FASHION MODA

FASHION MODA: A BRONX EXPERIENCE


Justen Ladda, The Thing,
Copyright Marvel Comic Group, 1981.
photo: Martha Cooper


the Bronx / Fashion Moda / Back to the Bronx

Introduction
It is appropriate that this essay appear on the Internet since Fashion Moda, according to its founder Stefan Eins, is not an art gallery but "a collection of science, invention, technology, art and fantasy".1 Eins was prescient since our experience of art on the Internet is just that--a meeting of science, technology, art, and fantasy. What Fashion Moda became, however, and the history it made, is a different story, one that more closely parallels contemporary developments in the downtown art world during the early 1980s. By telling the history of this Bronx-based art space where a group of young, white artists from downtown interacted with the community, using technologies not known 20 years ago we restore and further Fashion Moda's original philosophy and purpose.
Fashion Moda was one of several Bronx-based arts organizations that during the 1960s and 1970s acknowledged and embraced the artistic contribution of the new immigrants from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the American South who had replaced an early population of immigrants, mostly European, from Manhattan's Lower East Side. It was Fashion Moda in particular that celebrated the street life of its neighbors in exhibitions of graffiti art and performances of hip-hop music and break dancing. During the 1980s the message of these vernacular art forms was transmitted to Soho, the East Village, and internationally to exhibitions such as Documenta in Kassel, Germany. The influence of all three--graffiti, breaking dancing and rap music--on American culture today can hardly be overestimated.
While others have chronicled the spread of this influence, there is no history of that moment in time when art born of the streets was absorbed into the larger culture. This transition was effected, in part, by a group of artists associated with Fashion Moda. The documentary history which follows is neither conclusive nor complete since Fashion Moda's story does not reside in dusty archives but in the memories of its participants. Many of them have been contacted and those that who responded have contributed greatly to this project.


Jane Dickson, City Maze, 1981
photo: copyright Lisa Kahane

The Bronx
When Fashion Moda opened in 1979, the area called the South Bronx had become a world-wide symbol of urban blight. Many have attributed its decline to the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway during the late 1940s and early 1950s when much of the housing of the area was condemned, virtually destroying a community striving to redefine itself during the Post-War building boom. The deterioration of the South Bronx is also tied to the construction of Co-op City in the northeastern part of the borough, a large-scale building complex which attracted many from the railroad flats or tenements which characterized the building stock from the turn of the century when the Bronx was first developed. Soon the community was beset by seemingly intractable social problems--drugs, poor schools, and a large welfare roll--and by the late 1960s and early 1970s this part of the Bronx came to symbolize all that was wrong with urban America. Both Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan made historic stops there calling for programs and financing to help the citizenry and halt urban decay. In contrast to the efforts of the politicians, which were deemed opportunistic, a number of Bronx citizens worked hard to commemorate and further the culture of the borough as it tried to renew itself.
When the Bronx Council on the Arts appeared on the scene in 1962, it was like the first crocus of spring after a harsh winter. Dedicated to nurturing the cultural development of the Bronx, it provided financial support to local artists and non-profit community arts organizations. In 1980 it established Longwood Art Gallery in an abandoned school building, P.S. 39, at 965 Longwood Avenue where today, in addition to a gallery, it maintains studio space for artists. Three artists in particular who have been associated with Longwood, Pepón Osorio, Tim Rollins, and Fred Wilson (who was director of Longwood from its opening in 1985 to 1992) have gone on to international careers.
Further evidence of cultural renewal was the creation of the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 1972. Located originally in the Bronx County building at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, it moved in 1988 into its new facility a few blocks further north at E.165th and the Grand Concourse. Today its dedicated staff continues the celebration of the visual arts with professionally organized exhibits of artists from the community and beyond, and a popular arts education program for local school children.
Other signs of new cultural life were the public art projects which began to appear in the early 1980s. These efforts were documented in the Lehman College Art Gallery's recent exhibition "Public Art in the Bronx" in which nearly fifty new projects were documented for new public schools and colleges, libraries, parks, and subway stations.
In addition, and bringing us closer to the subject of this essay, was the presence of several artists from downtown who made the Bronx their home both literally and professionally. These include John Ahearn who, with Rigoberto Torres, spent a number of years commemorating his neighbors in distinctive painted plaster casts some of which now adorn building walls in the Banana Kelly area. Tim Rollins also joined forces with students from the Bronx and established KOS or Kids of Survival, a quasi art school called the Art and Knowledge Workshop that created collaborative projects that have been exhibited world wide. Finally, there is Stefan Eins, the founder of Fashion Moda which was, and still is in Eins' mind, a world-wide arts organization with a storefront location in the South Bronx.


Christy Rupp, Rat Poster, 1979

Fashion Moda
In its Bronx manifestation, Fashion Moda was located during the late seventies and eighties at 2803 Third Avenue near 147th Street and the Hub, the South Bronx's shopping center. Never designed as a conventional community art gallery, it functioned more like a happening, those celebrated, anarchic events of the early 1960s when artists and audience alike participated in the creation of outrageous and unrehearsed performances. Similarly at Fashion Moda, with the synergy created by artists from downtown and from nearby hanging out together, ideas for exhibitions and events emerged spontaneously. Eins, as he says, was dedicated to creating an environment in which "'community people can display their art work in a gallery setting that is a dynamic living enterprise.'" He and other artists from Manhattan were motivated by a desire to create an art environment that was collaborative, collective, cooperative, and communal. As Eins saw it, the gallery was "'a means of communication beyond ideology.'" It connected "'the street...with the international art world. It open[ed] the door to everyone.'" Surprisingly, to those not familiar with the ways in which recent art movements function and flourish, and given Fashion Moda's location in the South Bronx of the late 1970s, its success within the larger New York and international art world was amazing and immediate. Its impact on the Bronx, however, is much harder to gauge.
In the beginning, however, before Fashion Moda became associated with graffiti, hip-hop and the punk culture of the East Village, its earliest exhibitions of holograms and of materials related to extraterrestrials more nearly reflected Eins' stated philosophy to fuse science, technology and fantasy. These were not, however, the exhibitions which attracted the Manhattan critics. Instead it was the participation of several young, downtown artists including Jenny Holzer, John Ahearn, Christy Rupp, David Wells, Justen Ladda, Charles Ahearn, Jane Dickson, and Rebecca Howland who brought it to prominence.
Six months after it opened, Holzer created for Fashion Moda's facade, one of her earliest public text pieces called Sentence Philosophy, part of her Truisms series. Accompanied by audio tapes, large color photostats were fastened to the windows with lists, in English and Spanish, of her now familiar aphorisms. Also in spring 1979, John Ahearn did face castings of local South Bronx residents as a form of outdoor performance art. While throughout the year there were on-going concerts and performances: some by Bronx-based rappers like the Wicked Wizards, others by musicians from downtown. That summer, having met and employed as co-directors Joe Lewis (who also served as national director from 1980-82) and William Scott, a local teen-ager, Fashion Moda presented several summer shows including photographs of jazz musicians by Ray Ross called "The Face of Jazz" and a David Wells piece called Inventions.
Eins, also an artist, as well as entrepreneur, was born in Austria. He emigrated to the United States in the late 1960s and settled in Soho near Chinatown at 3 Mercer Street. During the 1970s he lived in this storefront building and exhibited his own work and that of artist friends. Called the Mercer Street Store it was similar in function and informality to the artist-run galleries which had been a fixture of the downtown art world of New York since the 1950s.
The 1970s were also a time when non-commercial art galleries, which came to be called artists or alternative spaces, played an important role in the flowering of contemporary art in New York, particularly in lower Manhattan. The lead was taken in 1971 by the Committee for the Visual Arts, founded to serve the "non-traditional arts community of New York State". Composed of like-minded artists, critics, administrators, and academics, and aided in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, the Committee established Artists Space a not-for-profit art gallery. Its first location was a floor above the Paula Cooper Gallery on the corner of Wooster and Houston Streets; later it occupied several sites in Tribeca. In a short time a number of other groups emerged, no two alike. The Kitchen Center for Video and Music, founded in 1971, moved to Soho in 1974 where, as its expanded title indicates, became a center for video, new music, dance, and performance art. Creative Time, established in 1973 worked with artists to find abandoned or under utilized spaces for the placement of sculpture and site-specific work. Their best known endeavors were the sponsorship of temporary sculpture installations called "Art on the Beach" which took place on the landfill of what is now Battery Park City. The Alternative Museum under the leadership of Geno Rodriguez has for 20 years worked successfully to create an important and supportive environment for minority and third-world artists. In addition, there were the artist-run galleries such as A.I.R., the first women's cooperative gallery, SOHO 20 and 55 Mercer. Of this group, however, and the one that may have been a precedent for Fashion Moda in terms of exhibiting policies, was the Institute for Art and Urban Resources or P.S. 1 in Long Island City.
Its inaugural show was titled "Rooms" and was the brain child of its director Alanna Heiss who invited a large contingent of artists to tour the space of an 100-year old abandoned public school building, pick a location and design a work for it. When it opened June 1976, it became one of the most important showcases for sculptors and artists working with installations and site-specific projects, a grand collaboration among the decade's leading new generation of artists: Robert Ryman, Howardena Pindell, Walter de Maria, Stephen Antonakos, Judy Rifka, Gordon Matta-Clark, Stefan Eins, Richard Artschwager, Scott Burton, Mary Miss, John Baldessari, Jennifer Bartlett, Judy Shea, Nam June Paik, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Charles Simonds, Vito Acconci, Michelle Stuart, and Joseph Kosuth.
By 1979, and indicative of the rapid generational turnover in the contemporary art world, a number of the artists involved with P.S. 1 had established large careers and had had their work included in such prestigious venues as the Whitney Biennial. Yet when a new crowd of younger artists arrived in town anxious to make their mark in the burgeoning downtown scene, more seemed to be at stake than generational discontent. The younger artists, in from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and moving slightly downtown from SVA (School of Visual Arts), were social activists who disdained the cool anonymity of conceptual art and minimalism, and no longer believed that art or art making was a disinterested, intellectualized process. They distrusted the established museums, galleries and even the newly formed alternative spaces. It was also tough to find a place to live and residential outposts were established in the East Village and the lower East Side. Here, particularly for those on the lower East Side, art and life merged as these artists joined together to form a coalition called Collaborative Projects, or Colab. Founded in March 1977, the organizers wanted "to create a socio-political aesthetic discourse in various communities and provide themselves as artists with facilities, services, information and finances to develop their projects."
Such were the ambitions which Stefan Eins brought to the South Bronx when he migrated there and founded Fashion Moda in an abandoned store formerly used by the Salvation Army. Not long after Colab, inspired by the Bronx-based gallery's commitment to interacting with local residents, undertook a broad range of exhibitions and performances that culminated in the notorious Real Estate Show. Out of frustration with the City's housing policies, along with a high sense of outrageousness, a group of lower East Side artists, some associated with Colab, took over an abandoned, city-owned building on Delancy Street. Here they put on the visually cacophonous and overtly political Real Estate Show in which art was made from or inspired by the detritus of the building and its surroundings.
Wishing to expand the audience for their protests, which varied from an adolescent desire to act out to the idealism of creating art for social change, two of the artist-members of Colab, Tom Otterness and John Ahearn, helped organize the artist-invite-artist exhibit in an abandoned tenement in Times Square at 41st Street and Seventh Avenue. As described by the writer Jeffrey Deitch the Times Square show was "a month-long party, business enterprise and loosely curated exhibition of art, film, fashion and exotica.... with a startling variety of paintings, peep shows, sculpture, statues, model rooms, bundled clothing and even a punching bag set up for practice". Covered extensively by the Village Voice, the Soho Weekly News, and the East Village Eye, the Times Square show rated feature-length articles in all the art press. Art on the margins had come to the center.
Earlier, Fashion Moda had attracted similar notice and the first critic to write at length on their efforts was Lucy Lippard who connected the desire to create the Real Estate show to the same impulse which spawned Fashion Moda. Writing in the short-lived Seven Days, she included a quote from the Real Estate's show manifesto noting that for both the Colab artists and for Eins it was important to bridge the "'gap between artists and working people by putting art on a boulevard level'". In the Bronx Lippard found that Fashion Moda was not defined "by art nor by do-goodism. Its success stems from a genuine mesh of its own interests and those of its audience, and it avoids 'cultural imperialism' by respecting itself as well as its audience". She also remarked that Ahearn's plaster casts had become "the most popular art ever shown at Fashion Moda."
It is through the person of Ahearn, in particular, that the fortunes of Fashion Moda and the artists of the Lower East Side begin to merge for the year before the Times Square show Ahearn created a sensation with his exhibition of painted plaster casts of local Bronx neighbors and turned the casting process into an outdoor performance. The exhibition of nearly 40 of these casts at Fashion Moda in Spring 1979 helped put the new gallery on the map. It didn't hurt when Walter Robinson, writing about the exhibition in Art in America, linked Ahearn's work to the work of Duane Hanson, John de Andrea, George Segal and Robert Graham.
That first year other artists from Colab exhibited at Fashion Moda including Christy Rupp who, in the fall of 1979, inaugurated her art education program "Animals Living in Cities" as part of her City Wildlife Projects. Part educational, part political and certainly iconoclastic, the presentation involved the combined effort of artists and scientists to introduce South Bronx school children to the city's wildlife--ants, spiders, roaches and rats.
In the spring the Ladies Auxiliary Wrestling Team performed and Charles Ahearn showed his film the Deadly Art of Survival. That summer, in addition to a performances by the Relentless Blues Band, Haim Steinbach exhibited a work called Changing Displays, and in the fall Jane Dickson created her City Maze.
Today, however, Fashion Moda is most often associated with graffiti art and its acceptance into the art world through such figures as John Fekner, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer, and Keith Haring. Its first graffiti show was in the fall of 1980. Curated by Crash, a 19-year-old graffiti artist, invited eleven of his friends most of whom were black and Puerto Rican. One exception was Lady Pink, a woman, who would go on to collaborate a few years later with Jenny Holzer. The works, either spray canned directly on the walls or on canvas, ranged from blown-up tags to full narratives and included works by: MITCH, KEL, 139TH, DISCO 107.5, FUTURA, ALI, ZEPHYR, as well as CRASH and LADY PINK. It also included the work of John Fekner whose stenciled admonitions became famous following an 1979 visit of Ronald Reagan to the South Bronx. Earlier Fekner had written the phrases "Broken Promises" and "Decay" on exposed walls which provided the backdrop for a Reagan press conference. The exhibition's success was due in part to the encouragement of Eins and Lewis who had issued an on-going invitation to local graffiti or street artists to sign the walls of the back room at Fashion Moda. But credit must also be given to timing. Graffiti in the subways had been a divisive issue between liberals and New York politicians for a number of years since the early 1970s when tag writers began using new subway cars as moving billboards and Mayor John Lindsay declared war on graffiti. To many New York intellectuals, including Norman Mailer, Lindsay's anger and frustration seemed misplaced particularly since he had become the hero of residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant and the South Bronx when, during the riot-torn summer of 1968, he walked the streets of their neighborhoods effectively calming their fears. He had also made them promises one of them being new air conditioned subway cars: "'You see we had gone to such work, such ends, to get those new subway cars in. It meant so much to people here in the city to get a ride for instance in one of the new air-conditioned cars.... And you know, that was work. It's hard to get anything done here. You stretch budgets, and try to reason people into activities they don't necessarily want to take up on their own.... We were proud of those subway cars....And then...the kids started to deface them.'" Lindsay contended that the working class who rode the trains saw graffiti as vandalism, and visitors regarded it as sign of the deepening deterioration of the city. Yet artists such as Claes Oldenburg celebrated it: "'You're standing there in the station, everything is gray and gloomy and all of a sudden one of those graffiti trains slides in and brightens the place like a big bouquet from Latin America.'" Yet no one from that earlier period could have predicted the profound impact the graffiti culture, when combined with rap music and break dancing and the fashions they spawned, would have on American culture. While we are still too close in time to fairly evaluate its influence, its power is such that the magazine section of the Sunday The New York Times recently featured on its cover an article about Suge Knight the C.E.O. of Death Row Records, the leading producer of Gangsta Rap. For the author, Knight's real genius was being able to shape "street culture for consumption by the youth of America."
Ironically, Fashion Moda has not benefitted from its embrace of this burgeoning cultural phenomenon. Some of its more financially successful practioners--Holzer, Haring and Basquiat--were supportive of its enterprise but just as the home-grown graffiti writers had only fleeting fame with the commercialization of their art, so too was Fashion Moda's direct involvement short lived.
Early on, however, its celebration of graffiti as an art form and its on-going connection to the downtown art scene resulted in its being included in the New Museums "Events" exhibition which opened in December 1980. As described by one critic, Fashion Moda's 'event' was "more funky than slick, more naive that sophisticated, more littered than organized" but was indicative of its "democratic politics". What impressed the critics and viewers was the democratic sharing of space by the urban street artist and those with art school training and art world connections. Forty-eight artists participated. In addition to the graffiti artists Ali, Crash, Futura 1000, Lady Pink, Lee, Rammellzee Mic Controller, and Zephyr, more established artists also participated: John Ahearn, Robert Colescott, Keith Haring, Candace Hill-Montgomery, Philip Pearlstein, Judy Rifka, Christy Rupp, as well as Eins, Lewis and Scott. The critical attention it received was enthusiastic and supportive and with a museum catalogue, complete with footnotes, bibliography and exhibition schedule, Fashion Moda entered the nether world of the contemporary art world establishment.
In January 1981 Artforum included an article on Fashion Moda which included a descriptive history of the organization in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian as well as several posters designed by Stefan Eins, Christy Rupp, John Fekner, John Ahearn, and Walter Robinson. The following month a photograph of Scott, Lewis and Eins taken at Fashion Moda graced an article "The New Collectives--Reaching for a Wider Audience," in the New York Times Sunday Art and Leisure section. Fashion Moda was also becoming associated with New Wave Punk Art scene associated with the East Village. These developments were documented in a large, sprawling show curated by Diego Cortez for P.S. 1 in Long Island City titled "New York/New Wave". But it is was not well received and critics compared it unfavorablely to Fashion Moda. The raw energy and vitality of the art spawned by the urban ghetto was becoming sapped as it was embraced by the demimonde and fashion vultures of Manhattan. Peter Schjeldahl writing for the Village Voice noted that he had "anticipated something fervid, volcanic" but instead found "participatory narcissism."
Meanwhile in the Bronx, Eins and company continued to encourage and support the convergence of artists from downtown with the community of the South Bronx believing according to Thomas Lawson that "art should be as available to the poor and the disadvantaged as it is to the middle classes." During the summer 1981, Justen Ladda created a now-famous and arresting image titled The Thing next door in a deserted school building. Here in its rubble strewn auditorium, Ladda painted the seats over which strode a highly illusionistic cut-out of the comic-book inspired Spider Man. On the stage he created a trompe l'oeil pyramid of books, a reminder of both book burning and the community's loss of the school and its library.
By the end of the year, Fashion Moda's fame was such that its participants were invited to take part in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. What Eins, Holzer and the other artists involved in organizing their exhibit did, was to create a store with the visual look of Fashion Moda. Here they sold prints, T-shirts and novelty items by many of artists who had exhibited with them including Holzer, Haring, Fekner, Wells, Rupp, Kenny Sharf, Mike Glier, Tom Otterness, Kiki Smith, Louise Lawler. In addition, they maintained a "video lounge" where tapes by Charlie Ahearn, Jane Dickson, Dieter Froese, Joseph Nechvatal, and Glenn O'Brien could be viewed and bought. Benjamin Buchloh, who was deeply critical of Documenta 7, calling it "a desperate attempt to reestablish the hegemony of esoteric, elitist modernist high culture," felt that Fashion Moda's participation was "one of the few courageous curatorial choices".
In some ways Fashion Moda's participation was the high point of its critical history and certainly many of the artists invited to participate in its Kassel 'store' went on to have important careers in New York and internationally. The fortunes of its Bronx site, however, have not fared as well. Eins continued his direct involvement until 1985 and others including James Poppitz and Juma Santos proceeded to run it but it never again garnered the critical attention of its glory years nor did it benefit much from its involvement with the new art stars from downtown.


Tom Warren, Portrait Studio
Fashion Moda, 1983

Back to the Bronx
In an article in the New Yorker in 1983 Eins told the writer Calvin Tomkins that he chose the South Bronx "partly because of its media image as the worst ghetto in the nation." There is a whiff of opportunism in Eins statement but it also expresses a romantic European point of view about American ghettos. It is striking that few American writers in their discussions of Fashion Moda 'saw' the South Bronx and commented about it as the context for what was going on inside. In contrast, the Italian critic Francesca Alinovi, who visited it in 1982, wrote an article accompanied by photographs that made the area look like Dresden after the war: "Picking one's way through the rubble of the city sacked by hordes of vandals, as in the Middle Ages, one treads on electric wires, carcasses of cars, plants and vegetation, all mixed together around the garbage...men and debris are the same thing." Nor was the Bronx's reputation enhanced by the 1981 movie "Fort Apache, The Bronx," or Tom Wolfe's 1987 novel Bonfire of the Vanities.
The 1990s, however, have witnessed a turnaround in the borough brought on by a variety of factors some of which were cited as early as 1986 by Jill Jonnes in her book We're Still Here. The Bronx's resurrection is now documented regularly in the New York Time, and last year Smithsonian magazine published an article accompanied by upbeat illustrations by Ralph Fasanella and written by a former resident of the borough Patrick Breslin called "On these sidewalks of New York, the sun is shining again."
This then is a kind of happy ending to the history of Fashion Moda. Not so much for this alternative art outpost as for the Bronx itself. Over the past ten to fifteen years, the vast improvements in the quality of life and the built environments can be seen as the victory of middle/working class ethos over the forces of political opportunism, urban decay and neglect. With the establishment of Hostos Community College with its post-modern architecture, and the building of blocks of single-family homes, a new family-oriented ethos prevails in the South Bronx. From this Bronx perspective neither the benign neglect of the Reagan era nor the international trans-avant garde have had as much impact or influence in creating this recovery as the working-class values of its citizens.

Professor Sally Webster
Art Department, Lehman College CUNY
Bronx New York
Art History Program
Graduate Center CUNY

February 1996



1."Fashion Moda," Stefan Eins, Joe Lewis and William Scott interviewed by Thomas Lawson, Real Life (January 1980): 7.

2. This history is best documented in Jill Jonnes, We're Still Here, the Rise. Fall ! and Resurrection of the South Bronx, Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986.

3. The name Fashion Moda acknowledges the gallery's international character since the English word fashion is coupled with its Spanish equivalent, moda, and, when typefaces permit, it is translated into Russian and Chinese.

4. "Dialogue: Stefan Eins with Annette Barbasch," Cover, v. 2, #1( January 1980): 35.

5. Calvin Tomkins, "The Art World, Alternatives," New Yorker (December 26, 1983): 56.

6. Jane Kramer touched on this issue of an outsider's relationship to the South Bronx in her New Yorker (December 21, 1992) article and subsequent book Whose Art is It?, (Duke University Press, 1994) in which she relates the controversy surrounding the placement and removal of John Ahearn's three free-standing bronze sculptures, Raymond and Toby, Daleesha, and Corey for a traffic triangle between 169th Street and Jerome Avenue in September 1991.

7. The exhibition of holography took place Fall 1978. In March 1979, Eins mounted an exhibition on extraterrestrials called "Other Worlds" (also referred to as "On Alien Intelligences") which included a contribution from the astronomer Carl Sagan.

8. For a listing of the performers see: Events, New York: The New Museum, 1981, pp. 26-7.

9. It is difficult, but maybe not necessary given the fluid structure of Fashion Moda, to precisely document who was director when and with what title. For instance, one piece of evidence from January 1981 cites Eins as "founder, director"; Lewis as "director", and Scott as "junior director." See: "Some Posters From...", Artforum (January 1981): 50.

10. See: Alan Moore, "Stefan Eins," Artforum (February 1975): 72.

11. Claire S. Copley, "Research Report on the Field of Artists Spaces," conducted and compiled under contract to the National Endowment for the Arts, May 19, 1980-November 1, 1980, p. 15. Also see: Organizing Artists: A Document and Directory of the National Association of Artists' Organizations, 3rd ed., Washington, D.C.: National Association of Artists' organization 1992.

12. It is now located at 38 Greene Street.

13. Copley, p.33.

14. Alan Moore and Marc Miller, "The ABC's of No Rio and Its Times," introduction to ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery, New York: ABC No Rio with Collaborative Projects, 1985, p. 3. A number of other exhibitions and performances, which took place under the guise of theme exhibitions, where mounted such as the 'Batman' (organized by Diego Cortez) and 'Dog' shows (by Robin Winters) at 591 Broadway. These were followed by 'Income & Wealth' (by Colen Fitzgibbon) and the 'Manifesto' show (by Jenny Holzer) at a storefront on Bleecker Street.

15. Other artists involved with the organization included: John Ahearn, Scott and Beth B., Andrea Callard, Colen Fitzgibbon, Matthew Geller, Alan Moore, Cara Perlman, Ulli Rimkus, Mike Roddy, Mike Robinson, and Christy Rupp.

16. Jeffrey Deitch, "Report from Times Square," Art in America, September 1980, pp. 59-63.

17. See: Peter Frank and Michael McKenzie, New, Used & Improved, Art for the 80s, New York: Abbeville Press, 1987.

18. Lucy R. Lippard, "Real Estate and Real Art," Seven Days (April 1980): 32-34.

19. Walter Robinson, "John Ahearn at Fashion/Moda," Art in America (January 1980): 108.

20. Lou Cannon, "Reagan Makes Appeal for Black Votes," Washington Post, August 6, 1980, p. 1.

21. The Faith of Graffiti, documented by Mervyn Kurlansky & Jon Naar, text by Norman Mailer, New York: Praeger, 1974, n.p.

22. Ibid.

23. Lynn Hirschberg, "Does the Sugar Bear Bite, Suge Knight and his Posse," The New York Times Magazine, January 14, 1996, pp. 24-31; 39-40; 50; 57.

24. Holzer as mentioned earlier did a series of 'truisms' for its windows and later participated in Fashion Moda's 'store' at Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. Basquiat exhibited at Fashion Moda under his 'tag' SAMO and in 1984 did a drawing for a benefit announcement. Haring was included as one of the artists to represent the gallery at the New Museum "Events" exhibition in late 1980.

25. The exhibition was organized in three parts and took place over a period of three months from December 13, 1980 to March 5, 1981. Two other organizations participated: Taller Boricua, a Puerto Rican arts workshop and Artists Invite Artists, an ad hoc organization of minority artists invited by the New Museum to introduce younger artists to a downtown audience. This latter effort was a last-minute replacement when Colab decided not to take part. Fashion Moda's participation extended from December 13, 1980 to January 8, 1981.

26. Mary Anne Staniszewell, "Fashion Moda," Artnews (March 1981): 230.

27. "Some Posters From...", Artforum (January 1981): 50-2.

28. Peter Schjeldahl, "New Wave No Fun," Village Voice, March 410, 1981, p. 15.

29. Thomas Lawson, "Fashion Moda. The New Museum," Artforum (March 1981): 81.

30. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, "Documenta 7: A Dictionary of Received Ideas," October 22 (Fall 1982): 105-26.

31. Tomkins, New Yorker, p. 55.

32. Patrick Breslin, "On These Sidewalks of New York, the Sun is Shining Again," Smithsonian, April 1995.


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