Jersey City Art Scene Tetralogy
These four stories share the same universe, a northeastern American city were artists coalesced into a community. They are works of fiction and in no way document the arts, artists and life as we know it in Jersey City. The stories are just set there. They need to be somewhere. What I am more interested in, mainly interested, is the subconscious life of artists, those who love and live with artists, and humanity in general but in looking specifically at the artist subconscious I wanted to find out some truths about contemporary culture – and thus truths about the human condition – which is visualization. No, thinking visually. Culture is less verbal, more visual, an irrevocable trend. We all think in images. Actually, the brain works more like a comic book or graphic novel, words and pictures. Maybe some folk’s brains are balanced equally with pictures and words, but most weigh in with more of one side than the other. Artists think more visually than non-artists. As society becomes more visual, the subconscious of the artist is the cutting edge of culture, the razor slicing through to a new core.
A widow of a successful local artists whittles away his grief by taking pictures with his wife’s camera as he and his step-daughter whom he barely knows navigate through a new world. One summer they suddenly find themselves at the center of a local movement to welcome Humphrey, a Hump back Whale who has been spotted in the Hudson River.
The summer just got worse. Dumped and broken-hearted, Lenora is forced to attend an art opening at Jersey City’s leading Art Bar. It’s an obligation that only intensifies her sorrow. Soon, she and a friend escape to an Italian street fair – the annual celebration of the Feast of the Assumption – finding new meaning for art, life, friends and summer.
Manager of the new Jersey City location of an internationally famous gallery curates her first show, an exhibition of local artists. When the only artist who sold – got a “red dot” – turns out to be a murdered gang member, Matilda embarks on a journey that crosses racial divides to find not just the identity of the artist, but the essence of creativity.
A loving husband, beautiful son, stable job, adjusting to married life in the suburbia always turned out easier than anticipated. Then one memory triggers another and Nora is back posing nude for the old artist in the Jersey City studio confronting questions of truth, beauty and the need for purity of emotion.