PRINT October 1999

EV in the Press

In the ’80s, the popular press seized on the East Village scene as a “different bohemia.” Magazines like People, Vogue, Life, GQ, Esquire, New York, and Newsweek, as well as American and European newspapers, celebrated that “neo-frontier” as a place where one could find the country’s trendiest art and buy it at bargain-basement prices. Bemused journalists reported on the “phenomenon”—how a dangerous, drug-infested slum (which included an area nicknamed “the Toilet” by New York City police) had suddenly become “the chic spot” for Armani-clad collectors. The media were themselves part of the story. “Art-magazine writers and television crews are prowling everywhere,” observed Douglas C. McGill for the New York Times (September 14, 1984), “and not a few artists are loitering on street corners hoping to be interviewed.” Like a tornado, with the Fun Gallery at the bottom of the funnel, the press

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