Jim Harrison on Writers

Writers, I think, are sometimes productive to the extent that they remain sort of childlike about certain things. They stay operative for that reason.

~ Conversations with Jim Harrison

Laurie Anderson on Art

The world may end. You’re right. But that’s not a reason to be scared. None of us know what will happen. Don’t spend time worrying about it. Make the most beautiful thing you can. Try to do that every day. That’s it. You know? What are you working for, posterity? We don’t know if there is any posterity.

~ Laurie Anderson

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

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 

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

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

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

Lawrence Weiner on Art

Well, the popularity that’s necessary to get art put out into the world is really the same as it is for music. You first have to get a stage, or else nobody will know about it.

~ Lawrence Weiner / Interview, September 22nd 2020

Wim Wenders on Art

“… You have to find what you can do better than anyone else and what you have in yourself that no-one else has.”

~ Wim Wenders / Louisiana Channel

Rachel Cusk on Integrity

“…and so I would think you get a lot further by sticking to your guns… and not trying to second-guess what people want to read.”

~ Rachel Cusk / Louisiana Channel

Tom Sachs on Work

Can you imagine getting paid really, really well to do something that you didn’t love to do? What a horrible curse that would be.

~ Tom Sachs / Louisiana Channel

Charles Bukowski on Art

Some people like what you do, some people hate what you do but most people don’t give a damn.

~ Charles Bukowski

Richard Ford on Sweating

“… but then I think well, you know, my wish as a writer… is to write masterpieces. Why shouldn’t I work that hard? Why should it be simple? … Why shouldn’t it take four years?… Art is heavy lifting… I don’t mind sweating.”

~ Richard Ford / Louisiana Channel

Louise Glück on Originality

“You have to live your life if you’re going to do original work. Your work will come out of an authentic life …”

~ Louise Glück

Jorge Luis Borges on Art

The task of the artist is to transform what is continuously happening to us… into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory. That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy.

~ Jorge Luis Borges 

Maggi Hambling on Duds

“In a way lockdown hasn’t remotely affected my routine,” she says. She gets up as normal at five, goes straight to the studio — “Stiffen the sinews, summon the blood” reads the sign on the door — and works until lunchtime, “often doing complete shit, but it’s only because you have done a lot of shit paintings that a good one will sort of produce itself”.

~ Maggi Hambling / Times, 09 May 2020

Paul Theroux on Art

…but I felt that for art, for writing, for anything creative to have value, it must be passionate and personal.

Paul Theroux / On the Plain of Snakes

Tsunetomo Yamamoto on the Shortness of Life

“Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like. It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like.”

~ Tsunetomo Yamamoto / Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Aaron Copland on Art

“The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.”

~ Aaron Copland