All great Works, the Works that can hold us in their thrall indefinitely, are similarly close to what they are after. The old man’s (Titian’s) painting of dogs, one of Rothko’s late, large paintings of a coloured glow, or a Hokusai drawing of a couple fucking, are all equally close to their aim. They are as close as one can get. In theory, something could be closer (the distance is still considerable), but then there would be, could be, no image – because at a closer distance, you can no longer separate, no longer resist the colossal gravitational pull of the ‘model’ – whatever that model is, a pup, transcendent light, or the act of fucking. When you are so close that you are touching all the time, there can be no art. And when you are really far away, there’s no energy in what is made, it’s merely a ritual object, because there’s no touching at all.
John Berger, Berger on Drawing