If there has been any one famous person I would have liked to have had over for dinner, it would have been the art critic John Berger. Throughout his books you get the sense that his love of art was that of a practitioner, and it flowed over into his love of life and friends. In one of his essays, I recently found a few paragraphs that express perfectly my own feelings or aspirations about my own art.
Writing of Rembrandt, Berger wrote, “On canvas after canvas he gave to a part of a body or to parts of bodies a special power of narration. The painting then speaks with several voices – like a story being told by different people from different points of view. Yet these ‘points of view’ can only exist in a corporeal space which is incompatible with territorial or architectural space. Corporeal space is continually changing its measures and focal centers, according to circumstances. It measures by waves, not metres. Hence its necessary dislocations of ‘real’ space.”
(…) “If they reveal an ‘inner-ness’ it is that of the body, what lovers try to reach by caressing and by intercourse. In this context the last word takes on both a more literal and more poetic meaning. Coursing between.”
(…)”For Rembrandt, the embrace was perhaps synonymous with the act of painting, and both were just this side of prayer.”