By ‘man of the world’, I mean a man of the whole world, a man who understands the world and the mysterious and legitimate reasons behind all its customs; by ‘artist’, I mean a specialist, a man tied to his palette like a serf to the soil. M. G. does not like being called an artist. Is he not justified to a small extent? He takes an interest in everything the world over, he wants to know, understand, and assess everything that happens on the surface of our spheroid. The artist moves little, or even not at all, in intellectual and political circles. … With two or three exceptions, which it is unnecessary to name, the majority of artists are, let us face it, very skilled brutes, mere manual laborers, village pub-talkers with the minds of country bumpkins. Their talk; inevitably enclosed within very narrow limits, quickly becomes a bore to the man of the world, to the spiritual citizen of the universe.
At the pub last night I was moaning about Photographers as I am often likely to do after I’ve had a few pints. Someone brought up this passage by Baudelaire’s The Painter of Modern Life. A sick burn that still rings true.