For the next few weeks I’d like to quote Ben Shahn’s book, The Shape of Content, for my Thursday Thoughts. I recently re-read Shahn’s book and found almost every word to be lucid and insightful. The book is actually a collection of essays and lectures and I will post one or two quotes from each chapter. I would highly recommend this book for any artist and it is on Amazon for less than $15.
“It has become obvious that art itself in America is without what might be called a natural environment. Art and artists often exist within a public climate that is either indifferent or hostile to their profession. Or otherwise they may concentrate within small colonies wherein they find a sort of self-protection and self-affirmation. The art colonies are severely limited in the variety of experience and opinion which they can contribute to art. They become almost monastic in the degree of their withdrawal from common society; and thus their art product becomes increasingly ingrown, tapping less and less the vital streams of common experience, rejecting more and more the human imperatives which have propelled and inspired art in past times.” ~Ben Shahn, Artists in Colleges