"Everyone wants to understand art. Why don't we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world though we can't explain them; people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree." -- Picasso
I found this quote and it makes me happy; I feel like I doesn't necessarily matter what "school" or "-ism" painters and writers belonged to so long as they had something to say. Picasso is a badass.
I watched this Bob Dylan documentary thing this weekend just because it popped up on Netflix. There was a scene in there where Bob wrote "When The Ship Comes In" then asked Joan Baez (I think??) what she thought it meant. She kind of gave him an answer and then he was like 'cool, I just wanted to see what people were going to think it meant. I don't know what it means, I just kinda wrote it.' (Not a quote; just me peiceing together something I remember) He sort of emplys the entire documentary that he makes music mostly because he wants to, mostly for himself (well at least the later stuff.) And at the risk of trying to analyze a man who shouldnt be analyzed, who defys analysis, Bob Dylans attitude towards critics kinda came to mind when I read this Picasso quote. Maybe you buy this and maybe you don't.
"It is a test (a positive test, I do not assert that it is always valid negatively), that genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." -- T.S. Elliot
I feel like art from an artists perspective might be different from maybe art from a critics perspective. Art and writing go together in unexpected ways; they can really complement each other, like separate instruments in a single band. It seems like lot of what makes art, art sort of defies explanation. Basically what these two quotes bring to mind is how even when like when we read T.S. Elliot I at least can kind of get bogged down with allusions etc - what these quotes bring to mind is the inherent beauty of the thing. I'm not saying allusions aren't important or anything but the poems poemness maybe doesnt come strictly from allusions. It's just beautiful, even just to hear the thing read aloud w/o really understanding you still get the emotional gist of it or some reation of somekind at least... If there were galleries for poems this would hang on the wall. This awesome awesome writer, Billy Collins, wrote a poem about teaching poetry... he said that he wants his students to "waterski /across the surface of a poem/waving to the authors name on the shore." but he writes that all they want to do is understand a poem at all costs, "But all they want to do/ is tie the poem to a chair with rope/ and tourcher a confession out of it./ They begin beating it with a hose/to find out what it really means."
sorry if this post is really kinda a modge-podge of quotes and stuff - I'd like to lie and say I did it on purpose to get in the whole fragment/collage/cubeism spirt but really I just got lazy.