You have bits of canvas that are unpainted and you have these thick stretcher bars. So you see that a painting is an object; that it's not a window into something - you're not looking at a landscape, you're not looking at a portrait, but you're looking at a painting. It's basically: A painting is a painting is a painting. And it's what Frank Stella said famously: What you see is what you see.
All that stuff about flatness - it's this idea that painting is a specialized discipline and that modernist painting increasingly refers to painting and is refining the laws of painting. But who cares about painting? What we care about is that the planet is heating up, species are disappearing, there's war, and there are beautiful girls here in Brooklyn on the avenue and there's food and flowers.
When I am in a painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.
The painter is not simply someone who looks and who sees. Above all, the artist is someone who exposes a personal vision by rendering it visible. The painter shows or allows the seeing of "something" that without him, without his intervention, would not be seen. He manifests through his work a possibility of seeing that would otherwise remain latent. In other words, painting is an art that reveals or unveils the world from an angle that the world itself does not present to us. Painting creates. It does not limit itself to imitation or reproduction. Any desire to confine painting within the limits of deje vu would be a gross misunderstanding of the essence of what painting is. Painting allows us to see that which without it would never be seen.
Not every painter has a gift for painting, in fact, many painters are disappointed when they meet with difficulties in art. Painting done under pressure by artists without the necessary talent can only give rise to formlessness, as painting is a profession that requires peace of mind. The painter must always seek the essence of things, always represent the essential characteristics and emotions of the person he is painting...
Painting is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see. I don't know what a painting is; who knows what sets off even the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, a memory, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere.
When I was painting in art school - and I think many painters in the 1980s worked similarly - a finished painting would often be constructed from lots of other paintings underneath. Some of these individual layers of painting were better than others, but that was something that you would often only realise retrospectively.
If a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see and think and feel, you don't think, 'oh I love this painting because it's universal' 'I love this painting because it speaks to mankind'. That's not the reason anyone loves a piece of art. It's a secret whisper from an alleyway. Psst, you. Hey kid. Yes, you. An individual heart shock... A really great painting is fluid enought to work its way into the mind and heart through all different angles, in ways that are unique and very particular.
Painting is traditional but for me that doesn't mean the academy. I felt a need to paint; I love painting. It was something natural - as is listening to music or playing an instrument for some people. For this reason I searched for themes of my era and my generation. Photography offered this, so I chose it as a medium for painting.
We struggle against easel painting not because it is an aesthetic form of painting, but because it is not modern, for it does not succeed in bringing out the technical side, it is a redundant, exclusive art, and cannot be of any use to the masses. Hence we are struggling not against painting but against photography carried out as if it were an etching, a drawing, a picture in sepia or watercolor.
My paintings are well-painted, not nimbly but patiently. My painting contains in it the message of pain. I think that at least a few people are interested in it. It's not revolutionary. Why keep wishing for it to be belligerent? I can't. Painting completed my life. I lost three children and a series of other things that would have fulfilled my horrible life. My painting took the place of all of this. I think work is the best.
I'm never interested in the painting being a mirror to culture. I think that's really boring. What I'm interested in is painting as an affective space. The place where the hierarchies of the world can be rearranged within the space of a painting. And they can be articulated in different ways.
I bought a painting in Madrid on my first trip there too and a lot of people say, 'Well it's not the greatest painting' and I say, 'It is to me.' OK, you can look at a beautiful painting and say, 'That's beautiful' but to me, it feels warmer to fill my home with pictures of friends and family and paintings of places I've gone. That's what I want to come home to.
I don't trust painting. At least not in New York. Most painting here relies on formula and repetition, whoring itself to the market. There seems to be no risk and once a painter gets a strategy, very little exploration. As a result, I stopped thinking about painting. I prefer forms of art that are more market-resistant, more idea-based, more - for lack of a better word - risky.
In fine arts, when you make a painting, it's just a painting. But if you make a painting in the entertainment industry, it can be an album cover or a t-shirt or a logo. I like that entertainment has this usefulness - that it's ultimately trying to make a bunch of people feel something, and to think about life and be able to use things that were so simple and direct but potentially have a really powerful effect.
Not all paintings are abstract; they're not all Jackson Pollock. There's value in a photograph of a man alone on a boat at sea, and there is value in painting of a man alone on a boat at sea. In the painting, the painting has more freedom to express an idea, more latitude in being able to elicit certain emotion.
I feel like what's most important for painting - which has been hierarchically on the top for a really long time in terms of what is considered fine art, by comparison with something like a comic book or what's considered low art - is that painting should open up laterally to include other cultures and things that don't immediately resonate as a painting but are obviously of equal contribution to the genre.
In 1939 I wrote my first article ("Intime banaliteter" [Intimate banalities] in the journal Helhesten ) in which I expressed my love for sofa painting, and for the last twenty years I have been preoccupied with the idea of rendering homage to it. Thus I act with full responsibility and after extensive reflection. Only my current situation has enabled me to accomplish the expensive task of demonstrating that the preferred sustenance of painting is painting.
life's kind of like a painting. A really bizarre, abstract painting. You could look at it and think that all it is, is a blur. And you could continue living your life thinking that all it is, is just a blur. But if you really look at it, really see it, focus on it, and use your imagination, life can become so much more. The painting could be of the sea, the sky, people,buildings, a butterfly on a flower, or anything except the blur you were once convinced it was.
Your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy. Easy? Of course - you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands. I never met him. Who? Everybody. Did you ever hear of nonrepresentational painting? I am. Pardon me? I am a painter, and painting is nonrepresentational. Not all painting. No: housepainting is representational. And what does a housepainter represent? Ten dollars an hour. In other words, you don't want to be serious - It takes two to be serious.
e. e. cummings
I attended the High School of Industrial Arts and studied with many great artists as painting is something that you never stop learning about. Actually, in high school there was a time that I was thinking about just concentrating on painting and I asked my music teacher, Mr. Sondberg, for advice and he encouraged me to stick with the music as well. So all my life I have been singing and painting.
People want to know those details. They think it gives them greater insight into a piece of art, but when they approach a painting in such a manner, they are belittling both the artist's work and their own ability to experience it. Each painting I do says everything I want to say on its subject and in terms of that painting, and not all the trivia in the world concerning my private life will give the viewer more insight into it than what hangs there before their eyes. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, even titling a work is an unnecessary concession.
Charles de Lint
I have fallen in love with a painting. Though that phrase doesn't seem to suffice, not really-rather's it that I have been drawn into the orbit of a painting, have allowed myself to be pulled into its sphere by casual attraction deepening to something more compelling. I have felt the energy and life of the painting's will; I have been held there, instructed. And the overall effect, the result of looking and looking into it's brimming surface as long as I could look, is love, by which I mean a sense of tenderness toward experience, of being held within an intimacy with the things of the world.