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one-liners on art

Post #633 • September 27, 2005, 8:35 AM • 37 Comments

Andrew Sullivan is collecting one-liners on art. One my favorites is from Andre Gide: "The work of art is a part of nature seen through a temperament." How about you?

Comment

1.

FRC

September 27, 2005, 9:13 AM

When tillage begins, the other arts follow

2.

oldpro

September 27, 2005, 9:20 AM

Oscar Wilde:

Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.

All art is quite useless.

Art never expresses anything but itself.

One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art.

The artist should never try to be popular. Rather the public should be more artistic.

Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm.

3.

that guy

September 27, 2005, 9:36 AM

"well... its a painting."

I heard a professor say that to a student in the Mid West once. And I still get a kick out of it.

4.

matthew langley

September 27, 2005, 10:44 AM

I think Ad Reinhardt said "Sculpture is what you back into when you are looking at a painting."

5.

oldpro

September 27, 2005, 12:04 PM

Picasso:


If there is something to steal, I steal it

Painting is stronger than me, it makes me do its bidding.

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot and there are others who transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

Everything you can imagine is real.

I alway do what I cannot do so I can learn how to do it.

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

Good taste is the enemy of creativity

God is really only another artist, he made the elephant, giraffe and cat. He has no real style but keeps trying new ideas.

We all know that art is not the truth, art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.

I'd like to live like a poor man with lots of money.

We always have a lot of reasons but only one real one.

6.

michele omiccioli

September 27, 2005, 12:38 PM

Franz Kline:
"You paint the way you have to in order to give. That's life itself, and someone will look and say it is the product of knowing, but it has noting to do with knowing, it has to do with giving."

Audrey Flack:
"True art puts you in touch with that part of yourself that knows the truth."

Two definition not of what art is, maybe of what art should aim.

7.

George

September 27, 2005, 1:01 PM

Life is a soundbite, then you die.

Painting is a brush with nature

8.

Matty

September 27, 2005, 1:35 PM

"Art is a jealous mistress", Emerson.

"Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.", Tolstoy.

... and this one, from Blair Brennan, an artist in Edmonton (not really a definition of art, but appropriate to what goes on here):
"Talking about art is like swearing at a dog".

9.

michele omiccioli

September 27, 2005, 2:13 PM

No no art is a word
and a world
and a reward
(and maybe also a person)

10.

Constantin Brancusi

September 27, 2005, 2:49 PM

Nude men in sculpture are not as beautiful as Toads.

Constantin Brancusi

11.

oldpro

September 27, 2005, 3:38 PM

Matty, the dog one is Weird but good.

12.

karen

September 27, 2005, 4:06 PM

this is a bit of an aside but it's one of my favourites:

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad."

- Dali

also love the 'swearing at a dog' . classic.

13.

Franklin

September 27, 2005, 5:05 PM

Just added "swearing at a dog" to the quotes.

14.

michele omiccioli, italy

September 27, 2005, 5:45 PM

to karen

I knew it slightly different
"the only difference between me and a surrealist is that I am a surrealist"


An advise to his companion of that time... Ernst and Matta perhaps

(my opinion? Dalì had been a surrealist for maximum ten years, not more)

15.

Luisa

September 27, 2005, 6:25 PM

A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
Channing Pollock

16.

Franklin

September 27, 2005, 7:00 PM

My favorite one about critics is from Murray Kempton: "A critic is someone who enters the battlefield after the war is over and shoots the wounded."

17.

George

September 27, 2005, 7:14 PM

As you might guess,
I'm not very good at one liners

18.

oldpro

September 27, 2005, 8:17 PM

Another goodie from Oscar:

Bad artists always admire each other's work. They call it being large-minded and free from prejudice.

19.

Matty

September 27, 2005, 9:09 PM

Although I find Schopenhauer's writing on aesthetics to be muddled, I find his general philosophical thinking can apply very appropriately to art issues... take this, his thoughts on judgment
(dedicated to Karen, the reluctant art critic):

"He who truly thinks for himself is like a monarch, in that he recognizes no one above him. His judgments, like the decisions of a monarch, arise directly from his own absolute power. He no more accepts authorities than a monarch does orders, and he acknowledges the validity of nothing he has not himself confirmed."

(I know, not a one-liner, and not really about art... so sue me).

Oldpro, your last Wilde quote was very well chosen (for its value not to this topic, but the blog in general).

20.

Matty

September 27, 2005, 9:29 PM

While I'm at it, we can't be discussing art without hearing from jolly ol' St. Clem...

"No work of art is worth a human life."

"Art as art takes place away from life as lived."

"The only legitimate demand that can be put to art is that it be good, aesthetically satisfying, and this demand can be made only by taste."

21.

Luisa

September 27, 2005, 10:32 PM

Art isn't art until it's sold. Until then it's an obsession and a storage problem. -Anonymous

22.

Matty

September 27, 2005, 10:48 PM

I'm with you on the 'storage problem' business, that's for sure.

23.

ahab

September 28, 2005, 7:10 PM

One more Picasso: "Painting is a cluster of destructions."

24.

Matty

September 28, 2005, 9:37 PM

Art is a puzzle.

25.

Matty

September 28, 2005, 9:38 PM

Art is an amoral religion.

26.

bluhue

October 3, 2005, 3:05 PM

another artism to be clusterfied

27.

witenot

October 3, 2005, 3:09 PM

the following are recommended guidelines for parents and guardians to insure that children have positive artistic experiences, whether at home or in the institution:

Use

consider

explore

encourage

provide

instruct

teach

join

28.

its not easy being kermit

October 3, 2005, 3:10 PM

use responsibly

29.

red shaped box

October 3, 2005, 3:13 PM

if you made it, dont like it

if you like it, dont make it again

if you make it again, lick it

30.

one-eyed, four-toed, flying people eater

October 3, 2005, 3:16 PM

Q:why do they serve liquor at art openings?

A:to get to the other side

31.

freshly squeezed florida door hinge

October 3, 2005, 3:23 PM

art has taught
if you want a good philosophy, make it down

if you want it done right, do it right now

if you could do it better, show yourself

if you get inspired, say thank you

if you want to appreciate art-depredicate It

32.

yellowkitty

October 3, 2005, 3:24 PM

dont ask me, i didn't make it

33.

untied odors of benny'ntom

October 3, 2005, 3:28 PM

art is everything made with anything in mind

34.

homer j simpson (no relation)

October 3, 2005, 3:30 PM

what is mind,
does it matter
whats the matter,
nevermind

35.

raisnella

October 3, 2005, 3:35 PM

art is the stuff that we lack a better word for

bob-what is it?

fred-i dont know.

joe-must be art.

36.

Franklin

October 3, 2005, 3:56 PM

That's enough, thanks.

37.

dipesh

October 10, 2005, 6:55 AM

art is the unseen.

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