*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Contemporary life promises unlimited options – and sometimes delivers them. If we’re able to avail ourselves of a never-ending supply of digital information, we can connect with our family, friends, and colleagues, binge watch or listen to anything that strikes our fancy and buy stuff so effortlessly that we’re in danger of imagining there’s no price attached. We can do so much with what seems like a little effort that doing itself becomes disembodied, wonderfully in some instances, bewilderingly or disturbingly in others. Some will say the situation is new – of course, our lives in cyberspace are unprecedented – but the desire to inhabit a time and place outside of time and place isn’t new at all. This is where the arts come in. They’ve always been a time out of time and a place out of place. But they’re also right here, right now. They’re both adamantine and ethereal, physical and metaphysical.
Jed Perl in Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts
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Q: There are so many instances in the art world where paintings are discovered to be fakes. Do you think this is a potential problem where your work is concerned? Can your pastel paintings be forged?
A: For the record, a little-appreciated fact about my pastel-on-sandpaper paintings is that they can never be forged. To detect a fake, you would only need to x-ray them. If dozens of layers of revisions are not visible under the final pastel painting, you are not looking at an original Rachko, period.
My completed paintings are the results of thousands of decisions. They are the product of an extremely meticulous, labor-intensive, and self-invented process. This is the difference between spending months thinking about and creating a painting, as I do, or a single day. It’s highly doubtful that my rigorous creative process can EVER be duplicated.
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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.
Most significant growth in my life has been the direct result of errors, mistakes, accidents, faulty assumptions and wrong moves. I have generally learned more from my mistakes and my so-called failures than any successes or instances of “being right.” I would venture to propose that this equation is also true in the world at large. Error is a powerful animating ingredient in political, scientific and historical evolution as well as in art and mythology. Error is a necessity. The question I had to ask myself was: how can I cultivate a tolerance and an appetite for being wrong, for error?
In the face of an exceedingly complicated world, there are too many people who are invested in “being right.” These people are dangerous. Their authority is based on their sense of certainty. But innovation and invention do not only happen with smart people who have all of the answers. Innovation results from trial and error. The task is to make good mistakes, good errors, in the right direction.
There are many reasons that we get things as wrong as often as we do. Failures of perception, the cause of most error, are far more common in our daily lives than we like to think. We make errors because of inattention, because of poor preparation and because of haste. We err as a result of hardened prejudices about how things are. We err because we neglect to think things through. Our senses betray us constantly. But the chaos caused by being wrong also awakens energy and consciousness in us. In the moments that we realize our faults of perception, we are jerked into an awareness of our humanity. The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek wrote, “Consciousness originates with something going terribly wrong.”
Anne Bogart in “What’s the Story: Essays about art, theater, and storytelling
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