“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.” —Oscar Wilde.
Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Is a portrait a reflection of the model or the artist? What compels a writer to inhabit the mind of a visual artist in a work of fiction? What drives the artist in literature and in life? Idra Novey (Those Who Knew, Ways to Disappear) will converse with Brandon Taylor (Real Life, The Late Americans) and Siri Hustvedt (Memories of the Future, The Blazing World) about the mercurial figure of the fictionalized artist in their respective books. Novey’s new novel, Take What You Need, follows an outsider artist; Hustvedt has explored the lives of visual artists and the politics of the art world throughout her work; and Taylor’s nationally bestselling collection of stories, Filthy Animals, dives into the intersection of love, sex, and artistic expression. In collaboration with Harper’s Magazine, the panel will explore big questions regarding art, humanity, and literature–the makings of the very best kind of evening.