The contemporary artist says integrity is the essence of artistic success.
Chuck Close: I don’t think artists talk about integrity that much, it’s just sort of a given. You don’t have much to hang your hat on other than your personal integrity and what you do.
I don’t think there are charlatans out there. If you want to be a charlatan, if you want to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, there’s a lot better ways to do it, and a lot better money to be made than by trying to do it through art. Look at the Bernie Madoffs and the other people in the world, who are real cheats, who are really fooling people and lying to them.
This is not a profession that is particularly well suited for a sham; and it’s not a game of three-card Monte. There’s magic to it, but you’re not trying to fool the public.
I think one can question what certain artists have done, whether or not it was a good idea, or a bad idea, or you may wonder if they shouldn’t just get their head examined. But I take them seriously.
And anybody who calls themselves an artist, then what they make is art as far as I am concerned. The only thing I can decide is if it’s relevant to me and if it has meaning to me and if I find value in it. But I’m not going to question the integrity of the person who’s putting it out.
Recorded on: February 5, 2009