Celebrity is a particularly thorny proposition in the worlds of literature and art. It’s useful: It inflates painting prices, and moves books. It’s also filthy to The Serious Crowd. But there are quality celebrities—people who both have recognition and are considered artists, a minority among the greater fame world. James Franco is probably the most popular version of the quality celebrity, as troublesome as he can be; other such high-end stars include semiformer East Village scenesters such as Jake Shears and Antony Hegarty.
And as a sort of corollary to the boomlet in cultural celebrity, we’ve seen a steady rise in the stature of the cultural truffle hounds. These animals, whose job is discovery and the bringing of the spotlight, are rare. That’s the job of a great art dealer or book editor or curator. Even
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