“But then I looked back, into the abyss of self-doubt. I erupted with fear, self-loathing, dark thoughts about how bad my work was, how pointless, unoriginal, ridiculous. ‘You don’t know how to draw,’ I told myself. ‘You never went to school. Your work has nothing to do with anything. You’re not a real artist. Your art is irrelevant. You don’t know art history. You can’t paint. You aren’t a good schmoozer. You’re too poor. You don’t have enough time to make your work. No one cares about you. You’re a fake. You only draw and work small because you’re too afraid to paint and work big.’ Every artist does battle, every day, with doubts like these. I lost the battle. It doomed me. But also made me the critic I am today.”
– Jerry Saltz, from My Life As a Failed Artist
. Jeff Koons is as earnest in his Howdy Doody–Teletubby way as Francesca Woodman and Francis Bacon. That’s part of what makes his great work great, that willingness to fail so flamboyantly!