and me.
yep, I was the ‘chick’ in the sandwich, manwich, oh lordy. yep, we kicked that NYC art scene ball hard, and then even harder. we didn’t care – we were thick as thieves, til we fell out.
so, bring on the sushi – best friends forever.
we’d always knew we’d have the last laugh. it’s just how we felt – when we did our art, some inner voice told us, we were under the volcano, for sure. we felt it. you know it.
like being under the influence – you know it.

Kate got our number, and . . Theo scored the storefront.

it’s 2015 NYC, what more do you need ?

KATE & THEO CERIGO, with their dad . . artist, classic ‘flaneur’. art maven, indie music maven, gossip-monger, collector, consultant – and party crasher – suprem-o !!
in the east storefront studio/apt, 5 Rivington St, LES, NYC. ca. 1994

SAT JUNE 6, 2015 / 2-10 PM / OPENING RECEPTION 6-10 PM

don’t blink.

for more info, images – contact: underthevolcano.les@gmail.com