"You, Talking to Me"
Lessons from over a hundred interviews
by: Lawrence Grobel
Snuggle up with a good book this season. Or at least open an intelligent magazine, and don't forget to read my blog! Then, what are you going to do about the thousand or so e-mails on the desktop? Don't get distracted by all those letters begging for some big buckaroos... and what about all those holiday cards you were supposed to write? Do you have time for all this information overload?
Well, if you are like me, I seem to have a few good minutes before I go to sleep, and I have been reading some materials that I want to recommend. These are books with stories to tell. One book that has almost as many names as War and Peace comes from the interviewer's interviewer - and that is Lawrence Grobel's new work titled: "You, Talking to Me" published recently by HMH Press.
on the set of the "Today Show" on NBC
Larry Grobel has had interviews with all kinds of celebrities and has even included a few pages in his new book about my father, Arthur Singer, in a short chapter called: " Know Your Props". Mr. Grobel was a neighbor of ours on Long Island, I have been following his writings over many years and I guess from reading the section about my dad, it seems that Larry was introduced to the freelance life through exposure to the Singer household of artists.
You will enjoy the lessons he has learned in the process of conversations he has held with people you have heard of like Zsa Zsa Gabor ( who just passed away this week ) and Marlon Brando; people who you might enjoy talking with like Tony Bennett or Joyce Carol Oates, and the list goes on with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti and Robert DeNiro and over a hundred others.
Painter David Salle in his new book:
"How to See"
I followed reading the celebrity interviews with the writings of painter, David Salle who has recently published his new book "How to See" with W.W. Norton. When I was living in New York City, I would go out to David Salle's shows with Mary Boone to check out the progress he made during the art boom of the early 1980's. Painting was having an enormous impact then, so it was interesting to read what this artist had to say about his transition from California art student to seasoned pro in Manhattan. In this new book, he chronicles a postmodernist's career negotiating the art world by just being at the table with the trendsetters and he writes fluently about his friends and acquaintances in that uber world of Soho in boomtime.
David Salle is a little younger than I am and the people he writes about are folks whose work I have followed for years, and also some of the painters I have met in studios that I have visited. His short chapters give the reader a definite point of view that is not too technical by giving you a practical guide to what is being accomplished by figures such as Alex Katz, Dana Schutz and Jeff Koons.
It is really not a "how to" book but more a series of essays, and a set of insights into the mind of the artist, and we get David Salle's takeaway from all his experiences in visual art. He doesn't write much in this book about his own progress except to stop in one place and compare his painting to that of Andy Warhol. Salle has created a good book for people who have followed the art scene, and also for educators who may want to scan this book for clues and kernels of wisdom found to be applied to the visual arts in the 21st century.
Biography of dealer Richard Bellamy
by Judith E. Stein
Further down my reading list we get a biography of an art dealer - in this case a reluctant one - in the figure of Richard Bellamy, and the book is called: "Eye of the Sixties" by Judith E. Stein. Here, I read with much enthusiasm about a person that I met years ago, and this person really had a strong handle on a portion of the New York City art world.
I regularly went up to see the shows he would present, and I always found interesting art on view whether it was the Hansa Gallery, the Green Gallery, or Oil and Steel on Chambers Street. Richard Bellamy was also involved with the Barbara Flynn Gallery on Crosby Street, and that was one of my favorites of the early SoHo spaces I visited.
You will enjoy reading this personal story that Judith E. Stein has researched about the art dealer's perspective. Richard Bellamy was deeply involved in the art he presented and as Judith Stein writes - he really transformed modern art in the 1960's and beyond. Read this book and you will see - how and why... CHEERS!