One of my favorite painters of all time died last week—R. B. Kitaj. I remember the first time I saw one of his paintings in person, I felt like I had stumbled into a place that was as familiar as the dailiness of my own life, including what I'm reading, and as alien as my recurring confusion about all that, if that makes any sense to anyone.
He wrote a lot about his own paintings, as well as others' works of various art. Here's the tail end of a preface he wrote to mini-essays about some of his paintings, explaining why he could write about some and not others:
"...I hope my paintings are little imitations of life. Some paintings have resisted my advances so far and their quietude persists. When a painting says no, I assume she means no."