Friday, October 1, 2010

Terry Galmitz's East Village

This past summer, you likely saw the artist Terry Galmitz sitting near various East Village institutions, sketch pad in hand. Starting tomorrow, SB D Gallery will feature his illustrations in a show titled "My East Village."

According to the show's description: "The places which have been precious parts of his life are revisited and illustrated in Terry's own voice, much with his charming wit. Some places are already in the history, some are about to become, and some will hopefully stand for another few decades."

Galmitz turns 64 on Monday. Aside from some traveling, he has lived in the East Village his entire life.



I caught up with him by phone yesterday afternoon at the gallery for a few quick questions.

How did this show come about?

This is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. So this year, I decided to do it. My wife gave me a little folding chair. I took that big pad and sat across the street from some places; some places a little closer. I just sat there. I tried to do two or three places a day. I spent the whole summer sitting somewhere in the East Village. It was just a personal thing that I really wanted to do. I didn't have any deep philosophical thing behind it. I love architecture, especially the old places. I did two places that are long gone. CBGB and the Fillmore East from photos. They were so much part of the Village when they were here.

You've lived here for nearly 64 years. What has stayed the same about the East Village through the generations?

The people who live here have stayed the same, kind of. It's still an artists' neighborhood. Artists, musicians, writers. I had a lot of artist friends who lived in Soho back in the 1970s. I wanted to get a loft there myself. It was cheap. They've all been thrown out. I guess they went to Brooklyn. I'm glad that didn't happen to me. I love being in the city.




Was there one place that closed through the years that was particularly upsetting to you?

Back in 1971, when the Fillmore East closed. I was a young rock-n-roll-going person. I went, 'Oh my God, the Fillmore is leaving.'

A few people I know say the Second Avenue Deli....

Oh, yeah — the Second Avenue Deli. And Ratner's.



What do you think about some of the new buildings in the neighborhood?

Oh, I wonder about it. I don't really like it. I have yet to see a new building that I like. But what do I know? Seems to be a lot of it going up. Some of it is really horrible, actually.


Portrait of the artist.

The SB D Gallery is located at 125 E. Fourth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. His work will be up through Dec. 29. Details here.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I want to go see them.

Melanie said...

This sounds so cool. I plan to attend. Checked their blog--cool! Thanks for the rec Grieve. Glad we made it through the storm last night. HE HE.

jimandkarla murray said...

love this...awesome work

esquared said...

nice. i'mma be there. thanks for the heads up. (see, that's hyperlocal blogging.)

blue glass said...

thanks for letting us know

Marty Wombacher said...

Great illustrations and interview! I'll check out his show soon, thanks for the heads up!

Chris said...

Very cool. Can't wait to check this out.

Ken Mac said...

I would have given anything to have eaten one meal at Ratners. Damn. It closed not that long ago right?

Karate Boogaloo said...

Love this post Grieve...Its easy to forget that the East Village is someone's real home town.

Melanie said...

@ Ken Mac--I ate at Ratner's. It was great and always exciting-never knew who would come in at night.

Shawn Chittle said...

I'll be there but want to add one correction: as a person of 64 he predates the name and entirety of that which is known as the "East Village" can I get a "Lower East Side, hallelujah?! Can I?"

:-)

blue glass said...

Blogger Shawn Chittle said...
you are right, it used to be called the lower east side (which is now the trendy area below houston street).
they started calling this place the east village just after real estate had tanked and landlord abandonment was rampant. then some folks realized that there was gold in them thar hills and started calling it the east village. this was in the mid/late 1970s if i remember correctly.

Goggla said...

Terry is a fantastic artist. Can't wait to see his work on the wall...

Tony Devers said...

Earl Wilson in the New York Times called the neighborhood the East Village in 1964.
The "East Village Other" started publication in 1966.
I wonder what new name the developers will come up with. Fratville? Brotown?