Martha Graham: Art and Anger

Martha Graham in 1947

Interview with Martha Graham
Conducted by James Grissom
New York City

Anger should not be confused with passion, and far too many people operate solely on anger, and this cannot produce art that is valuable. Our anger should arise over situations, conflicts, lacks, needs, and our application of these angers toward an act--of creation or caring or anything to which we can give ourselves--purifies the anger and turns it into something useful: A witness, a testimony.

The world owes us nothing. That's the big picture. The world of art or dance or theatre also owes us nothing. We stand before these worlds and seek to gain admittance with our worth, and anger at not being able to climb the walls should not allow us any entry. Sadly, others are allowed in solely on a fashionable rage or two.

One of the great gifts of art is that it can purify anger. Art takes the anger and puts it to a good use. Until you are ready to release your anger, do not approach your art, or you will destroy it.

© 2017  James Grissom 


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