The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

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MARCH 2022 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

95. 24 University Place, A Restaurant in Chinatown

A young artist frequents the Cedar Bar where he drinks with older painters he admires. It’s there that he meets and befriends an artist who gives him a piece of advice he never forgets. The conversation in question happens not at the Cedar Bar but over dinner at a restaurant in Chinatown. The young artist asks the older one how Black people like him can make their name in the art world. “You know what you've got to do,” the veteran says, “you’ve got to make something to scare the shit out of them.” Subsequently, the young artist shares this advice with an older African-American artist he has gotten to know. “What did he think of that?” an interviewer asks him years later. “I'll tell you what he thought of that,” the artist, now no longer young, replies, “he scared the shit out of them!”

(Joe Overstreet, Salvatore Scarpitta, Romare Bearden)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2022

All Issues