Negative Space by Lilly Dancyger
Public Media Market is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you shop using our links, we earn a small commission. It’s a great way to support public media at no extra cost to you!
Featured on The Thread: A daughter rediscovers her deceased father's life in 'Negative Space'
Despite her parents' struggles with addiction, Lilly Dancyger always thought of her childhood as a happy one. But what happens when a journalist interrogates her own rosy memories to reveal the instability around the edges?
Dancyger's father, Joe Schactman, was part of the iconic 1980s East Village art scene. He created provocative sculptures out of found materials, and brought his young daughter into his gritty, iconoclastic world. She idolized him--despite the escalating heroin addiction that sometimes overshadowed his creative passion. When Schactman died suddenly, just as Dancyger was entering adolescence, she went into her own self-destructive spiral, raging against the world that had taken him away. But as an adult, Dancyger began to question the mythology she'd created about her father--the brilliant artist, struck down in his prime--using his paintings, sculptures, and prints as a guide to piece together a truer story.
Featuring Schactman's artwork throughout, Negative Space explores Dancyger's grief, anger, and artistic inheritance as she sets out to illuminate the darkness her father hid from her, as well as her own.