Bad Boy by Eric Fischl
My Life On and Off the Canvas

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Best for the discussions of his own work; worst for the gushing offered by some of his contributors.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In Bad Boy, renowned American artist Eric Fischl has written a penetrating, often searing exploration of his coming of age as an artist, and his search for a fresh narrative style in the highly charged and competitive New York art world in the 1970s and 1980s. With such notorious and controversial paintings as Bad Boy and Sleepwalker, Fischl joined the front ranks of America artists, in a high-octane downtown art scene that included Andy Warhol, David Salle, Julian Schnabel, and others. It was a world of fashion, fame, cocaine and alcohol that for a time threatened to undermine all that Fischl had achieved.

In an extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Fischl discusses the impact of his dysfunctional family on his art—his mother, an imaginative and tragic woman, was an alcoholic who ultimately took her own life. Following his years as a student at Cal Arts and teaching in Nova Scotia, he describes his early years in New York with the artist April Gornik, just as Wall Street money begins to encroach on the old gallery system and change the economics of the art world. Fischl rebelled against the conceptual and minimalist art that was in fashion at the time to paint compelling portraits of everyday people that captured the unspoken tensions in their lives. Still in his thirties, Eric became the subject of a major Vanity Fair interview, his canvases sold for as much as a million dollars, and The Whitney Museum mounted a major retrospective of his paintings.
 
Bad Boy follows Fischl’s maturation both as an artist and sculptor, and his inevitable fall from grace as a new generation of artists takes center stage, and he is forced to grapple with his legacy and place among museums and collectors. Beautifully written, and as courageously revealing as his most provocative paintings, Bad Boy takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the passion and politics of the art world as it has rarely been seen before.
 

About Eric Fischl

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Eric Fischl is America's foremost narrative painter; his paintings hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and in collections throughout the world. He lives with his wife, the acclaimed landscape artist April Gornik, in Sag Harbor on Long Island.
 
Published May 7, 2013 by Crown. 370 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Bad Boy
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Laura Kipnis on Jun 21 2013

Perhaps “Bad Boy” gratifies because it does hew so closely to the venerable paradigm, that art emanates from inner life.

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WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Edward Kosner on May 10 2013

However pure his motives, traditional his ultimate values or exemplary his professed commitment to old-school American painting, Eric Fischl is destined to be ever cast as American art's oldest living bad boy.

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Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 03 2013

Best for the discussions of his own work; worst for the gushing offered by some of his contributors.

Read Full Review of Bad Boy: My Life On and Off t... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Reader Rating for Bad Boy
89%

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