ART MYSTERY

An apparent blogger suicide in New York City.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/24/2007 at 09:22 AM
    1. Not usre what this is all about, but I did notice that the blog wasn’t well read. Only 2 comments posted in the 20 or so threads listed. Odd, her bio in the blog says she lives in Los Angeles, but the Times article says she lives in the East Village, where she was found dead on July 10th (the same day as her last blog entry).
      The whole thing sounds rather bizarre.
Posted by Texas Bob on 2007 07 24 at 09:57 AM • permalink

 

    1. They sounded like a dynamic and successful couple. Notwithstanding the artiness, the Norman Maine denouement at Beach 102nd Street and the journalistic detour through the ghost-ridden mansion of the Winchester heiress, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something banal at the crux of this sad story.

      Posted by C.L. on 2007 07 24 at 10:12 AM • permalink

 

    1. A rather interesting, if idiosyncratic, blog, with some quite fascinating photographs. All a bit too cerebral and soulful for my taste, though. I am reminded, as I so often am, by a line or two from Wodehouse: Jeeves to Bertie Wooster – “It was her intention to start you almost immediately upon Nietzsche. You would not like Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound.”

      One is saddened by these deaths for a number of reasons, perhaps primarily because they seem to have cut off the promise of better things to come.

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 24 at 10:43 AM • permalink

 

    1. I saw this on L.A. Observed; she and her partner lived in Venice but had apparently moved to NYC temporarily. She left a note, that’s all I know. A very sad story.

      Posted by Dr Alice on 2007 07 24 at 11:01 AM • permalink

 

    1. TB #1 – from my limited experience, nearly every suicide springs from something banal, from “I can’t get/keep a girlfriend” to “I can’t be bothered to keep on living.”  Even the vilest semtex vest wearing jihadi is inspired (yes, I know, a poor word) by visions of Eternal Spring Break, all those virgins and rivers of wine denied him in life.

      Still, a sad, sad story.  Whatever personal demons behind this are not readily apparent.  Perhaps rather than banal we’ll eventually uncover something sordid.  I rather hope that this story provides little meat for the vultures, but what does it matter?  There’s plenty of misery elsewhere for them to wallow in.

      Look, over there!  It’s Lindsay Lohan!  And Paris Hilton!

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 07 24 at 11:34 AM • permalink

 

    1. Sorry, I meant of course, C.L. #2.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 07 24 at 11:52 AM • permalink

 

    1. From the NYT story we learn that among her writing topics was “Kate Moss”.  WTF, is Kate Moss a “topic” now ?!?

      The story is very sad, on several levels.

      Posted by Harry Bergeron on 2007 07 24 at 12:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. I wasn’t anywhere near that apartment! I have witnesses! I have an alibi!

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 07 24 at 01:27 PM • permalink

 

    1. Ah Spit.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2007 07 24 at 01:34 PM • permalink

 

    1. I’ve lived in and around the world this couple inhabited, and if there’s a site better primed for despair, despite all appearances to the contrary, I can’t think of one. It’s perverse, really – a world of educated, sensitive, sometimes even talented people, most of them with every possible qualification for success: good looks, supportive families, the sort of upbringing that lets them emerge into the adult world with manners, charm, and a sense of how the world works and their place in it. It’s the place where the art world and the so-called “establishment” meet; a generation previous, the soundtrack would have been provided by the Talking Heads.

      And yet, it’s such a morbid place, and a shallow one. The preoccupation with celebrities like Kate Moss is the giveaway – these people live with the sense that, despite the great gifts they’ve been given, they’re just bit players, glimpsed in the background of the lives of the truly famous and successful. It’s largely secular, apart from the odd quasi-spiritual fad, so the only godlike figures are celebrities and the fabled wealthy. You get glimpses of it in magazines like Vanity Fair, where people who consider themselves liberal or progressive too often evince this worshipful attitude in the presence of the famous or rich, and seem invested in promoting them as a sort of aristocracy, more suitable to ruling the world thanks to their talent and artistic sensibilities than the democratic horde and their distasteful and inexplicable support of leaders like George W. Bush.

      It’s their idea of utopia – a place where, naturally, they’d have positions as courtiers and bureaucrats, even have a chance to rise in position, thanks to their own taste and sensitivity. Since that world hasn’t arrived – thank God, I’d say – they feel frustrated, and start entertaining fantasies of the end-times, brought on by the unenlightened masses, their leaders, and their gross tastes. You can’t subscribe to this worldview without eventually subsiding into depression, mild or otherwise. The outcome, in this case as least, is obvious…

      Posted by rick mcginnis on 2007 07 24 at 03:15 PM • permalink

 

    1. Weird.

      Or not….

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2007 07 24 at 03:20 PM • permalink

 

    1. #10: A first-rate analysis, Rick.

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 24 at 03:57 PM • permalink

 

    1. Yes, nicely done Rick.

      I bit hard for me to really understand her (brought on by lifestyle) motivations tho, after all…who has the time to waste on thoughts of suicide?

      The wife is feeling under the weather, the kids are calling for advice, I’ve got a business trip in a couple of days, and the dog is acting strangely.

      Tell me again why their lives are so beautiful?

      Posted by trainer on 2007 07 24 at 04:10 PM • permalink

 

    1. Tell me again why their lives are so beautiful?

      Exactly.

      Posted by JAFA on 2007 07 24 at 04:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. I am reminded, as I so often am, by a line or two from Wodehouse: Jeeves to Bertie Wooster – “It was her intention to start you almost immediately upon Nietzsche. You would not like Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound.”

      I love Wodehouse.  I trust you have the Hugh Laurie/Stephen Fry DVD set, Paco?

      Posted by Jeffersonian on 2007 07 24 at 04:33 PM • permalink

 

    1. #15: I do, indeed. As good (if not better) are some of the old radio programs based on the Jeeves and Wooster stories. I believe I read somewhere that there was a tv series based on the Blandings stories, featuring Sir Ralph Richardson as Lord Emsworth, made in Britain in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. Anybody ever seen those?

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 24 at 06:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. if you devote yourself to the arts your sense of self can become very brittle. You are supposed to draw life-sustenance from the fact that you have “given the stream-of-consciousness narrative, so long a part of modern literature, a time-based visual equivalent” Or some such. It’s not enough, boys and girls. It’s not enough.

      my mother was a poet and sculptress, quite driven. She did have one volume of poetry published and had many individual poems published in many magazines. But the agony those poems cost her!

      She was in my view a more talented sculptress but would destroy all her pieces before she could fire them. Her studio was adjacent to the kitchen in our home and an enduring memory of my childhood is of my mother smashing her sculptures against the wooden bench to throw back into the large melting-pot of clay-slurry she kept beside it.

      my aunt managed to sneak two pieces out of the studio and hide them….that was all we had of my mother’s work (20 years worth) when she died.

      Not suicide, by the way. Not directly anyway. She smoked 3 packets of Rothmans per day and died at 58. Born with every advantage, like these people Tim has linked to, but never learned to be happy.

      Having grown up amongst people like this I would concur wholeheartedly with Rick’s analysis at #10. I would say the one thing that characterises the so-called ‘beautiful people’ is a deep-seated and quite overwhelming fear of being ordinary. Both my parents suffered from this. To their credit they were not obsessed with celebrity for its own sake, however the combination of celebrity and talent was irresistible to them. My father has been a gadfly in the music and theatre industries for forty years and is still an appalling name-dropper. I have nothing to do with this world at all.

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 07 24 at 07:00 PM • permalink

 

    1. #17 except that my 15-year-old daughter, who is uncannily like her grandmother, now wants to be an actress. I am quite at a loss as to how to deal with this. I am encouraging her, of course, as one does, but my heart sinks…

      Posted by JonathanH on 2007 07 24 at 07:09 PM • permalink

 

    1. If only some members of our own creative community would follow this fine example.

      Perhaps we could promote it as a new genre’, a cutting-edge performance that’s sure to raise your profile and express your disgust at and disdain for war/consumerism/capitalism/Chimpy and his neocon cabal/climate change denial/scaricity of Patagonian Toothfish?

      Posted by Habib on 2007 07 24 at 07:29 PM • permalink

 

    1. Habib, that is performance art, art for performance. Brutal, exquisite.  The art critic spoke, named the syndrome: “The arts are the canary in the coal mine.”

      Sing little birdie – so we can tell when you stop.

      Bitter tears.

      Posted by ChrisPer on 2007 07 24 at 08:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. Having grown up amongst people like this I would concur wholeheartedly with Rick’s analysis at #10. I would say the one thing that characterises the so-called ‘beautiful people’ is a deep-seated and quite overwhelming fear of being ordinary.

      Agreed, and it’s their loss.  I’ve encountered a far greater range of the human experience among “ordinary” people than I ever did in publishing or Hollywood…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2007 07 24 at 09:14 PM • permalink

 

    1. #18 JonathanH
      My uncle was an artist (painter) all his life but decided that poor/starving was not his cup-o-tea, and government arts grants required too much ass-kissing. He worked a normal job to retirement and pursued his muse as inspiration occured.My cousin followed an artist’s career as a dancer, and when that ended due to natural causes, she moved on to a practical follow-on business. So if your daughter needs specialty attire …

      … not time for despair yet.

      Cheers

      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2007 07 24 at 09:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. #15 & 16

      Blandings Castle?

      Posted by kae on 2007 07 24 at 10:26 PM • permalink

 

    1. #23: Yes, that’s it! thanks, kae.

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 24 at 10:58 PM • permalink

 

    1. These people remind me of the courtiers of the court at Versailles.

      They believe themselves to be possessed of superior intellect and unbounded wit, but secretly they are deathly afraid of being bestowed the title of “Marquis des Antipodes”

      Posted by joe bagadonuts on 2007 07 25 at 12:26 AM • permalink

 

    1. stupid waste of your gift of life

      Posted by peter m on 2007 07 25 at 02:02 AM • permalink

 

    1. Rick, you nailed it well. I work in that field, and have been surrounded by trust-fund babies and others like them, who can never understand middle-class striving or middle-class ideals (you know: family, loyalty, patriotism), and so can never, despite their learning and natural gifts, understand their own countrymen.

      I have come to the conclusion that, at least in the U.S., we now have the worst generation of artistocrats ever. No noblesse oblige, no sense of home (for us, globalism is an economic term; for them it’s a philosophy), no morality, and no happiness. I used to be angry, like some bomb-throwing commie, but I’m leaning toward pity.

      We have to make the sacrifices and do the work so that they may stay in their global playpen. Just make sure to keep fighting for democracy, because otherwise they will (as in France) be all the government we get.

      Posted by SoberHT on 2007 07 25 at 10:15 AM • permalink

 

    1. paco, if you ever have a chance to see “Heavy Weather,” with Peter O’Toole as Clarence, don’t miss it.  So far as I know it isn’t available on DVD and the only copy I know of is a VHS tape in a friend’s possession.

      But it is brilliant.  Every character is nailed – to a t.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2007 07 25 at 12:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. I first heard of this from the blog of a mystery writer named Patricia Abbott, a friend of this woman (http://pattinase.blogspot.com/).  Let’s remember that, regardless of the reasons, suicide is a terrible tragedy.

      I’m not trying to rebuke anyone here, but if you knew this woman and cared about her, you would be devastated, and the reasons would not matter that much.

      Posted by Graham on 2007 07 25 at 01:48 PM • permalink

 

    1. #28: Steve – I did see it, as a matter of fact. O’Toole was fabulous as the doddering Lord Emsworth.

      #29: Graham – I agree with you that this is an unqualified tragedy. Do the reasons matter? I don’t know. I think it’s very human to want to know the reasons, because people have a hunger for understanding. Although, I’ll grant, that understanding does not always help those most nearly affected; for them, the devastation remains, and true understanding might simply underscore a sense of helplessness, or maybe even feelings of guilt (the syndrome of “Why didn’t I see it coming/What could I have done?”).

      Posted by paco on 2007 07 25 at 02:29 PM • permalink

 

  1. #30

    I agree with you that this is an unqualified tragedy. Do the reasons matter? I don’t know. I think it’s very human to want to know the reasons, because people have a hunger for understanding.

    Well said, Paco.

    To understand why, to learn.

    Posted by kae on 2007 07 25 at 05:27 PM • permalink