The artist, and particularly the poet, is always an anarchist in the best sense of the word. He must heed only the call that arises within him from three strong voices: the voice of death, with all its foreboding, the voice of love and the voice of art.
As a kid I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.
One day, my mother said to me, “If you become a soldier, you will be a general; if you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.” Instead, I became a painter and now I am Picasso.
The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure.
I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.
Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.