Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A premise that runs throughout all of my essays concerns being childlike. We are mistaken if we feel that our quest to become artists lies in adult sophistication and mature worldliness.

In an essay about Leonard Bernstein:

“In childhood, Bernstein was an omnivorous consumer of music, blissfully unaware of the distinctions between high and low, elite and pop. He happily took in Gilbert and Sullivan, Yiddish folk songs, Beethoven symphonies, Chopin nocturnes, jazz, bel-canto opera, dissonant modernism, and more or less everything else. Children tend to listen this way – they solemnly chant commercial jingles, and dance giddily to Bach.”

Alex Ross, December 2008.

To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams.

Antony Gormley


gypsywoman said...

your comments on childhood are so true! and i want never ever to lose my "child me" - with it gone, gone also would be dreams, innocence, openness, creativity, curiosity and more - far too large a price to pay for being "adult" -

Stink Eye & Tube Steak said...

I would like to know the precise moment we lose our child-like demeanor, and morph into the "birth-school-work-death" robots that we are.

artquest1 said...

Hey Jenean and Lisa,
The idea of childhood is a tricky thing. Certainly in our culture we claim to idolize being youthful and cute, , but that is probably much more about not being willing to physically age, and little to do with being childlike in our approach to life.
Physically, we grow older, and that's OK.
We also develop our talents and skills as we age, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Age can also supply us with wisdom, knowledge and competent approaches to life's problems, and that is a pretty good thing.
My point has to do with also remembering, and restoring access to that person of awe, wonder and amazement that used to occupy our (smaller and less wrinkled) body, and to see the world through those eyes - especially when we are trying to access our hopes, dreams and memories.
Regarding your question, Lisa, some people loose it at a very early age, perhaps as pre-teens, and never regain it, while others, realize its value, and do not allow it to die. It's not an either/or situation - we can be competent, bright and skillful adults, and still allow wonder into our lives.

gypsywoman said...

hmmmm.....thanks for saying so eloquently that which i attempted - jenean

gypsywoman said...

love the gormley quote -