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Art jockeying in the Sistine Discos.

WHEN STEVE RUBELL, NIGHTCLUB IMPRESARIO and excon, speaks, The New York Times listens. “Artists are becoming the stars of the 1980’s, like the rock stars of the 1960’s or the fashion designers of the 1970’s. People who used to go to singles bars on First Avenue now go to art openings on Avenue A. I don’t create things,” said one of the men who made Studio 54 and now the Palladium, “I jump on them.”

Now that Steve Rubell has jumped on art—has it been mugged? Can art, fine art, big art, become the centerpiece, the core, of the big discos and still be big and fine? Can you make Peter Max career-choices in the ’80s and still make it to the Whitney on time? Is Jean Michel Basquiat the ’80s Jimi Hendrix? Is Keith Haring Elton John" rel="nofollow" >Keith Haring Elton John? Is Kenny Scharf the Grateful Dead? And who does that make Francesco ClementeBob Dylan? Joni Mitchell?1

Artists have been doing nightclubs almost as long as they’ve

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