James Rosenquist: The artists who I respected who were living in New York were really ne’er-do-wells, and they really… Let’s say like Bill de Kooning, the artist, he wore an old pair of bib overalls, he had a cheap loft, he painted seven days a week, 11 months a year, and I think one month out of the year he’d get totally drunk. Then he’d go back, that was his vacation. Then he’d start all over again. And his habit was… he was really an extremely hard worker. Other artists, like Franz Kline, had big underground reputations, but they didn’t seem to… you know, they certainly weren’t living any kind of fancy lifestyle, or any kind of luxury. They looked very poor. That seemed to typify the Abstract Expressionist artists. So it was very difficult to see them and meet them, and wondering if this was any kind of a life to have, because it seemed so bad. But however, it was private. It was totally private. The luxury seemed to be if one could live in a metropolitan city without having to deal with it, and just having enough money, not having to deal with it, you could really walk around and enjoy life. And that was also the time of the “beat generation,” where people hitchhiked around a lot, which I did. I moved around a lot. I mean, at one point, I had an apartment for 30 bucks a month, a studio for 45 dollars a month, breakfast was a quarter at the Students Institute: two eggs, toast and tea. I didn’t have any money, but I was rich! That was the feeling. That’s really impossible now to do that in Manhattan. At the same time, in other cities in the United States, it was more expensive at that point than it was in New York. A person could come back from the Army, could come back from something, could start in New York, very cheaply, and get a footing. Not anymore, I don’t think. It’s very hard. I think other parts of the country and other parts of the world are easier.