frivolous events

I’m well aware that in troubled periods, the artist feels himself wavering and is tempted to abandon his art and place himself at the service of a specific, immediate ideal. … [For Matisse] the wars were the frivolous events in his life, the thousands of paintings he left were the serious events. Art for art’s sake? No. Art for beauty’s sake, art for the sake of others. Matisse began by comforting himself, then he comforted others.

–Francois Truffaut

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