I just saw a great documentary about Klaus Nomi called “The Nomi Song”. I grew up with Nomi’s music completely unaware of his story, so it was amazing to learn more about this unique artist. If you’re into bizarre creatures and human stories, see it. But one thing struck me specially : Kenny Scharf, a painter and one of Nomi’s collaborators, talked about the art scene in New York in mid 70’s. He said something like (I saw it dubbed in German so this is a translation of the translation): When we arrived to NYC, we were all in the same boat. We didn’t have money, we lived on pizza and doughnuts. It wasn’t about success. Naturally, we dreamt about it, but there was a feeling of togetherness and solidarity. We weren’t scared that one of us could be better then the other. We were discovering our creativity together and supported each other. It was all about art.
While researching for “Titoland”, I saw a documentary about Yugoslavian rock’n’roll – and one of the biggest Yugoslavian rock musicians (yes, I forgot who it was) talked about the same thing: Zagreb in early ‘80’s, the creative people there who didn’t care about money or fame but just wanted to create and collaborate and support each other. And they all created fantastic stuff – the kind that doesn’t exist today.
It struck me as beautiful that people from completely different worlds, countries, continents, systems experienced the same creative phenomenon. Zeitgeist. Could you imagine someone saying the same thing about today’s art scene?