The Maestro, Seagrave

By Gary Indiana


As for Seagrave, it’s well known throughout the world that Seagrave produces only one masterwork per year, seldom in the same medium or format as the year before, disgorging everything his capacious, rarefied interiority has ingested and ruminated over in the course of his wayward existence that year, underwritten entirely by a fortunate few who can and sometimes do actually purchase this work, for which the annual bidding invariably reaches new mind-boggling peaks, all quite speculative since whatever he comes up with remains muffled and blindfolded in secrecy until it’s almost ready to serve, so to speak, hermetic secrecy and the great flair with which Seagrave’s annual efforts are unveiled being prominent thrusts of every article ever written about them, every conversation engendered by them, every doctoral thesis and academic journal issue devoted to Seagrave, a methodological quiddity so reliably fixed and shrewdly infrequent that it generates as much attention when Seagrave has an off year, resulting in some object or chimerical manifestation that defies comprehension and deflects all but the most pedantic interest, as when he astonishes everyone with what he’s been laboring over, presumably on an incessant basis, though of course there are skeptics who claim Seagrave quietly produces many things the public never sees, dust-veneered paintings in a clandestine studio, bizarre documentary film Seagrave shoots in obscure regions of the globe during the months he drops from view, poems and even whole novels Seagrave composes in his many isolated hours far from any known scrutiny, such rumors anticipating either Seagrave’s death or the subsequent exposure of his hidden treasures, or a future living moment when the maestro will decide to release this widely imagined hoard of artistry into a world he despises and withdraws from more drastically as time passes. Others swear that Seagrave does absolutely nothing all year until the month before the promised work appears, a month in which his formidable creativity, stored up or sadly fallow over the previous 10 months, erupts from him in a volcanic manner, plunging him into a Strindbergian frenzy of art making that robs him of sleep and any willingness to eat, relying for sustenance exclusively on liquids consisting of fruits and vegetables pulverized in an appliance often advertised on television in the early morning hours, accounting arguably for the gaunt-waisted, barely ambulatory, even skeletal appearance that Seagrave presents every year at the myriad venues, festivities and associated publicity events planned long in advance of the first vernissage by Seagrave’s representative, Thurwill, who has been described variously as a dangerous psychopath, a wretched mind-fucking bastard, and as a public menace, a world-class prick, a fucking Rottweiler with his teeth in his master’s ass and the creep who does all the dirty work for the pleasure of it, among many other things, the last-cited epithet being, in my view, perhaps the most nearly accurate, though Thurwill draws a considerable salary in exchange for this so-called dirty work, pleasurable or otherwise. Since even those who claim hearing the very name “Thurwill” will cause them to vomit have to acknowledge, when pressed on this point, that the odious, brutal Thurwill, however manipulative, underhanded, treacherous, sadistic, importunate and unpleasant his conduct on Seagrave’s behalf may be, his rebarbative character cannot be unknown to Seagrave, whose pestiferous actions controlling anything and everything related even remotely to Seagrave’s art and reputation necessarily have Seagrave’s endorsement, Seagrave’s approval, Seagrave’s imprimatur. The ferocity and barbaric hostility Thurwill exhibits when anything to do with Seagrave abrogates some unknowable rule or condition, cannot have escaped Seagrave’s attention year after year and it is logical to conclude that Thurwill is exactly the type of person Seagrave wants as the agent of his wishes, leaving aside the frequent psychological speculation that Thurwill is also the person Seagrave himself would be, without ever desiring to be anything akin to Thurwill, if not for the existence of Thurwill.

Read the rest of this story in the Fall 2015 issue of Artenol. Order yours today

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