There are people who can't stand the pain. What happens is they begin to develop some kind of technique to keep out of that hole. Once they do that, they're finished. They never go any further. They're done.
Painting is... a correspondence between what you are and what you see. It's a moment when something is holding together in such a way that it is a universe in itself... Within this is a test and also a judgment upon yourself, your capabilities, your promises, and the part that you play in the world. And nobody else can test that for you. Certainly not the Museum of Modern Art.
There's something peculiar about artists. They have ups and downs... After a while everything you do is just wonderful... then you slide back. If you're a good artist you're going to go down. And then it's up to you.
From the very beginning, art meant something very important to the people who made it. It was a correspondence of the emotions to what you saw; it wasn't knowledge. You were being at one with something eternal; something outside of yourself. And no matter how many fake things have been brought in to suit other conditions... That is still true.
If there's no unity in your work, then you've deliberately made yourself into that kind of person. You don't want that unity in your work. You've made some kind of satisfactory arrangement with your culture.
I am not a follower of Monet. I am not an admirer or follower of De Kooning. I am not an action painter. I am not an abstract expressionist. I am not younger or older. I will not take my hat off to any other artist living or dead in all the world. I know this.