“I was talking to Paul Simon yesterday,” he said. “Did you see the piece in The Times that he’s going to retire?”
Three weeks earlier, Simon had released a new album, “Stranger to Stranger,” with its cover taken from a portrait that Close painted of the musician a few years back. Then, the day before I saw Close, Simon announced that the album would be his last. “I called him up, and I said, ‘Artists don’t retire,’ ” Close told me. “I think I talked him out of it. I said: ‘Don’t deny yourself this late stage, because the late stage can be very interesting. You know everybody hated late de Kooning, but it turned out to be great stuff. Late Picasso, nobody liked it, and it turned out to be great.’ ” Close reminded Simon that Matisse was unable to continue painting late in life. “Had Matisse not done the cutouts, we would not know who he was,” Close said. “Paul said, ‘I don’t have any ideas.’ I said: ‘Well, of course you don’t have any ideas. Sitting around waiting for an idea is the worst thing you can do. All ideas come out of the work itself.’ ”
Source: Wil S. Hylton, The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Chuck Close – The New York Times
Every element of Florida’s argument infuriated our future correspondent. Was he suggesting planned bohemias? Built by governments? To attract businesses? It all seemed like a comic exercise in human gullibility. As it happened, our correspondent in those days spent nearly all his time with the kinds of people who fit Richard Florida’s definition of the creative class: writers, musicians, and intellectuals. And Florida seemed to be suggesting that such people were valuable mainly for their contribution to a countercultural pantomime that lured or inspired business executives.
Thomas Frank, via TED talks are lying to you – Salon.com.
I suggested, awhile back, how frustrating it can be to try to say anything new. More recently, I ran across this poem by Adam Zagajewski, and found myself encouraged:
A RiverPoems from poems, songs
from songs, paintings from paintings,
always this friendly
impregnation. On the other bank
of the river, within range of being,
soldiers are marching. A black army,
a red army, a green army,
the iron rainbow. In between, smooth
water, an indifferent wave.
I have the sense of the generative nature of creativity, and the awareness that this nature is balanced against the forces of destruction, of inhumanity–forces which contain their own sinister kind of beauty. But what is this that comes between them? Emptiness, Mystery, Silence–which can give birth to phenomena of either kind but is always, itself, unchanged. This kind of clarity–which admits of no dogma–is why I come back to Zagajewski again and again.