* Note: "Pop" refers to Samuel Rothbort
* It's no use. I'll never be as insane as Van Gogh. My habits are different. I'll questionably slip morally, but I'll always admire and keep some semblance of self control. Will that mean my art will be less strong than his ? I don't know. His insane power is fascinating. I conduct myself with the elements too, but I reason with them and try to work with them, never try to battle with them or let them control me unwillingly. My power lies in the fact that I've been trained to communicate with the elements - any elements.
* Shadows whispered to Rembrandt. Shadows speak to me. I hope I'll gain his masters hand.
* I am being controlled by strange ideas. I roam through the streets like a wandering tramp and experiment with strange rhythms in walking. I stand and watch the depressed, the uncouth mother with many children, the cripple, the bum; I study the smells of barrels laden with trash and call it rich with it's lush possessions, I stare at the dark eyes of empty buildings; I hold my breath in the compressed elevators; I bounce along with trolley's and subways. I study the features of merry go-round horses and carefully observe their colorful ornament. I watch the child on the wooden horse reacting seriously to its own world of up, down, and around. It was neccessary for me to stare at people and talk to things and feel the touch of walls before I claimed position in this world. I am an artist and a student and have much privilege, but I know that I am unbalanced, unquestionably insane.
* Strange that I should date everything in these booklets and not even sign my pictures.
* Pop still insists that if I keep writing everyday, I will become a writer. I usually write about the nonsense that interests me most. Literary or moral I'm in the Frick - studying the detail of the masters How much less they know than Pop. I'm being impartial - not comparing the emotional reaction, first the technical abilities, the things called truthful portrayal.
* Flowers are the hardest things to paint direct. So Pop paints flowers.
* Yesterday I studied Rembrandts pictures. I am far stronger. But where did he develop such grace ? Today I saw a weak, lived, toothless, haggard aged woman. I desire to paint her because she was weak, because in the silent world of her shadows, not only do I see the strength that I am accustomed to see, but I see the grace I cannot find in my pitifully youthful self.
* Art depicts the relationship of the universe to mankind.
* In the Museum of Modern Art - After passing through two floors. I am no longer certain of what art is. Perhaps it's because I don't smoke and am not trained to search for soul through my own haze. In my own home I know what growth and God are. But here I almost forget. This is the world of art to many people. The museum as their temple, the pictures are their gods - small gods, small homage. Where is nature. Their is Flanagan stone, a distorted Pendergast, a distorted Van Gogh, a Gauguin. Where is nature's beauty - only Flanagan's stone. I'm not strong enough for this world. After the free movies - salami and fanny - I'll leave instantly, barring a horrid fate.
* The fascination of my life is swirling to a climax. Will it be a tragedy ?
* Time changes us; our output becomes ordered: physically we appear disordered. When I started, the comments were "he looks like an artist, but can he paint?" I'm working on the Prospect Park reflection, and to show how derelict I am a youngster said, as if I were a stick of wood without ears and human reactions. "He doesn't look like an artist, but his picture looks like an artists." As happened before, we have money enough for food only. Being insance, I feel it is more important to hide in the world of art and produce at great expense, pictures for the soul. But Pop worries, he becomes greyer, if that's possible. No work comes in from his trade; no flowers can be sold while Barzansky is on vacation. There is no hope. He doesn't know where to turn for support. Old as he is , he is willing to work at anything, but no one requires his services. At home, thousands of masterpieces stand quietly. No one wants moods of nature while the man is alive. They can't realize that his pictures were dark when the day was dark, his figures are stiff when his subjects were stiff; when the parts were alive, he shows them alive; when there's a story, he tells a story; when the lines had character, he allowed their characters, and whenever he saw charm, he created charm. He's to honest to be important. But when he goes, thousands of truth will remain captured.
* I check over and over again, very carefully, and it's clear that no artist was ever so true to life as Pop. If a figure is stiff it's because the model was stiff while posing. Pop has challenged to the winds - put my portraits against a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh. but who takes him seriously. Why don't they give him sculpture commissions. In his rugged way, he would make Michelangelo seem like a pygmy. As for myself, my frustration are ordering themselves into unique compositions. I'm not as truthful tonality as I am to my own soul. Pop's souls happens to be reality. Mine is a soul of thwarted beauty.