When I was at PS1 during my whirlwind stint in New York the days before going South, I came across what become a talisman of sorts for me during the next few weeks. In PS1’s cute little bookstore (new since I had last been there) I found a tiny book by painter Amy Sillman comically enough titled: Visiting Artist.
As time marched on and a bizarre homesickness settled in I found her book strangely comforting. Amy’s own predicaments, laid out in illustrated form develop a slight echo, her version horribly amplified which I found hilarious and true all at once.
Here is a sample:
I SPEND MOST DAYS AND ALL NIGHTS ALONE, EXCEPT FOR THE DOG.
I GIVE A SLIDE TALK ON MY WORK. THE DIRECTOR OF THE PROGRAM SNEAKS OUT EARLY. THE ONLY QUESTIONS AT THE END ARE ABOUT WHAT KIND OF PAINT I USE.
NO ONE SIGNS UP FOR A MEETING. FINALLY A FRESHMAN SIGNS UP BUT IT TURNS OUT HE WANTS ME TO COME TO HIS DORM PARTY AND GET STONED.
I EAT LUNCH WITH A STUDENT WHO ANNOUNCES THAT HE’S A GENIUS AND ASKS ME IF I HAVE ANY CHILDREN YET.
UNHAPPY FACULTY MEMBERS REVEAL THEIR LAMENTS IN THE FACULTY LOUNGE: ISOLATION, DIVORCE, DENIED TENURE, UNDERPAID, STAGNATION. TWO PEOPLE TELL ME SEPARATELY THEY WERE ABDUCTED BY ALIENS.
–editorial footnote: I would have killed to have had my dog with me.
Regency Art Press has also published other cool little books, one by Sean Landers that I almost bought, as they remind me of these Cartoons he used to have posted at Max Fish five million years ago that used to crack me up (one in particular comes to mind completely ridiculing a small baby back pack trend that didn’t look so great on most people). However that day, I left with only my one small purchase.