I do not want to argue here about great artists, I want to concentrate on true artists, major or minor, who are connected to the past and who themselves make a connection to the future.
This collection of essays is divided into three. Part One is a longish essay about how I discovered pictures. I didn’t know anything about painting and I hardly looked at it, then, of course, I fell in love. No, not with a person, with a picture…
Part Two is called Transformation, and contains four essays, two about Virginia Woolf, one about Gertrude Stein, and one about the relationship between readers and writers.
Part Three, called Ecstasy and Energy is more personal. I talk about the books I collect and why I live and work in the way that I do. The essay, The Semiotics of Sex, is a look at how we gender art when art doesn’t gender itself.
As a student, would these essays be useful to me?
Yes. Better than that, they would be interesting. Dry as Dust I don’t do.
What’s the purpose behind them?
I was answering questions for myself, but more, I wanted to communicate the passionate excitement I have for art of all kinds. I really believe in the redemptive, persuasive, healing power of art. We all need it. Most of us don’t get close to it – either because we think art’s not for us, or because the media circus is off-putting. I wanted to cut though the doubts and the objections.
Isn’t it a bit arrogant to tell us what art is?
This book is about personal convictions – nothing arrogant about that, and it’s a tool kit. It offers a way of thinking about books, pictures, music, both of the past and of the present. Anyway, words like arrogant and elitist are used too often alongside art, and they are used to keep you away from what matters. What matters is a direct connection.
This book helps you log on Art Objects – not a load of antiques then?
No, it’s a verb not a noun. Art objects to the lie against life that it is pointless and mean. The message coloured through time is not lack but abundance, Not silence but many voices. Art, all art is the communication cord that cannot be snapped by indifference or disaster. Against the daily death it does not die.