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Grace Hartigan

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I didnít choose painting Ö It chose me. I didnít have any talent. I just had genius.
--
As quoted in "Grace Hartigan, 86, Abstract Painter, Dies" in The New York Times (18 November 2008)

 
Grace Hartigan

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Universality is the distinguishing mark of genius. There is no such thing as a special genius, a genius for mathematics, or for music, or even for chess, but only a universal genius. ... The theory of special genius, according to which for instance, it is supposed that a musical genius should be a fool at other subjects, confuses genius with talent. ... There are many kinds of talent, but only one kind of genius, and that is able to choose any kind of talent and master it.

 
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I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn't know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.

 
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But my father he didnít read moon, he didnít speak moon, and he didnít write moon. So there was no letter found next to his body in the garage when he chose to leave this place on purpose without saying where he was goiní or why. There are still days you can catch me tape-recording eternal silence and playing it backwards for an empty room just so I can listen to his dying wish. Shh.

 
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Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didnít have any beginning or any end. He didnít meant it as a compliment, but it was. It was a fine compliment. Only he didnít know it.

 
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I know this is not a very popular idea. You don't hear it too often any more Ö but it's the truth. I have taken drugs before and Ö I had a real good time. Sorry. Didn't murder anybody, didn't rape anybody, didn't rob anybody, didn't beat anybody, didn't lose Ė hmm Ė one f**king job, laughed my ass off, and went about my day. Sorry. Now, where's my commercial?

 
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