Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chuck Close Quotes

Chuck Close recently sat on a panel for the Global Creative Leadership Summit. Here are a few nice quotes from the full article found here.

“artists are notoriously poor organizers; we normally don’t join groups, and when we do, it’s a disaster. We work alone in our studios. The stand-in for an organization for us is the [artistic] community: We send what we produce into the world and that’s how we exchange ideas with other artists.”

“I try to remove anxiety. It’s almost like raking gravel in a Zen monastery—when I commit to a painting, I know it’s a four-month project, and I tell myself, today I’m going to do what I did yesterday and tomorrow I’m going to do what I did today. ... You have to back yourself into a corner where you are asking questions that no one else has asked, so no one else but you has the answers. That forces you to be more creative.”

“a contrarian attitude is key to rising to the top. If money is your end [goal], you’ll make all the wrong decisions; you’re doomed to failure.” Close continued that if money had been his aim, “I wouldn’t have painted a nine-foot painting of someone else; I would have painted CEOs or college presidents, at a size that fits over the couch. If I’d done anything [career-wise] that made ‘good sense,’ I wouldn’t be sitting here.” The irony, Close concluded, “I don’t care about money and [that’s why] I’ve made a whole hell of a lot of it.”

Close...also stressed that creative success often depends on having the right mentors, especially in school. He noted that schools need to add a fourth “R” to reading, writing and ’rithmetic: art. He observed that only art had made him feel special growing up in a “poor, white trash town” and that art had made the difference between his “going to Yale and going to jail.”

“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up.”

Source: artinfo.com

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