Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dark Matter

Last Thursday Carlos told me that the whole 5th floor of our studio building (Flavor Street Studios, aka Industry City -a name I refuse) had been emptied of its occupants, leases or not, grievances or not. He asked if we were going too, and I can tell he is feeling bad about the whole thing. Aren't we all.

Peruse this article by one of the few dedicated to the dark matter of the artworld, a term I used to dispute, angrily, but now feel its gravity. The only press given to our studio problem resides here.

blurb about gentrification of Sunset Park. Of course, we don't consider ourselves gentrifiers -sure we have art degrees, but we're not of the landed class, have no savings or trusts, are not looking to convert work spaces into living spaces or move into the neighborhood. We simply want to work in industrial buildings -where people were meant to work. And these buildings had a lot, a lot, of empty space. I do not think pressure from gentrification is driving us out, but landlords who have never felt comfortable with artists, the casualness of our operations, the hard luck, and no-profit business model we employ (I've been castigated more than once by the landlord's representative). They also don't want to lose control and letting us be is losing control.

Maybe I'm giving them too much credit. They don't have to rent to artists and we don't have to rent from them. Either way, losing the studio in a month's time makes me not want to work at all. You feel like packing up to get on to the next place as soon as possible. Problem is, we've no reasonable place left to go in Brooklyn, and maybe all of NYC. I've been in four neighborhoods in ten years, so migrant artist might be the right term for the last decade. I'm doing hard research into some nearby cities destroyed by urban renewal and white flight in the 60s that have yet to turn it around. I'll let you know how that turns out.

When I searched for one of the linked articles above, Google provided this ad:


  1. Frank, have you explored the Lorraine Street studios (might go under a different name?) in Red Hook? I have friends who work in there. Seems to be artist friendly, though many of the studios are small....

  2. And sadly more expensive than industry city.

  3. Crap.

    Send a synopsis to The Times. They might be interested enough to write a story. They often don't know unless they are told.

    1. Who do you tell? Either way the deal is done. The story ends up feeding their bottom line more than ours. These stories are like decaying corpses while the real estate vultures circle.

    2. Maybe CityRoom? It won't change anything, I know.


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