Poetry News

Artist Annette Messager and William Blake

By Harriet Staff

In an excerpt of her book, "In my View," on Huffington Post, French artist Annette Messager reflects on how William Blake influences her work:

Blake is, for me, both a child and an old man. "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" — the child who marvels at everything and the man tortured throughout his life by mystical insights, death, decay and pessimism. The true artist! He said: "The imagination is not a state. It is the human existence itself."

Blake’s drawings are both joyful and melancholic, light and sad. His works — text and images — become interwoven poetically into his poems. The game that he plays between words and images also makes me think of Edward Lear’s very funny Nonsense rhymes and pictures, which I love. This complete world has always stimulated me.

I feel that Blake does not seem to relate to a particular period or a specific time — in the same way that children’s drawings or artworks made by ‘outsider’ artists seem not to. But at the same time Blake was a visionary. His work is beyond time. It is beyond past, present and future.

Find full post and a slideshow of Blake's art here.

Originally Published: October 8th, 2012