"I don't like being around volatile people. I have no interest in being around geniuses. Those tempestuous volatile geniuses the media likes to hold up. But I had the deepest admiration for his artistry."
--Franklyn Ajaye, quoted in Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him, by David Henry and Joe Henry
a difference between admiring someone's art and admiring that person, a
difference between wanting to spend time in the world of an artwork and
wanting to spend time with its creator. I don't think every genius has
to be a "tortured genius," and a lot of the volatility Ajaye speaks of
ends in self-destruction.
Art draws on real emotions, real
events. But one challenge artists face is drawing that line between life
and art, knowing what can cross that border and what can't.