Saul Steinberg: Reflections and Shadows

By January 13, 2012Blog, Uncategorized


Saul Steinberg holding his eight-year-old self by the hand.

Saul Steinberg, on drawing from life: “It’s hard to do a portrait. You must first spend a critical moment in which you quickly — if you’re lucky — discard all the commonplaces about the subject of the drawing. More difficult than inventing is giving up accumulated virtues. The things you discovered yesterday are no longer valid. It’s impossible to find anything new without first giving something up… There’s a moral in this. It’s stinginess that holds us back, especially when we’re not only enamored of what we’ve discovered but also convinced it’s good. There are those who, in working from life, continually use the baggage they picked up yesterday; they work from life without really looking, without working from life.”