quotations about art
Art is not Nature, art is Nature digested. Art is a sublime excrement.
GEORGE MOORE, Confessions of a Young Man
Art is the concrete artifact of faith and expectation, the realization of a world that would otherwise be little more than a veil of pointless consciousness stretched over a gulf of mystery.
STEPHEN KING, Duma Key
Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
JEAN COCTEAU, The Paris Review, summer-fall 1964
It is the glory and good of Art,
That Art remains the one way possible
Of speaking truths, to mouths like mine at least.
ROBERT BROWNING, The Ring and the Book
The work of art is a scapegoat surplus product, a dispensable cliche of form and meaning, having only the value the spectator--the symbol of society at large--gives it as he encounters it in the no man's land of the gallery or museum. He victimizes it and is victimized by it; he is ambivalent about it as it is in itself. It has a certain amount of authority, yet no more than he gives it by channeling his life-energy in its forms. In other words, it forces him to recognize his own authoritarian style, i.e., his tendency to treat his own identity as a finished form, but at the same time possessed of an energy that contradicts that form by reaching for other identities. The work of art teaches the spectator that he too is communal cliche and unfinished expression.
DONALD BURTON KUSPIT, Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries
The great artist when he comes, uses everything that has been discovered or known about his art up to that point, being able to accept or reject in a time so short it seems that the knowledge was born with him, rather than that he takes instantly what it takes the ordinary man a lifetime to know, and then the great artist goes beyond what has been done or known and makes something of his own.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Death in the Afternoon
While our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.
RAY BRADBURY, preface, Zen in the Art of Writing
Art is a vehicle that allows us to transcend linear time, to travel backward and forward into personal and transpersonal history, into possibilities that weren't realized and those that might be.
PAT B. ALLEN, introduction, Art Is a Spiritual Path
Take a quart of nature, boil it down to a pint, and the residue is art.
AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought
The job of mass entertainment is to cajole, seduce and flatter consumers to let them know that what they thought was right is right, and that their tastes and their immediate gratification are of the utmost concern of the purveyor. The job of the artist, on the other hand, is to say, wait a second, to the contrary, everything that we have thought is wrong. Let's reexamine it.
DAVIE MAMET, interview, Salon, 1997
An artist cannot fail; it is success to be one.
CHARLES HORTON COOLEY, Life and the Student
The difference between the first and second-best things in art absolutely seems to escape verbal definition -- it is a matter of a hair, a shade, an inward quiver of some kind -- yet what miles away in the point of preciousness!
WILLIAM JAMES, letter to Henry Rutgers Marshall, Feb. 7, 1899
Art is anything you can do well. Anything you can do with Quality.
ROBERT M. PIRSIG, interview, NPR, Jul. 12, 1974
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray
All passes. Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne,--
The Coin, Tiberius.
HENRY AUSTIN DOBSON, Ars Victrix
It was the job of art to bring true feelings alive. To shock people into awareness.
MICHAEL CRICHTON, Next
Computers creating art is an upsetting concept mostly because of what it means about humans.
JASON LEE MILLER, "Automated Content Will Unmake Existence"
Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.
LEO TOLSTOY, What Is Art?
Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one's self from enslavement by the earth.
ANAIS NIN, The Journals of Anais Nin
Art knows, life applies knowledge; art feels, life acts.
AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought