Friday, January 14, 2011

More Questions and Quotes on Art

Yesterday I barely scratched the surface with a few questions about why we do art and the purpose of art. As I drove to the office more questions began to bubble up.

How serious should one take one’s art?
How intense is too intense? (re: taking art seriously)
What about playfulness?
Is it OK to lighten up?
Who makes the rules anyways?

How important is it that other people understand our work?
How important that we understand our own work?

For myself there is a certain amount of pleasure involved in making pictures. The aesthetic pleasure of color, line, shape and form... The tactile pleasure of smearing pigment onto a surface… The emotional pleasure of experimentation… what happens when I scrape? What happens when I scrub? What happens when I drip or spray or splash? And the pleasure one gets when others express appreciation for what you have created...

Here are some quotes by others on the purpose of art.

The role of art for me is the visualization of attitude, of the human attitude towards life, towards the world. ~Josef Albers

As an artist my mission in relation to the universe is to realize and actualize the mirror of the human psyche. ~Raul D. Arellano

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle

There has probably never been an artist that only painted for his or her eyes alone. ~Moncy Barbour

Painting has to get back to its original goal, examining the inner lives of human beings. ~Pierre Bonnard

The object of art is to crystallize emotion into thought, and then fix it in form. ~Delsarte

Art is the perpetual motion of illusion. The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What else can you do for any one but inspire them? ~Bob Dylan

The task of the artist is to make the human being uncomfortable. ~Lucian Freud

The arts teach and moralise by their beauty alone, not by translating a philosophical or social formula. For the truly artistic person, painting has itself as it's purpose, which is quite enough. ~Theophile Gautier, 1861

We are trying to evoke and reinforce meanings from the spaces we cover and the times we're given. Short or long this becomes our purpose. What we artists do is important stuff. ~Robert Genn

An artist's job is to say the most with the least. ~Andrew Hamilton

The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint... ~Keith Haring

My aim in painting is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature. ~Hans Hofmann

My paintings are not intended to alter the history of twentieth-century art or change the political climate of our times. I'm simply a story-teller. ~Carolyn Hoyle

Only just now awakening after years of materialism, our soul is still infected with the despair born of unbelief, of lack of purpose and aim. ~Wassily Kandinsky

We live in a fractured world. I've always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness. ~Anish Kapoor

Art is an articulator of the soul's uncensored purpose and deepest will. ~Shaun McNiff

The purpose of art is nothing less than the upliftment of the human spirit. ~Pope John Paul II

I go for a walk in the forest of Fontainebleau. I get 'green' indigestion. I must get rid of this sensation into a picture. Green rules it. A painter paints to unload himself of feelings and visions. ~Pablo Picasso

The great end of all arts is to make an impression on the imagination and the feeling. The imitation of nature frequently does this. Sometimes it fails and something else succeeds. ~Sir Joshua Reynolds

It is the mission of art to remind man from time to time that he is human, and the time is ripe, just now, today, for such a reminder. ~Ben Shahn

Just as the farmer provides sustenance for the body, the painter provides sustenance for the soul. ~Arturo Tello

My aim is not to exhibit craft, but rather to submerge it, and make it rightfully the handmaiden of beauty, power and emotional content. ~Andrew Wyeth

In an ideal world I would have more time to create links from the names and quotes cited above to examples of the art they produced. But then again, in an ideal world I wouldn't be here writing a quick blog entry before going to the office, I would be putting more pigment on a palette and starting another painting. Oh well, we can only dream.

Keep chasing yours and have a very special day.

1 comment:

tracerapotts said...

ennyman this is a really interesting article, thankyou. i fuss and bother myself mentally about why i do what i do with art; this has added some freshness to my thinking.