From: Gino Hollander
Subject: Ceder Tavern, New York City
We all hung out at the Cedar Tavern while making films...it was the place for the abstract and the abstract expressionists: Pollock, de Kooning...everyone who was at work. It was loose and free with no chance of any pretension. Everyone all at work...such an exciting period for even New York. Painting had never been an American thing, not in anything except the buying of European art and artifacts; like what was of feeling and of substance in anything was European and the money post-both wars was American. And then some very successful dealers, Duveen et al... brought two and two together.
Anyway, a good number of the artists, name or not (none were big time name yet), wanted to be filmmakers. What with the Italian wave and then the French, films were IT, IT, IT! And this filmmaker, me, maybe inside, was hearing it as, 'The freedom is ultimately in the painters' hands, not the machinery of cinema.' I knew Klein, de Kooning, Pollock, all by first name, but then everyone knew everyone at that time. If you were into it you were..and New York was alive with art in abstraction: on the east side, lower, uptown, then all over the country. And then later it blew itself into Pop Art, Op Art, and Minimalism in such a short period. The takeover of all was by the advertising boys of ad agencies and a together group they were. Followed by the oncoming of prints, it suddenly was all over for us.....which doesn't make it any less but does mean that change is endemic in art , at least in the promotion of art.
Sooo, with that background, I came up with painting which was my want. I cleared out of the USA to Spain where nothing of the IN occupied the land. When you are three-thousand years-of-civilization-old, you're hardly gaga over this and that. Therefore, I was able to hone in on my own style of painting. Ah life...something told me if I was ever gonna find myself in art it better be myself and not what I wanted to ease the way with (filmmaking). So within that first year and a little of painting, we left...like permanently: twenty-eight years shows that intent. We never would have returned to the US except for me to stay alive. Chances were better with the heart condition I had.