Paula Sweet

In 1980 I put everything into 4 trunks and came east to live above the ground.

Instead of a garden, my front door opened onto a hallway with stairway, 6 flights up. I began a new kind of life in NYC, Where I was told "parties are for networking, not for fun!!" No car was needed, and I actually began to wear out shoes walking. To make myself at home in my NYC loft, I made a table that was fish pond, desk and dining combined. Instead of the beach the city streets became my thinking space. I found privacy on the avenues, complete invisibility among millions of people. I could wander aimlessly feeding my five senses, and be distracted or not as I wished... I wore one hot pink shoe and one blue shoe just to see startled looks. I became fascinated with the undeveloped world on the rooftops and painted my ideas of what could be. My drawings of shadow people emerged, perhaps about the millions who I could see in their windows at night, but who never saw me. Miniature people drawings began as I contemplated the human condition. I asked which one receives the pleasure. Can it be both the soft boiled egg and the person who sits on it? Living closer to Europe I spent one month out of every three in northern Italy. My dentist, art dealer and yoga teacher were there. I did hand painted editions of dishes in Tuscany for Barney's, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Being fascinated by the faces I saw in Italy, I began portrait drawings with incongruous painted borders. I developed dresses and raincoats hand painted with my designs on the 100 foot floor of my loft. I became curious about production processes. I liked talking to the zipper man and the button man. I liked having an espresso with the sewers and watching the cutters lay up the goods. I moved into silk screening the raincoats and having them laminated. I designed a way to mass produce the minks and received my second "Muslin Mink" patent, a process patent. I created advertising and a company to mass produce them in all sizes from children to plus. Four of my favorite projects were a ceramic shower in NYC, Windows on 15th Street, NYC, a ceramic floor piece in Genoa Italy and a painted swimming pool in Los Angeles.