NITCH

Photo of James Baldwin

James Baldwin // "The states of birth, suffering, love and death, are extreme states: extreme, universal, and inescapable. We all know this, but we would rather not know it. The artist is present to correct the delusions to which we fall prey in our attempts to avoid this knowledge. It is for this reason that all societies have battled with...the artist. I doubt that future societies will get on with him any better. The entire purpose of society is to create a bulwark against the inner and the outer chaos, literally, in order to make life bearable and to keep the human race alive. And it is absolutely inevitable that when a tradition has been evolved, whatever the tradition is, that the people, in general will suppose it to have existed from before the beginning of time and will be most unwilling and indeed unable to conceive of any changes in it. They do not know how they will live without those traditions which have given them their identity. Their reaction, when it is suggested that they can or that they must, is panic. And we see this panic, I think, everywhere in the world today... A higher level of consciousness among the people is the only hope we have, now or in the future, of minimizing the human damage... Society must accept some things as real; but the artist must always know that the visible reality hides a deeper one, and that all our action and our achievement rests on things unseen… For the truth, in spite of appearances and all our hopes, is that everything is always changing and the measure of our maturity as nations and as men is how well prepared we are to meet these changes, and further, to use them for our health."

Photo of Ettore Sottsass

Ettore Sottsass // "Be patient, calm, compassionate. Know that existence is fleeting."

Photo of Joan Didion

Joan Didion // "I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who, somewhere along the line, misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract...in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor."

Photo of Agnes Varda

Agnes Varda // "If we opened people up, we’d find landscapes."

Salvador Dali // "I enjoy tremendously every single moment of my life because death, all the time, is very close watching me and death might catch me. And every five minutes death don't catch me, I enjoy tremendously."

Photo of Édouard Boubat

Édouard Boubat // "You cannot live when you are untouchable. Life is vulnerability."

Photo of Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams // "I don’t mean what other people mean when they speak of a home, because I don’t regard a home as a…well, as a place, a building…a house…of wood, bricks, stone. I think of a home as being a thing that two people have between them in which each can…well, nest…rest…live in emotionally speaking."

Photo of Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski // "Either peace or happiness, let it enfold you. When I was a young man I felt these things were dumb, unsophisticated. I had bad blood, a twisted mind, a precarious upbringing. I was hard as granite, I leered at the sun. I trusted no man and especially no woman... I challenged everything, was continually being evicted, jailed, in and out of fights, in and out of my mind... Peace and happiness to me were signs of inferiority, tenants of the weak, an addled mind. But as I went on...it gradually began to occur to me that I wasn't different from the others, I was the same... Everybody was nudging, inching, cheating for some insignificant advantage, the lie was the weapon and the plot was empty... Cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times. I found moments of peace in cheap rooms just staring at the knobs of some dresser or listening to the rain in the dark. The less I needed the better I felt... I re-formulated. I don't know when, date, time, all that but the change occured. Something in me relaxed, smoothed out. I no longer had to prove that I was a man, I didn’t have to prove anything. I began to see things: coffee cups lined up behind a counter in a cafe. Or a dog walking along a sidewalk. Or the way the mouse on my dresser top stopped there with its body, its ears, its nose, it was fixed, a bit of life caught within itself and its eyes looked at me and they were beautiful. Then...it was gone. I began to feel good, I began to feel good in the worst situations and there were plenty of those... I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness... And finally I discovered real feelings of others, unheralded, like lately, like this morning, as I was leaving for the track, I saw my wife in bed, just the shape of her head there...so still, I ached for her life, just being there under the covers. I kissed her in the forehead, got down the stairway, got outside, got into my marvelous car, fixed the seatbelt, backed out the drive. Feeling warm to the fingertips, down to my foot on the gas pedal, I entered the world once more, drove down the hill past the houses full and empty of people, I saw the mailman, honked, he waved back at me."

Photo of Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain // "We will, I hope, be judged, eventually by seemingly small, random acts of kindness and sincerity."

Photo of Anais Nin

Anais Nin // "I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me…the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself... That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art. The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world."

Photo of David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz // "We are living in a society that has accelerated to such a point that the person to press the button that releases warheads, the person who determines whether some of us have rights to abortion, the person who determines whether men can love men or women can love women or whether I should have to die of lack of access to Health Care because I'm Black or Hispanic or poor and White or Native American...that person no longer has to go to the scene of the crime to do their dirty work. The people making these determinations that affect our bodies and minds need only to do legislative paperwork. It's clean, efficient and leaves no blood or fingerprints on or from the hands of those persons. Paperwork erases the distance between manicured hands and the stench and rotting corpses."

Photo of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee // "If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition...you are not understanding yourself."