Terrible Place Accurately Portrayed

“What the artists were attracted to in the Garden State wasn’t horse country, hot-air balloons, Jersey tomatoes or the suburban good life. The salient words in the exhibition’s handsome and readable catalog, describing what fascinated artists about the state, include ‘rot,’ ‘numbness,’ ‘indifference,’ ‘decrepit’ and ‘ramshackle.’ In fact, curator Kelly Baum goes so far as to say that if much of the art in her exhibition were taken ‘at face value, New Jersey would seem to comprise nothing more than polluted streams, construction sites, bland suburbs, ruined landscapes, obsolete structures, depressed towns, and shuttered factories.'”