Picasso On Picasso

Excerpts from an article Picasso penned in 1963 for Le Musee Vivant. First, on the demise of great art and great artists:
When I was young, like all young people, great art was my religion; but as the years passed, I realized that art as conceived up to the end of the 1800s was finished, moribund, condemned, and that the so-called artistic activity for all its prosperity was nothing but a multifaceted manifestation of its own death throes. People today are increasingly indifferent to painting, sculpture, poetry; contrary to appearances, people have embraced something quite different: wealth, machines, scientific discoveries, the conquest of natural forces and of the world. We no longer feel that art is the vital spiritual necessity it was in the past.
He continues:
Many of us continue being artists for reasons that have very little to do with real art, but rather for the sake of imitation, for nostalgia of tradition, because of inertia, love of ostentation, luxury, intellectual curiosity, to be fashionable, or by calculation. Such artists survive because of habit, snobbery, the recent past; but the great majority of artists in all the fields of art lack a sincere passion for art, which they consider a pastime, a relaxation, an ornament. 
What strikes me is its similarity to a complaint Darwin makes in his diaries about his own theory stripping him of his intellectual energy and spiritual passion. At a certain point he (Darwin) felt he'd sucked out his own soul and could no longer believe in anything. Picasso has rightly intuited here that "art for art's sake," for all the seeming nobility of that proposition, is a headless chicken. Art is actually for Beauty's sake or for Worship's sake, and the death of God means also the death of art, however long it takes for anyone to notice.
The new generations, lovers of technology and sports, being more honest, cynical and brutal, will gradually abandon art altogether, relegating it to the museums and libraries as an incomprehensible and useless relic of the past. The moment the arts cease to feed the best minds, the artist will deploy his talents in all sorts of experimentation with new formulas, stray fancies and fantasies, and resort to intellectual chicanery. People no longer seek consolation or exaltation in the arts. And the refined, the rich, the idle, the purveyors of quintessences look for the new, the unusual, the original, the extravagant and the scandalous.
On his own work he comments:
For my part, from 'cubism' and even further back, I have humored these gentlemen, these critics, with the numerous extravagances that have popped into my head which, the less they understood, the more they admired.
Amusing myself with these games, the squiggles, the jigsaw puzzles, the riddles and arabesques, I quickly became famous. And celebrity for the artist means sales, commissions, fortune, wealth.
Now, as you know, I am famous and rich. But when I am alone with myself, I have not the courage to consider myself an artist in the grand old sense of the word.
There have been great painters like Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt and Goya. I am nothing but a public buffoon who understood his times. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may seem, but it has the merit of being sincere.
Cited in Myths of Modern Art, Alberto Boixados