ART THOUGHTS SEVEN
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.