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inquisitiveness, curiosity, gaiety and glee


From: Mark Alexander (malexander06_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 05:03:55 PDT

A friend sent this interesting excerpt recently. I found it to be
thought provoking, so I'm sending it along to my ArtsEdNet friends,
some of whom are working artists as well as art teachers. If it doesn't
bring you inquisitiveness, curiosity, gaiety and glee, is it art?
Why do you make art? Enjoy.


In Allen Ginsberg's "Spontaneous Mind: Selected
Interviews 1958-1996," edited by David Carter for Harper Collins,
Steve Foehr asks Ginsberg, "What is the relation
between art and commerce?" Here's a short excerpt of
his response:

"Art is an activity completely independent of commerce. It has nothing to do
with publication or public acceptance. That's always been true; art has
nothing to do with fame, publication, or public acceptance.
    "The basic activity, the basic insight, the basic energy that goes into
art has more to do with inquisitiveness, curiosity, and exploration and a
kind of gaiety and glee in composing feelings and doing whatever you want to
do. One thing a poet can do is say anything he wants to say . . . on
paper--not in public, but on paper and to his friends. Art does have to do
with acceptance by your friends; your friends digging what you're doing and
you digging what your friends are doing. But that is the extent of the
sociability of art. Everything else is an accident. Any other acceptance
beyond that is gratuitous, accidental, helpful, charming, useful, might make
you a living, might give you more time, but irrelevant to the original
visionary glee, or visionary energy, which comes from a vision of nature or a
truth of of your own heart which is beyond social acceptance or rejection.
    "If financial rejection dampens or snuffs out that visionary energy then
it's not real art."