“For the work of art carries within it an integral aesthetic and philosophical unity; it is an organism. Living and developing according to its own laws. Can one talk of experiment in relation to the birth of a child? It is senseless and immoral.”
Andrey Tarkovsky,
Sculpting in Time

“I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, ill as I am, do without something which is greater than I, which is my life—the power to create . . . And in a picture I want to say something comforting, as music is comforting. I want to paint men and women with that something of the eternal which the halo used to symbolize, and which we seek to convey by the actual radiance and vibration of our coloring . . . Ah! Portraiture, portraiture with the thoughts, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come.”
Vincent van Gogh,
Letters to Theo

“You know, Don, I was reading a book on the life of Van Gogh today, and I had to pause and think of that wonderful and persistent force—the creative urge. The creative urge was in this man who found himself so much at odds with the world he lived in, and in spite of all the adversity . . . beautiful and living art came forth abundantly . . . Truth is indestructible. It seems history shows (and it’s the same today) that the innovator is more often than not met with some degree of condemnation; usually according to the degree of his departure from the prevailing modes of expression . . . We also see that these innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields, wherever it is needed. Quite often they are the rejects, outcasts, sub-citizens, etc. of the very societies to which they bring so much sustenance. Often they are people who endure great personal tragedy in their lives. Whatever the case, whether accepted or rejected, rich or poor, they are forever guided by that great and eternal constant—the creative urge. Let us cherish it and give all praise to God.”
John Coltrane,
Letter to Don DeMichael

“I’ve always regarded the movie palace as a sacred shrine, a place to have respect. Recently, I went into a theater in Rome, and there was only one person there. He had his feet propped up on the back of the chair in front of him, and while he was watching the picture, he was listening to his Walkman. He was wearing roller skates.”
Federico Fellini,
In Charlotte Chandler’s I, Fellini

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