Freedom

Untitled (black and white photograph)
Untitled (black and white photograph) by Paul Politis (2020)
Untitled (black and white photograph)
Untitled by Paul Politis (2020)

“Don’t bother about your originality, set yourself just as free as you can and your originality will take care of you. It will be as much a surprise to you as anyone else. Originality cannot be preconceived, and any effort to coddle it is to preconceive it, and thereby destroy it.”

[…]

“It is a big job to know oneself, no one can entirely accomplish it yet — but to try is to act in line of evolution. Men will come to know more of themselves, and act more like themselves, but this will be by dint of effort along the line of humble self-acknowledgment. Today man stands in his own way. He puts a criterion in the way of his own revelation and development. He would be better than he is and because man judges poorly he fails to become as good as he might be. He should take his restraining hands off himself, should defy fashion and let himself be. The only men who are interesting to themselves and to others are those who have been willing to meet themselves squarely. The works of the masters are what they are because they are evidence from men who dared to be like themselves. It cost most of them dearly, but it was worthwhile. They were interesting to themselves, and now they are interesting to us.”

[…]

Of course, it is not easy to go one’s road.  […] but the fight is a good one and there is joy in it if there is any success at all.  After all, the goal is not making art.  It is living a life.  Those who live their lives will leave the stuff that is really art.  Art is a result.  It is the trace of those who have led their lives.  It is interesting to us because we read the struggle and the degree of success the man made in his struggle to live.  The great question is: “What is worthwhile?”  The majority of people have failed to ask themselves seriously enough, and have failed to try seriously enough to answer this question.”

[…]

“Ever since the beginning there have been artists who have found in the simple life about them the wonderful and the beautiful, and through the fact of this inspiration have sensed the way to make the combination of form and color we know as art.”

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Freedom (black and white photograph)
Freedom by Paul Politis, 2019
Birds and Masts (black and white photograph)
Birds and Masts by Paul Politis, 2019

“Genius is not a possession of the limited few, but exists in some degree in everyone. Where there is natural growth, a full and free play of faculties, genius will manifest itself. The disposition to preconceive one’s degree of genius, or the quality of it, is a mistake, for this preconception is a limitation.

The results of individual development cannot be foreseen, nor can these results be estimated by one in whom such development has not as yet taken place.

[…]

To be an artist is to construct, and to whatever degree one shows the genius for construction in work of any sort, he is that much an artist.

The artist life is therefore the desirable life, and it is possible to all.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Here on Earth (black and white photograph)
Here on Earth by Paul Politis, 2020

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