I confess I do not believe in time … And the highest enjoyment of timelessness – in a landscape selected at random – is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants.
This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love.
Vladimir Nabokov, Russian, author, book quote from “Speak, Memory”, 1951
“If you want to know what’s really going on in a society or ideology follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of musicians, journalists, and artists, then society is more concerned with manipulation than truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and content less.”
Jaron Lanier, composer, writer
Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists. There is, there has been, there will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It’s made up of all those who’ve consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination.
Difficulties and setbacks never quell their curiosity. A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem that they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.’
Wislawa Szymborska. “The Poet and the World”. Nobel Lecture, http://www.nobelprize.org. December 07, 1996.
“Beautiful things don’t ask for attention”
From the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Quote from photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) to Life Magazine photo editor Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) as they wait for the opportunity the photograph a snow leopard in the wild.
All art is an act of faith — a faith that life itself, with all its tragedies and flaws, can be improved by creating something new and putting it out into the world.
I’m not sure we’ll ever go back to what life was just a few months ago, but I do have faith that artists will remain a crucial part of whatever new one we come up with.
M.H. Miller is a features director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
I’ve had senators and congressmen ask me,
“What good is an artist, anyway?”
I couldn’t believe it… I would answer…
“An artist provides an abstract mental garden for people to live, think, work, and exist in.”
James Rosenquist, painter, from “Painting Below Zero”, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p 249
Diane Olivier, artist and educator remembers sketching a tomato slice on a trip to France:
“When I look at that drawing I remember the temperature, I remember where we were sitting,” she said. “I remember the shadow falling across the picnic table. I remember the people I was talking to. And when I look back at that drawing, it carries a couple hours of my life with it.”
Diane Olivier, artist
”Have you noticed that music and art are already filling the emotional gaps left by the absence of direct human contact?
…The most relevant unit of society at the moment is the entire human family.”
I wonder if there will be an enduring shift in consciousness after all this. All those tribal us-them stories don’t seem quite as germane right now. The most relevant unit of society at the moment is the entire human family.
All those burn-it-down/destroy-the-system/anti-establishment tirades ring a little hollow, too. It’s not the angry outsiders who are protecting us right now, it’s the Establishment.
The whole culture of autonomy seems immature, too: I’m free to be myself! The people who are out there doing their own thing are at Spring Break threatening the lives of the most vulnerable around them.
We’ll need a great reset when this is all over. We need to start planning a…
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“Art is risk made visible”
Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Photographer
Saunderstown, Rhode Island, 1974
He works alone, his images are all unmanipulated, made with one exposure, with no retouching. ‘I do not use an assistant to look through the camera; otherwise she or he also becomes the photographer. Instead, I have nine seconds to get into the scene, or if I am using a long cable release bulb, I can press it and throw it out of the picture, knowing nine seconds later the camera will fire’ source
A woodman came into a forest to ask the trees to give him a handle for his axe. It seemed so modest a request that the principal trees at once agreed to it, and it was settled among them that a plain, homely ash tree should furnish what was wanted.
No sooner had the woodman fitted the wood to his purpose, than he began laying about him on all sides, felling the noblest trees in the wood. The oak, now seeing the whole matter too late, whispered to the cedar, “The first concession has lost all. If we had not sacrificed our humble neighbor, we might have yet stood for ages ourselves.”
Aesop, from The Trees and the Axe