What are the bare essentials an artist needs to live in New York? In this film, artist Tommy Hartung ventures out from his home and studio in Ridgewood, Queens to meet up with two friends—fellow artists Ronnie Bass and Georgia Sagri—in nearby Bushwick, Brooklyn. Along the way, Hartung chronicles his own path to becoming an artist: working as a cook out of high school, deciding to attend college to study art, and finding cost-effective places to live and make his work. Taking the subway to Bass’s home and studio to play chess, Hartung describes his admittedly “cheapskate” social life—nights in with friends and whiskey, nights out at gallery openings. Making New York his home since the mid-2000s, Hartung shares how he’s developed a calculus for surviving and succeeding as an artist in the city. Featuring scenes from Hartung’s A Short History of the Canon (2007), Bass’s Our Land (2006), and Sagri’s 100%ad (sleep cat) (2010).
Tommy Hartung (b. 1979, Akron, Ohio, USA) lives and works in Queens, New York.
CREDITS | New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Cinematography: Andrew David Watson. Key Grip: John Marton. Sound: Nicholas Lindner & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler & Maren Miller. Design & Graphics: Crux Studio & Open. Artwork: Ronnie Bass, Tommy Hartung & Georgia Sagri. Thanks: Ronnie Bass, Georgia Sagri. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.