Friday, June 17, 2011
"As much as undervaluation can kill, so can a false sense of the value of your work. Jean-Michel was advised to stop giving it away. But if your friends can't have it, why live? Overprotection is deadly; the stuff has to get out there to be seen. Making money is something between artists and their stomachs. To turn one's work into fetish that is almost indistinct from oneself, to overpersonalize and covet one's own work, is professional suicide. Fear of rip-off is paralysis. One is always ripped off. Keeping work a secret is the psychology of the applied artist, not the fine artist who must live in a dialogue. "
Poet Rene Ricard writing in his 1981 essay "the Radiant Child" that bought Jean Michel Basquiat to the attention of the wider art world and the New York art-collecting glitterati. This beautiful essay seems almost elegaic even though Ricard is writing about the new work from burning, incandescent artists rising from the world of graffiti, punk music and the streets of New York. He captures the longing, inspiration and intertwined practical, monetary concerns of being an artist and gives them all the finger, in disgust or delight. His sarcastic, sad, beautiful words are worth a read and a re-read.