Statement to Simone Tery – Pablo Picasso
What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who, if he is a painter, has only eyes, if he’s a musician has only ears, if he’s a poet has a lyre in each chamber of his heart, or even, if he’s a boxer, just muscles? On the contrary, he is at the same time a political being, constantly alert to the heart-rending, stirring or pleasant events of the world, taking his own complexion from them. How would it be possible to dissociate yourself from other men; by virtue of what ivory nonchalance should you distance yourself from the life which they so abundantly bring before you? No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It is an instrument for offensive and defensive war against the enemy.
It was originally published in Les Lettres Franceses, V, no. 48, Paris, 24 March 1945. Simone Tery was a french journalist.