You have to have a certain detachment in order to see beauty for yourself rather than something that has been put in quotation marks to be understood as “beauty.” Think about Dutch painting, where sunlight is falling on a basin of water and a woman is standing there in the clothes that she would wear when she wakes up in the morning—that beauty is a casual glimpse of something very ordinary. Or a painting like Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef, where a simple piece of meat caught his eye because there was something mysterious about it. You also get that in Edward Hopper: Look at the sunlight! or Look at the human being! These are instances of genius. Cultures cherish artists because they are people who can say, Look at that. And it’s not Versailles. It’s a brick wall with a ray of sunlight falling on it.
Is design an organizing principle of your collection, The Muse? Are the stories in thematic conversation, and in direct conversation as well?
I love design. But I love it as an aficionado. An amateur. And I’m obsessed with aesthetics. And the way in which art making is in dialogue with aesthetics. So my collection is circling around those themes. I have one story about an artist’s muse. Another about a quartet. Another about two painters. Another about a model. Another about a critic. I think they all speak to each other, but they are also simply stories about people, you know? I’m hesitant about declaring one’s own themes as a writer. Sometimes I believe your work is merely a chronological and distorted reflection of you. And you’re lucky if something else emerges from that.
Isadora Duncan. On somedays one wants to be from another era…
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years […]
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one had only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it.
Mini me. #tbt
This seems important.
Feels a bit like looking at different bodies!
Aubergine-shaped jade snuff bottles, Qing Dynasty, 18th Century. 🍆🍐 (at 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum)
How to create the impression of grandeur? Make your guests walk for a very long time before they reach the entrance. (at 國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum)