Frank Stella on the Art World

McCARTNEY: That seems like a big difference from the art world now. What do you think of the art world?

STELLA: Fortunately, I don’t see that much of it.

~ Frank Stella / Interview

Frank Gehry on Life

If you act a certain way, and talk a certain way, you’re going to draw certain forces to you. If you are sloppy about your life, a certain sloppy reaction will result. If you’re skillful about certain things, a certain careful reaction will come to you. You get an opposite and equal reaction, as it were.

~ Frank Gehry / Interview

Suzanne Brøgger on Adversity

I welcome adversity and indifference. Of course, it’s stupid if someone has chosen to disregard you because of something you’ve written but that’s their problem.

Suzanne Brøgger / Louisiana Channel

Alec Soth on Art

“Waste more time.”

~ Alec Soth / LBM Newsletter, November 27th 2020

Jim Harrison on Salvation

For my purposes, I believe what Kierkegaard said, that you have to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before you can get on with anyone else’s program.

~ Jim Harrison / Paris Review

Jim Harrison on Greed

They don’t know what happened to the hundred civilizations represented by the American Indian. That’s shocking. I’m dealing with that in this book. To me, the Indians are our curse on the house of Atreus. They’re our doom. The way we killed them is also what’s killing us now. Greed. Greed. It’s totally an Old Testament notion but absolutely true. Greed is killing the soul-life of the nation. You can see it all around you. It’s destroying what’s left of our physical beauty, it’s polluting the country, it’s making us more Germanic and warlike and stupid.

~ Jim Harrison / Paris Review

Jim Harrison on Technique

Finally, what Wallace Stevens said, which I love and which is hard to explain to younger writers, is that technique is the proof of your seriousness.

~ Jim Harrison / Paris Review

Harvey Fierstein on Persisting

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

~ Harvey Fierstein

Jennifer Senior on Wisdom

They also chose someone who is capable of change and admitting error, two qualities one associates with wisdom.

~ Jennifer Senior / NYT

Dahn Vo on Paradises

…and I think that is the reality and I learned that from Isamu Noguchi, that he builded like his paradises within all the problem of things.

~ Dahn Vo / Louisiana Channel 

Elliott Erwitt on Photography

“It’s elective, you don’t have to spend much time doing stuff you don’t like, in the end…”

~ Elliott Erwitt / Guardian

Ai Wei Wei on Thieves

You see many Westerners there who shamelessly, I would say, turn their back on the kind of values which generations of thinkers struggled to fight for, for freedom and democracy, just to make a quick profit, to cash in. It’s really pitiful.

~ Ai Wei Wei / Interview

Ai Wei Wei on Art

It’s not really about how much you have, but rather about how much you make out of it.

~ Ai Wei Wei / Interview

Ai Wei Wei on Blackjack

I remember when I would go to Atlantic City, for hours I’d play a few hands of blackjack at once, because one hand takes too long to come back. A few hands at once, you are always gaining or losing. You keep it even by playing like that. [laughs]

~ Ai Wei Wei / Interview

Renzo Piano on Beauty

But the beauty is something that remains. I’m not joking. I have so many friends who are musicians, and they say, “Oh, but my music goes away.” It’s not true, because they record music. And this remains for a long time.

~ Renzo Piano / Interview

Agnes Denes on Reality

I mean, people are always fighting reality until it’s pushed down their throats. It’s amazing.

~ Agnes Denes / Interview

Agnes Denes on Art

So I was on my own—totally. And there’s something good about that. Because not only did you dig deeper into yourself, but adversity—in other words, not getting acknowledgements from outside—brings out the best in you. To react to it and to become better.

~ Agnes Denes / Interview

Jasper Johns on Work

I would tend to say that I do what I do as well as possible and that most people don’t.

~ Jasper Johns / Interview

Jasper Johns on Work

Working is very important to me. Probably because as a child I was taught that work was good. I don’t believe it intellectually but I identify with that idea. So it’s probably just like a habit.

~ Jasper Johns / Interview

Donald Woodman on Self-Belief

I think the inspirational stuff comes from yourself. You have to believe in yourself. As you once said, in something I read about you, there’s a quote from Sylvia Plath: “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” You have to trust your own voices and your own confidence, in spite of criticism. What makes an artist’s career is not the immediate trajectory, acceptance, or rejection; it’s being able to stay in there and have a career in art and stick to your voice, follow where your imagination takes you, and not respond to what sells or what people encourage you to do. For people who want to be artists, I think that’s the hardest lesson to learn.

~ Donald Woodman / Interview

Ed Ruscha on Money

I never expected to sell my art. It wasn’t like today where you come out of art school and they promise you a future. Now it’s almost regulated in a way. When we came out of school, we just wanted to make art that’d blow your hair back and do it for sport.

~ Ed Ruscha / Interview