It seems right to appreciate all the good [that] one can see in another artist’s work for there is some good in everyone, and [it is worthy] to go as far as one can to see another artist’s point of view and to submit oneself to their vision and understanding and expression. Nevertheless, the artist, at the same time, must be absolutely and firmly committed to his own way and vision, and not to waver from it. The good that he sees in others must be absorbed into his own blood and mixed with all [of] his own good and be expressed through his own tongue (artistic language).
In my opinion, it is a lack that an artist must supplement his artwork with words. This signifies that something of the artist has been left inside himself and not put onto the canvas. Therefore he must explain and direct the viewer through his work with his tongue. Better that the work not only stand by itself, rather that the viewer add the explanation to the artist—to tell the artist what it means, what he sees. This indicates that the artwork has reached, not only outside of the artist himself, but into another, that his work has taken on independence of him and has an active position in the world, that he has expressed something universal, that he has seen into others, into depths of their being, to where they must provide the artist with the explanation.
I don’t know if this is a contradiction to what is said above, but, I see that, although an artwork must “speak for itself” without required additional support of the artist’s verbal explanation, nevertheless, it is very important to speak at length about art, to attempt to understand and explain it’s bredths and depths, and also to speak about individual pieces. I believe and see, more and more, that art is an awesome tool, speciafically for a Jew in his efforts to connect with the Holy Blessed One, for it holds potential to express awesome depths, that are unreachable by other means. I see that Jewish artists in our time are opening up new worlds, that, it seems, have never been opened before, and this needs to be encouraged and supported. One of the most important endeavors towards this end is for artists to make deep studies of their own works and processes, and commit these understandings to writing, and to open discussion of the pretinant subjects. The more we search the more we will understand, with Hashem’s help. May it be His will, amen.
pencil on paper