“It has long been a rite of passage for an artist in New York to set up shop in a loft downtown, such as that mentioned earlier, often in the Soho neighborhood. Now, these spaces are much sought-after and usually extremely expensive. After the second world war, when the area was not zoned for dwellings, there were bargains to be had and artists were among the first to live in Soho. Jasper Johns found a loft for himself in the mid -1950’s. Robert Rauschenberg encouraged him-it was what artists did. Johns found a building on Pearl Street in downtown Manhattan.
“Around the corner on Fulton Street was Rauschenberg’s fifteen-dollar-a-month walk-up loft that had pressed tin ceilings so low they could be touched, old floorboards with gaping half-inch spaces between them through which the floor below was visible, a bed on a platform a refrigerator, hot plate, shower, and toilet.” – Jill Johnson
“Cindy Sherman’s studio is just off the living room. Her SoHo loft is traditionally furnished and could be a home anywhere, but the studio is another story. At the time I was there, it was littered with body parts, eyeballs, fake accident victims, magic-store props, and all sorts of gruesome paraphernalia. She was in the midst of directing a horror film.” – David Seidner
Donald Judd bought a building on Spring Street in Soho in 1968. Ten years later , in search of more space, he moved to an abandoned army base in Marfa, Texas.
In 1909 , Picasso moved to a new place on the Boulevard de Clichy. Olivier said that Picasso wouldn’t allow the studio to be dusted because the dust would fly up and get stuck on the canvases. Every couple of months, the paintings would be moved so the studio could be cleaned.
Much later, Picasso had a studio in Vallauris on the French Riviera. The photographer and art director Alexander Liberman visited the Vallauris and noticed what seemed to be a flaw:
” Picasso works with very little of the painter’s essential – light. The little light there is comes through the window nearest his easel in a single , intense shaft of sunlight, its blinding brightness making everything around it darker. Sabartes, Picasso’s lifelong friend and secretary, once said to me. ‘He does not need light….he has his own light from within.’
The Artist’s Mentor – Inspiration from the World’s Most Creative Minds , edited by Ian Jackman