Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Artist's Dilema

The Artist's Reality ~ Mark Rothko

We tend to think of Van Gogh as the quintessential artist who was a total failure in his lifetime only to be vindicated by history. Mark Rothko is another. His name and work is all over the place now but in his lifetime, though he did have some success, he was almost as wretched as Van Gogh. I am reading his book The Artist's Reality, compiled by his son from collected notes. Here is a quote from the book under the heading, The Artist's Dilema...

"What is the popular conception of the artist? Gather a thousand descriptions: the resulting composite is the portrait of a moron."

White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)
Mark Rothko, 1950

Mark Rothko committed suicide in 1966. In May 2007 his painting White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) sold for $72.8 million dollars at Sotheby's New York.

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