I bought a book at James Bay Coffee and Books today called Theories of Modern art. Okay, sounds boring, right? WRONG! I am ecstatic! I just pulled it off the shelf to have something to flip through while I drank my got-through-the-Liturgy-without-selling-Heulwen-to-black-marketers reward (coffee -- what else) and it was one of those books you want to walk up to total strangers with and smack them on the head and say "Listen to this! You are going to sit there while I read you excerpts from this and you are going to /like it/, mister!!!"
Then I remembered that that is what my blog is for. . .mwah hah hah hah hah!
Anyway, far from being dry-as-dust theorizing by an individual 'expert', it is chocolate-box of writings from the actual modern art demi-gods -- Picasso, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, etc, -- themselves! And here's the thing that I am so excited about: they write like they paint. It is so fresh and colourful and profound and in your face it just is going to make my brain explode. Now sit still like a good critter and dig some text-only Picasso (Matisse and Kandinsky to follow later):
Do you know when I painted my first guitars I had never had one in my hands? With the first money they gave me I bought one, and after that I never painted another. People think that bullfights in my pictures were copied from life, but they are mistaken. I used to paint them before I'd seen the bullfight so as to make the money to buy my ticket. Have you really done what you planned to do? On leaving your house, do you not often change your route without thinking about it? Do you cease to be yourself on that account? And do you not get there anyhow?And even if you don't, does it matter? The reason is that you didn't have to go in the first place, and you would have been wrong to force destiny.
An idea is a beginning point and no more. If you contemplate it, it becomes something else. What I think about a great deal, I find I have always had complete in my mind. How can you then expect me to continue being interested in it? If I persist, it turns out differently because a different matter intervenes. As far as I am concerned, at any rate, my original idea has no further interest, because while I am realizing it I am thinking about something else.
The important thing is to create. Nothing else matters; creation is all.
Have you ever seen a finished picture? A picture or anything else? Woe unto you the day it is said that you are finished! To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow: the most unfortunate one for the painter as well as for the picture.
The value of a work resides precisely in what it is not.