Whitehot Magazine

Pictures From a Pandemic: Christy Rupp: one of the earliest artists to focus her attention both on the threatened wildlife habitat and on our increasingly fragile ecosphere

Artist Christy Rupp in the studio photo by Katvan Studio

By ANTHONY HADEN-GUEST September, 2020

Christy Rupp has been hyperactive in the New York art world since the late 70s when she showed in, for instance, the Franklin Furnace, the Kitchen, ABC NoRio and at the gamechanger of a wholly illegal art squat, the Real Estate Show. She was one of the earliest artists to focus her attention both on the threatened wildlife habitat and on our increasingly fragile ecosphere. She was born to deal with the Covid Era.
A statement from the artist:

As record fires rage from the Amazon to the Pacific Northwest, innumerable species are incinerated and displaced, their habitat ravaged and their food sources destroyed. 2020 started off pretty well, as we welcomed the auspicious year of the Metal Rat, a harbinger of community resilience and ingenuity. Since March, I have been blessed to be sheltering at my studio in Saugerties, a couple of hours north of the city. Quarantine has been greatly energized by frequent community demonstrations and rallies for defense of Black Lives, the Post Office and the ongoing historic struggles for equality and fairness.

Christy Rupp, Your Debt My Asset, mixed media, 2020

Projects have ranged from my recreation of a Grant Wood painting (January 1940) with kitchen objects, a May outdoor residency at Unison Arts in New Paltz, in which I compiled a quarantine Field Guide to coincide with the 2 year exhibition “Composed to Decomposed”. In the Guide I claim to have observed and documented an Amazon Boring Worm, the Jellyfish of Uncertainty made with Toilet Paper tubes, a Slowly Escalating Snail and some rusty germs among other organisms.

Christy Rupp, Embryo, 2020, mixed media

Studio projects evolved into a collage series about Displacement, Amnesia, & Landscape.  Finally I am back to where I thought I’d be in June, welding a series of embryonic fish, emerging from egg sacks of plastic debris collected over the past few years. 

It’s easy to be anxious and frustrated as we lurch into the fall election. To stay sane I’m hiking with friends, kayaking and volunteering locally to help with food distribution. And writing letters to swing states. My aspiration for now is that someday I can be in dialog with my neighbors who proudly vent their anger in yard signs advertising God Guns and Country. We all have to be better listeners. It’s time to imagine a new future. WM


Anthony Haden-Guest


Anthony Haden-Guest (born 2 February 1937) is a British writer, reporter, cartoonist, art critic, poet, and socialite who lives in New York City and London. He is a frequent contributor to major magazines and has had several books published including TRUE COLORS: The Real Life of the Art World and The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night.




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