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I paint, make collages and mixed media work. I write poetry. I reflect on the Tao.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Artists & poets on life, art, the source and the destination

Francis Bacon
The contemplation of things as they are without error without or confusion without substitution or imposture is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of inventions.
Francis Bacon On the Interpretation of Nature 1603-4

Gustave Courbet
The state is incompetent in matters of art. When it undertakes to reward, it usurps the public taste. Its intervention is altogether demoralizing, disastrous to the artist, whom it deceives concerning his own merit; disastrous to art which it encloses within official rules, and condemns to the most sterile mediocrity. It would be wisdom for it to abstain. The day the state leaves us free, it will have done its duty towards us.

Gustave Courbet letter to M. Maurice Richard, Minister of Fine Arts 1870

Tom Waits
...dissolving the artificial barriers that separated the creative process from the life that nurtured it. “After a while you realize that music—the writing and enjoying of it—is not off the cost of anything,” [Tom Waits] said. “It’s not sovereign, it’s well-worn, a fabric of everything else: sunglasses, a great martini, Turkish figs, grand pianos.” p.360

“ With the digital revolution wound up and rattling,” [Tom Waits] wrote in a introduction to Hopkin’s 1996 book Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones, “the deconstructionists are combing the wreckage of our age. They are cannibalizing the marooned shuttle to send us on to a place that will sound like a roaring player piano left burning on the beach.” p. 414
From Barney Hoskyns Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits London Faber & Faber 2009

David Hockney art that’s not based on looking inevitably becomes repetitious, whereas one that is based on looking finds the world infinitely interesting, and always finds new ways of looking at ourselves. p.49
The source of creativity is love, the source of all creativity. p.68

When the eye, the hand and the heart come together, that’s when you get the greatest art. ... And the eye links to the hand, and the heart gives the love. That’s where the creativity comes from – the heart. p.68
...the people who are really interested in your ideas will find you. p.72

In abstraction, form is emphasized although the content may have disappeared. In banal illustration, the emphasis is all on content with no form. And, frankly, they are both a bit of a bore. The truth is that content and form rarely merge and become one, and when it happens it’s magical art. p.98
Paul Joyce Hockney on Art Little Brown, 2008

The Circus Animals' Desertion
Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

John Olsen
I find that the artist or poet is not in charge of the destination of his work. p.45

The Duchamp urinal, broken glass sophism has got us nowhere. p. 173
From  John Olsen, Jenny Zimmer, Ken McGregor, John Olsen: Journeys Into 'You Beaut Country' , Macmillan Art Publishing, South Yarra, 2007

John Keats
...several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously—I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge. This pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this,  that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.
From Letter to George and Tom Keats, Hampstead Sunday 22 December 1818

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From "The Handbook for the Construction of Mental Habitats"

A study for a memory:
between instinct and reason,
cut along the line
familiar and disturbing.

Image, freed from context,
amputates the ritual mask of form and matter,
supplanting an independent life—
the base matter of which we are made.

No place left to leave your thoughts
on each forgotten face refracted.

No different from monstrous nature,
the interior world dissolves
into  deceptive optics,
like white sails in the sun,
and reality joins its own reflection.

This partial inversion of graphic control
has an air of fragmented discipline;
through the eyes of the child
an enigmatic ecstasy.

Nothing further can be removed
by mine own hand:
light suffices