Saturday, January 9, 2010

What am I thinking?

What am I thinking?
The last time I went to Cosmic Cavern the monthly party held in the private gallery space of the artist Kenny Scharf I was all caught up in the fun of seeing both Kenny Scharf and Joey Arias. Both were superstars of the 80's downtown scene when I was fresh out of The Bronx and trying to find a way to get in free to the clubs each week. Oh to be young again. Joey worked at Fiorucci in the daytime. Fiorucci was an Italian brand jeans line with lots of fun things for young people to buy, I would say like Urban Outfitters now but the style was more Betsey Johnson. I would go there after high school let out and see Joey Arias. He would change his hair color every month, each time in another bright Manic Panic type of crazy color and that was very radical then and the source of great entertainment for my young naive self. Joey was sweet to us kids, he would chat to us if he wasn't too busy working and if he was we would just be glad to see what he looked like with his new hair. I was introduced to him by Marc Jacobs whom I went to school with. Marc was going to nightclubs then and would fill me in on what happened at Mudd Club the night before in our morning class the day after. He was cool back then and he knew cool people like Joey and Klaus Nomi. It was to both our delight when later that school year Joey and Klaus would appear on Saturday Night Live singing back up for David Bowie and wearing Theirry Mugler dresses. We were both so esetatic that Joey was on tv and in a dress and it's Mugler! We both loved Mugler.
By the time I was in college Kenny Scharf was part of the downtown art star trio with Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat. I found out about his work via another high school friend Claudia. Claudia is who I use to go out with. I wasn't cool enough to hang with Marc by then. He had moved on to hanging with Deborah Harry and hot stars of the times, he was in with the right crowd from the beginning that guy. So Claudia would call me up and I would take the train down from the very top of The Bronx to go dance with Claudia and we would go to gallery shows and things that young kids did in the early eighties. She left high school and moved to east 26th St with three other friends and I was the guest fifth roommate. She was into the east village art scene and showed me Kenny's work. It was all day-glo and we loved that then.


  1. Paul, I thought you were only 23 years old!!! :-)

    Thanks for a great read... and eventual re-read!