Ross School - Senior Project 2007-08

Student: Nicholas M. Cinque

Mentor: John Messenger




For my senior project at the Ross School, I created an art book that spotlights the careers of 5 young (under 30 years of age) burgeoning local artists. The book features interviews with the artists, bios, and of course images of the artist’s work. I open the book with some words of wisdom from the generation of established artists and art aficionados on the Eastern End of Long Island. The goal of these opening thoughts is meant to be individual forwards of a sort that help the reader to enter into the artwork of these featured artists.



Some well known artists from the East End of Long Island are Jackson Pollack, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mark Rothko. These are the artists that I associate with “art in the Hamptons”. A trip to the old barn on Springs Fireplace Road with a paint splattered floor is de rigueur for a field trip in elementary school.  During a curating project in the 7th grade, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the studios of local sculptors like Bill King, John Chamberlain and Elaine Grove. I spent winters ice-skating on artist John Alexander’s pond and visiting him in his studio in Amagansett.  I was fascinated by his realistic interpretations of owls and freshly caught trout. My passion for art continued when I came across  “A Wonderful Time, an Intimate Portrait of the Good Life” by Slim Aarons, a New York born photographer.  I discovered the British contemporary artist Damien Hirst and his bizarre works and I knew this was something I was interested in.  Stories of at openings and the Sotheby Catalogues I received weekly from my Uncle Ron were not going to be enough.  I knew I was not going to be purchasing original Picassos, but I could start small. Rare and limited edition books were my first foray into the world of art collecting.  The very knowledgeable John McWhinnie of Glen Horowitz Books, has been my guide. He reiterated to me that art shouldn’t be purchased based solely on value.  It is not worth buying if you don’t love. My passion for art books that showcase artists has led me to this project, FIVE, a spotlight on young local artists. 

An art book is like a gallery, except that it is limited to what is contained between a front and back cover. I see the bookmaking process as having two stages.  The first is the creation of the art by the artist. The other is the creation of the book, much like curating an art show.  What and who should go where within the gallery?  I wanted to make a book.  I wanted to see what I could create and also provide a focus on young East End artists.

How do artists get achieve success? I’ve concluded that exposure is the answer, people seeing and appreciating their work, and having some talent of course.  My book, my art, would act as publicity for a group of artists that were approachable as well as being interesting to me. A teacher at The Ross School became a friend of mine and I learned he was an artist.  Through conversations with him about how he was developing his career  here in the Hamptons, I realized I had a topic for a book. All artists feel an inherent need to create art, of necessity many also must make a living working at other jobs.  The artists included in this book are not much older than me, have immense talent and are trying to take their art onto the next level.

The Hampton’s art scene isn’t just made up of the Pollacks and the deKoonings. Although Andy Warhol and William Merritt Chase had spent evenings looking out at the Atlantic from our local beaches, there was another level of artists. I wanted to focus my attention on this group.  I gathered advice and remarks from “successful” artists who live here in the Hamptons and they appear in this book.  After selecting the five artists that I would showcase, all under the age of 30, I visited them in their studios and asked them questions about their lives. The result is this book, which explores what it means to be an artist. While I wanted to focus on the emerging talent in the area, I also gathered advice and remarks from a group of well-established artists living on the East End.  Their insightful comments appear here as well.  The one string that connects all of the artists that I spoke with is the need to create.  There was one common statement I heard from them all – “I just need to make art”.  And so the East End inspired brushes continue to color canvas, pencils delight on paper, and in doing so the legacy continues.

Works Consulted

Alexander, John. "Thoughts for Book." 19 Nov. 2007.

Colacello, Bob. Studios by the Sea: Artists of Long Island's East End. Harry N.     Abrams, 2002.

Gagosian Galleries, and Christoph Steinegger. Franz West: Displacement and Condensation. Germany: Cantz, 2006.

Gibson, Ralph. "RE: Your Thoughts for a Ross School Senior Project." 15 Nov. 2007.

Gornik, April. "Art in Hamptons Ross School Senior Project." 3 Dec. 2007.

Greenberg, Nancy. "Layout/Understanding Adobe InDesign." Nov.-Dec. 2007.

Hirst, Damien. I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone,One to One, Always, Forever, Now. London: Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2002.

Hunt, Bryan. "Art." 18 Dec. 2007.

Kelly, Jerry. Telephone interview. 6 Nov. 2007.

Marder, Silas. "Senior Project." Oct.-Nov. 2007.

McWhinnie, John. "My Book" Sept.-Oct. 2007.

Meisel, Louis. Personal interview. 5 Oct. 2007.

Merrill-Oldham, Pete. "Your Book-Acme Printing." Nov.-Dec. 2007.

Prince, Richard. Adult Comedy Action Drama. Zurich: Scalo, 1995.

Rizzie, Dan. "Advice to a Young Artist........." 16 Dec. 2007.

Salle, David. "Thoughts for Book." 11 Dec. 2007.

Stein, Robert. "The Project-Artist Quotes." Nov.-Dec. 2007.

Vogel, Paul. "Vogel Binding-Ross Senior Project." Sept.-Oct. 2007.

Zimmer, Judy. "Printing-Thame's Printing." 12 Dec. 2007.

Community Member (Details)

John McWhinnie

-Rare and Limited Book specialist and seller

-Operates Glenn Horowitz Books in East Hampton as well as in Manhattan

-Has produced dozens of artist book as well many art shows

Nancy Greenberg

-Adobe Indesign expert

-Layout specialist