What Is an Artist?

Andy Warhol Atomic Bomb, 1965 (via)

A Glossary 

Classical musicians: Uptight, ambitious squares. Doctors.

New Music musicians: Having implicitly resigned from the institutional rat race, they are the cool, if slightly embarrassing, high-school teachers of the art world.

Rock musicians: Losers. Of all artists, they are the most likely to squander their entire life’s potential in pursuit of their art, insensible to more socially meritorious endeavors (actors take second prize).

Hip-hop musicians: The true princes and soldiers of pop.

Jazz musicians: Museum guards.

Composers: Academics.

Theater artists: Tasteless sissies (America). Rapists (Europe).

Novelists: Arrogant nebbishes who, regarding themselves more as public intellectuals than artists, are consequently inconsequential as either.

Short-story writers: Civil servants, clerks, petty bureaucrats. Superfluous men.

Poets: Women.

Architects: Bootlickers, bishops, and Bolivarists.

Dancers: Inscrutable and insignificant, no one curious to know one who doesn’t, they are the Mormons of the arts.

Filmmakers: Jocks, ringmasters, Romantic composers. The only truly popular artists, working in the only truly relevant artform.

Conceptual/media artists: Illiterate novelists, better dressed and funded.

Photographers: Journalists.

Designers: Not, to their credit, artists.

Painters/sculptors: Libidinal formalists carrying the torch of fucking and fighting for the entirety of the dead arts.

Patrick Harrison is an actor and writer based in New York. Read more of his work at If You Can Read This, You’re Lying.