Trippy Mask at 17-17 Troutman Street photo: Maria Gotay

Bushwick Open Studios was amazing this year, don’t you think? It’s great to see our community and ‘hood appreciated as an epicenter of creativity. The aspect that I’m most proud of is how the creativity and passion is what’s celebrated, NOT the sales which is genuinely much more fun. Yes, of course we all want to make money from selling our work, but not having the work viewed in a marketing atmosphere such as Art Basel is sort of like the difference between having a retail job at the coolest vintage store ever right now as opposed to helping rich ladies buy bathrobes at Bergdof Goodman. Yeah, I know that sounds like bullshit to you—show me the money—but I mean it. You’re young, you’ll earn more cash eventually, appreciate the moment!

Can you imagine trying to sell these?

So it’s a good time to get perspective on how you feel about whether your work was included in a top 10 list or if you had 10 visitors or 100 visitors. Guess what? It really doesn’t matter! You’re part of the momentum that is creativity for creativity’s sake—that’s a lot rarer than a Matisse for auction at Sotheby’s! This is likely a time that in the not too distant future that you will look back and say, I was part of that.” So let’s not miss it and keep making our work. GO BUSHWICK! 

Sorry for getting so cheesy, just wanted to make sure you own how great you are.

 I’m so busy right now because I’m getting ready to go on vacation for a week. I almost asked our Goddess Leader, Katarina for this week off, but instead I am sitting here indoors on a beautiful Sunday because I didn’t want to miss chatting with you and sharing my own BOS 14 experience.

Sue, the mother of Bushwick’s own Lucia Rollow got an award for “Her significant role in creating Lucia”. photo: Dr. Lisa

Speaking of taking note of how great you are—my deal this year was to set up in front of 56 Bogart and offer passersby an award certificate for “What YOU would like to be recognized for.” In other words, I asked people to get in touch with their feelings of what they personally take pride in themselves for, no matter if other people value or recognize that quality or achievement in them or not. I was totally surprised how hard it was for people to answer that simple question—”What would YOU like to be recognized for?” That says to me as a culture we are not patting ourselves on the back enough. So let’s get on this people, take note of what you’re proud of most about yourself—don’t wait for an award to do it!! Another note about this project I would like an award for was how democratic it was. My proudest moment was when a local 19-year old who likely had no serious higher art education or interest even, found my project satisfying. He enjoyed talking about what he would like an award for, something I didn’t really get but meant something to him, enough so that he brought back three friends for awards! That was the biggest compliment I got all weekend-the feeling that my art made these regular non-typical art people (hipsters?) happy!

Daniel got his award for “Mastering the 9 stances”.
Chris got an award for “Never receiving an award EVER!”

Not sure how I ‘spained that, since I am sidestepping around sounded like snobby douche—but you guys know what I mean. I wish I wasn’t rushing to get out of town because I really want to hear your stories and what you got out of BOS 14 and I would have bugged you in person. Btw: This is the first vacation I’ve had in a LONG time and I’m not going to let you make me feel guilty about it!

PLEASE post in the comments here or send in stories about what growth experience you might have had during BOS this year. Or email me: [email protected]