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A recap show called the Cosby Show: A Look Back, aired on the Biography channel last Friday. All of the original Cosby kids were present with the exception of my favorite: Denise, who was played by Lisa Bonet. As the program moved along there came a segment with Claire Huxtable ( Phylissa Rashad) who muse about where her children would’ve ended up in life. All the kids–even foolish Theo were granted happy predictions except for Denise who a was prophetsized to a miserable life in a trailer park.
I don’t think so.
Denise was an art chick and if she were to end up as the least successful of her siblings I still think she would be happy. I think she would’ve lived the life of an avant-garde artist in Soho. Denise may not be able to make rent every month, but I think she would’ve enjoyed a life of a photographer or sculptor and perhaps moved into working for non-profits after the feast or famine industry of art has ebbed.
Warts and alll, Basquiat is a sympathetic character I can relate to . We shared a common love for and co-dependancy on mentors. Basquiat’s mentor was Andy Warhol. When Warhol died Basquiat never recovered. According the archetype of the heroe’s journey when a mentor dies the hero must toughen up an move on with his quest and succeed. but not all heroes are successful. Som like Basquiat and I fear, myself, self-destruct if we don’t find a replacement.
Basquiat could not find a replacement soon enough and sank deeper in to substance abuse as a means of escapism. I know how he feels. Without Mrs. Pannones, I have a restless nature that urges me to travel and find another artist community, which serves as my womb. I no longer care about my well being, but more for those who depend me and the prizes I’ve collected, most notably my ca,t Pita, and my library. So long as those two elements are safe, I can live happily as a an art bum in Berkeley and Golden Gate Park. Like Basquiat, I would still work, but I feel no need to give so much of my hard earned cash to a landlord. I live quite happily in my head, thank you very much.
..Once upon a time there was a prince, who was locked in a tower by a villain. In the tower there was a small barred window. Desperate to get help, the prince rapped his crowned head against the bars to attract attention to his plight. The beautiful sound of the crown striking the bars traveled across the land for all to hear and appreciate. Sadly, the prince never got out of the tower, nevertheless, the people of the kingdom remembered the day of the beautiful sound and the memory filled their lives with joy.
This is the allegory of an artist. He may live a life of suffering but, what he leaves behind is an impression on the world. Hence assuring a kind of immortality. Van Gogh did, says the bard of the film. Despite leading a life of suffering and selling only one painting, Van Gogh left an incredilbel legacy. He was genius who was ignored in his lifetime much to the chagrin of society during his time. Therefore NO ONE wants to ignore another Van Gogh in their lifetime, so there is a great effort to nurture avant-garde conceptual artist in large metropolis like New York, Paris and other large art communities. The life of an artist is in a way, a life of public service. It is an important chronicle of the human condition over time, be it literature, music or visual art. It’s all art and very important and respected. No need to obsess over a stock portfolio and drive a fancy car when the world loves you that instant you doodle a quick idea on a napkin. Talent is an envied gift. Be happy without the beemer. Denise would’ve been just as successful as her siblings. Not as wealthy perhaps, but very, very happy and the envy of wage slaves like her siblings who crave escapism everywhere.