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Philip Guston

To paint is a possessing rather than a picturing.

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Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.

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Painting seems like some kind of peculiar miracle that I need to have again and again.

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I am a night painter, so when I come into the studio the next morning the delirium is over.

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Look at any inspired painting. It's like a gong sounding; it puts you in a state of reverberation.

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In my experience a painting is not made with colors and paint at all. I don't know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint?

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Usually I am on a work for a long stretch, until a moment arrives when the air of the arbitrary vanishes, and the paint falls into positions that feel destined.

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The painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined. It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so that what you see is not what you see.

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Painting and sculpture are very archaic forms. It's the only thing left in our industrial society where an individual alone can make something with not just his own hands, but brains, imagination, heart maybe.

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I don't know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, a memory, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere.

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