Frederick Weston appears to have been an artist who stayed vigilant his whole life.
He died on Oct. 21 at the age of 73 in his Chelsea apartment:
As he survived day-to-day in New York, Mr. Weston created his art privately.
He worked on his bed, trimming clippings from magazines, fabrics and Polaroid photos to use in his collages. Almost daily he visited Kinko’s to photocopy money, body parts, sunglasses and practically anything else he could slide under the machine’s lid. His rooms were heaped with his ephemera, but he was as organized as an archivist, labeling boxes and files with descriptions like “Taxi,” “Clubland,” “Bears” and “Hobo.”
“A true artist can be creative with whatever is available,” Mr. Weston said in 2008 in an interview with Visual AIDS, an organization that promotes the work of artists living with the disease. “If I am not creating art, I am not living. Being able to create is real power.”
I can’t remember where I read or saw it, but someone once said, “The difference between an artist and a non-artist is if you leave them alone in a room for an extended period of time with a table full of materials, the non-artist will have not touched them when you return, but the artist will have made something.”
Weston didn’t get recognition until the end of his life, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t always an artist.