Monday, February 23, 2015

Long Lost Henri Matisse Interview

Some jewels here.

It is necessary that life be hard in order to form one’s character. That makes muscles. Art is a thing of exception. A great many people think today that they are artists because they see beautiful sunsets, or flowers. Today with the degree of civilization to which we have reached, everybody is sensitive to art, but that doesn’t mean that they are capable of making all that. One would not be able to make anything more if everybody were painting. I speak to you sincerely. I would wish that a commission of recognized artists chose among the young people those gifted to paint and that the State give them a subsidy. But the works produced by these artists must belong to the State, who would put these pictures in its museums, in a fashion that one coming into France would see French painting, in America he would see American painting, etc. This is what would happen. The best painters would be not those who are not recognized by the commission. They are the ones who would arrive all by themselves. You are recognized by the committee of artists. Immediately, you are seated nicely in your chair and you say to yourself, “I am an artist I am recognized.” That gives you pride, pretensions. One must guard in himself the desire to work. Make it secretly, if need be, but make it. One must suffer for what one loves. It is the truth for me, but perhaps not for you.

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