Brian D’Amato has written for magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Artforum, and he has taught art and art history at the City University of New York, Ohio State, and Yale University. His sculptures and installations have been shown in galleries all over the world.
Kristin Centorcelli: Brian, you have a background in art and also wrote for numerous publications before publishing Beauty in 1992. Did you always see yourself as a writer? Will you tell us more about yourself and what inspired you to write your first novel?
Brian D’Amato: The first draft of Beauty was practically written on a dare, and I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it except my Mom – who suggested doing something on cosmetic surgery in the first place. I do think I had an advantage over most other beginning writers because I never took a creative writing course, or any kind of writing course. So I didn’t think I had to start out by sending Chekhovian-realist short stories to the Quagmire Review, or whatever. If I’d done that, I’d be pumping gas right now, if pumping gas were still allowed. Conversely, I did study art and art history, and majored in painting in school, so my visual stuff started out in a slower way – I was almost about to say a worse way, but that’s not quite right – but anyway I’m still picking up the pieces.
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