Paddy Doesn’t Work Here Anymore

02/26/2014 4:00 AM |

20 February 2014

Dear Readers,

This will be the last column I file at The L Magazine, and I have only a flurry of cliches to offer: all good things must come to an end, I’m sad to go, etc. I don’t know what it is about leaving a publication that turns my brain to mush, but after six-and-a-half years of writing for The L, I find myself at a surprising loss for words. I have no grand vision for the future; I just want to focus on
other projects.

I remember the first column I ever filed here: August 17, 2007. It was a reported piece on the flurry of joint exhibitions between large blue-chip galleries and smaller to mid-range galleries, and its mere conceit annoyed Team Gallery’s Jose Freire. “Gallery collaborations are a matter of public record,” he chided. “In the years that I’ve been working in New York, there have been myriad instances of these kinds of cooperative relationships.”

You can’t find that piece on The L’s website anymore—some of its archives were sacrificed to the server gods when the magazine redesigned its site a while back—but I remember writing that column like it was this one. It was among my first opportunities to do some real reporting for a magazine, and I found the job of talking to
people thrilling.

In a later column, I reflected on the jobs I’d had that taught me what I wanted to do. I thought about terrible experiences at galleries before realizing that it was an early job in a frame shop in the New York Public Library that was most influential—because it wasn’t a job as much as it was an excuse to talk to artists all day about art. (We didn’t have much to do, and everyone who worked there was an artist.) That’s pretty much what I made out of this gig at The L Magazine.

For that reason, it’s hard to write this goodbye. Sevenish years is a long time to work anywhere, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some supportive people. You never want to let people like that go. Certainly that was the case at the library. When it came time for me to do so—I had visa issues—I cried for nearly three days. I understand that emotional response a little better than what’s happening now, when I’m turning into a cliche generator. Why let the good people you work with get away? Sometimes life just gets in the way.

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