Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree the artist is in accord withhimself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.
The toxic parts of oil paints: Vandyke red, ferrocyanide; iodine scarlet, mercuric iodide; flake white, lead carbonate; cobalt violet, arsenic—all those beautiful compounds and pigments that artists treasure but turn out to be deadly. How your dream to create a masterpiece will drive you nuts and then kill you.
The only artists I have ever known, who are personally delightful, are bad artists.
Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.
A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures.
But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating.
The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look.
The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible.
He lives the poetry that he cannot write.
The others write the poetry that they dare not realise.
The paradox of being a professional artist. How we spend our lives trying to express ourselves well, but we have nothing to tell. We want creativity to be a system of cause and effect. Results. Marketable product. We want dedication and discipline to equal recognition and reward. We get on our art school treadmill, our graduate program for a master’s in fine arts, and practice, practice, practice. With all our excellent skills, we have nothing special to document. According to Peter, nothing pisses us off more than when some strung-out drug addict, a lazy bum, or a slobbering pervert creates a masterpiece. As if by accident.