In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble.

This quote by de Kooning came to me by way of my friend Nada Farhat. Like Jenny Saville whose eye sees violence in everything, from a cadavar to a painting by Degas, we are all filtering reality. I know my filter can change quickly, from rose-tinted to dark and back again in a very short period of time.

One of the most successful cineatic demonstrations of that shifting vision is the movie, My Dinner With Andre. At the beginning of this conversation-as-movie, Wallace Shawn is overwhelmed by his life—he is a financially strapped artist who remembers his childhood of wealth and luxury—and the film begins with a heightened sense of that reality. The New York City in the film’s first few minutes is a hard edged and inhospitable place. But at the end of the film, after his eponymous and enlightened dinner with Andre Gregory, Shawn’s cab ride home is through a city that feels magical, all alit and gorgeously full of promise.

But trembling. What a great word for de Kooning to use in his quote.

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