"In making a portrait drawing remember that the figure is an ‘art object’ and so many drawings have been made of it that it is easy to fail to see it as a problem of observation and translation and try to reproduce what you think figure drawings should look like. In making these initial portrait drawings the head should be considered as a single three-dimensional form which is made up of a series of forms connected together. These forms and both their internal tensions and the tensions existing between them and the other forms of the head have to be observed, analysed and translated. The likeness that has to be aimed at is one of truth to observation - not a likeness produced by superficially emphasizing some feature of the head that may be instantly recognizable."
Ian Simpson, Drawing, seeing and observation, 1973
"¿Crowdfunding? No, no creo en el crowdfunding, eso no deja de ser algo hecho por la derecha. Ellos son los que piensan que se debe hacer el arte sin pagar, sin dinero. Es ir a favor de que el arte no se haga con dinero y eso es pensamiento fascista. ¿Cómo que sin dinero? Eso es facha. El crowdfunding es ir a favor de un pensamiento facha. Me parece una trampa."
"Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal."
Pieces of a plane and a destroyed Rodin sculpture from the World Trade Center at Fresh Kills landfill, 2002. (Photograph: Kathy Willens/AP)
Beauty can— and should— be something you create, not default to.
A lot of artists make music that’s pleasant mostly by virtue of subtraction and exclusion. Which is to say that the music soothes because it never does anything that might unbalance you. All of its elements are familiar, put together, and performed well, and brought down to a hush that feels reasonably beautiful— say, acoustic instruments, lilting melodies, cozy production, a charming voice. Plenty of terrific, moving music is made this way. But a lot of it risks leaving no impression; it serves a purpose and drifts away.
It’s possible, though, to make something beautiful by virtue of creation, (…)