Jane Dickson for Contemporary Vintage Sleaze #16 in the Series
I am especially happy with this entry in the CONTEMPORARY VINTAGE SLEAZE series, as the artist is not only one of the most well-known and respected artists working today, she also shared the same filthy streets I did! 42nd Street before they swept it up.
Jane Dickson makes magic with oil sticks. She lived just off 42nd Street the same time as I, looking down on the Deuce in the early 1980s. Virtually De Niro in Taxi Driver time, and you can almost hear the street shouting back at her "You looking at ME?" From her unique vantage for a woman artist, Dickson observed the dicey goings on...she may have seen me literally run the two block stretch whenever I reached my subway stop after midnight.
My apartment was a dark 4 block hike further west, Just out of the neon she depicts, and I always identified with her work. It was the first art I literally felt I lived in. I saw Dickson's work the year after I moved to New York, and at one time I had a postcard of her work over my desk to remind me I was really there. Dickson's work, like the city, has never left me.
As I write this, I am remembering watching from my third floor window in Hell's Kitchen as a pimp knocked around his woman. I yelled down for him to stop and he shouted up at me "I'll bust a fuckin' cap in your face!" That is the world of Jane Dickson's Times Square work.
Which is why it is generous of her to allow me to use these images, works she created when Times Square WAS Times Square, as her contribution to Vintage Sleaze, (which she graciously called "a terrific site!" when I asked permission.)
It is hard to think of a more appropriate contribution. Much of the material and activity I write about on this site took place literally before the artist's eyes, and in my mind, no one captured it as well.
Jane Dickson has gone on to create quite a career since the early works which brought her recognition. She has returned to the Deuce as seen on her site. They are still quite extraordinary...no artist has captured the scene so well. Dickson's themes are the carnival, the dance, the street and the mystery of bright color and darkness. She still often creates from above, the world below a beautiful place but fraught.
Jane Dickson has exhibited at the Whitney Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and her work is in their permanent collections. The artist's website is HERE (don't miss the carnival works HERE.) You will leave the site with a whole new appreciation of color. Her work has also been used to illustrate numerous books, and she has created striking installations and public projects for New York City, so browse her site a while.
"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series will link to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. You need only ask! Serious artists are contributing to this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swatz, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly and more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work and include it in the series.
If you are a cartoonist and/or artist and would like to participate in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series, submit work to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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