On the 2010 TIME 100 List’s Empoverished “Artists” Section

04/29/2010 3:51 PM |

Ashton Kutcher Demi Moore P. Diddy
  • “You’re leaving me and Jamie for this old woman!?”

TIME‘s annual list of 100 influential people they were able to find other influential people to write 300 words about was published today and, perusing the “Artists” section, almost every pairing of subject and author is very promising, and in most almost every case the result is very disappointing—Victoria Beckham, writing about Marc Jacobs, hasn’t let me down this hard since Spiceworld.

P. Diddy on Ashton Kutcher is worth reading if only for this part, “for a while, with Jamie Foxx, we were a rat pack, hanging out, going to clubs,” which evokes some really spectacular nights out with that trio, until: “I remember one night he was with Demi, maybe for the first time, and a couple of weeks later he called to tell me he was in love. That was the end of our clubbing.” Aw… Bros before hos, Ashton!

Anyways, Joss Whedon on Neil Patrick Harris is succinct and wonderful (presumably because he’s one of the only professional writers writing these profiles), but the two best entries come from the Artists section’s most literal pairings.

Shepard Fairey writes about Banksy quite thoughtfully, and without the little daubs of queasy-making self-promotion that many of the others deploy. The last paragraph is great, even if you don’t agree with Shep’s very positive evaluation of the British street artist’s practice:

Banksy’s work embodies everything I like about art. It’s accessible, public, not locked away. He makes social and political statements with a sense of humor. His latest exploit is Exit Through the Gift Shop, a film about a filmmaker who left off making a film about Banksy to become an art star himself. It sums up the art world perfectly — the authentic intertwined with the absurd.

Cyndi Lauper, though, really nails it in her profile of Lady Gaga. Textured with personal anecdotes and references to her own experiences as a young pop star, she closes with what is either a sly put-down, or a glowing endorsement (probably the latter):

I did an interview with her once, and she showed up with a sculpture on her head. I thought, How awesome. Being around her, I felt like the dust was shaken off of me. I find it very comforting to sit next to somebody and not have to worry that I look like the freak. She isn’t a pop act, she is a performance artist. She herself is the art. She is the sculpture.

Cyndi Lauper likes Lady Gaga; Klaus Biesenbach’s argument is invalid.