THE POWER OF THE ARTIST

AIDS completely changed American culture. People always say “pop culture.” As if we have some high culture to distinguish it from. The effect of AIDS was like a war in a minute country. Like, in World War I, a whole generation of Englishmen died all at once. And with AIDS, a whole generation of gay men died practically all at once, within a couple of years. And especially the ones that I knew.

The first people who died of AIDS were artists. They were also the most interesting people. I know I’ve said this before, but the audience for the arts—whether it was for writing or films or ballet—also died and no longer exists in a real way. So all the judgment left at the same time that all this creativity left. And it allowed people who would be fifth-rate artists to come to the front of the line. It decimated not just artists but knowledge. Knowledge of a culture. There’s a huge gap in what people know, and there’s no context for it anymore. — Fran Lebowitz*

Daniel Mendelsohn will moderate the panel THE POWER OF THE ARTIST at the Kitchen.

Presented by David Zwirner and the New York Review of Books, panelists include Jeremy O. Harris, Fran Lebowitz, Elizabeth Alexander, and Lisa Yuskavage.

THE POWER OF THE ARTIST—ELIZABETH ALEXANDER, JEREMY O. HARRIS, FRAN LEBOWITZ, and LISA YUSKAVAGE

Monday, February 3, at 6:30 pm

The Kitchen

512 West 19th Street, New York City.

*“The Voice: Fran Lebowitz,” interview by Francesco Clemente, Interview, March 2016.

From top: Jeremy O. Harris; Fran Lebowitz with Andy Warhol; Elizabeth Alexander. , photograph by Djeneba Aduayom. Photographs courtesy and © the subjects and the photographers. Above and below: Lisa Yuskavage, Bonfire, 2013–2015, oil on linen, diptych; Lisa Yuskavage, Naked Neighbors, 2019, oil on linen. Images courtesy and © the authors, the artist, the photographers, and David Zwirner.

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