Immortal Remains.

One of the classical ideas about art is that it should outlive its creator. Nothing lasts forever, although there is the saying, “Man fears time, but time fears the pyramids.” And there are cave paintings that look at the pyramids and laugh and say, “Kids,” but that’s another story. Freud wrote about the same idea, saying that art isn’t just creative, it’s procreative. And how many artists speak of their works as their children? Well, I don’t have exact numbers, but it’s pretty common, even among artists who have actual flesh and blood children–and I’m not talking about artists whose medium is flesh and blood.

Another way of looking at it is that every work of art is the remains of an artist. Sometimes that can be taken a little too literally. In 2001 the mystery writer Patricia Cornwell was so convinced the Victorian painter Walter Sickert was Jack the Ripper she purchased more than thirty of his paintings, spending more than £2 million, and had forensic scientists cut one up in search of DNA. Sometimes you’ve gotta roll the bones, but in this case it came up snake eyes: no DNA was found. Cornwell may be right but the evidence that Sickert worked in more than just oils is still sketchy.

Cracking the case of one of the most famous serial killers of all time–2018 marks 130 years since the Ripper’s spree–would be something, but maybe some ghosts are best left alone.

10 Comments

  1. Chuck Baudelaire

    If my art is my legacy, I need to start making some damn better art.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Every artist strives to be better. Maybe that’s the real legacy.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Thanks for your creative and procreative blog, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Your comments often inspire me, making them procreative art as well.

      Reply
  3. floweringink

    I always learn the coolest things from your posts!!!! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Your poems are so amazing that it really means a lot to me that you learn cool things from me. Thank you!

      Reply
  4. Tom

    The way you find art from garbage is inspirational. This time, I mean it literally. 😉

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.” Or, in this case, just by looking. I see inspired artists all around me and I’m glad I can pass it on.

      Reply
  5. Bryce Warden

    I bet Kay Scarpetta made her do it. I will be remembered for an extreme love of caffeine, sugar and swearing, quite the legacy.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      A legacy of caffeine, sugar, and swearing really is something to be proud of. And you’ve confessed to it which means no detective will have to work to undercover the culprit in the mystery of the Extremely Sweet Coffee Curser.

      Reply

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