Posted by panch from pool0388.cvx25-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 at 11:44AM :
As I get set to start on the big Lamasu I find creative energy and anticipation at what I'm about to make overshadows everything else. How trivial does Jackie become and Nimrod and suing people and dwelling on the past.
I remember years ago being broke and wondering what I was doing with a family if I wanted to do such a stupid thing as devote my life, and a good part of theirs, to lifting this nation out of its Diapers...then walking out to the studio where thirty portraits of Shakespearean characters were taking shape...and how the sight of them made me forget everything else.
Great scene in John Huston's film "Moulin Rouge" about the physically stunded Impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec...a fictionalized episode in that film, I am sure, but one that really captures the truth, as all great fiction does...in which, hopelessly discouraged in his personal life and unable to complete a painting, he decides to kill himself. He's standing at the easel, unable to move in any direction but down...and he raises one arm to the gas jet above his head and turns it. After a bit he sort of collapses on the couch, waiting...and his eyes wander back to the painting. Something clicks...he sees it as if for the first time and goes back to work,,,palette in hand, brush flying...and we're thinking..."The GAS, don't forget the GAS"!!!
Then, as if without knowing he did it...he put the brush between his teeth to free his hand, and without taking his eyes from the painting, reaches behind him, somehow finds the stopcock, without looking....and he turns it off!
Art transforms everyone...the maker of it and the viewer...that's why it has the power it does...that's why we need it...that's why we were so good at it...that's why the world even knows we existed and why we will eventually salvage our woeful situation...in the Diapers.
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