A transcription of a short thought Patti Smith shared on PBS American Master from an interview with Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.
“We are in a very label conscious time, which I find very unfortunate. Artists never like to be labeled. Even tho I always found the term something like action painter a very cool term Jackosn Pollock didn’t want to be called an action painter you know, he was an artist. And I myself I don’t really like being called a female vocalist. Which I find absurd you know. You don’t call, (you know) Jim Morrison a male vocalist. Or Picasso a white painter, and they always, the people seem very very label conscious but we can take THIS into anything. Really it is one of my things that I find disturbing and sometimes humorous but I really look forward to a time where we don’t have to right on pick up a book and read this person is a gay poet, a black artist, a female artist.”
“You know I think if peoples work is heightened to where it should be, if a person has a calling and really truly articulates that calling there needs to be no label no matter what that particular calling is.”
The text is the transcription of a video on PBS American Master with Patti Smith. Find the website and full video here. *Note: the text has a few grammar and language corrections. Image source: Rock and roll stories / Lynn Goldsmith