February 5, 2007
For years I've tried to find a cheap copy of Ugo Mulas' The New York Art Scene to no avail. I saw the book for the first time 15 years ago at house of one of my friend's parents. I didn't really get far through it as I was grabbed by the cover which seemed almost criminally perfect. It's an image of two New York City cops watching over a gathering at Warhol's Factory. Can an image capture a cultural moment? That one seemed to. A few minutes into my book browsing, I had to leave never to return.
Anyway today I discovered a Mulas web site maintained by a foundation that bears his name (he died in 1973). The site is surprisingly rich complete with long texts and a portrait archive of 60's art world figures like Giacometti, Duchamp, Jasper Johns, and so on.
The book keeps going up in price. When I first started looking for a copy you could find a first edition for $100 which seemed outragous to my 25 year old mind. In recent auctions good quality copies have been going for 3 to 20 times that. Grrr.