Why some artists no longer want to be famous
by Aurélie MAYEMBO
An art piece protected by a plexiglass pane by British artist Banksy, seen on a beach in Calais, northern France (AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen)
Paris (AFP) – “I love being famous,” the black US comedian Chris Rock once quipped. “It’s almost like being white.”
But a growing number of artists would rather have success without the encumbrance of fame.
From the street artist Banksy to the Italian literary phenomenon Elena Ferrante, a new brand of creator is actively rejecting the limelight and doing everything they can to avoid it.
Even first-time novelists, whose publishers are often desperate for them to go out and promote their work, are thumbing their noses at celebrity.
One young French novelist, who writes under the pseudonym of Joseph Andras, rejected the country’s top prize for a first book last year because it threatened his anonymity.
Like Ferrante, whose Naples quartet has become a huge international bestseller, Andras refuses to be photographed and only does interviews via email.
“A baker makes bread, a plumber unblocks pipes and writers write,” he declared in his only interview, granted to the Communist newspaper L’Humanite. “Everything is in the book, I don’t really see what more I have to add.”