• Steven Heller

I Failed!!

I wanted to be an artist in the worst way. And that’s exactly what the folks at The Famous Artists School correspondence course thought. If I were an artist, I would be the worst. In fact, back in the 60s I failed the test you see above. Apparently, I couldn’t even draw a simple fish to their satisfaction.


The “Famous Artists” were intent on populating the world with artists and designers like them. Founded in 1948, they were Norman Rockwell, Stevan Dohanos, Robert Fawcett, Al Parker and the Saturday Evening Post band. They were all accomplished artists, but nary a modernist in the group (and all wore suits and ties to work). Abstraction was anathema, conception was ignored. Technique was holy and I couldn’t master the technique test.


I tried three times, and each one produced disappointment and resentment. I later became friendly with Tom Allen, the youngest of the faculty, who apologized, but by then it was too late. The hurt was felt. The scars were formed. The battle lines were drawn (abstractly).


(Speaking about art, read about The Nose)



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