Long Live the Vortex!

Wyndham Lewis

Long live the great art Vortex, sprung up in the centre of this town!
We stand for the reality of the present, not for the sentimental future or the sacripant past.
We want to leave nature and men alone.
We do not want to make people wear futurist patches, or fuss men to take the pink and sky-blue trousers.
We are not their wives or tailors.
The only way humanity can help artists is to remain independent and work unconsciously.
We need the unconsciousness of humanity, their stupidity, animalism and dreams.
We believe in no perfectibility except our own.
Intrinsic beauty is in the interpreter and seer, not in the object or content.
We do not want to change the appearance of the world, because we are not naturalists, impressionists or futurists (the latest form of naturalism), and do not depend on the appearance of the world for our art.
We only want the world to live and to feel its crude energy flowing through us.
It may be said that great artists in England are always revolutionary, just as in France any really fine artist had a strong traditional vein.
BLAST sets out to be an avenue for all those vivid and violent ideas that could reach the public in no other way.
BLAST will be popular, essentially, and will not appeal to any particular class, but to the fundamental instincts in every class and description of people – to the individual.
The moment one feels or realizes oneself as an artist, one ceases to belong to any milieu or time. BLAST is created for this timeless, fundamental artist that exists in everybody.
The man in the street and the gentleman are equally ignored.
Popular art does not mean the art of the poor people, as it is usually supposed to, but it means the art of the individuals.
Eduction (art education and general education) tends to destroy the creative instinct, therefore it is in times when education has been non-existent that art chiefly flourished.
But it is nothing to do with the people.
It is a mere accident that this is the most favorable time for the individual to appear.
To make the rich of the community shed their education skin, to destroy politeness, standardization and academic vision, is the task we have set ourselves.
We want to make in England not a popular art, not a revival of lost folk art, or a romantic fostering of such non-actual conditions, but to make individuals, wherever found.
We will convert the King, if possible.
A Vorticist King, why not?
Do you think Lloyd George has the vortex in himself?
We are against the glorification of the people, as we are against snobbery.
It is not necessary to be an outcast bohemian, to be unkempt or poor, any more than it is necessary to be rich or handsome, in order to be an artist.
Art is nothing to do with the coat you wear, and a top-hat can well hold the Sistine, a cheap hat could hide the image of Kephren.
Automobilism (Marinetteism) bores us.
We do not want to go about making a hulla-bullo about motor cars, anymore than about knives and forks, elephants or gas-pipes.
Elephants are very big, motor cars go quickly.
Twenty years ago Wilde gushed about the beauty of machinery.
Gissing, in his romantic delight with modern lodging houses, was futurist in this sense.
The futurist is a sensational and sentimental mixture of the aesthete of 1890 and the realist of 1870.
The poor are detestable animals, picturesque and amusing only for the sentimentalist or the romantic.
The rich are bores without exception – en tant que riches!
We want those simple and great people found everywhere.
BLAST represents an art of individuals.