In New York, in the lower Twenties, I saw a young woman standing in the foyer of a dance club called Lakshe. She wore stilettos and a mini dress, impeccably made up, beautiful in every way. Yet something about her was strange.
She was utterly motionless. Like a holographic projection of a woman. Not a blink. Not a sound. She held a cell phone to her ear, but her lips were closed. She did not look around. She focused her eyes on a single fixed point.
Weeks later, in broad daylight, I saw the same impressively turned out young woman standing near the entrance to a clothing store on the West Side. Sunglasses covered her eyes. She was holding a cell phone. Again, she was motionless. Not even a hair stirred on her head.
In both cases, I am now convinced, this was advertising. Motionlessness, and silence, in a carefully chosen context, are more eye-catching than their opposites.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the stillness of this prostitute was a riddle to me. I wanted to know whether her stillness, her silence, had an analog in an artist’s life.
And why did I want to know?
Because of something else I had already known for a long time:
Every good artist is a whore.
And that is why I am here. That is why I am letting my ink dry in public.