Your short answers and silences will put them on the defensive, and they will jump in, nervously filling the silence with all kinds of comments that will reveal valuable information about them and their weaknesses. They will leave a meeting with you feeling as if they had been robbed, and they will go home and ponder your every word. This extra attention to your brief comments will only add more to your power.
Saying less than necessary is not for kings and statesmen only. In the most areas of life, the less you say, the more profound and mysterious you appear. As a young man, the artist Andy Warhol had the revelation that it was generally impossible to get people to do what you wanted them to do by talking to them. They would turn against you, subvert to your wishes, disobey you out of sheer perversity. He once told a friend, “I learned that you actually have more power when you shut up.”
In his later life Warhol employed this strategy with great success. His interviews were excercises in oracular speech: He would say something vague and ambiguous, and the interviewer would twist in circles trying to figure it out, imagining there was something profound behind his often meaningless phrases. Warhol rarely talked about his work; he let others do the interpreting. He claimed to have learned this technique from that master of enigma Marcel Duchamp, another twentieth-century artist who realized early on that the less he said about his work, the more people talked about it. And the more they talked, the more valuable his work became.
– Robert Greene “The 48 Laws of Power”
Well, folks, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve been thinking this for a long time and am glad to find words that really formulate my thoughts. Shut up and paint. If people like it, they’ll buy it. I feel like for the most part, people don’t go into a gallery looking for a piece of art with the longest, most in depth background about the artist’s life and what he or she had to go through in order to create this masterpiece. They like it because it looks good OR they just have a ton of money and want to be that guy who bought the 12.3 million dollar painting. Just my thoughts. Please, tell me otherwise if you are, or you know someone who’s bought a painting because the artist decided to write a novel about it.
ENJOY THE WEEKEND!
playlist coming soon