Content of art

How can you expect a beholder to experience my picture as I experienced it? A picture comes to me a long time beforehand; who knows how long a time beforehand, I sensed, saw, and painted it and yet the next day even I do not understand what I have done. How can anyone penetrate my dreams, my instincts, my desires, my thought, which have taken a long time to fashion themselves and come to the surface, above all to grasp what I put there, perhaps involuntary?

Pablo Picasso, 1934

Cited in: Friedenthal, Richard (trans. Daphne Woodward) (1963) Letters of the Great Artists – from Blake to Pollock. London: Thames and Hudson, p.260.