Thursday, May 29, 2014

The art, the artist

"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

There's 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.

2 comments:

  1. This is probably why great artists are often mad, don't you think? They become their art.

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    1. It may be a chicken-and-egg question. Do they turn to art to express and alleviate some of their suffering, or do they push farther into their suffering for the perceived sake of their art?

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