The recipe of a work of art – its ingredients – how to make it – the formula.
- There must be a clear preoccupation with death – intimations of mortality. Tragic art, romantic art, etc. deals with the knowledge of death.
- Sensuality. Our basis of being concrete about the world. It is a lustful relationship to things that exist.
- Tension. Either conflict or curbed desire.
- Irony. This is the modern ingredient – the self-effacement and examination by which a man for an instant can go on to something else.
- Wit and play . . . for the human element.
- The ephemeral and chance . . . for the human element.
- Hope. 10% to make the tragic concept more endurable.
I measure these ingredients very carefully when I paint a picture. It is always the form that follows these elements and the pciture results from the porportions of these elements.
From Daily Rothko