Contributed by Bonnie Morano / I’m a numbers person. Some say that’s atypical for an artist. But before I began my MFA in painting at Hunter College, I was in the financial world creating Excel spreadsheets. For the Northeast edition of New American Paintings, the springboard publication for emerging artists, 38 out of the 40 artists selected were representational painters. There were two abstract artists in the group – one painter and one artist who crocheted textiles. They accounted for 5% of the total group. I decided to cross reference this stat with the current MFA student directory at Hunter, 113 artists strong. Of that cohort, 53 chose a concentration in painting when they were accepted. The split between representation and abstraction was almost even. Why then was the New American Paintings finalist selection so skewed towards representation?