Archive for the ‘quotation’ Tag

Finishing art works [quotation]

Glen Head Glencolmcille watercolour painting by adam gee

Glen Head, Glencolmcille

When I was on a painting holiday in Glencolmcille, Donegal in the summer I found myself thinking about how do you know when you have finished a work of art? When are you just noodling? It’s a key question for artists in all disciplines.

The French poet Paul Valéry put it well and WH Auden boiled down Valéry’s words to this:

‘A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned.’

Paul_Valéry_french poet -_photo_Henri_Manuel

Paul Valéry – photograph by Henri Manuel

W H Auden English poet

WH Auden

Background on this quotation and its attribution.

I recently heard, in connection with my Art Vandals project, about the occasion when the French Impressionist painter Pierre Bonnard in his later years was arrested in the Louvre with a small palette and brush, retouching one of his paintings. The security guards grabbed him – he was shouting “But I am Bonnard! It’s my painting!” – and they responded “The painting is in the Louvre. It’s finished!”

Keep creating [quotation]

“If anybody wants to keep creating, they have to be about change”

Miles Davis

mile davis jazz trumpeter

Miles at Newport ’69

Cricket vs Baseball – quotation

ben stokes cricketer cricket red bull

ben stokes cricketer cricket red bull bulletin

 

“We have baseball. You have cricket, which is like baseball on Valium.”

Robin Williams (1951-2014) at the London Palladium on 5th December 1987

 

 

(This edition of Red Bulletin contained an extended article on Surf Girls Jamaica connecting my commissioning at Little Dot and my similar human interest documentary work at Red Bull Media House)

surf girls jamaica little dot studios red bull bulletin

McCoy Tyner – pianist

“To me living and music are all the same thing. And I keep finding out more about music as I learn more about myself, my environment, about all kinds of different things in life. I play what I live. Therefore, just as I can’t predict what kinds of experiences I’m going to have, I can’t predict the directions in which my music will go. I just want to write and play my instrument as I feel.”

mccoy tyner pianist jazz

mccoy tyner pianist jazz

McCoy Tyner with John Coltrane at Van Gelder studios, New Jersey in 1963

McCoy went to the great jazz gig in the sky this weekend – his performance on ‘A Love Supreme’ is transcendent and I’m having it played at my funeral (on the way in)

High Definition: what’s the point of Cinema?

One of the best definitions of Cinema:

A machine that generates Empathy

Roger Ebert, film critic

dziga Vertov man with a movie camera

Machine with great significance (Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera)

Woody guthrie this machine kills fascists guitar

Machine with great power (Woody Guthrie)

Here’s the full context of the quote: “We are all born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We are kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people, find out what makes them tick, what they care about. For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. And that, to me, is the most noble thing that good movies can do and it’s a reason to encourage them and to support them and to go to them.”

Quotation: Working at Art

emile zola quotation

It ain’t easy…

Or is it for some people?

10,000 hours…

Or the right gene combo?

A Good and Purple Heart

This is an extract from a really uplifting and heart-felt blog post by a 52-year old mature student at Yale, ex-military, James Hatch.

In my opinion, the real snowflakes are the people who are afraid of that situation. The poor souls who never take the opportunity to discuss ideas in a group of people who will very likely respectfully disagree with them. I challenge any of you hyper-opinionated zealots out there to actually sit down with a group of people who disagree with you and be open to having your mind changed. I’m not talking about submitting your deeply held beliefs to your twitter/facebook/instagram feeds for agreement from those who “follow” you. That unreal “safe space” where the accountability for one’s words is essentially null. I have sure had my mind changed here at Yale. To me there is no dishonor in being wrong and learning. There is dishonor in willful ignorance and there is dishonor in disrespect.

The full text is here

It’s a brilliant springboard to make 2020 a year of bridge-building, connecting, withholding judgement, seeing what’s good about people and ideas.

building-bridge-lorenzo-quinn

Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Building Bridges’ at the 58th Venice Biennale at the entrance of the Arsenale in the Castello district – May 2019

 

Parachute Minds

Apollo 11 splashdown parachutes

Apollo 11 Command Module splashing down in the Pacific on 24th July 1969 – the anniversary of the moon landing was one of the highlights of 2019 and the achievement a great act of open-mindedness

 

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

― Frank Zappa

 

 

frank-zappa

Frank Zappa at Muhlenberg College in 1969

Frank Zappa splashing down at Muhlenberg College in 1969 (photo: Peter Meza)

Peter‘s recollection:  Frank Zappa signing autographs after a Mothers of Invention concert at Muhlenberg College on or about April 26, 1969. The headliners were the Turtles, who went on first. Nearly everyone left when the Mothers of Invention hit the stage. After the concert I took this photo and the few remaining teenaged hardcore Zappa fans (and their girlfriends) started clearing out. Frank was left sitting on the bleachers by himself. I tentatively approached him (“Hey Frank can I ask you a question?” “Sure, kid”) about the cover of the Lumpy Gravy album and the PIPCO T-shirt. He said it was a Little League T-shirt and that Pipco pipe company of Santa Barbara, CA was the sponsor.

20/20 Vision

Here’s a thought for 2020 and the new decade…

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. [People] to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, [are] as good as dead: [their] eyes are closed.”

Albert Einstein

glasses-vision clear trees nature

Quotation capturing the essence of the digital age

 

    “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”
marilyn monroe reading james joyce ulysses

Marilyn reading the best book ever written

This quotation is often attributed to Marilyn Monroe but that seems to be a typical web copycat quote error. Marilyn was pretty articulate and said plenty of interesting things but nobody seems to have a source for this. It derives from a longer quote:

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

I like the last line because it captures how, when established institutions and practices fall apart due to the disintermediation made possible by the internet, new opportunities emerge in the gaps between the crumbling edifices.

marilyn-monroe actress

Marilyn thinking about Ulysses

 

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