Brad Gooch

  • Philip Taaffe

    BRAD GOOCH looks back at the events leading up to Philip Taaffe’s breakthrough one-person show at Pat Hearn’s East Village gallery in 1984.

    PHILIP TAAFFE DIDN’T HAVE A FIRST BREAK. He had a cluster of them. All circa 1982, when he was living and working in a seven-room cold-water flat in the Paulus Hook section of Jersey City, near the old Palmolive Factory, one stop on the PATH train from the Twin Towers.

    According to Taaffe, “Moving to Jersey City was my first break.” When he was a student at Cooper Union he’d continued to live at home in Elizabeth, New Jersey, while falling under the spell of


    In 1979, JOE BRAINARD walked away from the art world and all but gave up making new work. Twenty-two years later, and seven years after his death, the full output of the poet and artist can be seen for the first time, as “Joe Brainard: A Retrospective,” opens this month at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. On the occasion, novelist and poet BRAD GOOCH recalls a figure we have finally caught up with.

    Joe Brainard wasn’t a legend in his own time. Well, actually, he started out as one. His send-ups of Ernie Bushmiller’s comic-strip goof-fatale Nancy, the frizzy-haired figure sticking