Fitzpatrick's Forte | Letters | Chicago Reader

Fitzpatrick's Forte 

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To the editors:

What a welcome surprise to discover a story about Tony Fitzpatrick on the cover of your August 2 issue. I've been aware of his presence and his work for a long time and I've always been curious about his background.

One of the things I'm most curious about wasn't covered in the article, however. And that's self-promotion. It seems to be a dirty word and yet those of us in free-lance careers know that getting our names in front of the right people can be at least as important as the work itself.

My sense is that Tony Fitzpatrick is great at it.

About four years ago, not too long after I'd moved to Chicago, I heard Tony Fitzpatrick's name for the first time, in connection with the Poetry Slam at the Green Mill Tavern. Then he popped up on "Drive-In Reviews" with Buzz Kilman. And I think maybe that's when I found out he does some acting, too. (They might have done the show over the phone where he was on location or explained his absence by saying he was acting in a movie somewhere.) Through Jonathon Brandmeier's show, I learned that Tony and Buzz are great friends. While I may have known he's a painter, I'm sure I wasn't aware that painting is what his life is about.

None of this was mentioned in the article. Buzz Kilman wasn't quoted at all. Though I understand the subject was Tony Fitzpatrick: painter, I'd like to know whether he thinks any of these other activities helped his career, either in terms of shaping the work or in creating an audience/interest in it.

Because self-promotion is pooh-poohed (yet everybody does it--we must), possibly the author felt that bringing it up would make Fitzpatrick seem less "pure." The fact is, many of us fellow outsiders wouldn't mind trying the entire set of keys that got Fitzpatrick inside.

Sally Ruth Bourrie

N. Wilton


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