“An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist, an artist should avoid falling in love with another artist, an artist should avoid falling in love with another artist…” reads Marina Abramović‘s artist manifesto. Cynical? Live with another performance artist in a van for a decade, and then decide.
Ah, artist couples. Their love is fraught with temperamental tension and lubricated by each others’ creative juices. How does it work? Let’s look at some famed artist romances that are still smearing their mark all over art history.
Performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen) met in Amsterdam in 1976 and commenced with a decade long collaboration. As one hermaphroditic “two-headed body,” they slam-moved walls, formed nude doorways, screamed themselves sore, and damn near killed each other. Then things got rough, as things do. Naturally, this was no average separation. Marina and Ulay each walked 2500 km of the Great Wall of China toward each other to meet in the middle and say a final goodbye.
A year ago, Ulay and Marina reunited tearfully across a table at the superstar’s MoMA retrospective as she performed her three-month-long endurance piece The Artist Is Present. Now that’s meaningful eye-contact. Best break-up ever?