ENGAGING QUOTES FROM GREAT ARTISTS

Leonid Pasternak’s The Passion of Creation

One could find over the net nearly thousands quotes from well-known artists. The selection was particularly hard to make. I decided to gather quotes from plastician artists but also philosophers, filmmakers, authors and poets in a discretionary manner. I have to admit that those quotes are relevant to my work but indeed to any artist.

I hope you’ll find them moving, humble or insolent, inspirational and that you could find your happiness among all those quotes!

*credit for article feature work on top of article: « Ben, Nous finirons par vaincre » (« We’ll end up winning »), 2007

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  • “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light, and shadows.”  — Jim Jarmusch
  • “The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” — Pablo Picasso
  • “Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” — Émile Zola
  • “There’s nothing more absurd than a “connoisseur.”” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • “In 1913, trying desperately to liberate art from the ballast of the representational world, I sought refuge in the form of the square.” — Kasimir Malevich
  • “I would like to say to those who think of my pictures as serene, whether on friendship or mere observation, that I have imprisoned the most utter violence in every inch of their surface.” — Mark Rothko
  • “- last words about painting, age 78… I think I’m beginning to learn something about it.” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • “For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity.” — Jean Dubuffet
  • “I would rather wait for a public that will come fifty years – a hundred years – after my death.” — Marcel Duchamp
  • “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.” — Vincent Van Gogh
  • “less is more” — Mies van der Rohe
  • “I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “I shut my eyes in order to see.” Paul Gauguin
  • “I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: ‘He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty.” —  Gustave Courbet
  • “Black is a color by itself, which sums up and and consumes all others”. — Henri Matisse
  • “I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me.” — Roy Lichtenstein
  • “I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” — Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” —  Edgard Degas
  • “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso
  •  “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Andy Warhol
  • “I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.” Jackson Pollock
  • “The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.” — Piet Mondrian
  • “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — Francis Bacon
  • “To create one’s own world takes courage.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
  • “Great art picks up where nature ends.” — Marc Chagall
  • “In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.” — RalphWaldo Emerson
  • “What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Eugene Delacroix
  • “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way- things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe
  • A Good artist has less time than ideas.” — Martin Kippenberger
  • “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali
  • “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad,whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol
  • “The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.”Lucian Freud
  • “An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.” Paul Valéry
  • “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”  Aristotle
  • No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” Oscar Wilde
  • “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free” Michelangelo
  • “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas
  • There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” Pablo Picasso
  • “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Pablo Picasso
  • “I am not a black artist, I am an artist.”  — Jean-Michel Basquiat

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