by Richard Hertz
This book is the compelling story of artist Jack Goldstein (1945-2003) and some of his classmates at CalArts, who in the early 1970s went to New York and led the transition from conceptualism to Pictures Art, utilizing images from television, movies and other media that they had grown up with. At the same time, they discovered an art world increasingly consumed by the desire for fame, fortune and the perks of success.
The book is anchored by Jack's own narratives of the early days of CalArts and the last days of the Chouinard Art School; the New York art world of the 1970s and 80s; the trials and tribulations of finding and maintaining success; personal relationships; and Jack's disappearance from the art scene. They are complemented by the first-person narratives of Jack's friends, including: Baldessari, Brauntuch, Brooks, Longo, Mullican and Welling. There are provocative portraits of many well-known artworld personalities of the 1980s, including: Mary Boone, David Salle and Helene Winer, all working in a time when "the competitive spirit was strong and often brutal, caring little about anything but oneself and making lots of money." Oh, yeah, there's sex, drugs and rock-and-roll too. Has anything changed?