Quotes about Art

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There is an art to writing, and it is not always disclosure. The act itself can be beautiful, revelatory, and private.

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It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or for feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment; heroically, one must force it on.

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If you have a rifle, hanging on the wall in the first act, it should fire in the last act”.
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Fuck art. I’ve gotta get out of the basement. I’ve gotta see the world. I’ve gotta make a difference.

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Great art comes from passion, from a need to expose human spirit in the face of mortality, the small cruelties and heroisms that make up daily life -- that's where great work comes from, and if you enable students in this way to discover those impulses and observations in themselves, those heroisms and cruelties in themselves, you create an atmosphere in which art can emerge.
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We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.
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The great city seemed to weigh upon me, as though it were crushing me under its heap of brick and stone. Gray, drizzly skies, congested streets, the soot-belching boats and barges chugging up and down the Thames, the teeming mass of four millions hastening about the countless activities of daily life in a metropolis, things adventurous, meaningful, spiritual, quotidian, futile, criminal, meaningless and absurd. Amidst this seething stew of humanity, I painted.
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If there’s a thing, a scene, maybe, an image that you want to see real bad, that you need to see but it doesn’t exist in the world around you, at least not in the form that you envision, then you create it so that you can look at it and have it around, or show it to other people who wouldn’t have imagined it because they perceive reality in a more narrow, predictable way. And that’s it. That’s all an artist does.

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La emoción trágica, efectivamente, es una cara que mira en dos direcciones: hacia el terror y hacia la piedad, y ambos son fases de ella. Habrás visto que uso la palabra paraliza. Quiero decir que la emoción trágica es estática. O más bien que la emoción dramática lo es. Los sentimientos excitados por un arte impuro son cinéticos, deseo y repulsión. El deseo nos incita a la posesión, a movernos hacia algo; la repulsión nos incita al abandono, a apartarnos de algo. Las artes que sugieren estos sentimientos, pornográficas o didácticas, no son, por tanto, artes puras. La emoción estética es por consiguiente estática. El espíritu queda paralizado por encima de todo deseo, de toda repulsión.
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Ruskin says that anyone who expects perfection from a work of art knows nothing of works of art. This is an appealing sentence that, so far as I can see, is not true about a few pictures and statues and pieces of music, short stories and short poems. Whether or not you expect perfection from them, you get it; at least, there is nothing in them that you would want changed. But what Ruskin says is true about novels: anyone who expects perfection from even the greatest novel knows nothing of novels.
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any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.

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The modern artist is working with space and time and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.
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To know how to avoid the cliche, to know what tradition you are pushing forward, begins with knowing what that tradition is.
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He wondered what percentage of the world's art was actually kept in bank vaults and the like. Like unread books and unplayed music, did it matter that art went unseen?
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Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.

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In other words, art is a realm entirely separated from the interests of real life-a refuge for detached and gifted souls from sordid political and economic struggles.
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When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.

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Yet entertainment--as I define it, pleasure and all--remains the only sure means we have of bridging, or at least of feeling as if we have bridged, the gulf of consciousness that separates each of us from everybody else. The best response to those who would cheapen and exploit it is not to disparage or repudiate but to reclaim entertainment as a job fit for artists and for audiences, a two-way exchange of attention, experience, and the universal hunger for connection.

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One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

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A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; -- not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.