TABLE OF CONTENTS

Dual Nature

EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THE THRILL OF IT ALL, it was apparent that two contingencies—one demographic, the other economic—laid the groundwork for the making of the “East Village Art Scene.” First, the postwar baby boom, which peaked in 1959, led to an outpouring of art-school grads in the early ’80s. Sometimes it seems as though a majority of my generation, having grown up in the fertile ’60s, pursued careers in the creative arts, and the New York art world simply couldn’t accommodate this glut of brash, snot-nosed artists eager to exhibit their goods, and consequently burst at the seams. Second, the boom market enabled a generation of artist-entrepreneurs not only to start their own galleries but to keep their doors open and flourish.

I graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1981, having majored in communication design and feasted on art-history and critical-theory courses in general. At

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