Friday, May 9, 2008



I've recently been ensorcelled by the book Night Studio (1988) by Philip Guston's lone offspring, Musa Mayer. It's basically a memoir dealing with her experiences with this complex personality and artist. I originally bought it because I'm fascinated about other painter's processes and the shit they go through, psychological or otherwise, in finding a process. The book details these things (Guston was a drama queen!) in poignant detail, which resonated with me deeply because I am also a drama queen when it comes to my work. But it mostly deals with her feelings of neglect and her complex relationship with her father. Her parents, while warm and loving, also were remote and self-absorbed which is an experience, ahem, I can relate to.

"Usually I am on a work for a long stretch, until a moment arrives when the air of the arbitrary vanishes, and the paint falls into positions that feel destined."

"I never feel myself to be more than a trusting accomplice"

"Art is the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us"
—Philip Guston

"When you start working, everybody is in your studio—the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and, above all, your own ideas—all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you're lucky, even you leave."
—John Cage

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