Friday, May 12

of forms and emotions

All things appear to us in the shape of forms. Even in metaphysics ideas are expressed by forms, well then think how absurd it would be to think of painting without the imagery of forms. A figure, an object, a circle, are forms; they affect us more or less intensely. Some are closer to our feelings and give rise to emotions which concern our affective faculties; others appeal more particularly to the intellect. I must accept all of them, as my mind has as great a need of emotion as my senses ...

The artist is a receptacle for emotions derived from anywhere: from the sky, from the earth, from a piece of paper, from a passing figure, from a spider's web. This is why one must not make a distinction between things. For them there are no aristocratic quarterings. One must take things where one finds them, except in one's own works. I have a horror of copying myself, but when I am shown a folder of old drawings, for example, I do not hesitate to take from them whatever I want.

-- Pablo Picasso, quoted in "Conversation avec Picasso" by Christian Zervos, Cahiers d'Art Vol. X (1935)
Translated by Elspeth A. Evans