As with all revolutionary thinkers, Frank Lloyd Wright was known to be quite polarizing. While some (including himself, of course) thought he was a forwarding-looking creative genius, others balked, declaring him an insufferable windbag.
Now, in honor of his recent 149th birthday, you can decide for yourself. Watch PBS Digital’s entertaining animated video of the 1957 interview with the starchitect by Mike Wallace, which makes Wright sound like a cross between Donald Trump and Kanye West.
When someone told him his Guggenheim museum design “looked like a washing machine” Wright brushed the criticism right off, discounting it as worthless. As Wallace asks him questions in measured tones, Wright answers, deadpan, with some inflammatory critiques of his own. Wright explains he feels the New York City skyline is nothing more than a “race for rent,” a monument to “the power of money and greed,” and completely lacking any ideas. He adds that he feels he could make America great again — rebuild the entire country, that is, if he just had 15 more years.
He even puts the whole field of architecture on blast, exclaiming, “For 500 years what we called architecture was phony.”
While no one loves Kanye more than Kanye, perhaps the same can be said for Wright — who explains his reputation for arrogance comes from the fact that he has faith in himself, giving himself mad props for designing (at the time) 769 buildings, that he said were “quite easy to shake… out of my sleeve.”
Yearning for even more Frank Lloyd Wright? 6sqft notes that MoMA will be hosting a major retrospective of his work.