Famous Art Quotes
“I needed an outlet in high school and came across painting. I've actually been painting longer than I've been acting. A movie is a collaborative effort, and with painting you just have yourself.”
- James Franco
“A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.”
- Hedy Lamarr
“I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.”
- Andrew Wyeth
“What you have to do is break all the rules.”
- Andrew Wyeth
“Painting seems like some kind of peculiar miracle that I need to have again and again.”
- Philip Guston
“I saw the angle in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
- Michelangelo
“Good painting is the kind that looks like sculpture.”
- Michelangelo
“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”
- Michelangelo
“The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”
- Michelangelo
“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That's the thing about painting, photography, cinema.”
- David Lynch
“Photography, painting or poetry - those are just extensions of me, how I perceive things; they are my way of communicating.”
- Viggo Mortensen
“Occasionally, when I get mad at a woman, I'll do some great, awful painting about her.”
- Jean-Michel Basquiat
“Unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does.”
- John Berger
“The surrealists, and the modern movement in painting as a whole, seemed to offer a key to the strange postwar world with its threat of nuclear war. The dislocations and ambiguities, in cubism and abstract art as well as the surrealists, reminded me of my childhood in Shanghai.”
- J. G. Ballard
“The first painting that I realized I liked was 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' by Hieronymus Bosch, when I was six years old, at the Prado in Madrid. I still find myself returning there every time I'm in the city.”
- Carolina Herrera
“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”
- Joan Miro
“No form is abstract. A form is always a man, a bird, or something else. For me, painting is never form for form’s sake.
- Joan Miro
“I don't understand it. Jack will spend any amount of money to buy votes but he balks at investing a thousand dollars in a beautiful painting.”
- Jackie Kennedy
“My aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impression of nature.”
- Edward Hopper
“Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again become great.”
- Edward Hopper
“When you are older, you realize that everything else is just nothing compared to painting and drawing.”
- David Hockney
“Our experience of any painting is always the latest line in a long conversation we've been having with painting. There's no way of looking at art as though you hadn't seen art before.”
- Brian Eno
“Nature engenders the science of painting.”
- Robert Delaunay
“Painting is the passage from the chaos of the emotions to the order of the possible.”
- Balthus
“Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don't know what to say about what I paint, really.”
- Balthus
“Painting what I experience, translating what I feel, is like a great liberation. But it is also work, self-examination, consciousness, criticism, struggle.”
- Balthus
“A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each piece is only answerable to the rest of that little world. So, probably in the total universe, there is that kind of total harmony, but we get only little tastes of it.”
- Corita Kent
“There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”
- Mark Rothko
“This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.”
- Mark Rothko
“The crucial discovery was made that, in order to become painting, the universe seen by the artist had to become a private one created by himself.”
- Andre Malraux
“An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please.”
- André Malraux
“If commercialization is putting my art on a shirt so that a kid who can't afford a $30,000 painting can buy one, then I'm all for it.”
- Keith Haring
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” 
- Leonardo da Vinci
“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.”
- Leonardo da Vinci
“Painting is an act of intelligence.”
- Leonardo da Vinci
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” 
- Leonardo da Vinci
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” 
- Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park
“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” 
- Chuck Klosterman
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” 
- Émile Zola
“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart...no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them.” 
- Robert A. Heinlein
“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.” 
- Oscar Wilde
“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” 
- Oscar Wilde
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” 
- Oscar Wilde
“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” 
- Oscar Wilde
“Art only begins where Imitation ends.”
- Oscar Wilde
“You might as well ask an artist to explain his art, or ask a poet to explain his poem. It defeats the purpose. The meaning is only clear thorough the search.” 
- Rick Riordan
“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” 
- Ansel Adams
“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” 
- Ansel Adams
“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”
-Twyla Tharp
“If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” 
-Yann Martel
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
- Scott Adams
“We have art in order not to die of the truth.” 
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“Art is the proper task of life.” 
- Friedrich Nietzsche
“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.” 
- Diane Arbus
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” 
- Laurie Halse Anderson
“Nature is a haunted house--but Art--is a house that tries to be haunted.” 
- Emily Dickinson
“I don’t like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life.”
- Frank Stella
“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one” 
- Stella Adler
“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.” 
- James Baldwin
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” 
- Cesar A. Cruz
“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss.” 
- Banksy
"Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity at the same time is ideal." 
- Banksy
“The paintings of Francis Bacon to my eye are very beautiful. The paintings of Bosch or Goya are to my eye very beautiful. I've also stood in front of those same paintings with people who've said, 'let's get on to the Botticelli’s as soon as possible.' I have lingered, of course.” 
- Clive Barker
“Here’s to freedom, cheers to art. Here’s to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start.” 
- Jason Mraz
“Art is making something out of nothing, and selling it.” 
- Frank Zappa
“Modern paintings are like women, you'll never enjoy them if you try to understand them.” 
- Freddie Mercury
“In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn't creak.” 
- Tom Robbins
“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ” 
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand
“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” 
- Anton Chekhov
“Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.” 
- Seth Godin
“Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value judgments.” 
- Ayn Rand
“In art as in love, instinct is enough. ” 
- Anatole France
"Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all." 
- Ray Bradbury
"Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight." 
- Orhan Pamuk
“If a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see, and think, and feel, you don’t think, ‘oh, I love this picture because it’s universal.’ ‘I love this painting because it speaks to all mankind.’ That’s not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It’s a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes you." 
- Donna Tartt
"Color is a power which directly influences the soul." 
- Wassily Kandinsky (Vasiliy Kandinskiy)
“There is no must in art because art is free.”
- Wassily Kandinsky
“Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise person to be able to sell it.” 
- Samuel Butler
“Art is literacy of the heart.” 
- Elliot Eisner
“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance” 
- Calvin and Hobbes
“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”
- Paul Gauguin
“Do not copy nature too much. Art is an abstraction.”
- Paul Gauguin
“Art = a mad search for individualism.”
- Paul Gauguin
“The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” 
- Robert Henri
“I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.” 
- Robert Henri
“Color is a matter of taste and emotion.”
- Edouard Manet
“Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.” 
- Jean-Luc Godard
“The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.” 
- Ezra Pound
“Artwork is completed when it has the shade of god in it.”
- Rembrandt van Rijn
“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful.” 
- Duane Hanson
“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.” 
- Terri Guillemets
“Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.” 
- Bruce Lee
”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” 
- Steven Pressfield
“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” 
- André Gide
“Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.” 
- Magdalena Abakanowicz
“A piece of art is never a finished work. It answers a question which has been asked, and asks a new question.” 
- Robert Engman
“Sex is like art. Most of it is pretty bad, and the good stuff is out of your price range.” 
- Scott Roeben
“Personality is everything in art and poetry.” 
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“My God! How long is art, how short is life.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time, it’s just that others are behind the times.” 
- Martha Graham
“I will be an artist or nothing!” 
- Eugene O’Neill
“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.” 
- G.K. Chesterton
"Paint what you like and die happy.” 
- Henry Miller
"Paintings are seldom guilty and often framed for crimes they did not commit. Some cover holes-holes in walls, holes in lives. Some make holes-in wallets, holes in hearts...in negative space." 
- Marilyn Manson
“According to my figures I've only had 2500 pieces of ass but I've watched 12500 horse races, and if I have any advice to anybody, it's this: take up watercolor painting." 
- Charles Bukowski
“A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.”
- Albert Camus
“If all the world were clear, art would not exist.”
- Albert Camus
“Art does not retain, it foresees the upcoming events.”
- August Everding
“Artworks are the witnesses that explain the civilization to next generations.”
- E. G. Benite
“Art is not a game nor entertainment. Art is soul’s need to manifest.” 
- E. G. Benite 
“Güzel sanatlar; insanın elinin, kafasının ve kalbinin birlikte çalıştığı şeylerdir.”
- Francis Bacon
“You see things and wonder why, I dream of the non-existing and wonder why not.”
- Francis Bacon
“I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don't in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do.”
- Francis Bacon
“Art is the bridge that leads us to God.”
- Georg Ebers
“Art and Science are long-lasting, life is short.
- Hippocrates
“Art and Science will migrate, if not appreciated.”
- Avicenna
“Any partnership in art is harmful.”
- John Heinrich Fussli
“Art helps us not to believe in our eyes.”
- Kari Kraus
“Like sun coloring the flowers, art colors our lives.”
- Lord Aubery
“You can be a deputy, a parliament member. You can even become the president but you can’t be an artist.”
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
“Artist don’t kiss hands, their hands are kissed.”
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
“Ignorance is the enemy of art.”
- Samuel Johnson
“Art is me, science is us.”
- Claude Bernard