Pearls from artists* # 583

November 1, 2023

In the Studio Photo: Susan Erlichman

*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Let’s return to Michelangelo’s idea of removing apparent surfaces to reveal or liberate the statue that has been buried in the stone since the beginning of time. Michelangelo claimed that he was guided by a faculty he called intelleto. Intelleto is intelligence, not of the merely rational kind, but visionary intelligence, a deep seeing of the underlying pattern beneath appearances. Here the artist is, as it were, an archaeologist, uncovering deeper and deeper strata as he works, recovering not an ancient civilization but something as yet unborn, unseen, unheard except by the inner eye, the inner ear. He is not just removing apparent surfaces from some external object, he is removing apparent surfaces from the Self, revealing his original nature.

Stephen Nachmanovitch in Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art

Comments are welcome!

    Please wait...