By Lauren Telting
Sally Young is an artist.
You’ve never heard of her.
She lives this purposeful life triple-sandwiched between motherhood, artist, and activist. She talks about things you know are going on everyday around you, but you never put energy or thought to those other things. For most of us, our whole life exists only around every shitty little breath we take.
She cares about things that are inanimate, and if they are unsalvageable she makes sure they are noted and given some documentation as having been here amongst us.
You meet people like Sally Young and remember that life has nothing to do with you. Instant relief comes from that, when you don’t have to carry the kind of responsibility of being out there, and your only job is to make sure you are doing for others all the time whenever possible. Whether it’s returning a favor, putting somebody onto something that will help them, or always being on alert to give someone else a boost. She serves this greater purpose that is only revealed when we remove our own desires and act out of giving, sharing, and making conscious note. First!
They call these people hippies.
I love that Sally does everything creatively, and not to be recognized or get any kind of notoriety.
Throughout the cannon of Art History, repeatedly, the greatest artists are the ones that live in this realm of art for art sake.
None of that bullshit: me, my pain, my life, feel my hurt, or the constant proving that yes yes yes I am an artist, she delivers from some other place. Her chosen medium is creating photography making the views personal, relevant, and the subject matter significantly insignificant.
These kinds of artists tend to be the ones who leave behind massive amounts of information, diligently organized, and are the most prophetic for generations to come. Take note: they are also the ones that have fame beyond time forever. Mirroring their physical life where they don’t live on their art but share and share and share. What kind of karma do you have if you are still giving when you’re gone? I guess you end up in the Cadillac Heaven.
At the end of the day she’s just Neal Santos’ baby’s mom’s mom.
Got that, get the flow chart.
Sally creates with the exact precision and measurement these perfect books and cards full of nonsensical information. There is this red book that lists the tenants who, lived in a particular building in the East Village in the 19th century. The occupants are detailed by apartment and occupation.
For example, imagine your building where you live is being read about in the 22nd Century as such: 100 E. 96th St
Your Name Here
Number of residents
John Doe (your neighbor)
Occupation: Global Influencer
What if someone wrote you down in a book much later…?
She lists them generation for generation. Are they famous and rich? No. Are they her family and friends? No. Just regular individuals laboriously given some kind of mark in the 21st century, by a silver haired woman who loved the building they lived in. Her perfection in creating novelties makes her products welcome documentaries in every gift shop. They are also scooped up by and placed in the time capsules of key New York Historical Societies.
She is any interviewers dream artist. She makes sure you have all of her images WEEKS in advance. Sends the originals in Ziploc bags. She meets when its time to meet at the meeting time and sits with you alert, passionate, caring, and expressive. She shows you everything in sight. And just when you think you’ve see all of her stuff and have some fancy name set up for her title, like designer//bookmaker all set, she shows you her sick ass paintings.
Purposely rendered in an elementary style, all primary color and black. Immediately you are in kindergarten – definitely a safe place including recess, snacks, and naps. Seriously, you look into them and they at you. I think that’s good art when a personal space is created between you and what you are viewing.
She’s got this banana boat shaped wooden piece — god only knows what it really is, hung at on the utmost part of her wall. Its full of military GI Joe Figures stationed appropriately all over giving a sense of stick and move. She has plotted a war that when hung has all the counterparts suspended sideways: green men machine guns and helmet manufactured. I’m amazed. Nobody cares that this woman does this but she does and that’s what makes it a treasure.
I ask her about her book called Endangered Lifestyles filled with pictures of Coney Island and graffiti art that I have NEVER seen. I ask her about her entire reel of stickers dedicated to huge cranes – the stuff tonkas are made of. I ask her about these cards presented as Hallmarks documenting demolished historical buildings and big gaping holes. I ask her these deep questions. To her it’s simple.
Sally, do you think we are in danger??
She responds spectacled and serious:
“Your lives are in danger and being threatened because its all being corporatized before your eyes.
Nothing is original. Your real lives are losing its originality and expression. Gasp. ¾ of the stuff made today is CRAP. I cannot believe that it’s even manufactured.”
There’s nothing to write after that.
Drop her a line, she just got her own email like two days ago. Let’s welcome her!
FORECAST: Sally Young Sets Trends
1) Find a local garden and work in it, i.e. 6th ST. & Ave. B.
2) Don’t say you’re from the hood and you don’t know who your city councilman is – this lady lives at 5th and 2nd, so all you l.e.s, bowery, east villagers, RECOGNIZE.
3) Don’t approve any new construction on the Bowery if the building is not grommetted with a red star, which is a borrowed feature from dormered roofs in the 19th century and act as bolts.
4) When a young parent do take your daughter to the Garage to see Madonna and Punk out.
5) Save history so you don’t lose yourself.
6) Make art because you can and not because you can.
7) Give somebody something and mind what your thinking.