The Rivington School or Wat

car print



It could have been a shallow reference to an early sixties rock group, but I chose to think different. Normally by the time I reached No Se No I had just finished about five hours of work in my studio and I was in no mood for anything other than a personalized reality, that of a dream state. Obscure references to sensual phenomenon expressed in poetry, art, and music were messages from the singularity and had become a divinity to me. Getting to No Se No on Rivington Street was a trip through shattered and burnt buildings, empty lots of scattered bricks bordered by sagging cyclone fences, once were homes but now were fields where whores and junkies were busy about. Respite from the desperation of the streets, warmed with thick smoke and black lights, cheap beer and whiskey, through the door of No Se No and the magic of life became an impending adventure.

I became addicted to this place and usually spent 3 or 4 nights a week there wildly dreaming or brawling, and drinking while seduced by music and performance, and it made me feel like I was home. So when Jack or Dennis called me Freddy the Dreamer from behind the bar I quickly invoked a personal reference. I had gone there to dream and there was much there to dream about.

No Se No carried on with itís untamed theater and explosive nights until a group of costumed middle age gents showed up and introduced themselves as servants of the people. They came to threaten warrants would be issued if we did not shut down. Rivington Street along with No Se No was reclaimed by the right of eminent domain and returned to the desperate life we had come to replace. With the magic of the artists and No Se No gone the streets of Bo Ho were left to the survivors of an earlier day, power brokers and real estate interests, and the bulldozers and wrecking ball felled much to rubble.

Missing the magic of those timeless nights I bargained labor for lease on a store front next door to the vacated No Se No. To the dismay of the building residence I gutted the store and with the help of Cowboy Ray Kelly and other artists I was able to establish a small exhibition space for local artists. Jim C soon followed and opened Nada Gallery next to mine, which I called Freddy the Dreamer Gallery. By this time many store fronts on the lower east side were doing the same and an endless schedule of store front gallery events soon filled our lives.

-Freddie the Dreamer

All images ©1980-2009 and photos ©1980-2009 Toyo Tsuchiya and may not be used or distributed without permission.