Giacometti was fond of saying, ‘There is only success to the extent that there is failure. The more it fails, the more it succeeds’.
Between things, between people, bridges are broken; the void slips in everywhere, each creature secretes its own void. Giacometti became a sculptor because he is obsessed with the void. He is a sculptor because he bears his void like a snail its shell, because he wants to give an account of it from all angles and in all dimensions.
In each of his paintings and drawings, Giacometti takes us back to the moment of creation ex nihilo; each one of them revives the old metaphysical interrogation: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Beauty has no other origin than the singular wound, different in every case, hidden or visible, which each man bears within himself, which he preserves, and into which he withdraws when he would quit the world for a temporary but authentic solitude. Such art, then, is a far cry from what is called miserabilisme. Giacometti’s art seems to me determined to discover this secret wound in each being and even in each thing, in order for it to illuminate them.
Giacometti’s art is not a social art that would establish a social link between objects—man and his secretions—but rather an art of superior beggars and bums, so pure that they could be united by a recognition of the solitude of every being and of every object. ‘I am alone,’ the object seems to say, ‘hence caught within a necessity against which you are powerless. If I am only what I am, I am indestructible. Being what I am, and unconditionally, my solitude knows yours!’