Without poets, without artists, men would soon weary of nature's monotony. The sublime idea men have of the universe would collapse with dizzying speed. The order which we find in nature, and which is only an effect of art, would at once vanish. Everything would break up in chaos. There would be no seasons, no civilization, no thought, no humanity; even life would give way, and the impotent void would reign everywhere.
Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb.
The first mistake of Art is to assume that it's serious.
The work of art, just like any fragment of human life considered in its deepest meaning, seems to me devoid of value if it does not offer the hardness, the rigidity, the regularity, the luster on every interior and exterior facet, of the crystal.
When I am finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it -- a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand -- as a kind of final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there's a clash between the two, it is bad art.
In art, one idea is as good as another. If one takes the idea of trembling, for instance, all of a sudden most art starts to tremble. Michelangelo starts to tremble. El Greco starts to tremble. All the Impressionists start to tremble.
--Willem de Kooning
Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.
There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.
Wherever art appears, life disappears.
We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.
Through art we express our conception of what nature is not.
Art is too serious to be taken seriously.
It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to. . . . The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
--Vincent Van Gogh
Memorable Quotations: Artists
Memorable Quotations: Artists of the Past