New York

California Color

Promising scholars and philosophers, the story goes, move to California and then just play tennis and swim for years. There is that whole shallow, indulgent, Republic-of-Trivia aspect to it which reminds us here in New York that not since the invention of bronze casting has anything of consequence happened in that kind of climate. Stories of easy love and the vision of Reagan combine to remind us that sexual freedom is often a substitute for political freedom. In short, the whole California Weltanschauung bristles us up and makes New Yorkers feel for a moment extraordinarily responsible and even puritanical. From here the California scene looks weak and epicurean.

Also, the prospect of hip young drop-out types hanging out in Venice, Calif., making fancy baubles for the rich amuses us. Easy materials, easy designs; why shouldn’t we notice that their attitude toward color is just as facile?

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