Richard Artschwager, Destruction IV, 1972. Link.

from Default Genders’ Magical Pessimix #1, 2014. Link.

“As art sinks into paralysis, artists multiply. This anomaly ceases to be one if we realize that art, on its way to exhaustion, has become both impossible and easy.”
— E.M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born, trans. Richard Howard.
“What will be the physiognomy of painting, of poetry, of music, in a hundred years? No one can tell. As after the fall of Athens, of Rome, a long pause will intervene, caused by the exhaustion of the means of expression, as well as by the exhaustion of consciousness itself. Humanity, to rejoin the past, must invent a second naïveté, without which the arts can never begin again.”
— E.M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born, trans. Richard Howard.
“Pellerin used to read every available book on aesthetics, in the hope of discovering the true theory of Beauty, for he was convinced that once he had found it he would be able to paint masterpieces. He surrounded himself with every conceivable accessory - drawings, plaster casts, models, engravings - and hunted around fretfully, blaming the weather, his nerves or his studio, going out into the street to seek inspiration, thrilling with joy when he had found it, but then abandoning the work he had begun, to dream of another which would be even finer. Tortured by a longing for fame, wasting his days in argument, believing in countless ridiculous ideas, in systems, in critics, in the importance of the codification or the reform of art, he had reached the age of fifty without producing anything but sketches. His robust pride prevented him from feeling any discouragement, but he was always irritable, and in that state of excitement, at once natural and artificial, which is characteristic of actors.”
— Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education, trans. Robert Baldick.
“A radical lack of imagination an excessive taste - too sensual - no constancy in his ideas - too dreamy - prevented him from being an artist.”
— Gustave Flaubert, Correspondance, Vol. 1, ed. Jean Bruneau, quoted in Geoffrey Wall’s “Introduction” to Flaubert’s Sentimental Education.

You’ll Never Get To Heaven, “By This River (Brian Eno)” from Adorn, 2014. Source.

“When we see someone again after many years, we should sit down facing each other and say nothing for hours, so that by means of silence our consternation can relish itself.”
— E.M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born, trans. Richard Howard.

from Another Green World, 1975. Link.

“I met a millionaire who bought my work, my magazine died of neglect and lack of interest, I started other magazines, I had shows. But none of that exists anymore: the words are more real than the actuality. The truth is that one day it was over and all I had left was my fake Picabia, my only guide, my only handhold. Some unemployed person could reproach me for being incapable of happiness, even though I had everything. I could reproach a murderer for committing murders, and a murderer could reproach a suicide victim for his desperate or enigmatic last act. The truth is that one day it was all over and I took a look around me. I stopped buying so many magazines and newspapers. I stopped having shows. I started to teach my drawing classes at the high school with humility and seriousness and even (although I don’t make a big deal about it) a certain sense of humor. Arturo had disappeared from our lives long ago.”
— Roberto Bolaño, from The Savage Detectives, trans. Natasha Wimmer. 
“Then came the disenchantment. I was teaching classes at the university and I wasn’t happy there. I didn’t want to explain my work in theoretical terms. I was teaching classes and my colleagues seemed to fall into two clearly distinct groups: the frauds (the mediocrities and scoundrels), and those who weren’t just teaching but were getting somewhere with their art outside of work, for better or for worse. And all of a sudden I realized that I didn’t want to belong to either group, and I quit. I started to teach at a high school. What a relief. Was it like being demoted from lieutenant to sergeant? Possibly. Maybe to corporal. Though I didn’t feel like a lieutenant or a sergeant or a corporal, but a ditch digger, sewer dredger, a road worker lost or separated from his crew. In retrospect, the passage from one state to another takes on the harsh, brutal overtones of the sudden and irremediable, but of course it all happened much more slowly.”
— Roberto Bolaño, from The Savage Detectives, trans. Natasha Wimmer. 
Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source. Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source. Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source. Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source. Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source. Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source.

Mike Kelley, More Tragic! More Plangent!…More Purple!, 1985/96. Source.

“Etc., etc. It sounded like Borges, but I didn’t tell him so. His fellow writers already pester him enough about whether he’s stealing from Borges here or stealing from Borges there, whether he’s stealing from him in a good way or stealing from him in a clumsy way, as López Velarde would have said. What I did was listen to Don Pancracio and then follow his example. In other words, I kept my mouth shut. And then a guy came to tell me that the van that was taking us to the airport was in front of the hotel, and I said all right, let’s go, but first I looked over at Don Pancracio, who had already gotten down from his stool and was watching me with a smile on his face, as if I’d discovered the answer to the riddle, but obviously I hadn’t discovered or figured out or guessed anything, and anyway I didn’t give a damn, so I said: this riddle your friend asked you, what was the answer, Don Pancracio? And then Don Pancracio looked at me and said: what friend? Your friend, whoever it was, Miguel Ángel Asturias, the riddle about the poet who’s lost and survives. Oh that, said Don Pancracio as if he were waking up, the truth is I don’t remember anymore, but don’t worry, the poet doesn’t die, he loses everything, but he doesn’t die.”
— Roberto Bolaño, from The Savage Detectives, trans. Natasha Wimmer. 
“Don Pancracio, as usual, didn’t make the slightest effort to console me and for a few minutes the two of us sat in silence, him drinking his penultimate whiskey and me with my head in my hands, sucking down a daiquiri with a straw and unsuccessfully trying to imagine Ulises Lima with no money and no friends, alone in that ravaged country, as we heard the calls and shouts of the members of our delegation who were roaming the adjoining rooms like stray dogs or wounded parrots. Do you know what the worst thing about literature is? said Don Pancracio. I knew, but I pretended I didn’t. What? I said. That you end up being friends with writers. And friendship, treasure though it may be, destroys your critical sense. Once, said Don Pancracio, Monteforte Toledo dropped this riddle in my lap: a poet is lost in a city on the verge of collapse, with no money, or friends, or anyone to turn to. And of course, he neither wants nor plans to turn to anyone. For several days he roams the city and the country, eating nothing, or eating scraps. He’s even stopped writing. Or he writes in his head: in other words, he hallucinates. All signs point to an imminent death. His drastic disappearance foreshadows it. And yet the poet doesn’t die. How is he saved?”
— Roberto Bolaño, from The Savage Detectives, trans. Natasha Wimmer. 

Bridget Riley, Fall, 1963. Source.