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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Monday, January 23, 2012
Manet’s message? That the whole modern world is dangerous, shifty and strange. The camera is just a byproduct and symptom of this altered condition. We must struggle for comprehension; art can help, up to a point. But the old bearings don’t moor us. We’re on our own.
(The New York Times, May 16, 2011)
I am influenced by everbody. But every time I put my hands in my pockets I find someone else's fingers there.
When I put my hands in my pocket I find no fingers, not even my own because I understand so little of the subject of drawing and painting!
It was my weakest subject from kindergarten to the end of second year of engineering. I was so horrified by engineering drawing that I seriously thought of ditching engineering until the late Bam-sir (बाम-सर) came along to rescue me. Also, my younger brother helped me with biology journal of 12th and many journals of engineering.
It's a marvel of Indian higher education system that a person so weak in the subject of drawing gets away with calling himself a mechanical engineer!
When I reached IIT-Madras, it was a big relief to see all academic building blocks marked as "sciences" e.g. "mechanical sciences" except civil which was marked "civil engineering".
Had I arrived at the right place?
And yet I keep chasing pictures, drawings, paintings...all visual arts. Why won't I when the world has artists like Édouard Manet?
Look at the following picture.
I haven't seen more beautiful and funnier picture than this all my life.
Look at the man, his both hands, middle-finger of his left, his right-hand grip on the glass. Follow his eyes. Look at his bow-tie, his sideburn, his moustache...
Is he listening to the lady at all? Is he seducing her? The lady seems to be charmed. I keep wondering what he would do next...will he kiss her lightly on the lips?...
Look at the waiter. What is he looking at or waiting for?
When I see this picture, a lot of quality pictures of 20th century, including some great cartoons, don't surprise me. Manet anticipates them.
Manet has said: Conciseness in art is essential and a refinement. The concise man makes one think; the verbose bores. Always work towards conciseness.
And what else are cartoons if not conciseness?
Artist: Édouard Manet, 'Chez le père Lathuille' ('The Garden of Pere Lathuille'), 1879
Location: The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai, Belgium
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Do a lot of today's artists find his fingers every time they put their hands in their pockets?
The Simpsons has assembled quite a portfolio of allusions to fine art. One of them- below right- is to 'The Luncheon on the Grass' by Manet (1862-63) on below left.
More more such allusions, visit The Simpsons Park.