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Red and gold portrait of Rene Ricard by Sante D'Orazio

Sante D'Orazio
Rene Ricard Portrait Red/Gold, 2017
Photograph in artist's frame

13 5/8 x 10 5/8 inches (34.6 x 27 cm)

©Sante D'Orazio

“I’ve never worked a day in my life,” Rene Ricard, then 32, wrote in an essay for The New York Times Op-Ed page in 1978. “If I did it would probably ruin my career, which at the moment is something of a cross between a butterfly and a lap dog.”

Mr. Ricard wasn’t being disingenuous, really, though as a poet, an influential art critic and a painter in his own right, perhaps he was selling himself short. He was, however, more a personage than a professional anything, a notorious aesthete who roamed Manhattan’s contemporary art scene with a capacious, autodidactic erudition and a Wildean flamboyance.

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