Novelty

Life is a constant uproar, and I’ll bet that most of the time, most of us take some pleasure in being part of it. At least those of us who are lucky enough to live in a relatively stable society, although maybe such a distinction between places is now breaking down. Art roars along with everything else. But when I find a moment of quietness in my own mind most of that activity seems an empty waste. Stillness is what a studio is for.

Feeling art is better than knowing it, but feelings rapidly become knowledge. Fortunately, new feelings arrive just in time. That is why there cannot be any feeling in art but new feeling; no ideas but new ideas; no bodily sensations but new ones; no experiences of anything real but must be new. Novelty is no joke, nor is it “mere” fashion, it is the essence of modern art, like it or not. Having said that, it doesn’t help to make novelty a theoretical abstraction. It is felt, not defined. I’m not aiming for world-historical transformation, just a feeling of movement outside of the conventions of this moment.

Robert Linsley, untitled watercolor 2012

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