Christmas 1975

by Alden Cole on December 1, 2013 · 1 comment


Thirty-eight years ago, right around this time, I was working on the artwork that starts this year’s Advent Extravaganza, the first posting of 37 that will happen between now and Epiphany, January 6, the 12th Day of Christmas, God willing. I was living in New York City, in the midst of a two year period during which I moved 16 times. Very foot loose in those days I was: apartment sitting for various friends while they were out of town; in between living in a tiny 6′ x 10′ room  in a resident hotel at 80th street and Riverside Drive. The last time I lived there before I moved into an apartment of my own, the single window in my room on the 17th floor overlooked Riverside Park, the Hudson River, New Jersey in the distance (think Saul Steinberg’s classic New Yorker cover of many years ago –  March 26, 1979 to be exact – ah the internet!), plus the Boat Basin at 79th Street and the Hudson, all right outside my window. It was probably while living there November/December 1975 that I drew this my first nude Christmas greeting. My motto of the time – “shock them, offend them if you must, but get them to pay attention” – was in full force in my life as an artist living in New York City. I flaunted it. Luckily I survived.

Today’s holiday art (including the hand lettered information advertising a concert only visible in the email’s version) was a flyer created for  friend Harold Stover who was  organist and music director at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 96th Street and Central Park West at that time. Starting in 1973,  continuing until 1980, I created a series of letter (occasionally legal) size artworks advertising his concert series. In the earliest pieces the artwork served simply as a background over which type – more or less legible – was applied. By 1975 I was creating artworks that stood on their own, sharing the page with the concert information. Thanks be to my friend Harold, who grew up in Latrobe Pennsylvania and now lives about 10 miles up the Saco River in Maine from where I grew up, for tolerating my weirdness during those early years of artistic exploration.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Renee December 2, 2013 at 4:19 am

I enjoy being part of your world. Thanks for keeping us in orbit.


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