“There is no substantial difference by which we can attribute a higher aesthetic value to one choice or the other. Our preference is a question of a personal, irrepressible urge.”
From my first encounter with Lionni’s sweeping assertion, I have been simultaneously haunted and liberated by the full ramifications of his claim. It topples the notion of making art for validation by others. Approval or disapproval is stripped of significance, and a creative person is left with nothing more than a responsibility to one’s own impulse. Personal or institutional systems that score art on some artificial scale ring hollow. The artist is freed to listen and look inside, but must face a daunting accountability that comes from within. Can I say that I have no regard for what others may think of my work? No, I cannot. The observer is a vital part of what, to my way of thinking, remains, at its essence, a collaborative act.
Of Independent Mind
collage miniature by J A Dixon
6 x 6 inches
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