With the New York charity circuit on Haightas, here’s how some philanthropists and society people are spending their time and resources during the epidemic.
Where are you falling down to?
I have spent most of the last year in my apartment in Central Park South. I remember being seen in the park in March and April of last year; It was completely empty, completely silent. If you live in New York, you learn to live together, and even appreciate the sounds of the city. There was silence. Sometimes it was broken by ambulance sirens. You knew every time that you heard the meaning of it.
How did you cope
When I finally emerged a month later, I took a very long walk in the park. It felt very relaxing. Until you are not deprived of it, you will not realize how much you appreciate the fresh air. My legs really hurt for the next few days. But it was nice to be outside.
How has it been working from home?
I used to say that I get the greatest inspiration in the morning. I will always think of the best way to open a piece in the shower. Now I think of myself sitting in front of the laptop, “when is it going to come?” Sometimes it comes at 2 in the morning.
What do you relax?
Anyone who knows me or even thinks they know that I can believe that I cannot boil an egg. This was very much the case. I used to get nervous in the kitchen. Now I find it relaxing and therapeutic. I have a hobby of cooking. I also make a pizza mean and brownie. And I can kill a Bucatini all’Amatriciana – a tomato sauce with pancetta and spices. I bought more cookbooks than anything else. If you can read, you can cook.
What are you afraid of?
I cannot ignore the fact that Asians are carrying out attacks. This is extremely sad – and terrible. I am particularly fearful for the elderly. My mother is living with me. I ask her to wear sunglasses. When she goes out, I often try to do the same. It’s not that way, and, as of now, here we are.
What lifts your spirits?
I never thought I’d say that, but I’m waiting for a big fancy party and getting ready again, watching people tuxedos, drinks, chatting, dancing and all that. People say that if there is an epidemic it will be like Roaring Twenties. It is possible. But it seems to me that all this has forced us to slow down. I hope the days of double and triple booked on the same night will end.
The business: Creative arts blogger; founded by, MinnieMuse; Art collector
Where are you sheltering?
I have lived in my apartment in the village in Manhattan since September. I am in the eighth month of my pregnancy, so I am separating myself with pure caution. It has been difficult for me and everyone. The last year has felt in a minute and a century. It is still strange for me to write the date 2021.
Is anyone upside down?
I have not been expected much in the sense of socialization. It is a blessing for me to think less and more about my child. I have a lot of friends who are pregnant. For those who have lived fast, this is the perfect time to build a nest.
What do you like
My guilty pleasure is vintage shopping. I like to shop on the RealReal app – I see it constantly on the iPhone. But I am lucky that I have a creative outlet. I paint the brand logo on the season. My first was Supreme. I like that they throw their logo on bricks or fire extinguishers. My husband, who is an art trader, suggested various brands. I went to Hermes, Ikea, Orio and Pringles. I sell my shells at Webster, Gagosian bookstore and myself instagram.
Is there a setback from brands?
If my shells were to be mass-produced, it might be. But my hand-painted, one-of-a-kind pieces are considered original art objects. There are copyright clauses that protect people like me.
So, you think of yourself as an artist?
I have always thought of myself as a creative person but never an artist. But I am able to chart my progress. I have definitely become a better painter. That people are actually buying my work is a sign that they are taking me seriously.
Are you feeling optimistic?
One thousand percent. When Jeff Bezos announced that he was stepping down as CEO at Amazon, it was a mirror effect of last year when he announced that the epidemic had pushed him to take more responsibility. He feels that he can get away from me – this is a wonderful sign. The vaccine rollout has reduced many people’s fears. When you go out and the city is alive, you really feel a sense of hope.
Business: The artist
Where are you now and what can you see from your window?
I am in a small house in the Rocky Mountains, overlooking a huge spring of snow that looks like a herd of animals in a blanket with white flowers. All trees look like their hair, you know. Earlier this year I was quite high up from New York, camping in a van. Epidemics have affected and increased the time we spend in nature.
What has nature done for you?
I built a rock garden outside the rocks. I am learning to hear the sound of ice making on the lake. I have spent a lot of time looking for rocks in rivers. The rocks have been around for millions and millions of years. Grabbing one is like having a time machine in your hand, as if it contains the tales of civilizations that have risen and fallen, all packed into this small matter.
Does an artist need a social conscience?
I am one of those souls who finds little difference between making art or making the world a more just and equitable place. When I say “art” means music and cooking, science and theater, all these things that make bridges between people.
What about social connections?
I would like to think that they are important not only to artists, but to everyone who is a brick-and-stone, cook, designer or plumber. The way I make art, it is part of all social practice, the practice of living. The lockdown probably goes deeper with fewer people. Definitely something I have experienced.
What inspires you now?
I have been thinking a lot about psychedelics. New fronts are forged, which can help many people suffering right now. I have a little related project that will come to light soon. I am working on some bronze about many forms and combinations of many forms. In the last decade I spent a lot of my life building social and pioneer works. It was nice to have a moment of actual pause. But we are opening in early April Exhibition program, And I am grateful for that.