«Mi gran deseo es volver a España, pero hombres sabios me han dicho que allí se pierde el respeto a los artistas cuando están presentes, pues España es madre amantísima para los forasteros y madrastra cruel para sus hijos».
—José de Ribera
Our aim is to make the world more beautiful than it was when we came into it. It can be done. You can do it.
—Kurt Vonnegut, from The Kid Nobody Could Handle (Welcome to the Monkey House), 1968.
"All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone."
Today, many of the artists I admire are ‘masters of the universe’: artist who use empty space or infinity as a means of accentuating the innate beauty of things that exist.
“Besides, I could already see that real-world problems didn't neatly lie within territorial boundaries. They jumped right across. And I was as dubious of any approach that, when two things were inextricably inter-twined and interconnected, would try and think about one thing but not the other. I was afraid, if I tried any such restricted approach, that I would end up, in the immortal words of John L Lewis, "with no brain at all, just a neck that had haired over.”
—Charles T. Munger, The Psychology of Human Misjudgement
The question of style is an important one, and in his work John aims more for a sense of atmosphere, for want of a better word. In a conversation with eye magazine’s editor John Walters he described it as “a problematic and woolly word, but it’s the best description of what I aim for in my work. It’s the sensation you find when you walk into a building or space and it changes the way you feel… It’s hard to define what gives a book atmosphere, because it can be found in unexpected places, and many books by attentive designers lack it, but you know it when you see it or feel it.”
“Japanese music is above all a music of reticence, if atmosphere. When recorded, or amplified by a loudspeaker, the greater part of its charm is lost. In conversation, too, we prefer the soft voice, the understatement. Most important of all are the pauses.”