500+ Sourced quotes
When I have to think about it, I know the picture is wrong. And sizing is a form of thinking and coloring is too. My instinct about painting says, 'If you don't think about it, it's right'. As soon as you have to decide and choose, it's wrong. And the more you decide about, the more wrong it gets. Some people, they paint abstract, so they sit there thinking about it because their thinking makes them feel they're doing something. But my thinking never makes me feel I'm doing anything.
Genius is its own reward; for the best that one is, one must necessarily be for oneself.... Further, genius consists in the working of the free intellect., and as a consequence the productions of genius serve no useful purpose. The work of genius may be music, philosophy, painting, or poetry; it is nothing for use or profit. To be useless and unprofitable is one of the characteristics of genius; it is their patent of nobility.
Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
If you condemn painting, which is the only imitator of all visible works of nature, you will certainly despise a subtle invention which brings philosophy and subtle speculation to the consideration of the nature of all forms — seas and plains, trees, animals, plants and flowers — which are surrounded by shade and light. And this is true knowledge and the legitimate issue of nature; for painting is born of nature — or, to speak more correctly, we will say it is the grandchild of nature; for all visible things are produced by nature, and these her children have given birth to painting. Hence we may justly call it the grandchild of nature and related to God.
But the mark of American merit in painting, in sculpture, in poetry, in fiction, in eloquence, seems to be a certain grace withoutgrandeur, and itself not new but derivative; a vase of fair outline, but empty,--which whoso sees, may fill with what wit and character is in him, but which does not, like the charged cloud, overflow with terrible beauty, and emit lightnings on all beholders.
Surely when a man is painting a picture he ought not refuse to hear any man's opinion... Since men are able to form a true judgement as to the works of nature, how much more does it behoove us to admit that they are able to judge our faults. Therefore you should be desirous of hearing patiently the opinions of others, and consider and reflect carefully whether or no he who censures you has reason for his censure; and correct your work if you find that he is right, but if not, then let it seem that you have not understood him, or, in case he is a man whom you esteem, show him by argument why it is that he is mistaken.
If you, historians or poets or mathematicians, had not seen things through your eyes, you would only be able to report them poorly by writing. And if you, poet, claim to portray a story as if painting with your pen, the painter with his brush will more readily satisfy and will be understood less tediously. If you assert that painting is dumb poetry, then the painter may call poetry blind painting.
Do you think it interests me that this painting represents two figures? These two figures existed, they exist no more. The sight of them gave me an initial emotion, little by little their real presence grew indistinct they became a fiction for me, then they disappeared, or rather, were turned into problems of all kinds. For me they are no longer two figures but shapes and colors, don't misunderstand me, shapes and colors, though, that sum up the idea of the two figures and preserve the vibration of their existence.
Painting is something that takes place among the colors, and … one has to leave them alone completely, so that they can settle the matter among themselves. Their intercourse: this is the whole of painting. Whoever meddles, arranges, injects his human deliberation, his wit, his advocacy, his intellectual agility in any way, is already disturbing and clouding their activity.
I guess it was the big plane crash picture [why Warhol started his 'Death'-series], the front page of a newspaper: '129 DIED'. I was also painting the Marilyns [the Marylin Monroe portraits, Warhol started after her tragic death in 1962] I realized that everything I was doing must have been death. It was Christmas or Labor Day - a holiday - and very time that you turned on the radio they said something like '4 millions are going to die'. That started it. But when you see I gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn't really have any effect.
When we did Cubist paintings [Picasso and Georges Braque, in their early Cubist period in Paris], our intention was not to produce Cubist paintings but to express what was within us. No one laid down a course of action for us, and our friends the poets [a. o. Appolinaire and Cendral] followed our endeavor attentively but they never dictated it to us.
I do not believe I have used radically different elements in the different manners I have used in my paintings. If the subjects I have wanted to express have suggested different ways of expression, I have never hesitated to adopt them. I have never made trials nor experiments. Whenever I had something to say I have said it in the manner in which I have felt it ought to be said. Different motives inevitably require different methods of expression