Honesty can be very appealing, though obviously sometimes we have to be careful about what we say. I judged that it would be preferable to write “Delacroix’s Journal” than to pretend false modesty. After so many years doing something, well, one learns quite a lot and believes that it would be better to share knowledge than to hide it under a bushel.
I see lots of art that is junk, and I know categorically that it is junk quite apart from whatever claims others might make on its behalf. Certainly, I would never tell another artist that his painting or that his “new media” is junk. Nor would I ever tell a collector that his cherished objects are junk. It’s just not something you can do. It would serve no purpose. It would hurt someone’s feelings.
But to suggest that junk exists — this is wise. It launches the idea into the world and sets people to thinking. Perchance they begin figuring out for themselves which objects belong in the “art” category and which into the “junk” category. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And in a smaller circle the fear of junk imparts wisdom too.
That’s why I’ve drummed away at this theme more than once. It’s the kind of truth that bears repeating, for the recognition of things having true worth is the first step one takes toward gaining them. Sleeper awake!