Friday, July 9, 2010

The artist cannot afford passively to acept, to "reflect" or to celebrate what everybody likes. The artist who subscribes to the commercial slogan that the customer is always right will soon be deserted by everybody. The customer has now been trained to think that the artist is always right. Thus we have a new situation in which the artist feels himself obligated to function as a prophet or magician. He sees that he has to be disconcerting, even offensive. Who will ever read him or buy him unless he occasionally insults the customer and all he believes in? That is precisely what the customer wants. He has delegated to the artist the task of non-conforming on his behalf---the task of not conforming with "ordinary decent people." Where does the artist go from there? In desperation he paints a meticulously accurate portrait of a beer can. (T.Merton, 1966)

No comments: