Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't go to extremes ...

... “Fact” vs. “fancy”: Still an issue in the real world.

These little potential artists see art as something that comes out of talent, strictly. They believe that art just happens. If not provided with balanced guidance, they will grow up to not be “real people.” Everything is a dream to them. Worse, they don’t really think the arts are important, though they claim to have veins full of inspiration and a heart driven by thespian passion. They see the arts more as shortcut toward a Romanticized detachment that they can openly and theatrically bear like a personal cross

One of Ken Russell's less felicitous films is Savage Messiah, about the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. The film is almost entirely devoted to his bohemian style of living, with glimpses of him occasionally at work. Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in World War I. He was only 23. The film concludes with a memorial exhibition of his work mounted by his friends. The camera pans across one striking piece after another, and you suddenly realize that this guy couldn't been partying anywhere near as much as the film suggests. He must have spent most of his waking hours working, which is what real artists do. Real artists know that Noël Coward was right: "Work is so much more fun than fun."

1 comment:

  1. That Coward quote is brilliant. I am sure I read somewhere that he also said the only characteristic he ever really distrusted in a person was charm. Although I've never been able to find that again, I think it is a valid conclusion - being intensely charming himself, I suspect, he no doubt knew whereof he spoke.