Please read my responses below to the letter I wrote about my son in 2014. What I had mistaken for lies, arrogance and conceit was a young man who needed his father’s love, approval and guidance. I am truly sorry for what was said and the forum I chose to vent my frustrations. I do believe there is a lesson to be learned in everything, but forgiveness, love and understanding are essential to moving forward with no regrets and no resentment.
Lucien Smith: The Prodigal Son
I'm Lucien Smith’s Dad (Terrence Smith p/k/a Terrence Sanders) and I’m commenting to set the record straight of his recent TED talks. Lucien is selling lies about me to disguise the obvious truth that he is a watered down version of his old man. Behind the façade lies a coward, and a gold digging bitch.
I cheated on Lucien’s mom pretty much throughout our entire relationship and I am ashamed of myself for not honoring our vows. I was only 21, married with a newborn, but that’s no excuse for the disrespect and humiliation she had to endure. In regards to this incident, Lucien’s mom walked in on my girlfriend Chikako and I sitting on the bed in a one-room studio apartment. There was a lot of anger and Lucien, who was 6 years old, should not have been present. There was no garter belt and she wasn’t a hooker. I believe Lucien’s mom, when articulating the incident to friends and family in front of Lucien, most likely referred to Chikako as a ‘hooker’ out of anger. We were just too young with too much responsibility and didn’t know how to let go at the time.
Lucien is the best parts of his mother and I. He is not a coward.
Lucien has had every luxury in the World afforded him. He attended the best schools, traveled the World, was never physically or mentally abused as a child and was loved by both sides of his family.
This is true.
My son is not a man and I blame myself.
He has since become a man. In his sophomore year at Cooper Union I abandoned my son in every aspect, mainly because I thought him not to be loyal to his family and that he would choose fame and fortune at any cost. I can't tolerate vanity, superficiality and being disloyal.
His girlfriend at the time, Auriel, informed me that his addiction to ‘heroin’ was getting out of hand and she asked me to talk with him. The news devastated me. I still remember standing in the airport crying, consumed with guilt and worry that my son was past the point of no return. I witnessed my sister and my stepfather battle addiction and it destroyed our family for decades.
Instead of standing by son when he was walking through the ‘fire’ I abandoned him. I was under the impression that ‘hard love’ would make him a man since my pampering and spoiling had corrupted him.
My early ambitions led me to become a holiday Dad.
I chose business opportunities over the day-to-day responsibilities of being a father. To this day it is one of my regrets.
So my ex-wife who shares his lust for superficiality and materialism raised him.
My ex-wife wore the pants in the family. She’s a very talented designer and kept a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. There is nothing superficial or material about keeping your family together and doing the best you can to provide when your partner is MIA.
Lucien’s hustle is undoubtedly from me, but that’s all.
This is a lie. He is a lot like me, more than he would like to admit. We both are suffering due this riff mainly because of pride. My son and I have not really spoken in close to 9 years. In those 9 years we have both grown. I’m not the man I used to be- I’m better. I’m a loving, responsible and hard working man, husband and father. I wish he could experience the new and improved me and not the ‘troubled’ me.
His philosophy and art practice is more in line with his fashion designer mom Melissa Dizon Ramsey from EAIRTH.
This is true but it doesn’t make it wrong. I have always been darker. Mainstream is ‘hell’ to me. I rarely like looking at work that doesn’t have a narrative or educational aspect. That’s just my taste.
No depth, no substance just a well dressed and rehearsed actor playing the part of a complicated and troubled artist.
This is a lie. My son is an artist born from artists. We raised him to be an artist. He has survived tremendous obstacles and I’m extremely proud of his accomplishments. I also know he has so much more art to create and living to do. There is nothing fake about my son.
The truth is Lucien has leeched onto every famous or successful person he could get his hands on. Lucien is famous for being famous not his artwork which lacks vision, substance and narrative. It’s all gimmick and image period.
This is a lie. Art is a business, not to be romanticized and to be taken seriously. My son navigated the shark-infested waters of the art world and survived with the support of his colleagues, patrons and friends who believed in his ‘gift’.
He once asked me, ‘Dad, do you think you made me?” I replied: “Are you kidding?’ Of course I made you. You are the better looking, younger version of me minus the artwork.” Here’s a link to my website to understand the level of my contributions to the landscape of contemporary art compared to my morally corrupt son. You be the judge. http://www.terrencesanders.com/
The first half of the statement really transpired but the second half is just shameless self-promotion off the back of my son.
Lucien is a selfish, egocentric and ungrateful. Lucien’s grandmother on my side is barely surviving on $800 a month after losing her husband. My sister and I are doing all we can to help out financially but her anxiety will eventually lead to her demise and an early grave. With my encouragement my mom asked Lucien for help and he told her he’s broke and couldn’t?! To this day he has not offered any support to his grandmother. This is a testament to who my son really is and his spineless character that his foundation is built on. He could just paint her one of those effortless ‘RAIN’ paintings and give it to her. She could in turn sell it at auction or in private and he would save her life. My son would rather spend thousands on hotels, food, clothes, and travel then help his family. He is the prodigal son who hasn’t returned home or showed any remorse.
Lucien isn’t selfish, egocentric or ungrateful. He is a very generous person. Sometimes we lose sight of who and what really matters and what to prioritize. I’d rather him open up a business for his family where a foundation could be set than pay for plane tickets and extravagant hotels that just put a band-aid on a stab wound. Plant a tree as they say, but he can make his own decisions because its his money and he's earned that right.
Here’s a brief history of Lucien Smith art star! Lucien first became Aurel Schmidt’s bitch, then the junkie groupie of Dash Snow, then he sucked Dan Colen's pussy, then licked Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn ass, and for a finale he had group sex with David and Marlene Zwirner to become a made man and art world darling.
I’m ashamed of myself for these sickening and embarrassing remarks. I hope they all can forgive me.
Now his auction prices have gone through the roof and now perceives himself as the greatest artist of all time. Negro please! Your work will die with you! Not one single work of importance, not one!
Speculation drove his prices through the roof and to date they are more realistic. I’m putting false words in his mouth. He’s never perceived himself as one of the greatest and or an art world darling. My son’s work will not die with him because he has and will continue to make valid contributions to the landscape of contemporary art.
If Lucien didn’t become a whore to the wealthy and famous he would be selling clothes at Banana Republic or a bartender at some trendy hot spot or worse a male prostitute.
Again I’m ashamed of myself for saying these hurtful and sickening statements to my son.
Fucking poser don’t you ever speak my name out of context in public again and you best to show me some fucking respect! Look me in the eyes if you want to talk to me!
Empty threats. We both learned a hard lesson. Never turn on family, no matter what. I am your father and I should have shown some restraint and maturity. I do believe all men should look each other in the eyes no matter what situation.
You know who the fuck I am!
In the larger picture I am nobody, but I am your father and I love you unconditionally and I am so sorry.