ART QUOTES IV

quotations about art

Art quote

No art is possible without a dance with death.

KURT VONNEGUT, Slaughterhouse-Five

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The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.

MICHELLE OBAMA, remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Metropolitan Museum of Art American Wing, May 18, 2009

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At one point cinema and photography weren't treated as art. Now it's crazy to think they're not. The key question is "What is art today?" The most important artists of the last 20 years are Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive, because the influence they have had is incredible and they've changed the world. That is art.

FERRAN ADRIA, Disegno Daily, Apr. 28, 2014

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When I reflect that the task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life, then it is that I run with joy to the great and imperfect ones, their confusion nourishes me, their stuttering is like divine music to my ears.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

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Art is a way of knowing what it is we actually believe.

PAT. B. ALLEN, Art Is a Way of Knowing

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The idea of beauty is the fundamental idea of everything. In the world we see only distortions of the fundamental idea, but art, by imagination, may lift itself to the height of this idea. Art is therefore akin to creation.

LEO TOLSTOY, What Is Art?

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Great works of art are only great because they are accessible and comprehensible to everyone.

LEO TOLSTOY, What Is Art?

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Art is awkward until technique has become an unconscious habit.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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There's nothing like drawing a thing to make you really see it.

MARGARET ATWOOD, The Year of the Flood

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Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.

BERTOLT BRECHT, attributed, Decade of Protest

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One of the pleasures of art is that it enables the mind to move in unanticipated directions, to make connections that may be in some sense errors but are fruitful nonetheless.

DONALD BARTHELME, "Reifications"

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If they don't know what you're doin'
Babe it must be art.

U2, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"

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Art ... is a foreign city, and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar.

JEANETTE WINTERSON, Art Objects

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I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness that characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm.

SAUL BELLOW, The Paris Review, winter 1966

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The particulars of life do not matter to the artist; they merely provide him with the opportunity to lay bare his genius.

MARCEL PROUST, Within a Budding Grove

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What an artist does, is fail. Any reading of the literature... (I mean the literature of artistic creation), however summary, will persuade you instantly that the paradigmatic artistic experience is that of failure. The actualization fails to meet, equal, the intuition. There is something "out there" which cannot be brought "here". This is standard. I don't mean bad artists, I mean good artists. There is no such thing as a "successful artist" (except, of course, in worldly terms).

DONALD BARTHELME, "The Sandman"

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The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication.

CYRIL CONNOLLY, The Unquiet Grave

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Every artist joins a conversation that's been going on for generations, even millennia, before he or she joins the scene.

JOHN BARTH, attributed, Writers Dreaming

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Art is the signature of man.

G. K. CHESTERTON, The Everlasting Man

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It seems to me that the arts are rather flourishing. There's an awful lot of bad art about because of this, but that's true of every great era. I'm sure there was a lot dreadful art in the Renaissance that we fortunately don't see today.

LOUIS AUCHINCLOSS, The Atlantic, Oct. 15, 1997

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