An artist's irritable disposition is, more or less, common knowledge, even though most find it difficult to account for it. At the core of an artist's identity lies nothing else but his refined sense of "aesthetic beauty". This quality enables him to withdraw great ecstatic pleasure. The artist's aim - though not always a successful one - is to share this pleasure with his work recipient.
Parallel to this sense of what is "beautiful" is the exact opposite, that is perceiving the disproportionate and the ugly.
For an artist, there is no distinction between what is beautiful and what is right. Artists never see something ugly or evil where there is none, but they very often do so in places where a non-artist sees nothing disturbing. Consequently, artistic irritability is not associated with "inner sensitivity", as many would think, but equals a deeper than average insight with regard to all things fake or ugly. This insight is but another expression of the acute sense of what is right and balanced.
It can be safely said that a man who is not irritable is not an artist. You can figure by now that artists are the most solitary and isolated human beings in modern times. A few exceptions serve to confirm the rule. I'd better specify, that when I talk about artists in general I usually have painters in mind as I know them better.
In times when time and profit are overestimated and the universal utilitarian ideology threatens to become a national mania, there is not much room left for inquiring minds and products of artistic value. The truth is that artists and their work have become objects of hatred in the last two centuries. I still haven't be able to detect those dark minds that in the name of research (a work proper of a science), have doomed and twisted the potentials of a real artist to produce a work of artistic merit. Even non-experts are familiar with the growth of every single nonsense, failure, or secret envy to the expense of intelligence, capability and the ultimate act of sacrifice required by artistic creation. Entire volumes and libraries made their appearance in order to justify, promote, propose and finally impose items manufactured exclusively for 20th century's uncultured nouveaux riches. The value of a piece of art is set solely by its price.
Public relations with their superficial manifestations tend to violate and slyly substitute priorities and the old system of values as well as distort history by replacing the authentic with a fake replica. Genuine artistic creation - this wondrous quality requiring talent, hard work, self denial, truth and love - has been gradually reduced to nought. Unfortunately, you may come across an alternative version of these matters, praising generally well-known nonsense. Read them the other way round and you'll be right. Follow your instincts and common sense and express yourselves freely. Such phenomena can not be oversimplified. In this particular period we live in, it is high time that we reconsidered our troubles.
Not only artistic issues suffer under the burden of modern times. Man himself is a victim literally punished. Every Greek citizen pays the price of all kinds of "progress" and in his turn he makes the rest suffer too. Allow me to say with certainty that, in the name of a more widely represented democracy, modern man is bold and cheeky in setting free and showing of his inner self. What could be more horrifying than this?
And even more awesome is the passivity which paralyzes every natural reaction. We all stand speechless, allowing with an "illuminating understanding" successive violations. We all have a share of responsibility. We all, more or less, got carried away by a culture of suspicious origin, loading us with quilt for acts that were not our doing. We respond with infinite respect to all things evil. We recognize illegitimate rights and give up our own to save the monster.
In the name of "social policy" and "human rights", the all-corrupt face of impudence, insolence and selfish sufficiency grows stronger. It's strictly a democracy of rights and no obligations whatsoever. All that technology, democracy and "evolution"! So many "benefits" for nothing!
Yannis Stavrou, 2000