The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2021

All Issues
JUL-AUG 2021 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

64. (Fulton Street, Chinatown, West Broadway, Eldridge Street)

After graduating from art school in Los Angeles, an aspiring artist, who hasn’t yet committed herself to any particular medium, uses insurance money from a car accident to bankroll a move to New York City. To make these funds last until she can find a job, she stays with a series of friends and acquaintances. Her first berth is at the Fulton Street apartment of a young artist who has been using herself as a model in a series of faux film stills. From there she moves to the loft of a friend’s sister, also on Fulton Street, then to a crumbling walkup in Chinatown, and then to an artist’s loft in Tribeca that an expat British painter has turned into an experimental exhibition space. Next she sublets the corner of a Lower East Side loft from an artist who has begun to plaster the city with fliers filled with stark, enigmatic texts. It’s here that another artist, who has just broken up with her boyfriend, impulsively gives her a cheap electric guitar, which she proceeds to drag around with the rest of her belongings to the next several stops in her itinerant new life. When she at last gets a place of her own on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side, thanks to an older conceptual artist who has become a kind of mentor and lives in the same building, she leaves the unplayed guitar propped against a wall. One evening she invites a young musician to her apartment. Immediately he recognizes the guitar as one he has played before. It’s only 30 years later, after the cacophony-loving band that emerges from this encounter (with her as singer and bass player) has changed the direction of rock music and enjoyed decades of international success, that she resumes her long-delayed career as a visual artist.

(Kim Gordon, Cindy Sherman, Peter Nadin, Jenny Holzer, Dan Graham, Thurston Moore)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

close

The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2021

All Issues