Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Week's Hamptons Artist(reporting from a galaxy far, far away) accidentally does a cool thing. They regularly feature an artist who actually lives and works in the Hamptons, as opposed to artists who make it in New York and then go to the Hamptons to play tennis and be congratulated.

This week, they got burned. Meet the artist Amy Zerner (pictured here without her tin foil helmet).

Zerner is like that college class you took as a freshman thinking it was a course on the history of dance, and instead you walked in and the woman prof was whispering and moving her arms around in circles and telling you to find your "other," or the "safety animal" inside you. And you had to gather up your things and whisper to the person next to you, 'I think I'm in the wrong class, shhhhh' as you skulked out the door. And the prof had her eyes glued on you the whole time and started to cry when you pulled the door open, so you stayed. And passed. Or at least you think you passed, she graded you with a smiley face. Yeah, that's what this woman is like.

Not that Eileen Casey (the writer who's supposed to navigate this mess) helps very much. Here's her own description of Zerner: "the materials she uses in her work are lush and detailed with the overall result being a piece of art made opulent with many layers of magic and meaning."

Yeah. Suck on that one for a while. 10 things that are important to know about Zerner:

1. She moved to East Hampton when she was 16.

2. She comes from three generations of artists.

3. She's never worked a day in her life.

4. She also writes books that only severely psychologically damaged people turn to when they're completely out of answers. And prescriptions meds.

5. You want proof? Titles: "The Chakra Meditation Kit," "Goddess, Guide Me," "The Mystic Messenger." (should I go on?) "The Enchanted Tarot."

6. She has a "Ouija finger" and she has apparently trademarked it. We're not kidding. She thinks she can point to stuff and magical things happen when she does. Like her parents decision to leave Pennsylvania and move to Long Island in 1967. She pointed her "Ouija finger" to Springs, Long Island and her parents rolled with it.

7. Her friends call from long distances to consult with her finger.

8. She designs "Spiritual Couture" jackets, coats, and caftans and sells them at Bergdorfs in Manhattan. For a sense of what these look like, picture someone trying to sneak out of a Native American arts and crafts fair with a velvet painting of a dream catcher strapped to their back.

9. She has an "enchanted garden." Neighborhood children and dogs have been reported missing.

10. She clearly belongs in the Hamptons.

We're sure Mrs. Zerner is a fine elfish little sprout whose intentions are only the purest, and we're just having a goof. But this is a classic case of a profile actually doing more harm than good. We read, thinking we're about to learn about a local artist and instead we read about a woman who once went to the bookstore, bought all of the Hobbit books, all the Harry Potter books, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Neverending Story, Dungeons and Dragons, and Alice in Wonderland, and then ate them.

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