For Rembrandt, reality is role-playing.... Everyone is portrayed in relation to a social hierarchy.
Rembrandt was way ahead of his time. It's as if he was painting an amateur theatrical, or a professional theatrical, in his studio. It's a kind of performance.
Artists are sometimes in a position to tell the truth, but they're positioned as a Cassandra. They're gifted with impeccable prophecy and the assurance of never being listened to.
My problem with political art is not that it's bad art necessarily, but that it is terrible politics.
Beauty is a physiological reaction. Beauty is not an object.
You don't need everybody to agree with you, but you do need a few people. And by this point I have a fairly high degree of confidence in my judgment, in that I don't doubt my sanity; or, even if I do, I don't have to be reassured.
It's my duty to sell the ideas. But there's always a question when it comes to beauty.
The experience of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. The artist's relation to the object of beauty, how the art makes that happen, is a whole other subject. Beauty is an event. Beauty is something that happens. There is no such thing as a beautiful object or a beautiful woman.
With art criticism it's difficult to discuss beauty, to assess it, because there's always the possibility that we're insane.
Beauty makes us more like ourselves and more like each other.
Everybody's got plants, but most are just growing weeds. The cultivated have greater gardens, finer and gaudier gardens.
You could say that clinical depression is an incapacity to aesthetic response. It's like there's a constant agreement within ourselves, a kind of mutual understanding between ourselves and the world.
The aesthetic experience has to be given. And beauty is a regular experience of every person - every person who is not clinically depressed!
I think being interested is really what being civilized is about. I mean, you have to be conscious of everything.
Art is always subject to change in a moment by somebody who's strong enough to shed new light on it.
Love and fear, the two strongest emotions we have. It all starts with emotion.
Art teachers are always the doormats of the previous generation.
Everything I've learned about art was (a) because I was actually interested, or (b) I was actually interested in covering my ass because of what I was writing about.
Your medium has to be alive to you, no matter what you do.
I find that the mask of the critic is to have distance.
A lot of writers and artists are like chefs who eat their own cooking in the kitchen and then deliver an empty plate with assurances that it's great.
I do have pleasure when I'm writing. I mean, I'm aware of pleasure. And sometimes I make myself laugh, with a joke or something; or I feel gleeful.
Comic books, graphic novels, involve constant toggling and it's hard work. You get tired reading comic books, but you never get tired looking at pictures or reading words.
All artists and creative people are basically unhappy people. If you were happy, that would mean you were content with the world as it was and why would you ever want to change it?
I'm absolutely convinced that people cannot look and read at the same time. Not any more than you can kneel and jump at the same time. It's a completely different physiological setting.
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