*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Ultimately, whether we judge an artistic work to be enjoyable or not may be immaterial when we consider the effect it has on us. A film might affect us in profound ways even though we found it difficult to watch or failed to grasp the point, if any, that the filmmakers were trying to get across. Most people have experienced artistic works that, although their own egos may have found them lacking in certain respects, continued to work on them long afterward, subtly altering them whether they wished it or not. The crucial factor isn’t whether we have been amused or delighted by a work but whether we have let the forces within it penetrate the closed perimeter of our lives and expand our horizons. True sensibility, real good taste, involves the ability to recognize when such forces are present, and to distinguish between superficial reactions and the deeper affects these forces elicit.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
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* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Balancing intuition against sensory information, and sensitivity to one’s self against pragmatic knowledge of the world, is not a stance unique to artists. The specialness of artists is the degree to which these precarious balances are crucial backups for their real endeavor. Their essential effort is to catapult themselves wholly, without holding back one bit, into a course of action without having any idea where they will end up. They are like riders who gallop into the night, eagerly leaning on their horse’s neck, peering into a blinding rain. And they have to do it over and over again. When they find that they have ridden and ridden – maybe for years, full tilt – in what is for them a mistaken direction, they must unearth within themselves some readiness to turn direction and to gallop off again. They may spend a little time scraping off the mud, resting the horse, having a hot bath, laughing and sitting in candlelight with friends. But in the back of their minds they never forget that the dark, driving run is theirs to make again. They need their balances in order to support their risks. The more they develop an understanding of all their experience – the more it is at their command – the more they carry with them into the whistling wind.
Anne Truitt in Daybook: The Journal of an Artist