20th-century Artist Quotes
The worst thing is to feel that as a photographer I'm benefiting from someone else's tragedy. This idea haunts me. It's something I have to reckon with every day, because I know that if I ever allow genuine compassion to be overtaken by personal ambition, I will have sold my soul. The only way I can justify my role is to have respect for the other person's predicament. The extent to which I do that is the extent to which I become accepted by the other and to that extent I can accept myself.
If I were the type of artist that didn't care whether or not my works communicated with viewers then I wouldn't bother exhibiting them, I might as well stock them in a warehouse. But I do exhibit and I do care because I want to communicate back to the viewer what I've viewed. My paintings are inspired by my homeland's traditional spaces. My colors are the colors of monasteries and mosques, the color of ruins of Sassanid and Seljuq era, colors of Bazaars of Isfahan and Shiraz, and colors of northern-Iran's ceramics. I have sensed all these colors, forms and everything within my painting's frame from the viewer's own world.
Audiences want to support artists. Which is pretty much how it's always been except during the last 100 years where it's turned into this really vicious, cutthroat, nasty business with all these blood-thirsty, parasitic middle-men. But historically, artists were relatively poor and supported directly by their audiences. There's a great book called The Gift by Lewis Hyde. You know, art is a gift and it turns out the audience is happy to give back.
Not all the war correspondents [in Afghanistan] were nervous. My wife asked a journalist covering the Khanabad front why he didn't wear a bulletproof vest. (At $1,200 each, we couldn't afford them.) "Are you kidding?" the heavyset photographer for The San Jose Mercury News replied as he wiped his brow. "It's too hot out here."