New York, I Love You

Letter From The Editor

She had had enough. “Pompous Ass!” echoed through the ornate Victorian in Oak Park. I was 7 years old and finally had pushed my Mother to the brink. Contemplating my latest interjection, I questioned whether I would see another sunset that very moment. Nearly out the door that morning, she made an about face and retreated to the breakfast table, hastefully escorted me to the bookshelf, pulled my new Macmillan dictionary off the shelf and said, “Here, look up pompous ass and tell me what it means when I come home from work.”, and promptly exited the victorian post-haste.

Being that it was a children’s dictionary, I was unable to find said article to define, to which my Father procured a dictionary that had looked as if it had been from the turn of the century. (Turns out I wasn’t far off.) Rifling through the pages, … Pompous, … how do I spell pompous?and ass?Is that one word or two? Ah, here is pompous, but no ass.

Via Meriam-Webster :

Pompous, adjective: having or exhibiting self-importance arrogant.

Nailed it, I thought to myself. I then searched for ass, and to my surprise found a variety of definitions not suitable for a 7 year old. 6pm rolled around and I awaited to expound of my journey of pomp-assery to my mother. Moments later she walked in the door, with work accouterment still in hand, I approached with dictionary ear marked and pointed to the definition, read it aloud and retorted, “Yes.”, and promptly left the foyer. Momentarily stunned, she put down her work bag. Suffice it to say, nothing has changed some 30 years later…

New York, I Love You

with Avree Anderson

Not everyone is an Artist. But everyone is a f-ing critic.

Marcel Duchamp

Arrogance is underrated. Period. It takes something to make your way out to New York, let alone be an artist out here. I’m in love with New York. I’ve dreamt of New York since I was a teen, even though Chicago will always be home. I’ve always had confidence border lining arrogance, or so I’ve been told. This city kind of pushes you over that line, and for good reason. You are a speck in a sea of voices within a small sliver of an island of the world that is called, Manhattan.

As an artist you’re always searching for something to say. Something from within, that drives us to make our Art. Just shy of 200 years of photography, a still relatively young art form, so much has been said, and even more so with the internet and digital dominance, one could think, “How could I possibly say something new, especially with the ease and ubiquity of photography everywhere?”

While many are scared or turned off at the thought of this quandary, personally I love this question. New York is my answer. It’s a love affair, my mistress of choice. A little bit of you has to be arrogant in any foreign land. To dip your toes into the unknown and know that your first attempts will ultimately be rubbish. Curiosity for life, surroundings, and city is often the catalyst for Art.

If you know, you know.

This city is not for everyone. Not for the faint of heart. I’ve had models pop in for a weekend, or artists try to set up roots, only to run back to LA or from whence they came. 6 Months to 2 years is an accurate barometer to assess the pressure of NYC living. Those of us who stay are diamonds forged from coal on the dirty streets. I will never get tired of roaming the streets, studios, sets, show rooms with or without model, even during a pandemic.

There is always someone to say yes, someone up for trying something. Fashion designers looking for that lucky break, hair and makeup artists hungry for a new muse, set designers dreaming of new worlds to create, art directors playing puppeteer with human canvas. Your heart pumps and the possibilities alone in this city, or where ever your city is.

In the end, everyone is a critic. Everyone says their city is the best, and if that’s the place that brings you most joy, then it truly is the Best. We live and die making our own art, capital and lowercase a, that makes us happy first and foremost, and if not, it might be time to shake things up.

New York called my name years ago, and still sings to me, even on the days that I hate it so. If you haven’t found it, listen. Find your your love affair to adore, to love enough not to leave, and begin that lifelong artful romance. And while you’re at it searching, keep an eye out for me on the streets. I’ll see you in Soho.