Often, I find it really hard to see what I'm doing when I'm in the thick of things. I can get too precious and have to force myself to put my paintings aside. There's a wall in my studio where I hang paintings that I think are done or nearly done. Over time, I'll realise which ones are working and which aren't.
The paintings are not just on flat walls - you have these enormous niches, bulges and protrusions, as well as stalactites and stalagmites. The effect of the three-dimensionality is phenomenal. It's a real drama which the artists of the time understood, and they used it for the drama of their paintings.
They asked me to do a show, and I was planning on showing my figure paintings. But my friends told me I shouldn't - the paintings were good but a little old-fashioned. They said, "Why don't you show the other stuff?" I had also been making rather strange objects, more in the Freudian tradition.
In my paintings, the question on whether figures are similar or not is not of any importance, the slightest change of figure or color can create a new painting and it doesn't really matter if a subject is revisited by an artist repeatedly. With enough time in between paintings, an artist can always bring to it something new.
I was a student, and as such you generally rely on prior models of how to make art, but these were not satisfying. Then I discovered in photos what had been missing in paintings; namely that they make a terrific variety of statements and have great substance. That is what I wanted to convey to paintings and apply to it.
I guess there was a little bit of a slight rebellion, maybe a little bit of a renegade desire that made me realize at some point in my adolescence that I really liked pictures that told stories of things - genre paintings, historical paintings - the sort of derivatives we get in contemporary society.
I am a famous artist. I make millions. But I frequently see debut shows of unknown artists with prices that are double of mine... what they're really doing is barely getting by and helping me sell 1,000 paintings a year effortlessly, because they make my paintings look like such a bargain. Thank you to all the egotistical art students!
Until the late 1970s there'd either be only black or white in the paintings or if there were colours it would be a small amount, not a large area, and with the color separated from other colors by black or white (which is formula for Damien Hirst's successful dot paintings, incidentally).
I'm expressing the feelings of mankind today through the Blue Dog. The dog is always having problems of the heart, of growing up, the problems of life. The dog looks at us and asks, 'Why am I here? What am I doing? Where am I going?' Those are the same questions we ask ourselves. People look at the paintings, and the paintings speak back to them.
The grey paintings, for example, a painted grey surface, completely monochromatic - they come from a motivation, or result from a state, that was very negative. It has a lot to do with hopelessness, depression and such things. But it has to be turned on its head in the end, and has to come to a form where these paintings possess beauty. And in this case, it's not a carefree beauty, but rather a serious one.
Look at the paintings of Picasso. He is a great painter, but just a subjective artist. Looking at his paintings, you will start feeling sick, dizzy, something going berserk in your mind. You cannot go on looking at Picasso's painting long enough. You would like to get away, because the painting has not come from a silent being. It has come from a chaos. It is a by product of a nightmare. But ninety-nine percent art belongs to that category.
The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Paintings of Moreau are paintings of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom; Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys.
The paintings in our galleries are seen one day in bright sunshine and another day in the dim light of a rainy afternoon, yet they remain the same paintings, ever faithful, ever convincing. To a marvelous extent they carry their own light within. For their truth is not that of a perfect replica, it is the truth of art.
There is an instinct for realism, a powerful drive to reproduce oneself. The fascination of photorealistic paintings lies partly in their apparent replication of life, but these are not merely replications. These paintings are often out of life scale, varying from over life-size to under life-size, from brilliant, heightened color to pale, undertone hues.
She thought of all the people in all the paintings she had seen that day, not just Father's, in all the paintings of the world, in fact. Their eyes, the particular turn of a head, their loneliness or suffering or grief was borrowed by an artist to be seen by other people throughout the years who would never see them face to face. People who would be that close to her, she thought, a matter of a few arms' lengths, looking, looking, and they would never know her.
The Australian Aboriginal cave paintings, from this period, are the first hints of religion that humans have as proof of religious behaviour. The caves in which the paintings are found date to 50, 000 years ago through forensic geology and carbon dating. Most of the images found in their religious stories and ceremonies are depicted in these caves. We also have confirmation from the aborigines themselves that these images are their religious images. These paintings also are likely to be significant evidence for linking the use of Amanita Muscaria to its use 50, 000 years ago. This is because 50, 000 years ago was when humanity entered Australia and also because Amanita Muscaria produces religious like experiences.
Leviak B. Kelly
The paintings that laughed at him merrily from the walls were like nothing he had ever seen or dreamed of. Gone were the flat, thin surfaces. Gone was the sentimental sobriety. Gone was the brown gravy in which Europe had been bathing its pictures for centuries. Here were pictures riotously mad with the sun. With light and air and throbbing vivacity. Paintings of ballet girls backstage, done in primitive reds, greens, and blues thrown next to each other irreverantly. He looked at the signature. Degas.
My art in the last period has all been in small format, but my paintings have become even deeper and more spiritual, speaking truly through colour. Feeling that because of my illness I would not be able to paint very much longer, I worked like a man obsessed on these little 'Meditations' (a long series of small paintings he made during the last years of his life, with as main motif the schema of a face, ed.). And now I leave these small but, to me, important works to the future and to people who love art.
Alexej von Jawlensky
I once went to report on a village in Russia, a community of artists who were forced to flee the cities! I'd heard that paintings hung everywhere! I heard you couldn't see the walls through all of the paintings! They'd painted the ceilings, the 82 plates, the windows, the lampshades! Was it an act of rebellion! An act of expression! Were the paintings good, or was that beside the point! I needed to see it for myself, and I needed to tell the world about it! I used to live for reporting like that! Stalin found out about the community and sent his thugs in, just a few days before I got there, to break all of their arms! That was worse than killing them! It was a horrible sight, Oskar: their arms in crude splints, straight in front of them like zombies! They couldn't feed themselves, because they couldn't get their hands to their mouths! So you know what they did!' 'They starved?' 'They fed each other! That's the difference between heaven and hell! In hell we starve! In heaven we feed each other!
Jonathan Safran Foer
The museum is full of interesting things. All kinds of paintings are there. And then paintings too thick to put in a frame, that they call sculpture. And then there are spectators. with their scorecards, rooting for culture. And spectators of the spectators, looking for love's introduction. And art students taking notes. And old women trying to remember the past. And old men with too much to forget. And tourists, thinking that a museum represents a city. And loafers so poor, they study their soberness here.
Marvin L. Cohen
Our Ancestors came to Australia, foraged for food in a rain forest where AM grew, ate the AM, and suffered the effects of muscimol hallucinations in a cave and drew paintings of a religious nature and these paintings were confirmed at 50, 000 years ago, at the exact inception of religion. This was done by a species that never had religion before that. Since the species would therefore have no religious content until they ate the hallucinogens, it follows that these AM were the start of religion.
Leviak B. Kelly