Pearls from artists* # 269October 11, 2017
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
In an artistic sense, cool came to refer to someone with a signature artistic style so integral as to exude an authentic mode-of-being in the world: Miles, Bogart, Brando, Eastwood, Greco, Elvis, Lady Day, Sinatra. Such a person created something from nothing and gave the world some new artistic or psychological “equipment for living,” to use a phrase of Kenneth Burke’s. A signature style is yours and can only be carried by you: it cannot be abstracted except through dilution and commodification since it reflects an individual’s complex personal experience.
Joel Dinerstein in The Origins of Cool in Postwar America
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