Franco Paisio

Jottings

Jottings

 

 My Jottings are random thoughts, brief musings on the arts. They are part of my journal - succinct, almost one-liners. Some are aphorisms, others dismissible reflexions; some are banal, others a little less so.

 

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Each work of art is either inevitable or irrelevant.

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In painting there is only a surface, a line, a dot and there is also the relationship between them. All the rest is bunkum.

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Strip the fables from life, and all mysteries will disappear.

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I work fragmentarily. After all even Nietzsche, once acquired a typewriter, wrote only fragments and aphorisms.

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The world is always invalidated outside oneself.

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I step into my studio – nothing will be the same ever again.

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Circumstances always made grotesque demands upon my art.

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To fabulate is not my business. I must simplify, I must clarify.

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I do not believe in symbols, I do not believe in metaphors. I must elucidate. It is absurd of me to expect to be understood if I try to communicate in riddles.

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Tomorrow? No, I put more trust in what is happening than in what might happen.

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Truth, inevitably, will have the last laugh.

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All dialogue about a single painting is beside the point.

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Eternity lasts one lifetime.

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Works of art that really work, normally appeal, and are understood by only a handful of people. Only a minority of art-consumers have adequate sensibilities, erudition and culture to isolate themselves from the dread and hostility of everyday life.

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Each painting in my studio is provisional; until death makes it definitive.

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In the self-portraits from the riverbed, Mike Parr uses many lines to muddle the waters; hoping that one of them will fall in the right place. Surely if one can’t say something with only one precise, clear, undodgeable line, then that something is not worth saying.

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In art as in life, to say things with more than one line it’s to water down what one has to say.

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Each brushstroke is a promise never to be fully satisfied.

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The mask behind the face is often doubted.

The face behind the mask is never questioned.

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Bliss such a small thing – Bliss on the tip of a brush!

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I don’t want to seduce anyone with infallible axioms.

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I do not want to pilot people’s thought in any direction. I would like the viewer of my paintings to think out of context.

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Since the beginning of my rational thinking – with my Art – I have built a labyrinth in which I’m trapped, from which I cannot escape. But was it really rational to dedicate my life to art?

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Why did Pablo Neruda, at the very end of his life, asked himself 320 question leaving out the one that alone, most probably, would have made all of them redundant: Por què la vida?

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According to Dino Buzzati, the African boar, having reached middle age, is inclined to consider with disdain the miseries of life. How similar we are today, that boar and I.

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Did Plato really say: “Common-sense is the greatest obstacle to poetry”? Or is it just a case of, as Umberto Eco calls it, “Bayard syndrome” the attributing to others statements and ideas that are actually ours? Oh the fogginess of my soupy brain!

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If there is something I’m certain of, it is that all of my certainties are just provisional.

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I’m surrounded by artists who feel that every little fart they make is a work of art.

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Most of my poet friends suffer greatly of selective hearing; they hear very well only the sound of their own voices.

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Degas aspired to be Illustrious and Unknown. I had the same desire, but become only undistinguished and unknown

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I don’t care about tomorrow; the future doesn’t concern me at all. But incongruously, I build and construct my paintings carefully and soundly, as if they have to last centuries.

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Art gives value to what is useless, and makes the useless essential.

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Why colours? Why forms? Why words? - For what reason, day after day, should I worry and suffer for them?

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A few of my painter friends, once they’ve reached some sort of success and popularity, go on cloning their paintings and repeat themselves ab infinitum; while I with Heraclitean feelings cannot immerse myself twice in the same image – this has saved me constantly by keeping me anonymous and unknown.

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In art one must learn from everyone, without imitating anyone especially oneself.

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Painting is not a system of dealing with what is visible but an expression of the invisible.

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Painting makes visible what was unobserved until the artist called attention to it.

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In the presence of great art, we are forced to reassess something we don’t yet know.

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-Happiness

What are you doing in my day?

-I’ve came to visit

For a moment or two your despair

Do not worry, soon I’ll be on my way

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My life?

A blunder that has lasted eighty-two years, and counting.

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The trouble with poetry is that - it has to use words to exist.

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Painting must insult anyone who is mentally attuned to interior decoration - pictures for the home to go in harmony with the window shades, pictures for over the mantelpiece, still-life, landscapes, social pictures, prize-winning potboilers etc. No, painting must be like music, devoid of explicit meaning and talking directly to the spirit.

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We’re all drowning, but in self-denial we pretend to be swimming.

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A drawing is a frozen moment of time.

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Words are an accidental byproduct of the larynx.

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Little dialogue:

 

Elisabeth :-     Franco what have you done today?

Franco :-          I’ve been very busy.

Elisabeth :-     Doing what?

Franco :-          Thinking.

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Most of my memories, especially the more precise ones, are pure invention. Although some of them are reconstructed from snippets of things heard, read or dreamed. But then again, I claim that anything an artist utters, even a lie, is true.

 

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My today cannot be a clone of yesterday – too boring.

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There is no value at all in my works; I paint just to keep busy.

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Who am I when I paint? Who am I when I stop painting?

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Some of the people I know go to art openings just to see who’s there.

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My writings are made up mainly of blank spaces. I’ve nothing relevant to say or to report.

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When used as colour, far from being funereal, black becomes the most dignified of all colours.

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While trying to fall asleep one night, I’ve discovered something important; however, come morning I’ve forgotten what it was, but I know it had to do with life.

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An artist should live and act always in his discomfort-zone - constantly on the hedge of the precipice, at all times facing disaster. Only the cowards and the banal are satisfied with their own creations, to the point of repeating themselves over and over again.

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Dissect my heart and see the pain, witness the carbonic maceration of my dreams. Like a tree that traps in its trunk the tales of seasons past, I hold in me the grief of things eroded by a pitiless and cruel time.

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I much prefer an outright lie to a partial truth.

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The other day in looking at the X-Rays of my skull, I was surprised not to see in them any colours or lines of poetry – only bones and shadows! Perhaps it is good news; as Art is, at the best of times, an incurable disease.

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Tanikawa, there were times when I looked at the world with your eyes – not any longer! Today I read your poems by the shore. Seagulls floating on the water, children’s voices in the sun, breeze on the leaves, all familiar things – and I divorced you forever! Yes, Shuntarō your books will go now on the topmost shelf of my study; perhaps, someone else will find them there one day.

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In entering the studio, the true artists never starts anything that doesn’t fill him with fear.

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Painting, oh painting, my dear solitary vice!

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As long the paint is wet, I go on - I can go on.

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Poetry is a theatrical crime.

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In poetry, words are not to be added to words beyond absolute necessity.

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The advantage that animals have over us humans, is that not one of them will ever become an art critic, nor they ever struggle to find words that rhyme.

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Art floods shadows with light, so that they may lose all their shadowiness.

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I’m not populated by language, I am populated by silence.

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Oh it kills me, this relentless search for the infinite in finite words and objects!

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A painting is a series of indecisions and doubts.

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In art I like to be “true to life”, that’s why I’m an abstract painter – In everyday dealings I’m a dreamer, that’s why life is not a friend of mine.

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Poetry shouldn’t be manufactured. True poetry should suddenly sprout and bloom from a forgotten seed.

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The Maple tree grows luxuriant in the bush, with no thought of future – he doesn’t really care if he’ll become cello or toothpicks. I also live in the present - at the very end, if I’ll become ash or maggots, it does not interest me at all.

 

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I wish I could write a song

So that I could be awarded

The Nobel Prize for physics!

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All Art, from music to poetry to painting, is emotion. A tiny vibration that transcends the specific and navigates confidently towards the boundless.

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Poetry like painting, is not designed to be understood, but to be felt.

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The only job of an artist is to open a passage in the woods.

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It is more difficult for a mediocre artist to be modest than it is for a master.

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I’m surrounded by artists (painters, poets, composers etc.) so self-assured that, like a little fire-fly they imagine to be able to illuminate the world. Oh pious delusion!

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 In art as in life, I seek a world of questions not of certanties.

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Any brushstroke on a blank canvas - is both a triumph and a failure.

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