Quotes About the Art World
Here below are actual art quotes, not the viral Picasso Van Gogh quotes you always see. We curate with attention so you can REALLY think about the art world and question it TODAY. They are mainly about what we call the Art World. It started when the western fine art definition of art expanded worldwide.
All the quotes are also published on our Instagram account
Art History Quotes
Did you know that Adam’s Apple is a painter hack? Nowhere in the texts, there is mention of anything else than Forbidden Fruit. It was indeed an allegory. “I believe what I see”, is in this case, an exemplary art quote. Painters made it an apple. Visual artists need, especially today, to remember that they are using the most impactful sense.
The word Art
“When I Hear the Word ‘Art’, I Reach for my Gun”
The language of the Arts
“Greece and Rome, the foundation of our culture is a slave culture and the entire language of the Arts to the present day (to this room) to what you do to what is behind me, to how it is regarded is conditioned by this fact”
“The Romans divided the Arts into two. There are the Arts of free men, the liberal arts that’s where the world comes from. It’s free men as opposed to slaves and these are essentially the literary arts of rhetoric, the analytical arts of logic, the imaginative arts of poetry.
Craft of slaves
“These are which were appropriate to gentlemen and the government along with the useful superior arts like medicine and architecture. The rest I’m afraid is not the liberal arts, they are the sordid arts, they are the arts of the craft of slaves”
“As far as we can tell Giorgio Vasari actually invents the term The Renaissance. He certainly invents the notion of the supremacy of the arts in the ancient Roman world and its rapid collapse beginning with the age of Constantine. (…)
What he is concerned to do is to elevate one art above all others: Painting. He emphasizes the antiquity of painting. He does something else which I think is a very important clue to what I’m going to be talking about.
He emphasizes that most painters are learning also in those abstracts arts, because painting has got the terrible problem: it involves brushes, it involves pigments, canvas, wood, wet plaster, it’s horrifyingly messy.”
No Roman painters are known
“Gentlemen aren’t messy. So you’ve got to put in another little bit: they’ve got to be learned in these abstract as well the mere craftsmanship has got to be illuminated by the greater arts, the liberal arts of philosophy and poetry. (…) Vasary makes extraordinary claims for the reputation of painting in the Roman period (…)
These claims are entirely false: we know the names of no Roman painters. There is no evidence of them signed their works. The great bulk of them were slaves. They were decorators. “
“French has already set up an Academie des Beaux-arts in 1648: English does not have the term Fine Art until the 1760s. The earliest use of the term artist to mean a painter is 1747. It’s yesterday.
Now that brings us neatly to the moment at which painting steps fully under the stage in England as an acknowledged distinguished profession for which you could be a gentleman you could be regarded as an intellectual, that you could be a friend of royalty, that you could be altogether an okay person you would have to dinner and the key figure in all of this, of course, is the first president of the Royal Academy, president in 1768.
being knighted artist
Just the moment you’ve got Fine Art into the language, who is Joshua Reynolds, knighted in 1769: It is an idea that subsists only in the mind, the sight never beheld it, nor has the hand expressed it, it is an idea residing in the breast of the artist, which he is always labouring to impart and which he dies at the last without imparting ie art is conceptual”
“In his seventies, Marcel Duchamp’s become what in youth he most despised, he’s become an artist and he’s become an artist whose works are fake. Every single one of those you see in the Tate or in Moma is an industrially fake made in Milan in 1964.”
– David Starkey
– The Goldsmiths’ Company Lecture on YouTube
Reclaiming Art History
“…you are a 50-year-old painter named Paul Gauguin and your newlywed wife is 13 years old. Now you know how I felt when I found out that my favorite painter was actually a colonialist pedophile”
“Our history is important: through arts, our history is quite literally laid bad visually. We see these wounds from the past eternally scarred into the canvas in the form of painting, sculpture, or performance. Before we have the words to properly communicate the horrors of our times it was through arts that it was discussed.
I’m talking about racism, colonialism, homophobia, sexism, war, the Holocaust that is why art history is important: because it demands that we look at paintings like this, that we stir our uncomfortable toxic beautiful history right in the eye and that we critique it. That is why our history is important. Art history is our history so let’s reclaim it”
-Elise Bell, writer & founder of tabloidarthistory.com
youtube – “Where Art Thou?”
Art Market Quotes
Ineluctable art market
“That’s all toward a greater efficiency like the market wants it. The market is like the weather, you can’t fight the weather, you can just learn to be smart and predicting a little bit or prepare yourself for it but you have to sort of go with the force of the market itself.”
-Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of the fine art division of Sotheby’s
“Nevertheless, such self-detaching on the part of the artist goes somewhere. As performed today, it pushes against the current in an epoch of celebrity worship and its related feedback loop, increasingly universal visibility and access. A big part of the artist’s role now, in a massively professionalized art world, is showing up to self-market, being present.“
📖 “Tell Them I Said No” Sternberg Press 2016, Martin Herbert art critic and writer
Masters of fine art
“Frequently art dealers are frustrated at how MFA programs often fail to prepare their graduates for the real art world of today, neglecting to instruct them in the most basic business realities of the primary art market.”
Science of branding
“Lately, however, as the art market has become increasingly global, lucrative, and hence more sophisticatedly manipulated, I’ve begun to realize that business basics alone are not sufficient instruction for helping BFA and MFA graduates are fully prepared for the market that awaits them. No, to enter the new art world armed with the knowledge that will make you truly successful, artists must acquire a more sophisticated understanding of the science of branding.”
– Edward Winkleman – His personal blog
– Stropheus Art Law on YouTube
Art collecting is normally a middle-class or elite activity since it implies an advanced level of education as well as available cash. Yet all it really requires is a love of art and some — not necessarily impressive amounts of — disposable income. In recent years a few collectors have achieved national prominence because their collections were accomplished on normal salaries, not inherited wealth or extraordinary business or professional income.
Herbert and Dorothy Vogel
Artists treasure these rare cases since they prove that art can enrich everybody’s lives, not just the privileged elite. The secret guilt many artists feel about their dependence on the upper classes is diminished by the existence of such relatively lower-class collectors. Perhaps the most well known are Herbert and Dorothy Vogel of New York City, a postal clerk and a librarian.
-Stuart Plattner, cultural anthropologist “High Art Down Home: An Economic Ethnography of a Local Art Market”
“Sotheby’s has announced that it is to be acquired by billionaire telecom magnate and art collector Patrick Drahi in a surprise $3.7 billion deal.”
“Two French citizens own the two biggest art auction houses in the US. Christie’s also owned by a very rich Frenchman”
(Francois Pinault for Christie’s)
Patrick Drahi Born in Morocco. French, Portuguese, and Israeli citizenship, living in Switzerland since 1999
-Rebecca Quick Cnbc news
Business & Art
“Business people in the West, you know: We should shape a plan, we draw a strategy and only if that strategy is clear we will launch ourselves to fulfil that goal whatever it is. The artist is very different the artist worldwide you know he has this white canvas and he just starts somewhere and he may not know where the process will lead him or her. There is just confidence if it’s a good artist there will be a good result. So I see the Chinese business people in particular more in that artist type procedure, lie they start somewhere, it makes them very fast but it may lead to some errors but you know that’s the effect of trial and error, but they are very fast, they cover the space very fast and in the meantime some Western people may still think about the goal. So these are different procedures and that’s what I say they have something of both the artist and of the business person.“
Business people and artists in China
“The commodification of art, some people say of art hard production, becoming a kind of industry so we see this globally, we also see it in China. For very long this was not the case because they had not been any market and that is what ideal is considered the pure art making: there is no commercial element to it. The fact there is a commercial aspect to art does not necessarily mean that the art is less interesting or less meaningful but it may very often mean that. But it doesn’t lead by necessity to art that is of lesser quality.”
–Uli Sigg – Interview by CGTN (youtube)
-Photo Sigg Collection, M+, WKCDA on Cobosocial
Art World Quotes
“The art world is notorious for consistently not providing gainful or stable employment, that financial precarity is a huge part of the art world’s homogeneity; it precludes the access of so many people.”
✒ “ideas for a new art world”, 3 April 2020, The White Pube
“At what point do artists using social media stop making art for the idealized art world audience they want and start embracing the new audience they have?”
✒ “The Accidental Audience” The New Inquiry – March 14, 2013
“Only five countries hold close to 80% concentration of the most successful or visible international artists and Germany and the USA seem to constitute a sort of duopoly on the international art scene far beyond all other nations”
“The international art market has always been international but not really globalized and even today it’s not globalized at all. For instance, from 2007 China became much more important in the market than it was before but it doesn’t mean that all non-western countries become very important at that time.
Actually, China itself and the rest of the market is still controlled by the West. A few countries in the West that, once again, of the USA, the UK, France, Germany and so on.”
-Alain Quemin sociologist of art – art critic and journalist “Handbook of Research on Creativity”
Art and our planet
“Artists stopped showing us the truth about farming and it’s hurting the planet. Art is a reflection of humanity. It helps us understand ourselves—our beauty and our scars—and also the world in which we live. There’s nothing picturesque about how most people are fed today, but you wouldn’t know it from our grocery packaging, or from popular culture, or from the myths we’ve created in our own minds about where our food comes from.”
“Where are the artists? We need them.”
-Chase Purdy, Food Writer for Quartz
Urban art and gentrification
“Artists move us forward into the unknown and you can see them doing that in cities because it’s the open people, the artists, who go into parts of the cities that have degenerated to some degree back into chaos and then revitalize them and they civilize them and then the less artistic people who are more conventional move in that’s when you get gentrification and that’s sort of thing and that usually chases the artists out they go somewhere else cheap and interesting and they start the renewal process again”
Artists and monetization
“The thing about artists, and it is a hard thing to balance in our culture, is that artists are unbelievably productive economically but it is very very hard for them to monetize their productivity. So even though what they produce can be of an incalculable value it’s very difficult for them to get any of the economic value that they’re produced actually directed towards them. It’s a major problem with trade openness as a mode of being in the world”
– Jordan B Peterson
“There’s the Museum of ice cream, the Museum of selfies, the Museum of feelings. Others have themes around colors, dreams, pizza, eggs, candy, and Rosé wine. Basic admission can run around $40 and they often sell out months in advance. These places might not feel like real museums and instead more like a trendy fad with ball pits, but right now they’re shaping how to consume art. In these pop-up museums, the room and you are the centerpiece. So that’s what makes it Instagramable, is that you are immersed in the actual art.”
A promising future of art
“At the end of the day, even if social media is a big part of why so many people show up, people are showing up. And if this means more people engage with art they wouldn’t have paid attention to otherwise, that feels pretty promising for the future of art.”
-The Goods s01e01 – VOX
YouTube – How “Instagram traps” are changing art museums
Art as commodity
“I actually want to challenge the fact that art is a real asset like a real commodity and even though so many people will tell you “it is however only 3% is really the blue ship world and everything else really below that”.
Commodity versus passion
So, I’m here to say that actually technology and all the improvements that are happening will guide the way and will create a path for artists to live their own success and for art to be a real commodity versus just an investment into your passion, which are all beautiful reasons but it will also be nice to see an upside”
– Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim
TedX The Art Market: Today and Tomorrow – YouTube
Discipline in art
“Human beings make artificial structures in face of nature. It’s quite curious because the popular idea of the artist is they are radical or bohemian or revolutionary or rebels. And that’s part of the reason why they don’t get a good contract you know because they’re marginalized their value is lowered. But I find that the best artists are the most disciplined people I’ve ever encountered.”
– Richard Tuttle – Louisiana channel Interview
“Artists Are Like Clouds”
Giving art for free
So with project 365, the all idea behind was art becoming more and more inaccessible to people, to the average person. So I just decided, I’m gonna create a piece of art every day for a year and then create a facebook page put up on there and whoever want it anyone in the world I was gonna giving it to them for free.
What the art world wants
You know the art world wants you to do the same thing all the time because it builds a market around. And it’s like OK well the gallery gonna say this is your market, you are the guy who does this. Personally, I would get bored just doing the same exact work all the time. So, as an artist try to live my artistic life that way is being receptive and open to everything. All kind of arts, all styles, all techniques, I just try to work with my constraints right now, see where that takes me.”
“You become a reflection of the world around you, and the world around you becomes what you create”
The artist career
“I want to talk about increasing your value every single day through small actionable items that are increasing your skill, your understanding, your knowledge, your network, your speed, your technical ability, but you have to do it with focus in the direction of the career path or the art goal that you want to meet because if you don’t define your goals and what you want out of your artistic career somebody else will decide it for you.”
One day you wake up
“Then you wake up one day and you’ve been doing something you didn’t want to be doing the last 20 years. You know what I am saying. And believe me that happens a lot, there’s still a lot of things that I wish I could do and I am working on that (…) Now this is my number one rule: if you want to pursue a creative field – for instance, I do art for a living so I can certainly speak to that – and one of the things that I started doing a few years back that really changed the trajectory of my career is that every single thing that I did, I asked myself if this increasing my value or is this decreasing my value in terms of the direction that I want to take my career.”
Career path listing
“And I went to an extreme, I mean I literally wrote out my dream life of exactly the career path I wanted and I was specific too. I looked at role models, I looked at people that had the career path I really wanted or that I wanted to pursue and I started breaking down lists of actionable items like:
“Oh this guy always does this, Oh this guy works with these types of people, Oh this kind wrote these kinds of books or has a YouTube channel or has a Twitter and post this type of content, this guy presents his works in this fashion or he does galleries or whatever it was”.
I added that to my list of actionable that I can learn to break down and improve my skill set so I could get on that path that road that takes me closer to that direction, that trajectory that I choose not just the jobs that are coming to me not just the jobs that my current employer or potential clients wants me to go on to.”
–Trent Kaniuga – His YouTube channel