The Creative Life

By The New Yorker | From The New Yorker’s archive: The artist’s process.

Dealer’s Hand

Why are so many people paying so much money for art? Ask David Zwirner.<p>Very important people line up differently from you and me. They don’t want to stand behind anyone else, or to acknowledge wanting something that can’t immediately be had. If there’s a door they’re eager to pass through, and …


Spot On

Damien Hirst’s global show.<p>The art of Damien Hirst puts me in mind of a <i>New Yorker</i> cartoon by Peter Steiner, from 1997. One of two vultures on a bare branch argues, “Sure, dead is important. But it has to taste good.” That finicky gourmand speaks to my sense of “The Complete Spot Paintings, …


Eerily Composed

Nico Muhly’s sonic magic.<p>Nico Muhly, a composer, was bounding through Chinatown, his hands thrust into the pockets of a black jacket, and a too small Icelandic knitted cap pulled halfway down over his ears, heading for the market under the Manhattan Bridge. Muhly, who is twenty-six, had a violin …


Banksy Was Here

The invisible man of graffiti art.<p>The British graffiti artist Banksy likes pizza, though his preference in toppings cannot be definitively ascertained. He has a gold tooth. He has a silver tooth. He has a silver earring. He’s an anarchist environmentalist who travels by chauffeured S.U.V. He was …

Street Art

The Misfit

Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese avant-gardist of few words, and she changed women’s fashion.<p>Does it really matter what one wears? I sometimes think my life might have been different if I had chosen the other wedding dress. I was getting married for the second time, and until the overcast morning of the …

Rei Kawakubo

Forty-one False Starts

How does the painter David Salle know when to stop? How does the author know where to start? It’s all a question of process.<p>There are places in New York where the city’s anarchic, unaccommodating spirit, its fundamental, irrepressible aimlessness and heedlessness have found especially firm …