A Crack in the Sidewalk
Barbara Rosenthal


— NYC, Sept 1, 2017. My monthly column A Crack in the Sidewalk is by this first sentence here now, back upon the Earth. Greetings, dear readers! The column logo is what it looked like when it first launched, in 1963 for The Franklin Square Bulletin when I was fifteen. It’s back, and you are reading it now as a result of several factors (as are all phenomena that make it into reality). The intervening 54 years notwithstanding, my old Bulletin column and new one here in Ragazine are a continuum. The column will continue its “large” view approach, looking at its topics in strata. In Franklin Square my ambience was an “upper-working class” neighborhood; in NYC it is the “undercurrent” artworld.

A Crack in the Sidewalk will address the practice and politics of this segment, and if you read Ragazine it is OUR segment. The word “undercurrent” comes from the cozy artspace at 215 E. 5th St. run by Katie Peyton, where a chance conversation out on the sidewalk a few months ago (Jan. 11, 2017) sealed my mind to take a crack at it again. I emerged up the narrow wrought-iron steps from Savannah Spirit’s strident, daring curatorial in the basement clubhouse. Following me up the stairs was legendary gallerist Sefan Stux. On the sidewalk was painter Mike Cockrill, who joked, “Here’s Barbara Rosenthal — with something to harang us about, no doubt?!” Stefan quietly stepped in, “Why not? She’s always interesting!” We all laughed, but I thought to myself, “Hmmmmm. Then why not louder! And in print!”

I’ve written for Ragazine before, so it was the natural place, and editor Mike Foldes agreed right away. I expect there will be about 350-500 words. There will not be a public-comment interface, but you can go start your own column somewhere (hahahhahaha), or send a regular “Letter to the Editor” to Ragazine, and someone will decide what to do. Meanwhile, I’ve been asking around about what people who know me would like to read if I wrote about, and so far, some ideas for this year’s monthly column subjects will be:

  1. Artist / Curator / Gallerist / Reviewer / Critic
  2. Image / Art / Artifact
  3. Trading
  4. Trending
  5. A Room at the Met
  6. Appropriation / Quotation / Original Thought
  7. Science / Art
  8. Politics / Art
  9. Money / Art
  10. Brain / Psychology /Art
  11. Existentialism / Surrealism
  12. Life / Art
  13. Value
  14. College Degrees
  15. Literary Readings
  16. Eating Places and Watering Holes
  17. Pictures / Words / Sounds
  18. Nudity / Sex
  19. Subject Matter

Enjoy the start of the new season. I’ll see you back here again October 1.



Barbara Rosenthal is an idiosyncratic New York artist/writer/performer whose latest novel, Wish for Amnesia (Deadly Chaps Press, 2017) explores themes of innocence, esthetics, thought and corruption.

WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Rosenthal
WEBSITE: http://www.barbararosenthal.org