Purpose and Value of Art Quotes

Art serves a kaleidoscope of purposes and values, ranging from the aesthetic to the functional, the personal to the political. It can be a medium of beauty and pleasure. Beyond aesthetics, art acts as a vessel for expression, allowing artists to convey emotions and critique society, but can contribute to corruption (art washing) or gentrification. It serves educational and therapeutic roles, teaching us about different cultures and histories or providing solace and understanding of our inner selves. Economically, art possesses value as a commodity, contributing to markets. Well let’s dive into those with quotes:

Purpose of art Quotes

Purpose of art quotes, Stefan Ruitenbeek - Kirac

False premise of art

“Because art is duty-free. You can’t improve the world with art, and because you implement this false premise, you’re not just failing to help society you also make art dull”
Stefan Ruitenbeek – Kirac
Youtube – KIRAC 13 Stigma (The Netflix deal) youtube

Purpose of art quotes, Chase Purdy

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

Purpose of art quotes, Anthony Gormley

Art about art

“I was really tired of art about art.“
It’s very, a strange idea about human imagination that actually art is only permissible by what has just happened in the generation before. Life isn’t like that.”


“If we think about Mondrian, or Kandinsky, or even somebody like Klee. They were trying to find a language that really was universal. That could somehow re-animate life, by giving us things that we could relate to immediately.”
-Antony Gormley
“Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation with Antony Gormley”
– Dec 20, 2014, Zentrum Paul Klee

Purpose of art quotes, Jordan B Peterson

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

Purpose of art quotes, The Goods

Pop-up Art

“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

Purpose of art quotes, Ben Jeffrey

Art business

“The business of the modern artist is itself an exemplary form of cutting-edge enterprise: dependent on brand-identity, self-commodification, opportunism, novelty, relentless networking, and a heavily blurred line between life and work.”
-Ben Jeffery
“Ancient Curse” article about Michel Houellebecq “The Map and the Territory” Nplusone magazine

Purpose of art quotes, Jacques Rancière

Art as a set of relationships

Art does not exist in itself; it is an outcome of a complex set of relationships between what one is allowed to say, to perceive, and to understand. Events and objects only exist within the fabric of discourse and are perceived as art, or a revolution in art, only within this fabric.

The Sensible

Art is a work on the distribution of the sensible. Sometimes, but not very often, it rearranges the set of perception between what is visible, thinkable, and understandable, and what is not. This is the politics of art. I always try to question mainstream ideas on this subject, especially the assumption that artists’ work can have precise, intended effects. When practices of art affect the sensible, it is not simply as a result of artists’ intentions.
-Jacques Rancière-Versobooks “The Politics of Art” Interview by Anna Wójcik

Purpose of art quotes, Leo Gura

Lubrification of the engine of humanity

“In a way, art is like lubrication for the engine of humanity. Without art, the engine would just run and it would quickly burn itself out because you might think like well an engine is very mechanical it’s got these hard edges and it just kind of works very mechanically and robotically. That’s true but also without that organic component of oil lubricating all the parts how quickly will your engine break almost instantly you see you need that lubrication you need that sort of soft-touch.”

Artists making an impact

“That’s what art provides of course for artists making an impact in the world is a very important thing and many of them actually get caught in this trap of seeking approval where they start to lose sight of their art and the reason they got into the art for the first place which is to have their spiritual connections”
-Leo Gura, Understanding The Essence Of Art – actualized

Purpose of art quotes, Scarlett Johansson


“Art Should Be Immune to Political Correctness”
-Scarlett Johansson Asifmagazine – GettyImages

Purpose of art quotes, Stuart Semple

It can be pathetic

“Art is free. It adds richness to lived experience; it can be the icing on the cake without having to save any lives or the world. It can get lost and it can fail beautifully. It can be pathetic and that’s why I love it.”
-Stuart Semple, Flaunt Magazine
-Interview by Melissa Mellati, photo Sarah Morris

Value of Art quotes

Value of Art quotes, Richard Tuttle

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”

Value of Art quotes, Trent Kaniuga

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

Value of Art quotes, Liron Yanconsky

Meeting of business and art

“I don’t see a lot of people discuss this kind of topics, the meeting of business and art, but you have to understand whatever you do, if you’re trying to make money there is an offer taking place because you provide something in return to something else.
Liron Yanconsky

Value of Art quotes, Uli Sigg

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

Value of Art quotes, Tak Pham

Precarity & Art

“How much are the artists to blame? Not very much, I think. (…) I would take the commission, too. It is a known fact that artists’ careers in Canada are precarious and unsustainable—few artists and cultural workers can afford to say no to any money.”
Tak Pham www.takpham.com

Value of Art quotes, Rebecca Quick

Biggest art auction houses

“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

Value of Art quotes, Stuart Plattner

Who are Art collectors

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.
-Art quotes: Stuart Plattner, cultural anthropologist
“High Art Down Home: An Economic Ethnography of a Local Art Market”

Value of Art quotes, Sara and Hania Seif

Startup to support struggling artists

“Art is like tech, and like any industry in the world, you simply just need the basic business skills in order to know how to sell, and when you have both, this is when you truly make it.”
– More of – Hania Seif, Sarah Seiff

Value of Art quotes, Edward Winkleman

Master of fine art graduates

“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

Value of Art quotes, Martin Herbert

Massively professionalized art world

“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

Value of Art quotes, Coco Fusco

Activism and the Art World

“…How the art world deals with this notion of activism and art is always cast in a very negative light. Always, it’s always framed as propagandistic and insufficiently sophisticated to constitute a valid aesthetic experience. If you’re going to do activism then you’re going to make something simple that is not going to have a long life.”

Only symbolic value

“There isn’t a positive interpretive discourse in art for activist engagement. Because even to call something activist engagement is to give it a kind of functionalist cast. And for art to be art in aesthetic theory it has to be disassociated from use-value, it’s only exchange value, it’s only symbolic value.”
– Coco Fusco ”The Art of Decolonization”
Youtube FFT Düsseldorf
June 10, 2017

Value of Art quotes, Ami Cappellazzo

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.”
-Art quotes: Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of the fine art division of Sotheby’s

Value of Art quotes, Marc Premo

What it looks like

“We are in the postmodern era now, we’re in the crisis of meaning. The crisis of representation is watercolours and Cape Cod which I have nothing against, but if your art is only about what it looks like it probably isn’t art. So maybe you should sell that and have a steak dinner.”

Awesome project

“I didn’t think about what do I need to do to make an art project, how do I commercialize this, how do I make this an art or commercial project. I thought about how do I make this an awesome project. And then the thing that happened that was like the bonus was that awesome wasn’t awesome for my portfolio, it wasn’t awesome for my reel, it was awesome for somebody else, and that is work worth doing.
-Marc Premo, Creative Mornings HQ, Jan 3, 2016

Value of Art quotes, Alan Moore

It has to surprise you

“I know that sounds harsh and confrontational but if art doesn’t surprise you, then all it is doing is reassuring you and reconfirming your prejudices.”

What art should do

  • “It’s a way of talking without language,
  • it’s a way of speaking almost directly heart to heart, mind to mind,
  • it’s a way of combating loneliness, that all of us can think that we are always isolated,
    that only you who thinks these things, it’s only me who feels these things, it’s only me who has ideas like that, there must be something wrong with me.”

Connecting human beings

Then you see a piece of art and it makes you less alone, it makes you realize “Hey, somebody else has that idea which I almost had that couldn’t express that well or it took a thing that connects human beings that’s what art is for. It’s not there as a commodity and something to bring in huge amounts of money that are as inflated as most football players wages.”

Value of Art quotes, Jessica Morgan

Monetary value of art

“I’ve experienced this my entire career, it’s extremely frustrating that people who only begin to value the work once it has literally a higher value, a monetary value that is higher. And that’s especially true with women artists. We’ve seen this over and over again that for decades their work is completely ignored and then for whatever reason, there is a shift and perception and with that shift in and the price structure and suddenly everybody’s interested.”

Consequences on Art Pricing

“I don’t think we ever begin to work with an artist thinking out it would affect their market. It’s completely not what’s on our minds. But it would be naive to say that we’re completely unconscious of what these ramifications are.”
-Jessica Morgan Director of Dia Art foundation
Interview Artload

Value of Art quotes, Alexon Bell

Art crime

  1. “Art and antiques are easy to store and transport;
  2. Rare art can be worth millions, which means it is a great mechanism to store and transfer wealth;
  3. Art can be stored safely in custom-built, highly-secure warehouses (normally in Free Ports or Free Trade Zones) which means that criminals assets are secure; 
  4. Art and antiques tend to appreciate in value, which means that money is not lost in the laundering process, it’s actually gained;
  5. There are no asset registers for art so the ownership and exchange of fine art and antiques are very hard to trace.”

-Alexon Bell, Quantexa
“Deploying innovative technology could help combat the dark art of money laundering”

Value of Art quotes, Glenn Adamson

Fewer, better things

“So the reason it’s (The book) called a “Fewer, Better Things” is that I had this idea that if we’re going to carry on in our economy and in our artistic lives and in general, particularly given the realities of climate change, we’re going to have to find a way to instill a smaller number of objects with a greater amount of value.

Growth economy

So we’re going to have to somehow persuade ourselves as a culture not to keep producing more and more and more and more, but instead to produce less and then to do more things with those fewer objects. You know, realistically, you can’t just say to the economy, I’m tired now. I want to stop and get off. We live in a growth economy. This is capitalism.”
-Glenn Adamson, ThinkCraft: Glenn Adamson Keynote

Value of Art quotes, Samuel R. Delany

The Artist and the Criminal

“The only important
elements in any society
are the artistic and the criminal,
because they alone,
by questioning the society’s values,
can force it to change”
-Samuel R. Delany “The Empire Star”

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