Spike Issue 76 is dedicated to the artist. From the ultra contemporaries to those whose success came too late to be enjoyed, this issue is about aging, enduring, and surviving death, in their works as much as their stories. How can an artist emerge in our oceanic present, faced with the internet’s image infinity, a penetrating market, and ever murkier prospects? And why, having emerged, do some artists fail – what kills their careers? Barry Schwabsky looks at early periods versus late styles, Cindy Sherman talks about abstracting getting older, and Lauren Elkin suggests a way out of the snares of biography by re-centering art itself.