Monday, February 6, 2012

Do Artists Have the Right to Destroy Their Own Work?

What drives an artist to destroy something they spent their time and energy on to create? Hatred? Self-disgust? Embarassment? Fear of how it might be interpreted or misinterpreted? German artist Gerhard Richter, set to celebrate his 80th birthday on February 9th and receive all the accolades and exhibitions such a landmark deserves, recently revealed to the German periodical Der Spiegel that he has been destroying some of his own work for over half a century for a variety of reasons, most of which entail a need for “liberation” from the constraints his public threatened to place on him as a “name” artist. With frank honesty, Richter admits his regrets over these acts of self-destruction which have cost him millions of dollars in potential sales (which he doesn’t seem to care much about) and have cost us all valuable landmarks in the progress of 20th century painting. Even though an artist brings his or her art into the world, do they have the right to take it back out of it? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Do Artists Have the Right to Destroy Their Own Work?"

[Image: Gerhard Richter. Warship Destroyed by Torpedo, 1964.]