Tag Archives: art

James Baldwin on Artistry

I am in the process of writing an artists statement for a grant application. I turned to James Baldwin, one of my favorite writers and philosophers of all time, for some inspiration. I came across these 3 quotes I felt I should share.

“One writes out of one thing only — one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.” (1952)

“Art has to be a kind of confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people.” (1961)

“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story, to vomit the anguish up.” (1985)

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