Pearls from artists* # 319September 26, 2018
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Ultimately, whether we judge an artistic work to be enjoyable or not may be immaterial when we consider the effect it has on us. A film might affect us in profound ways even though we found it difficult to watch or failed to grasp the point, if any, that the filmmakers were trying to get across. Most people have experienced artistic works that, although their own egos may have found them lacking in certain respects, continued to work on them long afterward, subtly altering them whether they wished it or not. The crucial factor isn’t whether we have been amused or delighted by a work but whether we have let the forces within it penetrate the closed perimeter of our lives and expand our horizons. True sensibility, real good taste, involves the ability to recognize when such forces are present, and to distinguish between superficial reactions and the deeper affects these forces elicit.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
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