Taos“For art to exist,” wrote Nietzsche, “for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”

But not necessarily intoxication of the alcoholic kind, which may or may not have stirred the muse of such great writers as Dylan Thomas, Ring Lardner and Malcolm Lowry.

The English poet and novelist novelist, D.H. Lawrence, became intoxicated with New Mexico early in the 20th-century and he may have explained why, for over 100 years, artists have flocked to Taos in northern New Mexico at the southern tip of the Rocky Mountain chain. Lawrence wrote: “[New Mexico] had a splendid silent terror, and a vast far-and-wide magnificence which made it way beyond mere aesthetic appreciation. Never is the light more pure and overweening than there, arching with a royalty almost cruel … “

When Taos artists are asked what brought them to this remote little town in the northern New Mexican mountains, they invariably reply: “The light!”

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