Old Town San Diego, Canon 5d, 35mm Carl Zeiss

“The cultural machinery that produces judgments about an artist's lifetime of effort has less material to process when that artist dies young. The wheels grind faster and on thinner stuff. And when that young artist (or writer or actor) is a suicide, the quality of the material is often overlooked because it is immediately more valuable. The lurching randomness of existence suddenly has a steady meaning. Everything done or said by the deceased seems to be a clue that will explain why someone would choose to die rather than live. The last act suddenly becomes the most important act.”   When One Act Colors a Lifetime of Work, Richard B. Woodward

Perhaps.  Although the only young artist I know who committed suicide was Kurt Cobain. Others like Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison seemed more like their deaths were caused by their own recklessness.  Either way, pop culture has a tendency to celebrate their life styles leading to their deaths. 

Woodward further notes, "The photographer Francesca Woodman has received far more attention from critics and collectors since her death in 1981 than ever came her way when she was alive. Indeed, before she threw herself from a New York roof at age 22, she was unknown as an artist."

I'm not sure what motivated her suicide.  Rejection?

Was Michael Jackson suicidal?  Who knows. Sadly, he probably sold more albums after his death (Thriller is the exception).

"Suicidal recklessness seems like an easy path to fame when you're young but when you're old it's pathetic." - Bor Ortsac

Boris may have a point.

Big wheels keep on turning... proud Mary keeps on burning... roll 'em by the river... (John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival)


Guy Patterson said…
suicide is painless so they say but no one who did it successfully can confirm that
Rob Castro said…
this is the sad state of pop culture… sometimes i think that when you follow the money most of the time it’s really exploitation of the artists… someone out there knows that money can be made because people are going to be more intrigued with the artist’s posthumous work… imo
Anonymous said…
Hi Rob , family back in the morning,no more sittin here alone. In the words of another artist who was robbed of life just as he was starting to figure it out.-
"People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game"
Keep well -Speak soon
Rob Castro said…
hey tony... nice to know things are getting back to "normal"... after all "you may say i'm a dreamer but i'm not the only one, hope someday (they'll) join us and the world will be as one." rob

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