*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
According to [Rudolph] Arnheim, the way in which we reach out for and grasp the “object we see, either in our immediate range of perception or through the medium of photography, is dependent upon who we are and what we recognize from past experience.” The visual imprint of an image, an object, or a scene upon the eye is not at all “objective.” In the image-making process of thinking, we see, sort, and recognize according to the visual phenomenology of our own experience. What people notice in the “same” image – be it an image of a dancing Siva or a film of a Hindu festival procession – depends to some extent on what they can recognize from the visual experience of the past. In the case of film, of course, it also depends on what the photographer has seen and chosen to show us. Arnheim writes that the eye and the mind, working together in the process of cognition, cannot simply note down images that are “already there.” “We find instead that direct observation, far from being a mere ragpicker, is an exploration of the form-seeking, form-imposing mind, which needs to understand but cannot until it casts what it sees into manageable models.”
Diana L. Eck in Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
For a young painter, life is difficult. If he’s sincere, if he’s entirely taken up with what he’s researching, he can’t do painting that flatters art lovers. If he’s concerned with success, he works with just the one idea: pleasing people and selling. He loses the support of his own conscience and is dependent on how others are feeling. He neglects his gifts and eventually loses them.
For us, the problem was simple: the buyer simply didn’t exist. We were working for ourselves. We were in a trade that offered no hope at all. So we had fun with any little thing. I suppose people shipwrecked on a desert island must find it very jolly – all their problems have ceased to exist. Nothing left to do but have a laugh, tell jokes, and play jokes. Painters? How could they ever expect to sell anything?
Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, Henri Matisse with Pierre Courthion, edited by Serge Guilbaut, translated by Chris Miller
Comments are welcome!