Bill Rabinovitch
Enters the Metaverse

Bill Rabinovitch was working on the discovery of quasars, when he decided to leave science to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. This eventually led him to create digital art. Quat Gallery offered to exhibit his digital work in the Metaverse, and provide him with a virtual studio in which to work. Rabinovitch takes the form of an avatar in order to enter the Metaverse and consider their offer.

Rabinovitch arrives at the loft building in Quat.

He checks out his studio.

He decides he likes the size of the space, and the huge picture window's panoramic view of the Quat River.

The sliding blue glass doors lead to the gallery lounge, which is well stocked with free drinks - another plus.

Rabinovitch soon sets to painting,

and quickly fills his loft with work.

He checks out his exhibition space in the gallery, "I can run one of my videos on this media screen, but which one?"

"Should I run my award winning video 'Picasso and the Weeping Women'?"

"Or my video of Ushio Shinohara's painting battle with Hyoga Katsuma, or my paint battle with Schnabel?"

"Or the reel of selected segments from 10 years of my cable TV show where I interviewed art stars, such as Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, and James Rosenquist, and which was featured in a retrospective of my work in the MoMA Cineprobe series?"

"Or maybe the trailer from my feature video, 'Pollock Squared' which starred Barnaby Ruhe, Dennis Oppenheim and Arthur Danto playing Jackson?"

"The trailer is short, so better suited to a gallery setting like this, where people don't sit to watch a feature."

He tries different arrangements in his gallery,

and soon mounts his first virtual show.

Merlin, the gallery director, stops by to view Rabinovitch's progress.

"Great work Bill; I love the way you've mounted this show!" exclaims Merlin.

Rabinovitch replies, "I'm happy with the way this is working out, so I've decided to accept Quat Gallery's offer."

"Great! Now that you've decided to join us, we'll have to find you a suitable place to live in the Metaverse."

"Oh, I just need a room in the corner of the loft for my bed and clothing, nothing fancy," Bill protests.

"I'm used to living in my studio space in real life. I like being able to roll out of bed and just get straight to work."

"I understand completely. Let's go up to the lounge and have a drink to celebrate your joining the gallery."

"Have a glass of champaign, Bill. and let's chat about the art world for a bit, ok?" Merlin offers.

"Sure, sounds good to me," Bill responds.

Merlin begins, "I appreciate that you want to live simply, and devote yourself to making art."

"I admire that dedication, and it's one reason I invited you to join the gallery."

"However, you have to realize the art world today is very different than the art world of Pollock and Picasso which you admire."

"In those days the art world was all about exciting new art movements like Cubism and Abstract Expressionism."

"Today the art world is unfortunately all about obscene wealth. "

"Only billionaires can afford to be players in today's art market, and only artists who fit into their world can succeed."

"An artist who isn't living a fabulous lifestyle won't be taken seriously."

Rabinovitch responds, "But what matters to me is my art, not impressing billionaires."

"I know that Bill, but look at today's art world:"

"A Wall Street player decided to become an artist by hiring artisans to create copies of kitsch objects."

"He was able to get other Wall Street types to pay hundreds of thousands for his kitsch, was hailed as a genius, and just had a retrospective at the Whitney Museum."

"The critic, Jerry Saltz, reviewed the show and wrote, his 'art now seems to celebrate the ugliest parts of culture. The rich and greedy buy it because it lauds them for their greediness, their wealth, power, terrible taste, and bad values,'"
Merlin recites from memory

"That's exactly what I want to oppose with my work! I certainly don't want to become a part of that corrupt art world."

"I can see this is going to be difficult. O.K., for now you can live in your studio as you wish," Merlin concedes.

"It's up to me as your dealer to make this work. You have a birthday coming up in a few days, and now I know what I'm going to give you as a present."


"It will be a surprise."

True to his word, Merlin has a room build in the corner of Rabinovitch's loft, to Bill's specifications.

Bill moves in his modest possessions, his wardrobe of faded jeans and T-shirts, his Picasso posters, and a prized photo.

"A great colorful moment for me was 2002 when I was videoing the opening of Apple's then Flagship store in SOHO. I asked Steve Jobs if he would do a cameo as Jackson Pollock, in my Pollocksquared Indie. I'm glad I got that on tape, or people might not believe me. I thought to ask him because of his statements about Mavericks."

"Jobs had said, 'Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.'"

Bill then gets back to work painting. "I wonder what Merlin has in mind giving me for my birthday?" Bill ponders.

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