Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nicole Gagne, Still a Question Mark Three Years Later

This would come under the heading of "how soon we forget." A little over 3 years ago, Nicole Gagne, then 37, was nearly crushed to death by the collapse of a stairwell. "5 Pointz" is associated in the contemporary world with graffiti art (and other artistic efforts) in New York City.
In other minds it figures in the loosely "historical" recounting of the "Gangs of New York." For me, not living in Manhattan, it's about Nicole, an attractive young woman I've never met, whose parents frequented the same church I did at the time of her injury. It was only after that injury that I had any knowledge of the name "5 Pointz" or it's historic antecedent (Five Points). Certainly, I'd seen pictures of the buildings both gone and still standing, but it was a furtive thought, in and out of the backwaters of my mind. There's a lot to keep track of in the world.

Now that three years have gone by, "Meres One," (Jonathan Cohen) an artist from the area, who appreciates and participates and tends to try to preserve Graffiti Art, is preoccupied with that, and not Nicole, though he does remember:
From Complex Art & Design - "In April of 2009, Nicole Gagne, a jewelry designer and friend of Meres, was leaving her indoor studio when an external stairway had collapsed, thrusting her to a three-story tumble. 'Not only was [she] almost tragically killed, but it really put everything in the air. That led to a whole chain of events where the building got repainted and I wasn’t sure if they were going to keep it open,' Meres said. From what Meres hears, Nicole moved to a warmer place and is still recouping. Now, the inside of the 5 Pointz warehouse serves solely as storage space. Before the stair incident, 110 artists used the indoor studios to practice and display their crafts."
I guess it's only fair. I have an idealized vision of a woman I've never met in my head, and it's based I would guess on it being about me, not Mr. Cohen (Meres) and only more loosely about Nicole. We've never met, and probably will not. It seems Nicole (now 40) has moved to Florida (not sure) and continues to recover. Having been hit very hard (October of last year) and breaking not nearly as many bones, I have a certain empathy. Again, to excuse the preoccupation of "Meres One," I can easily be proved to only focus on that which interests me (my accident vs Nicole's, my circle of friends and interests vs Meres').

I would imagine in the world of lawsuits it's not advisable for Nicole to speak out. She seemed only interested in promoting her art through her name prior to the accident, and it does not surprise that she isn't promoting herself, as herself, afterward. But I think of her (pray) and wish her well and of course, don't know her. Your Modern Pharisee has mentioned her before, and regularly follows up to see if there have been any developments. If what I experienced in the aftermath of a bone crushing accident is any indication of what she now experiences, she's closer to the self inflicted woes of Evel Knievel, though she never flirted with those injuries, as he did.

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