Roll Over Picasso is Istvan Kantor’s third major biographic account narrating the legends of artists emerging from the 80s New York Underground, in the pre-gentrified, wild, anti-authoritarian territory of the Lower East Side. Kantor’s main focus is on the insurgent street artist gang of the Rivington School of which E.F. Higgins III was a founding member: visionary graffiti artists; welders; noise makers; beer drinkers; ardent guerrilla fighters striving against conformist museum art. The 80s Lower East Side was the birthplace of legends. Among the ruined buildings, surrounded by misery and decay, a new spirit of desire burst forth. Fires burned in oil drums nourished by art history books; sparks from welding torches covered the ground; rough-looking lads and filthy gals were beating trashcans to death. Sirens of firetrucks added to the noise. That’s where E.F. Higgins III found himself a new living/working territory to manifest his eccentric and divine ‘wingnut’ ideas and start his Doo Da Post mail-art crusade.
320 pages, paperbound, 4.5×7 inch trim, color and black and white images, $17.95