Pearls from artists* # 563Junho 14, 2023
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
[John] Graham defined art as a “process of abstracting” thought and emotion by the use of paint or metal or stone. Because art was therefore intrinsically abstract, the duty of the artist would be to push abstraction “fearlessly to its logical end instead of evading it under the disguises of charm or being ‘true to nature.’” The artist created for society, he said, but if that society didn’t like what he or she had produced, the artist”does not trade his ideals for success. Martyrs and saints love luxury and success just as much as ordinary people, only they love something else even more.” Graham said, if the artist is a true genius, he can expect to be misunderstood and alone. “The beauty of genius is frightful to behold, few can envisage it. Others find subterfuge in scepticism.” The abstract artist, he said, would be repeatedly challenged by such skeptics asking, “‘What does it mean?’… Is it a sky, a house, a horse?’” To which they should respond with confidence and honesty, “‘No, it is a painting.’”
Mary Gabriel in Ninth Street Women
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