Artists on Art


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This is a compilation of views from some of the greatest artists on art itself. They not only created beautiful masterpieces, but tried to understand their role in the process. Their views vary, some are spiritual about their work, others are ambivalent, and others are emotional. The common thread is that living life and art are vital to the artist. How ironic that most great artists lived their life so recklessly and never seemed to enjoy it at all.

“My role in society, or any artist or poet’s role is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
-John Lennon, Interview, KFRC RKO Radio, given the day of his death. December 8, 1980

“Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
-Leonardo DaVinci

“We work in the dark, we do what we can, we give what we have, our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task, the rest is the madness of art.”
-Henry James

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”
-Pablo Picasso

“All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.”
-Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Living, 1891

“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”
-Pablo Picasso

“To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.”
-Auguste Rodin

These quotes found at http://www.quoteland.com/

Are there any quotes that you would like to share and add to this list? Please leave in comment and I will credit you for your input. 

 Tim Kissane contributed this one to the list.  Thank you. V

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
– Robin Williams

http://romi41.wordpress.com/ contributed Thanks Romi, always something great to add.  V

Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science”–Albert Einstein

dontdatethatdude contributed these great quotes, thank you for taking the time.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Be the change you want to see in the world.” both from Gandhi

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Giving you funny.


Humor is so important to survival. Laughter is actually good for you and those that can find ways to maintain both are lucky when it comes to dealing with life’s many difficulties. It’s importance has been a topic of much discussion and many of the greatest minds both comedic and otherwise have had much to say about it. Here are some choice quotes I found today and wanted to share. Please add your own favorite quotes in the comments if you are so inclined.

  • Someone who makes you laugh is a comedian. Someone who makes you think and then laugh is a humorist. ~George Burns
  • I try to offset any tendency towards the macabre with humor. As I see it, this is a typically English form of humor. It’s a piece with such jokes as the one about the man who was being led to the gallows to be hanged. He looked at the trap door in the gallows, which was flimsily constructed, and he asked in some alarm, ‘I say, is that thing safe?’ ~Alfred Hitchcock
  • A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place. ~Mark Twain
  • There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.~Will Rogers
  • “Don’t be so humble – you are not that great.” ~Golda Meir (1898-1978) to a visiting diplomat
  • “I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.” ~e e cummings
  • “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” ~Oscar Wilde
  • “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.~ Voltaire

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My way of saying goodbye.


One year ago today Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose leaving behind a daughter and throngs of adoring fans. It is hard to believe it has already been a year, probably due to the amount of media coverage his last film role has received. Today the nominations for the Academy Awards were announced and not surprisingly Ledger was nominated for best supporting actor as The Joker in last years smash hit The Dark Night. Last year I wrote a post in memory of Heath and Brad Renfro who had passed right around the same time.  I am re-posting (Jan. 31, 2008 was the original post date)  it because I think it did a good job describing my feelings about the tragic loss of this fine young actor.  May Heath rest in peace knowing he was loved and appreciated for his work as an actor as well as his character as a man.


For me when someone talented, interesting and special dies regardless of whether I knew them on a personal level, or admired their talent from a far, I grieve. The last two weeks have seen the death of two talented young men first Brad Renfro and then Heath Ledger. The minute I learned of each I had the same initial reaction.

1. Utter shock (stomach drops)

2. Disbelief (Heart races)

3. Curiosity (Reading as much as I could on initial reports)

I must digress for one moment. I interviewed both Actors between 1997-1999 when I worked press junkets for major motion pictures. They were both very young, handsome and talented, Renfro who was amazing in The Client and I had interviewed the cast of Apt Pupil.

I became a fan of Ledger’s initially for the obvious reasons, he was great to look at and charming. Through the years his films became better and he would shine in each role. Brokeback Mountain showed a mature actor taking risks and worthy of all the accolades, including an Oscar nomination. I have seen almost all of his films since. Candy was another heart breaking performance, as Ledger and Cornish brought to life the book of the same name.

The media coverage and all of the speculation took the focus off of the actual loss of Heath. Once again I experienced,

1. Anger (too young, too good)

2. Curiosity( continued almost non stop coverage by media)

3. Disbelief (Each time I saw his face, stomach drops)

Now that is has been several days and his memorial in Hollywood took place, his body is in his country and his family must bury their extraordinary son I feel,

1. Profound sadness.

2. Grief

3. And the beginnings of acceptance.

So this morning when I got on the computer I let myself truly experience the emotions by watching tributes to both Heath and Brad. Yes, I cried and smiled as I saw the familiar faces on the screen in roles I loved. I listened to their words in interviews and the songs played on tribute pieces compiled by so many on YouTube. I let myself feel the grief of knowing that these images, still or moving were the only ones left, their legacy. Of course Dark Knight has yet to be released, and this will cause a new wave of sadness and maybe anger.

The stages of grief are fluid. They are repeated and recycled until time allows otherwise. I have friends who think I am foolish, ridiculous and childish for caring at all. They certainly do not take me seriously and I usually try to avoid discussing these people with them because they say things purely out of ignorance and it simply angers me and makes me wonder how people could be so heartless.

I know that I am perhaps extra sensitive and that I cannot judge others for what they feel. However through the use of this tool, my trusty blog I can express my feelings freely and not care if I am judged to be overly sentimental or foolish. I love film and I love actors. So here is my tribute to a young man who shined on screen and whose light dimmed tragically early.


HEATH LEDGER TRIBUTE – IN MEMORY

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Everybody Knows


Concrete Blonde – Everybody Knows

I named my blog Who Knew? almost exactly one year ago.  I had no idea how aptly I had titled the blog and as a year passes it reinforces within me a certain innate ability to honestly say “I have no idea what the future holds.”

I am someone who lives in the day, which has it’s distinct positives i.e. I am very spontaneous and most of my travels have occurred very spur of the moment, and it’s devastating drawbacks.  It is who I am however and I make no apologies or excuses, it is how I live.

Things tend to come full circle in life so this post features a song called Everybody Knows by a legendary performer Leonard Cohen.

Cohen rose to the opportunity this audience represented by releasing two consecutive albums, I’m Your Man (1988) and The Future (1992), that not only rank among the finest of his career, but that perfectly capture the texture of particularly complicated times. Cohen had long documented the high rate of casualties in the love wars, so the profound anxieties generated by the AIDS crisis were no news to him. Songs like “Ain’t No Cure for Love,” the wryly titled “I’m Your Man” and, most explicitly, “Everybody Knows” (“Everybody knows that the Plague is coming/Everybody knows that it’s moving fast/Everybody knows that the naked man and woman – just a shining artifact of the past”) depict Cohen surveying the contemporary erotic battleground and reporting on it with characteristic perspective, insight and wisdom.

I first heard the song in a movie called “Pump Up The Volume”  in 1990 and it was performed by the band Concrete Blonde.  Later I learned it’s origins and became a Leonard Cohen fan.  It came at a time when everything was changing, I was going off to college and my senior year in high school was marked by a clinical depression which almost prevented me from going off to University.  Thankfully I was able to get through it and I remember listening to this song on repeat in my car almost compulsively.  I think it quite fits the brooding and scared teen I had become for the song is not very hopeful, and in many ways very true.

So here I am 17 years and half a lifetime later posting my first post-hiatus entry into this blog.  Who Knew? the poem I wrote asks many questions.  Everybody Knows offers many answers, some all too true and others can be debated.  I know though that it evokes for me a great deal of truth, some fear and it does so in a very poetic fashion.  Leonard Cohen wrote what he knew.  I say who knows?

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded

Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed

Everybody knows that the war is over

Everybody knows the good guys lost

Everybody knows the fight was fixed

The poor stay poor, the rich get rich

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking

Everybody knows that the captain lied

Everybody got this broken feeling

Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets

Everybody wants a box of chocolates

And a long stem rose

Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby

Everybody knows that you really do

Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful

Ah give or take a night or two

Everybody knows you’ve been discreet

But there were so many people you just had to meet

Without your clothes

And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never

Everybody knows that it’s me or you

And everybody knows that you live forever

Ah when you’ve done a line or two

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming

Everybody knows that it’s moving fast

Everybody knows that the naked man and woman

Are just a shining artifact of the past

Everybody knows the scene is dead

But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed

That will disclose

What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble

Everybody knows what you’ve been through

From the bloody cross on top of Calvary

To the beach of Malibu

Everybody knows it’s coming apart

Take one last look at this Sacred Heart

Before it blows

And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows

That’s how it goes

Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen

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