An Artist Drops Out


| 2/29/2008 5:58:09 PM


Tags: arts, Dean Fleming, hippies, commune, communal living, multimedia, Drop City, Libre Community, New York, SoHo, Colorado,

The 1960s smashed the cliché of the isolated and introverted artist. Drugs, experimentation, and the search for freedom led troves of hippy artists out of urban scenes and into rural art communes. Artist Michael Fallon’s blog The Chronicle of Artistic Failure in America tells the story of one such artist, Dean Fleming. After playing a pivotal role in sparking Manhattan’s SoHo art scene, the painter turned his back on New York to make a life for himself in Colorado. Fleming found inspiration in the area’s Native American culture and mountainous scenery on a visit to Drop City, the United States’ first rural hippy commune. The unsustainable chaos he observed there led him to found a commune of his own, the Libre Community, in 1968. Fleming hoped Libre would allow artists of all kinds to escape the city and recharge. It must have worked, because the commune still exists today.

(Thanks, GalleryDriver.)

Erik Helin