Rudy Burckhardt, “V-Back, New York” (1985), gelatin-silver print, 8 x 10 inches (all images courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery)
In a world where an artist is either a professional or an outsider, it is useful to consider these words by Rudy Burckhardt:
I am enough of an amateur existentialist and Buddhist to believe that we actually just mess around because we’re alive and awake — working, playing, scheming, falling apart, getting it together again, but never in control.
Burckhardt’s statement, which is cited in the press release for the exhibition Rudy Burckhardt: New York Hello! Photographs and Films from the 1970s and 1980s at Tibor de Nagy (December 11, 2020 – January 23, 2021), emphasizes his love for “mess[ing] around” rather than pursuing financial recompense in an industry where auction prices are often used to measure one’s accomplishments.