PRINT April 2003

’80s AGAIN

Rob Pruitt

The subject of “Artworks for Teenage Boys,” my late-’80s collaboration with Jack Early, was American male adolescence and our culture’s fascination with it. We were a gay couple, and I thought people would pick up on the incongruity of the authors and the subject. That didn’t happen. But the piece was sensational, and there was a line around the block at the opening. Of course, the end of the decade was so sped up, it couldn’t hold; we were all looking for something new—but also waiting for a collapse. We were the artists the art world deserved. The project burned hot, but its inevitable endgame result was a fiery crash of morality and recession—just like the ’80s.

As told to Meghan Dailey