5Q: From then to now
Back in the day when I lived and worked in Walker’s Point, it was my pleasure to party hard with artist Carri Skoczek in her big fat loft on 5th Street, where hoards of the art-cursed played. Those fun years slowly changed when she moved to Brooklyn 13 years ago. For some of us that was an unlucky number.
Remember Deb Fabian and Jim Matson, Dennis Coffey, Deb Brehmer and Bobby Friedman, Kyle Cherek, Judith Hooks, Steve Kasprzak, Tom Littman and Dimitra Copolous, Robert Williams, Irene Adamczyk? A few of the oldies remain there, but Walker’s Point is currently alive with a new batch of mostly young artists, eager to make their mark.
It was the end of an era when Art Muscle magazine, the lynchpin of our local art community closed, Frank Ford moved north to the trendy Third Ward, and Carri more or less adopted New Orleans as her second home. People married, divorced, stopped making art and took other jobs. They had kids, changed school districts, paired off in different directions.
New Orleans is such a disaster now. Why in the world did you ever adopt it in the first place?
It’s my home away from home. I love the culture, the food and the people. I’ve been going there for almost three decades, as often as possible, and I met my husband, David, there. I consider my New Orleans’ friends to be “family.” The 1982 Mardi Gras was my first visit, and then I exhibited at Peligro Gallery for 12 years. After Katrina, or “The Storm” as natives of New Orleans call it, the gallery went under, but I currently have some work at a little gallery, 713, on Royal Street in the quarter. Recently I was in an invitational print show at Gallery Du Mois.
Well, I know from following your comments on Facebook that you love to cook, but I also learned from it that the BP oil spill distresses you greatly. So why don’t you make art about the spill instead of art about strong, sexy women female toreadors? Shouldn’t all artists be commenting on social concerns? A local wag commented that artists should be using thick oils to paint about the spill. Thank god he stopped short of suggesting they should paint with oil recovered from the gulf, or make sculptures out of tar balls.
No, I don’t think artist “should” be making art about the oil spill, unless it’s a social and political issue that compels them. Not every artist’s work is concerned with those issues, and actually, offhand, I can’t think of anyone who is doing work about the spill.
For much of your career, your work has focused on portraiture. Would you consider doing portraits of those who went down in the flaming oil rig? They’d be memorials of a sort. Like your portraits of great writers.
That’s right up my alley, and I’ve done it before. I love that idea.
It rankles me to listen to artists whine about the oil spill, then get in their big SUV’s and blast down the street.
I don’t own a car. I ride my bike or take the subway if I have to.