People have seen that I intend to sweep away everything we have been taught to consider - without question - as grace and beauty; but have overlooked my work to substitute a vaster beauty, touching all objects and beings, not excluding the most despised - and because of that, all the more exhilarating... I would like people to look at my work as an enterprise for the rehabilitation of scorned values, and, in any case, make no mistake, a work of ardent celebration... I am convinced that any table can be for each of us a landscape as inexhaustible as the whole Andes range... I am struck by the high value, for a man, of a simple permanent fact, like the miserable vista on which the window of his room opens daily, that comes, with the passing of time, to have an important role in his life. I often think that the highest destination at which a work of art can aim is to take on that function in someone's life.
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A work of art is only of interest, in my opinion, when it is an immediate and direct projection of what is happening in the depth of a person's being.. ..It is my belief that only in this Art Brut can we find the natural and normal processes of artistic creation in their pure and elementary state.
With respect to the use of this sparkling coloured material (butterfly wings around 1955, fh) - the constituent parts of which remain indistinguishable - with the aim of producing a very vivid effect of scintillation, I realised that, for me, this responds to needs of the same order as those that formerly led me, in many drawings and paintings, to organize my lines and patches of colour so that the objects represented would meld into everything around them, so that the result would be a sort of continuous, universal soup with an intensive flavour of life.
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What culture lacks is the taste for anonymous, innumerable germination. Culture is smitten with counting and measuring; it feels out of place and uncomfortable with the innumerable; its efforts tend, on the contrary, to limit the numbers in all domains; it tries to count on its fingers.
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There is no art without intoxication. But I mean a mad intoxication! Let reason teeter! Delirium! The highest degree of delirium! Plunged in burning dementia! Art is the most enrapturing orgy within man's reach.. Art must make you laugh a little and make you a little afraid. Anything as long as it doesn't bore.
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The things we truly love, the things forming the basis and roots of our being, are generally things we never look at. A huge piece of carpeting, empty and naked plains, silent and uninterrupted stretches with nothing to alter the homogeneity of their continuity. I love wide, homogenous worlds, unstaked, unlimited like the sea, like high snows, deserts, and steppes.
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I do not see in what way the face of a man should be a less interesting landscape than any other. A man, the physical person of a man, is a little world, like any other a country, with its towns, and suburbs.. ..As a rule what is needed in a portrait is a great deal of the general, and very little of the particular.
In the name of what - except perhaps the coefficient of rarity - does man adorn himself with necklaces of shells and not spider's webs, with fox fur and not fox innards? In the name of what I don't know. Don't dirt, trash and filth, which are man's companions during his whole lifetime, deserve to be dearer to him and isn't it serving him well to remind him of their beauty?
I had given up ( around 1950, fh) any ambition of making a career as an artist... ..I had lost all interest in the art shown in galleries and museums, and I no longer aspired to fit in that world. I loved the paintings done by children, and my only desire was to do the same for my own pleasure.
What seems interesting to me is to reproduce in the figurative representation of an object the whole complex system of impressions we receive in the normal course of everyday life, the way this affects our feelings and the shape it takes in our memory; and it is to this that I have always applied myself.
I took a great deal of pleasure in it, and I still feel nostalgic about it. However, I felt that it had led me to live in a parallel world of pure invention, shut inside my solitude. Naturally, it was precisely for that purpose that it was made and that was why I took pleasure in it, but I wanted to regain body and roots.