Marlene Dumas

Art and Prostitution

If – a prostitute is a person
who makes it a profession
to gratify the lust of various persons
for economical reasons or gain,
where emotional involvement
may or may not be present;

Then – it seems not so far removed
from my definition of an artist.
Artists usually love to pretend.
Artists usually pretend to love
much more than they can handle.
They want everyone to want them
while they don’t want anybody.

Art and Prostitution. Originally published in Auf dem Strich, Arbeiten zum Thema Prostitution (cat.), Kulturviertel in Sophienhof Kiel, 1997; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, first edition Galerie Paul Andriesse and De Balie Publishers Amsterdam, 1998; and second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.