the zoom interviews . . archive on the Precog website / under: “Don’t Miss This” . . !!
mine is: episode 29 / but, it’s not up yet . . stay tuned.

it was weird after, but so much fun . . during.

weird, because I got so engaged & wired . . and than it’s over, and you are alone again.
well, actually kind of just like a night of openings.
but, also because unlike writing – real live conversation is hard to keep on track / and stay focused.
there was a time limit, and no chance to go back and clarifiy. it was very much in the moment.
with the pros and cons of that kind of spatially limited – con

but it was . . fun !!
Aires wild child that I am – coming into my peak Zodiac phase, I felt like that eternal Aires April spring kid,
turning cartwheels in a garden full of new blooms. sometimes I feel I’m way too naive, too just-born, cut-grass fresh to the world’s energy. hardy ever jaded / which, downside: can make me feel like a nerdy dork in NYC, home of the hard driven – gritty.
sometimes it’s just plain raining outside, and sometimes, it’s just plain jealous / non-aires people raining on my parade.
but, not here.

so, yes !! fun.
mostly, because I felt so comfortable & welcomed by my Precog hosts:

FLO . . in particular,
has been my Precog point person from the very beginning / perhaps because she also hand-stitches, and uses fabric in her studio work, Idk. but, there’s something, a vibe we share. a trust. a warmth.

is it the hand-stitching ?
because for sure, while hand-stitching seems so laborious & time consuming to the uninitiated, it’s totally soothing & compelling. my favorite thing to do – in the entire world.
hand-stitching becomes . . a trance beyond labor / and I wanted to say that, since we barely talked about ‘repair’ and my quilts, not enough time / so I’m mentioning it now.
plus ‘repairing quilts’ . . is just so sustainable, not to say . . history ‘walking’ / in real time.

as well: ‘repair’, and that kind of creative meditation, leads to ‘good’, so-called ’empty’ mind-set space . .
allowing room for opening up . . to other people’s work ?
which . . pretty much sums up Precog in general.
but, it was a real delight for me to see Florencia hand-stitching during the zoom talk, working on some kind of big black / shape, pillow-like but also finite surfaced object. still her expression was always so kind, and listening.

I felt so free to revel, reveal, and . . dance in my own life / my own art.
it’s taken me a lifetime – to get that, here – in NYC.
hence my Precog word: ‘Autobiography’.
and, I guess: also a riff on my many decades – on the scene.

L. the family . . in front of our bunkered-up, storefront at 5 Rivington St. – 1 block east of The Bowery, ca. 1988/89.
yes, that is an ‘ESPRIT’ t-shirt, I’m wearing / no irony !!

R. me & Kate . . in front of our JACK GOLDSTEIN ‘Lightning’ painting, lent to a big group exhibit, ‘The New Romantic Landscape’,
Whitney Museum of American Art, Fairfield County, Connecticut branch, 1987.
it is now in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto / on it’s label / under Provenance, you can find my late husband’s name: Simon Cerigo. it is still the largest canvas, Jack ever painted.

parenting . . ?
I hardly knew where to begin, or what to say. so the convo quickly moved on . . .
in a nutshell: my kids had hard times, but also good times / just like all kids.
though they wonder how, me and Simon ever had kids, with not one pay check between us.
what on earth – were we thinking ?
no pay check, no paperwork, no nothing, just born that way – me & Simon, I guess.
just big-time ‘art’ smarts, and we knew it . . !!
and like all immigrants / big dreams. so, we survived.
born & educated in Montreal, in the tail-end intellectual glow of the Leonard Cohen era . .
the minute we stepped into the non-stop flow of the city,
we went from Canadians, to New Yorkers – in the blink of an eye.

but I got to talk about how we flipped paintings to stay alive,
and, that JACK GOLDSTEIN . . was one of our star moves, for sure.

NANCY SMITH, watercolor, 18 x 24 in. / 5 Rivington St., Loeer East Side NYC, ca. 1987-88.
light as a cloud, in the midst of that crazy whirling storefront.

I also kind-of clammed-up when it came to talking about my art, though it obviously was completely off the grid / re: the Lower East Side, 1980s !!
my watercolors, so private & outsider. seemed always to reflect on my family, and reach inward.
even I ran around to openings constantly, and knew exactly . . which way was up / I was having no compromise in my own vision.

NANCY SMITH, NYC watercolors, ca. 1990s.

me in my studio, acrylic paint on canvas. MFA studies, 1970s . . with Guido Molinari, in Montreal.

how’s that . . for before & after / Montreal vs. New York
before & after . . kids.
before & after things, got hard.
Montreal was a piece of cake. NYC was hard.

I couldn’t talk about my own art, the cat got my tongue and held on tight.
it’s hard to confess, that although I started off so academically, completely immersed in the contemporary art swirling around me: I was so inward. stubborn. mystical & magical. sensuous & driven.
so I just dropped the ball there, though I think I managed to give a shout out to Agnes Martin, Tibetan art & the big ‘Quilt Survey’ show at the Whitney when it was uptown, in 1966.

NANCY SMITH, NYC, 1985. charcoal Tarot card drawing, 38 x 50 in.
pregnant with Kate, my first born.
yes . . I was always deep into reflection, as to how / all this was going to work out.

we got to talk a bit about my time working for . . WALTER ROBINSON when i he was the big honcho editor, at artnet (2002-04) / it was Walter in fact, who branded me ‘artloversnewyork, though I forgot to tell them that. but I did get to tell them how, I finally got my art scene photos published after 20 years !! on artnet, thanks to Walter.
and, that he fired me, after 2 years – even though my report was a huge huge success / for “bringing in too many photos of musicians” (!!!). yeah, the Precog team were shocked that I got fired, but more so, that I never . . got paid.
not a penny. I think I got one . . $100 honorarium.
yeah, so New York:
I got fired from a non-paying job, and it was a lot of work, and very good work, too.
fun fact: I was the only only !! photographer at the “Gee’s Bend Quilt” show / opening at the Whitney, in 2002.
quilts – were my life, by then. everyone else was clueless.
I am of course / eternally thankful to Walter for posting some of the pix on my artnet report.
if you want the definition of classic frenemies, that would be: Walter & me.

L: me & THEO in our pod at the 99+ artist resident pod hotel at ‘QUIET’ . . the Josh Harris Millennial New Year’s Eve 2000 art party / social experiment that was later fashioned into a Sundance 2009 winning documentary, ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’.
I was part of the crew, Josh’s right hand person toward the end, & art world liasion.
R: I was supposed to install a ‘quilting bee’ performance . . but I was too busy running around the entire time, as a crew member / so I used to make these DIY paper lanterns, from scraps I picked up here & there / it was a huge old multi-floor warehouse downtown on Broadway near Loenard St, that I would randomly hang up, and sure enough, the next day as if by magic – they had professional lighting trained on them,
that was how magical . . my experience there was.

it seemed like we mostly talked about ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, and all the stuff going on – behind the scenes.
one of the Precog crew, mentioned they had actually seen the doc in art school, but didn’t know too much about.
I was super happy to oblige. the most exhilarating experience of my life. and the worst.
luckily !! they didn’t know that it was me – who had gotten kicked out at the end, or why !!
so it was all . . fun to talk about. it went quickly from utopian, to sheer hell.
they were no rules / except you could not leave. if you left, you could not get back in.
I was trying to explain: 99+ of the wildest, crazy, most expressive / competitive artists in the world, all living together, with plenty of food & open bars !! but no windows. no sunlight. no calls home. no routine that was normal, too much sex, drugs & rock n roll, etc etc. you name it. yeah. damn straight it went to hell.
it actually got shut down by the NYPD, the FDNY & FEMA / all 3.
and then next year, was the World Trade Center / melt down.
it was like a prophecy, for sure.

JAMES ULMER, NICK PAYNE & CAROLINE WELLS CHANDLER . . Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Oct 23, 2015.

so. yeah, it was real nice, when CHANDLER WELLS, popped up on the zoom screen at the end, to say hello.
and, thanked me for posting coverage of a show that happened back in 2015.
apparently a real milestone – on his journey.
see: ‘SURPPRISE, …’

MILAH LUBIN, ’15 WARREN ST – New Year’s Eve 2014′ !!

as well,
another very nice, soft-spoken artist . . I didn’t catch her name, but that photo is a good stand-in /
also thanked me for posting about a group show she had been in, the downtown / underground New Year’s Eve blast of Jan 2014, called: ’15 Warren St’.
see: ’15 Warren St. …’

that show was such a blast / a real underground triumph.
just scroll down the left-hand navigator / on this home page to JAN 2014.
you will see a good handful of posts. all incredible. it just stopped web traffic for the month, period.

it was so nice to be thanked . .
and, to hear how my little artlovers, is so beloved, so trusted as an archive & has helped so many young artists get their start & or just passion – for the artworld, and NYC.

it was also quite ironic to end with ’15 Warren St’ … !!

’15 Warren St’ . . was like the low budget stepchild of ‘QUIET: WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ . . . !!
like the exact opposite.
it had zero funding, and we had Josh’s literally millions of $$$$ / but it was still wild, and crazy great !!
in 4 years things had changed that much / the dot.com bubble that had funded Josh was bust.
and, so was Josh. he went from $81 million / to even owning me – $2K.
sadly, the downtown NYC firemen & police officers who had shut down the ‘Quiet’ party / most of them died, racing up the Twin Towers as they came – pancaking down. they shut down the ‘party’ & then got crushed, by a real ‘threat.

’15 Warren St’ . .
these were the young kids who had grown up, as young teens, more like . . pre-teens, in downtown Tribeca / in the dark shadow & grim afer-math of the World Trade Center / 9-11 attack. they had a lot to say, and the show curated by a very young SEAN VEGEZZI, and a few pals took off saying it.
just as ‘QUIET’ did, but . . ’15 Warren St’ not being a self-contained 24/7 party for 2 weeks, it never imploded.
though trust me – the potential was there.

in a way it was the . . un-Quiet !! / and Sean Vegezzi . . was the un-JOSH !!
a nice little circle of art & NYC art history / no matter how you cut it.

I so love circles . . of information.
bringing back . . the magic / even in the heart of the super bustling, boiling over / gritty great City of New York.