* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Classics have nothing to do with aesthetic sophistication. They use the aesthetic as a springboard to something else. The creation of a classic will often require the artist to deviate from prevailing standards in order to push the ordinary vision through. If there is one prerequisite for producing a classic, it is the willingness to follow the vision wherever it leads, even if it demands a breach of convention, technique, or popular taste. (It may not even be a question of if or when, for how can one produce a truly singular work without reinventing the medium to some extent?) We often hear that the master artist is “in love” with her material: that the sculptor loves the marble, the dancer loves the body, the musician loves his instrument. For the maker of classics, however, the medium always seems to be an obstacle; love is never without a tinge of spite. William S. Burroughs was so contemptuous of language that he took to describing it as a disease. He conceived his work as an attempt to confront language in hopes to cure the mind of the “word virus.” Indeed, if the goal of art is to take us beyond the ordinary preoccupations to reach the heart of the Real, it would seem essential that there be a fight, a struggle to wrest from the medium something to which Consensus dictates it is not naturally inclined.
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.
Said [Larry] Rivers,
You could be poor and think your life worthwhile – the dance of the mind, the leap of the intellect. If you made art that did not sell immediately, or ever, you could still be involved in a meaningful, inspiring activity that was a reward in itself, and you could show it to the people you dreamed of thrilling with your efforts; your friends were your audience. They were sitting on your shoulder watching you work. That was the opera of the time… Pursuit of a career and commercial success was selling out, losing one’s soul. In painting, writing, music, and dance, nothing could be more shameful.
Mary Gabriel in Ninth Street Women
Comments are welcome!