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Monday, August 31, 2009

Broke Artists

Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane

There are two aspects of the iconic tortured starving artist: torture and starvation. Lovely.

Starvation usually applies to artists' common difficulty in making money. While making money is important to survival in today's world, it is but a tool, a means. The goal of becoming both a millionaire and an artist seems built on ego, on comparison, on insecurity.

Torture is more interesting to me. Do artists have to be broken? Do they have to be broken to become an icon in pop culture? The examples in both music and art abound. Cobain, Morrison, Pollack, Warhol, Beethoven and Van Gogh. Why are they seemingly remembered more crisply, more dramatically?

I think the answer is that artists do have to be broken.


See, all people are broken. Some deny it, and we are broke to differing extents. We look to the artist to reveal their own inner torment. Maybe because it makes us feel better about ourselves, or maybe worse. But it makes us feel. That's what art it supposed to do.

Am I broken?


I have deep-seated insecurities that refuse to let go their grip on my gut. I probably don't seem it. Maybe that's a problem. I strive to focus on my art rather than me. My portraits on vinyl and in books come through me, are a part of me, but I hope they connect more with you and your memory than with my stuff. I figure who needs someone else's stuff to worry about when you've got your own?

Does that make me less of an artist? Does that mean that I'm not even an artist by definition? Does my art make you feel? I guess that's for you and pop culture to decide.


SOLD - Monk, Miles, Trane 08/09

P.S. Yes, you see correctly, these are blue. Painted on "Blue Monk", "Kind Of Blue", and "Blue Train", these are one commission, probably my coolest yet. And I will use color again, for a premium.

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