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Friday, December 17, 2010

Charles Demuth

Self-Portrait (1907)
"Paintings must be looked at and looked at and looked at. . . . No writing, no talking, no singing, no dancing will explain them."

American Artist
1883 - 1935

The Figure 5 In Gold (1928)
Inspired by a poem of
William Carlos Williams:
The Great Figure
One of the lessons I learned early in my career is not to explain my poetry to others.  If I had to explain it, then either I did not succeed or the reader failed to understand.  I would attend writer's groups where we would share our work and then the group would critique it.  Some writers would keep trying to explain their poems if they didn't feel the group grasped the meaning of the poem.  I think the same is true of any art form.  You don't need to explain your work.  A painter shouldn't explain the meaning of his painting.  The viewer has the responsibility in the communication exchange to study the work to the best of his ability just as the reader also has some responsibility.  It is a two way street.  

The Great Figure
by William Carlos Williams

Among the rain
and lights
I saw the figure 5
in gold
on a red
to gong clangs
siren howls
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.