G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can We Trust an Artist to Show us the Reality?

Lalit (ललित) March 2010 carries a review of "leelacharitratil Samjdarshan" (लीळाचारित्रातील समाजदर्शन) by Suman Belwalkar (सुमन बेलवलकर), 2009 by Pradip Karnik (प्रदीप कर्णिक).

I have been planning to buy the book.

I liked the review although I would have liked to see some reference to D D Kosambi's work.

At the end of the review, Karnik quotes this from the book:

"a painter would relate to the nature around him but not necessarily to the social environment." ("चित्रकार त्याच्या भोवतीच्या निसर्गाशी नाते जोडेल परन्तु तो सामाजिक पर्यावरणाशी जोडेलच असे नाही")

Karnik thinks this is not true. Artist also connects with the social environment, Karnik seems to say.

I feel both of them are not entirely correct.

It is likely that the artist doesn't connect even to the nature around him! Read an earlier post on the subject here.

Therefore, we can't trust an artist, particularly a bad one, to reflect truly anything. Neither nature nor social environment.

And are nature and social environment two different things to start with?

Here I strongly recommend an essay by Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) on the subject of his home-studio: 'Chitrakarachi Kholee' (चित्रकाराची खोली), part of 'Vyangkala-Chitrakala' (व्यंगकला-चित्रकला), 2005.

In Sarwate's rooms, in Kolhapur and Mumbai, nature and society-at-large blend seamlessly. They are one.

Artist: the late JB Handelsman, The New Yorker, 28 February 1994