A couple of years ago I discovered she hit pause studios in the Holiday Market in Union Square. There are hundreds of different artists and craftspeople selling goods in this market and in many of the arts and crafts fairs that dot New York City parks throughout the year. The Bloomberg administration recently decided to crack down on the number of artists displaying their goods, and were met with a huge uproar from this community. In the Union Square art market that’s set up three times a week, artists line up early in the morning to get a spot because spaces are first-come first-serve.
Matt Schwartz is the photographer behind she hit pause studios, and his original vision of a pinup girl translates into nostalgic and ethereal polaroid transfers. Since meeting Matt, I’ve encountered many more photographers using this technique. For example, Ayhan Kimsesizcan is a documentarist that runs a very commercial enterprise including wedding photography, street art prints (he has taken many photos of street art and now sells them as $40 prints) and other standard tourist-loving photos. I found his booth in Union Square the other day (he was not there but had two ladies selling his polaroid transfers).
Anyways, I know that artists get ideas and copy from one another all the time. However, it makes me really peeved when I see an artist like Matt Schwartz who does have an original vision getting the same amount of selling space as large commercial tourist-trap enterprises. The Bloomberg administration has decided not to differentiate between creators of original art and mass-produced items in their crack-down on art vendors. This is a really bad move. As if original artists didn’t have the chips stacked against them enough, now they are on the same playing field with large-scale businesses that churn out ‘art’ and poorly-made souvenirs. Mass-produced items devalue the art that original artists have worked so hard to create, and the Bloomberg administration needs to see this and take action unless they are interested in an homogenized, corporate art market in which everyone sells exactly the same thing. Since that is the state of most art markets in New York City, I’m sorry to say that they probably are. Corporations 1 – Local Artists 0
Polaroid transfers by Matt Schwartz