A: I do very much. Each new interview is another opportunity to discover what is remembered, what is kept because it still seems important, and how certain details are selected from amongst all the accumulated memories of a lifetime. My own story is continually evolving as some facts are left out or rearranged, and others added. New connections keep being made while some others are discarded. I find it fascinating to read over old interviews and compare them with what I remember in the present.
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.
Particle after particle of the living self is transferred into the creation, until at last it is an external world that corresponds to the inner world and has the power of outlasting the author’s life.
I suspect that some such dream is shared by many authors, but among those interviewed it is Faulkner who has come closest to achieving it, and he is also the author who reveals it most candidly. “Beginning with Sartoris,” he says, I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it, and that by sublimating the actual into the apocryphal I would have complete liberty to use whatever talent I might have to its absolute top. It opened up a mine of other people, so I created a cosmos of my own. I can move these people around like God, not only in space but in time.” And then he says, looking back on his work as if on the seventh day, “I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse. My last book will be the Doomsday Book, the Golden Book, of Yoknapatawpha County. Then I shall break the pencil and I’ll have to stop.”
Malcolm Cowley in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, First Series
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A: Recently I answered a question about why I create, but now that I think about it, the same answer applies to what I want to do as an artist in the future:
~ to create bold and vibrant pastel paintings and photographs that have never existed before
~ to continue to push my primary medium – soft pastel on sandpaper – as far as I can and to use it in more innovative ways
~ to create opportunities for artistic dialogue with people who understand and value the work to which I am devoting my life
The last has always been the toughest. I sometimes think of myself as Sisyphus because expanding the audience for my art is an ongoing uphill battle. Many artist friends tell me they feel the same way about building their audience. It’s one of the most difficult tasks that we have to do as artists. I heard Annie Leibovitz interviewed on the radio once and remember her saying that after 40 years as a photographer, everything just gets richer. Notice that she didn’t say it gets any easier; she said, “it just gets richer.” I have been a painter for nearly 30 years and a photographer for 11. I agree completely. All artists have to go wherever our work goes. Creating art and watching the process evolve is an endlessly fascinating intellectual journey. I wouldn’t want to be spending my time on earth doing anything else!
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