Larry Mellman

Why Make Art?

  1. Art is a sacrifice, an offering, a propitiation of angry gods, a rendering back to the beneficent ones, a redress, an affirmation, a reprisal.
  2. Art is work, a job like any other: the translation of one form of energy into another; it is alchemy, transmutation, transubstantiation.
  3. Art is a way of sharing, of reaching out through the deepest suffering; a way of reminding you that you are never alone, no matter the depth of your pain, despair, depravity; regardless of doubt and self-loathing, beneath any veneer of pretense, a reassertion of the bonds of humanity.
  4. Art is a prayer, the act of giving thanks.
  5. Art is an indictment of the moment; a validation of the eternal.
  6. Art is a curse, the most piercing excoriation of human vanity, greed, and selfishness.
  7. Art is the antithesis of quietly dying, of impotent silence or unquestioning acquiescence; a slap in the face of indifference; a laugh in the face of treason, the last cigarette of a dying man, a reprieve from the firing squad, graffiti on the wall, the violent denunciation and sumptuous praise of life and all its conspiracies of possibility.
  8. Art is a way or revealing, in the complexity of the moment, the timeless forms of nature and the shifting patterns of humanity.
  9. Art is a way of living, to be avoided if possible because it is harsh and unfair; but, ridden to its heights, is giddy to its heights, is giddy and death-defying.
  10. Art is the triumph of consciousness over time.