Alfred Molina in "Red," a play about Mark Rothko
From The PBS News Hour: A scene from 'Red' starring Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne. Video courtesy the Donmar Warehouse Theater in New York.
I’m not much for theater acting, mostly, as it causes people to act large and project, but that’s beside the point. Also, I know nothing about how Rothko was in life, but I know two things from the above depiction:
1. The issues raised in this little speech are absolutely central to conversations we’re still having / not having about the arts. This is why conversations about what we're doing, and what we've done, are fundamental to what we've done, and to what we're doing and are going to do. So when someone says to you that you would be better off working on your art than talking or writing about art, they're missing the point. Talking about art is working on one's art.
2. I would not like to be trapped by an artist before that artist’s work without being well-prepared with something to say. Smart, thoughtful people, who also have an axe to grind, can be formidable.