17 december 2005

Francesco Clemente: Self Portrait in an Imperial Age – 2005
Oil on linen – 124.5 x 177.8 cm

Salman Rushdie over Clemente:

“To make a work of art one must use a form of double vision, looking simultaneously outwards and inwards, making naked what is clothed and telling what is secret, and revealing how the interior world of sensibility, memory and fear is linked to what is shouted aloud and paraded before our eyes in the world all around, which is so brightly illumined but which remains, nevertheless, opaque, until the artist’s nakedness provides the key that unlocks its mystery. This is what we mean when we say that art is an act of courage and why the success of a great self-portrait feels almost heroic, because this is the form that is, perhaps, the locus classicus of the meeting between the interior and exterior worlds; while failures of self-portraiture, the preening reluctances one encounters all too often, are evidence of a type of cowardice.“


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