I am a nonfiction writer; my writing has been published in The New York Times Modern Love, The Brooklyn Rail, The Millions, Cultural Weekly, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Believer logger, Thought Catalog, and others.
For the last few years I have been learning and writing about the intersection of art/culture and gentrification in Brooklyn. In 2018 I am writing a nonfiction manuscript that situates former education and maker-space 3rd Ward within the context of investor-led gentrification in Brooklyn and explores the role of artists and culture in gentrifying neighborhoods.
I’ve written about street art and mural projects and Bushwick Open Studios and I have reported the stories of artists losing their workspaces in Gowanus. I have contrasted how street art projects function in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and in Welling Court, Queens. I have spent significant time looking at the financial mess that (former E. Williamsburg education space) 3rd Ward made for its students & teachers. To me, these are all threads of a single conversation.
What interests me about Bushwick is that the community itself is becoming a branded myth. This mythmaking through art, social media and pop culture is facilitating a shift that drives the displacement and disruption of the art community who fueled this growth. Cultural Weekly has published several of the essays I have written about the ways this community is coping with change.
I was an editorial freelancer in Los Angeles for about a decade but switched careers as the industry started shrinking. In 2010 I moved to Brooklyn and started publishing essays and interviews, working with artists and teaching. A selected list of my work appears here.
I have developed several workshops and love working with writers and non-writers, especially on personal-persuasive writing like artist statements, proposals and application essays. Through conversations and exercises, I encourage students to develop personal insights and self-knowledge that help them learn how to communicate effectively about their creative projects.
I am currently working on three nonfiction projects and I am seeking representation. Kind strangers are also welcome to email me about writing, reading, presenting a workshop (have car, will road-trip), hiring me for consulting, or to share a story (about 3rd Ward or gentrification or whatever). Email writing at robingrearson dot com. I occasionally send information about my projects via a mailing list, which you can join here. I also tweet @robingrearson.
The picture appears with permission from photographer-gallerist Rafael Fuchs. He was trying to get a shot of his installed artwork (the photographs hanging in the photograph are also his), but I was too lazy to move out of his shot.