Making “upcycled vintage from 20th century pop culture” ain’t easy: to do it, artist Golly Bishop sometimes drives 800 miles to acquire vintage bedsheets, sleeping bags and curtains at yard sales; then he cuts out characters like Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and sews them onto T-shirts. He’s been practicing this “post-modern archeology for a brave[ish] new world” full-time for the past five years, but in recent months the exorbitant cost of living in the city forced him out of the East Village, his home of 12 years, to a new studio space in the Catskills.
“I didn’t want to leave New York,” said Golly — but he was caught in a sublet where the rent was going up each month. After an exhaustive search for a new space large enough to work in, he decided — as Shirts & Destroy did in June — that there was nowhere in the city he could afford. In Mount Tremper, Golly has three times the space at a third of the cost, but now he has to commute two hours into Williamsburg to sell his tees at Artists and Fleas every weekend. Watch the audio slideshow to see some of Bishop’s work and hear his thoughts about not being about to live in the neighborhood where his products are sold.