I heard two, distinct, arguments yesterday regarding the concept of aging gracefully as it pertains to artists. Aging gracefully is, by the way, something that I am trying my damnedest to figure out. Anyway, the two philosophies:
- People, including creative types, should stick with their own and be ready to acknowledge when a night club, event, gallery, or other institution is geared towards a market that is “too young” for them. To do otherwise might seem phoney, staged or ridiculous.
- No matter the age, artists and other creative types NEED to be around youth and young culture in order to stay inspired and/or edgy. The day a creative soul loses touch with young energy, he or she loses genius and starts making the kind of art “that matches the sofa.”
Personally, whether I like it or not, I seem to lean towards the latter. Once upon a time, my friends were 3 to 4 years younger than me, then they were 10 years younger than me, and now I know more than a few people who are 15 years younger than me. But this could be part of the natural aging process. (When I was 27, I certainly wasn’t hanging with 12 year olds. [This is Scott Barnes, not Roman Pulanski.]) It could be that as we reach this beastly thing called middle-age, we are able to form friendships with people who are both older and younger than ourselves.
At the same time, I don’t want to be ridiculous. I remember when I was young and going out four nights a week, and always seeing the same 50 year old couple on the dance floor, surrounded by 23 year olds, and thinking, “God help me if I turn into one of those people.”