The Selfless Artist : A Personal Reflection on Expanded Engagement with the Other
Lockhart Nelson, Simeon
Mike Kelley’s recent suicide seems to have been partly a reaction to the internal conflict of being at the top of the art world, a system he was highly critical of and whose ‘abject’ and ‘difficult’ work was supposedly in opposition to. This sad departure to me poses a sombre cast to the question of what it is to be a successful artist. Discussion of what constitutes success is an essential component in an art school system that more and more posits economic success as a top priority. It is right and proper that our students are given the means to be successful but not at the cost of compromising what is most valuable in terms of what it means to be an artist in the first place.