30 January 2008

Portrait of the artist as an anti-chameleon (in the manner of Nietzsche)

To succeed in making mankind ‘better’ is the last of my intentions. Naturally, I find knocking down idols much more amusing.

How is it that I am so shrewd? I have never stopped to reflect on problems that were not real problems, never wasted my time on such things.

Painting an icy waste

Anyone capable of breathing the atmosphere that pervades my work will know that it is lashed by an icy wind. You need to have been born for such a climate if you do not wish to catch cold. Painting, as I live it, is a deliberately chosen existence in an icy waste, a quest after everything that has been proscribed by the established order.

Needing nothing

I do not remember ever having made an effort to obtain anything. I am the contrary of the heroic nature. ‘Wanting’ something, ‘aspiring’ to something, or having an ‘objective’ are all things totally outside of my experience. But that is how I have always lived. I have never had any ambitions. In fact, I can say that I have never been excessively preoccupied with men, women, or money.

Thus, the relations I maintain with people test my patience to the utmost. My ‘humanity’ does not consist in sympathising with my neighbours but in putting up with the fact of feeling them so close to me.

The anti-chameleon

Needless to say, I am not a chameleon. I have proved this by always choosing, instinctively, the atmosphere that would first change my skin. I do not take on the colour of my surroundings, however, but adopt one totally opposed to them. On the whole, I have always been the same; superficially, I have changed on many occasions, to become exactly the contrary of all that surrounded me.

I have always condemned myself to being different at every moment, to being beyond all conventions. The pressure I put on myself to avoid ever being assimilated by anybody or anything shows that I possess the instinctive, absolute certainty of what I need on any particular occasion. I enjoy all the good things – and even those little things that others are hardly capable of enjoying. And thus, out of my will to continual change, my will to live against the grain, I make my art.

1 comment:

stephen said...

Apropos (kinda) of that, can I get my books back off of you?

visitors since 29 March 2004.