Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quick note on aspirations

I think it was Gawker.com who, in the midst of a lovely piece about Big Anna, took the briefest shot at my aspiration to become the preeminent portrait painter of the 21st century. Which, I should tell you, is totally ok. The first graph of the Gawker piece ran like this:
One hundred or so people finally got to give notorious Vogue editor Anna Wintour a piece of their mind at Fashion Week. Well, via a painting at least. An artist named Geoffrey Raymond (who aims to become "the pre-eminent American portrait painter of the 21st century") painted what he calls "The Annotated Anna" and set it up at Bryant Park this week with a request for people to write a little note to the Devil Wears Prada inspiration. Oh, and you can buy it! (Hear that Anna?) Starting bid on eBay is $3,500. The artist tells us more about his work after the jump.
To which I would say: "Hey, what's the point of shooting if you don't shoot high." Like that golfing saying that goes: "never up, never in," which, I'm assuming, has something to do with the fact that if you don't hit the ball hard enough to get it to the hole, it is never, ever going to go in.

Me? I'm loving Gawker because, in a world where people are frequently writing stuff about me that is wildly incorrect, it's nice of them to just copy down what I said and share it with the world.

Anyway, back to aspirations. For the record, I didn't say I wanted to be the preeminent painter of the 21st century. Just portraits. So everyone just remain calm. And it's not really a cut-throat competition. I mean, I don't look around and wish my fellow artist ill. But there are definitely ones that I'm jealous of.

Exhibit A--Roy Lichstein's famous BMW:





Lord, have mercy. If I could ever do something like this I believe I could die a happy man. I once owned a 3-series Beemer, but it definitely didn't look like that.

Likewise my buddy Matisse. Herewith Exhibit B:



I would like to paint a chapel. Art historians would call it the Raymond Chapel, which would make me smile. Or, possibly better yet, an elaborate French name like Chapelle du Saint-Marie du Rosaire (Chapel of our Lady of the Rosary), which is what they call Matisse's.

Stuff I'm not so jealous of?

--That goat with the tire around it by Rauschenberg.
--All the later Jasper Johns with the arced strings and screw-eyes.
--I could go on, but that's enough for now.

Stuff I do wish I'd managed to squeeze out?

--That big dog made out of flowers by Jeff Koons
--And, of course...



Because, I mean, really...

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