Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka

Style: Expressionism

Lived: March 1, 1886 - February 22, 1980 (20th century)

Nationality: Austria

The life of the consciousness is boundless. It interpenetrates the world and is woven in all its imagery... Therefore, we must hearken closely to our inner voice.

However ugly a face may be, we can discover some beauty in it if we first experience wonder before it and then begin to understand it, too.

How do I define a work of art? It is not an asset in the stock-exchange sense, but a man's timid attempt to repeat the miracle that the simplest peasant girl is capable of at any time, that of magically producing life out of nothing.

I consider myself responsible to the coming generations, which are left stranded in a blitzed world, unaware of the soul trembling in awe before the mystery of life.

I try to keep my sitters moving and talking, to make them forget they are being painted. This has nothing to do with extracting intimate secrets or confessions, but rather with establishing, in motion, an essential image of the kind that remains in memory or recurs in dreams. I could not do this if my sitter had to keep still ... or to hold a stiff pose until we were both sick of it. A person is not a still-life – not even a dead person.

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