Monday, March 12, 2007

Jonathan Santlofer

Steven Torres interviewed Jonathan Santlofer not so long ago.

Background information for the following exchange: Santlofer is a highly respected artist as well as the author of four novels.

[Torres:] Having read The Death Artist, I feel like I've been introduced to some part of the living art world. Have I? Certainly not the murder part, but do I now know something about the way the art world works? Was there something specific you wanted to say about the Universe you've inhabited for so long and so successfully?

Yes. It's all true. ALL OF IT. Except for the murders. I never lie about art. In "The Death Artist" I wanted to give the reader a real picture of the contemporary art world, which is hilarious, snobby, brilliant, glamorous, and horrendous all at once. Everything I write about it is true, much of it based on actual experience and literal conversations I've had over the years. I am always being asked "Was that true?" in regard to something outrageous I've written about the art world, and the answer is always YES.

It's a small world where practically everyone knows of everyone else and everyone is fighting for the same things. The art world can be ruthless. I always say the worst equipped people for the art world are artists--sensitive people who are about to get really beaten up in a very tough world. Of course I have many artist friends who I love; people who have dedicated their lives to making art and not making money, and I wanted that in the book too. The art world gives "The Death Artist" an exotic setting that not too many people know about, so I'm glad you came away feeling as if you know it better. Of course it's just a setting. I wanted the book to be a real page turner, scary and thrilling, too, and I hope it does that as well.

Read the entire interview.

Read the results of the Page 99 Test for Anatomy of Fear.

--Marshal Zeringue