Most popular art quotes
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique.
The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.
Art is power.
All art is immoral.
I dream for a living.
Art is meant to disturb.
Art is I; science is we.
All art requires courage.
All art is quite useless.
Painting is silent poetry.
Art is science made clear.
Art is a jealous mistress.
Art is born of humiliation.
Art is seduction, not rape.
Art is a form of catharsis.
Art is the signature of man.
Money and art are far apart.
Art is significant deformity.
A great artist is never poor.
Art was the mother of Science.
Art is the triumph over chaos.
A work of art is a confession.
I shut my eyes in order to see.
Art is a protest against death.
What is art but a way of seeing?
Art serves to rinse out our eyes.
Art is the sex of the imagination.
Every artist was first an amateur.
Art must take reality by surprise.
Art is an epiphany in a coffee cup.
Art is a revolt against man's fate.
Art: to nudge truth along a little.
Emotional art is a kind of illness.
Art hath an enemy called Ignorance.
Art, that great undogmatized church.
Half of art is knowing when to stop.
Great art picks up where nature ends.
Pictures must not be too picturesque.
Art is the signature of civilization.
Art is not a pastime but a priesthood.
In art as in love, instinct is enough.
Art is the signature of civilizations.
Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
Art raises its head where creeds relax.
All art is a revolt against man's fate.
To be great, art has to point somewhere.
What is Art ... but Nature concentrated?
The greatest artist was once a beginner.
Art is to beauty what honor is to honesty.
Art seems to me above all a state of soul.
Art strives for form, and hopes for beauty.
And what is art anyway but a way of seeing?
Art is the path of the creator to his work.
Art is meant to disturb; science reassures.
All great art comes from a sense of outrage.
What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.
Art is Nature speeded up and God slowed down.
Lead the audience by the nose to the thought.
We have art in order not to die of the truth.
We have art to save ourselves from the truth.
One must act in painting as in life, directly.
Art is a step in the known toward the unknown.
No art is possible without a dance with death.
A man and his art are like a fool and his king.
The work of art is the exaggeration of an idea.
All art, like all love, is rooted in heartache.
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.
A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.
Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life.
Art is born in attention. Its midwife is detail.
A work of art should be like a well-planned crime.
God and other artists are always a little obscure.
Art flourishes where there is a sense of adventure.
Art is the most passionate orgy within man's grasp.
Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.
A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.
As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.
A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.
Art teaches nothing except the significance of life.
The art of a people is a true mirror to their minds.
A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle.
Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
A great artist is always before his time or behind it.
Compared to art, all other professions are but chores.
Art imitates Nature in this: not to dare is to dwindle.
A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts.
Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.
Painting is silent poetry, poetry is eloquent painting.
Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.
When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
What is art, But life upon the larger scale, the higher.
The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication.
Art is vice. You don't marry it legitimately, you rape it.
The role of art is to make a world which can be inhabited.
He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.
All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.
The other arts persuade us, but music takes us by surprise.
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.
To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art.
Art is the demonstration that the ordinary is extraordinary.
What Art was to the ancient world, Science is to the modern.
Art ... washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Art is the perfection of nature ... nature is the art of God.
You must have the Devil in you to succeed in any of the arts.
The people who make art their business are mostly in posters.
Experience is wine, and art is the brandy we distill from it.
Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.
It is the greatest of crimes to depress true art and science.
Art...is the flower of life and, as seed, it gives back life.
Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself.
Art to me was a state; it didn't need to be an accomplishment.
The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.
It is the end of art to inoculate men with the love of nature.
Art doesn't reproduce the visible but rather makes it visible.
The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.
Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake.
All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart.
Just as science is the intellect of the world, art is its soul.
An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.
In art there are tears that do often lie too deep for thoughts.
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
Art is parasitic on life, just as criticism is parasitic on art.
Anyone who says you can't see a thought simply doesn't know art.
The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.
The new job of art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive.
Art hurts. Art urges voyages— and it is easier to stay at home.
Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around.
An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.
Art is that chalice into which we pour the wine of transcendence.
I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things.
The work of art is a corner of nature seen through a temperament.
The artwork labors to create itself: One must only not interfere.
Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization.
What art offers is space—a certain breathing room for the spirit.
Life without industry is guilt, industry without art is brutality.
Details are of no importance in life, but in art details are vital.
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
There is no more somber enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.
A frenzied passion for art is a canker that devours everything else.
Art must be parochial in the beginning to be cosmopolitan in the end.
The more perfect the approximation to truth, the more perfect is art.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.
All art is the struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous.
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
Science and literature are not two things, but two sides of one thing.
The greatness of art is not to find what is common but what is unique.
Art is not Nature, art is Nature digested. Art is a sublime excrement.
There is one art, no more, no less: to do all things with artlessness.
In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn't creak.
Take a quart of nature, boil it down to a pint, and the residue is art.
Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
In a work of art the intellect asks questions; it does not answer them.
Beauty plus pity—this is the closest we can get to a definition of art.
We look too much to museums. The sun coming up in the morning is enough.
Art is not a study of positive reality; it is a search after ideal truth.
Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.
Art is the accomplice of love. Take love away and there is no longer art.
Art is a refining and evocative translation of the materials of the world.
The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world.
True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation.
Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It's the aim of art to give it some.
The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.
Art is the only thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.
I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture.
The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?
Art is an adventure. When it ceases to be an adventure, it ceases to be art.
It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection.
Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.
Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness.
We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
If the real world is orange juice, then art is like orange-juice concentrate.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic.
To the accountants, a true work of art is an investment that hangs on the wall.
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
What is Art? It is the response of man's creative soul to the call of the Real.
Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
It has been said that art is a tryst; for the joy of it maker and beholder meet.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn.
Black art has always existed. It just hasn't been looked for in the right places.
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great Goddess?
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
We must carry the arts to the people, not wait for the people to come to the arts.
Art thaws even the frozen, darkened soul, opening it to lofty spiritual experience.
It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet.
Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence.
It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.
Sometimes, to pursue a new idea, the artist must forfeit his deposit on an old idea.
But that's what being an artist is—feeling crummy before everyone else feels crummy.
Art should be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.
An art critic is someone who appreciates art, except for any particular piece of art.
The youth of an art is, like the youth of anything else, its most interesting period.
Art, unless it leads to right action, is no more than the opium of an intelligentsia.
The character of a society is largely shaped and unified by its great creative works.
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.
Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.
The object of art is to give life a shape, and to do it by every conceivable artifice.
For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh.
Art and Religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstasy.
Art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
There's no need to believe what an artist says. Believe what he does; that's what counts.
We must be suspicious of censors who say they mean to prohibit our art for our own welfare.
Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
It is the addition of strangeness to beauty that constitutes the romantic character in art.
Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb.
Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.
The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it is to imagine what is possible.
As long as art is the beauty parlor of civilization, neither art nor civilization is secure.
A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left.
Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
Science and art belong to the whole world, and the barriers of nationality vanish before them.
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money.
Art is a human product, a human secretion; it is our body that sweats the beauty of our works.
Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication.
All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly of the soul.
Art is not a special sauce applied to ordinary cooking; it is the cooking itself if it is good.
The only domain where the divine is visible is that of art, whatever name we choose to call it.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Art is the method of levitation, in order to separate one's self from enslavement by the earth.
Art—the one achievement of Man which has made the long trip up from all fours seem well advised.
Art requires, above all things, a suppression of self, a subordination of one's self to an idea.
Do not imagine that Art is something which is designed to give gentle uplift and self-confidence.
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things but their inward significance.
Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
One of the best things about paintings is their silence—which prompts reflection and random reverie.
It is very good advice to believe only what an artist does, rather than what he says about his work.
Art distills sensation and embodies it with enhanced meaning in memorable form—or else it is not art.
Art...asserts the possibility of fellowship in a world built entirely from the materials of solitude.
One of the best things about paintings is their silence - which prompts reflection and random reverie.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
Art, all art, not just painting, is a foreign city, and we deceive ourselves when we think it familiar.
The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one's soul to grow.
The creation of a work of art, like an act of love, is our one small "yes" at the center of a vast "no."
There is no logical reason why the camel of great art should pass through the needle of mob intelligence.
It is our art that has an opportunity to leave a footprint in the sand. They don't wrap fish in our work.
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
The highest art...sets down its creations and trusts in their magic, without fear of not being understood.
Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.
Style is not a seductive decoration added to a functional structure; it is of the essence of a work of art.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Art can excite, titillate, please, entertain, and sometimes shock; but its ultimate function is to ennoble.
There is an art to science, and science in art; the two are not enemies, but different aspects of the whole.
Art is accusation, expression, passion. Art is a fight to the finish between black charcoal and white paper.
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way—things I had no words for.
To interest is the first duty of art; no other excellences will ever begin to compensate for failure in this.
He who posseses science and art, has religion; he who possesses neither science nor art, let him get religion.
To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art; men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
Art is, after all, only a trace—like a footprint which shows that one has walked bravely and in great happiness.
Art....cannot be an egotistic activity engulfed in the limits of pure creation, free of all human contamination.
I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for.
At the center of everything we call "the arts," and children call "play," is something which seems somehow alive.
The work of art may have a moral effect, but to demand moral purpose from the artist is to make him ruin his work.
What is called a sincere work [of art] is one that is endowed with enough strength to give reality to an illusion.
A work of art has an author and yet, when it is perfect, it has something which is essentially anonymous about it.
Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
Great art is the expression of a solution of the conflict between the demands of the world without and that within.
My wish for you is, may your art satisfy you. Others will then rejoice in it, but the former is the more important.
Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea.
Art is a reaching out into the ugliness of the world for vagrant beauty and the imprisoning of it in a tangible form.
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
It is the glory and good of Art, That Art remains the one way possible Of speaking truth, to mouths like mine at least.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.
Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
The true work of art is the one which the seventh wave of genius throws up the beach where the under-tow cannot drag it back.
More important than a work of art itself is what it will sow. Art can die, a painting can disappear. What counts is the seed.
Today the function of the artist is to bring imagination to science and science to imagination, where they meet, in the myth.
Art, true art, is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.
There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master. Thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild.
All great works of art are "about God" in the sense that they show the perplexed human being the path, the way up the mountain.
It is a mistake for a sculptor or a painter to speak or write very often about his job. It releases tension needed for his work.
I don't believe less is more. I believe that more is more. I believe that less is less, fat fat, thin thin and enough is enough.
The artist gazes upon a reality and creates his own impression. The viewer gazes upon the impression and creates his own reality.
Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul and shows to people these mysteries which are common to all.
Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains.
Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.
The painter puts brush to canvas, and the poet puts pen to paper. The poet has the easier task, for his pen does not alter his rhyme.
In art as in lovemaking, heartfelt ineptitude has its appeal and so does heartless skill, but what you want is passionate virtuosity.
Imagination comes first in both artistic and scientific creations, but in science there is only one answer and that has to be correct.
Any work of art, regardless of its form or formlessness, is great when it makes you feel that its creator has dipped into your very heart.
Art's natural enemy—and man's—is chaos. Today art is our most advanced attempt to map out our chaos so we can avoid disappearing into it.
Every art is a church without communicants, presided over by a parish of the respectable. An artist is born kneeling; he fights to stand.
Real art, like the wife of an affectionate husband, needs no ornaments. But counterfeit art, like a prostitute, must always be decked out.
A work of art does not answer questions: it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between their contradictory answers.
Art is a staple, like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Man's spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food.
Art gropes, it stalks like a hunter lost in the woods, listening to itself and to everything around it, unsure of itself, waiting to pounce.
Art...is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
The truths of Science become more meaningful and more beautiful when analyzed and explained; exactly the reverse occurs with the truths of Art.
Science deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves; and art exclusively with things as they affect the human sense and human soul.
God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things.
An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have but that he—for some reason—thinks it would be a good idea to give them.
Art for the sake of art itself is an idle sentence. Art for the sake of truth, for the sake of what is beautiful and good-that is the creed I seek.
There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art.
Art, for the sake of art itself, is an idle sentence. Art, for the sake of truth, for the sake of what is beautiful and good, that is the creed I seek.
Art is an absolute mistress; she will not be coquetted with or slighted; she requires the most entire self-devotion, and she repays with grand triumphs.
I love even the smallest thing of all and I paint it on a golden background and make it visible in order that it moves someone even if I don't know whom.
As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.
Art is an infinitely precious good, a draught both refreshing and cheering which restores the stomach and the mind to the natural equilibrium of the ideal.
Any work of art, provided it springs from a sincere motivation to further understanding between people, is an act of faith and therefore is an act of love.
The high mission of any art is, by its illusions, to foreshadow a higher universe reality, to crystallize the emotions of time into the thought of eternity.
Without the presence and energy of art in our lives, we are capable of engaging in heartless activities without remorse and cruelties with clear consciences.
Art and science coincide insofar as both aim to improve the lives of men and women. The latter normally concerns itself with profit, the former with pleasure.
One cannot remain the same. Art is a mirror which should show many reflections, and the artist should not always show the same face, or the face becomes a mask.
Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term "Art," I should call it "the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul."
The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.
To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.
Art extends each man's short time on earth by carrying from man to man the whole complexity of other men's lifelong experience, with all its burdens, colors and flavor.
Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.
Science has to do with facts, art with phenomena. To science, phenomena are of use only as they lead to facts; and to art, facts are of use only as they lead to phenomena.
I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.
There is an inherent truth which must be disengaged from the outward appearance of the object to be represented. This is the only truth that matters. Exactitude is not truth.
The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.
I think of Art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system, that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.
A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.
If you practice an art, be proud of it and make it proud of you. It may break your heart, but it will fill your heart before it breaks it; it will make you a person in your own right.
All of the arts, poetry, music, ritual, the visible arts, the theater, must singly and together create the most comprehensive art of all, a humanized society, and its masterpiece, free man.
All day long I sit and add up columns of figures and make everything balance. Then I come home and sit down and look up at my Kandinsky and it's wonderful - and it doesn't mean a damn thing!
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.
Science and art, or by the same token, poetry and prose differ from one another like a journey and an excursion. The purpose of the journey is its goal, the purpose of an excursion is the process.
Every work of art is one half of a secret handshake, a challenge that seeks the password, a heliograph flashed from a tower window, an act of hopeless optimism in the service of bottomless longing.
Art's a staple, like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Man's spirit grows hungry for art in the same way his stomach growls for food.
A great work of Art demands a great thought, or a thought of beauty adequately expressed. Neither in Art nor literature more than in life can an ordinary thought be made interesting because well dressed.
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human condition.
Painting isn't an aesthetic operation; it's a form of magic designed as a mediation between this strange hostile world and us, a way of seizing the power by giving form to our terrors as well as our desires.
A science or an art may be said to be "useful" if its development increases, even indirectly, the material well-being and comfort of men, it promotes happiness, using that word in a crude and commonplace way.
What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself—life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.
Artists know well that beauty isn't solely consoling, but that it can also be disturbing. The grand masters have known how to present with beauty those realities of the human condition that are most tragic and painful.
We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.
When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college—that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, 'You mean they forget?'
It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit — enable them to see visions and dream dreams.
Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, and also experience them.
In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.
The aesthetic view of life is not confined to those who can create or appreciate works of art. It exists wherever natural senses play freely on the manifold phenomena of our world, and when life as a consequence is found to be full of felicity.
Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness that characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.
Science is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon eternal truths. Art is out of the reach of morals, for her eyes are fixed upon things beautiful and immortal and ever-changing. To morals belong the lower and less intellectual spheres.
Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphia: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one is leading the "higher life."
A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each piece is only answerable to the rest of that little world. So, probably in the total universe, there is that kind of total harmony, but we get only little tastes of it.
Everything we think of as great has come to us from neurotics. It is they and they alone who found religions and create great works of art. The world will never realize how much it owes to them and what they have suffered in order to bestow their gifts on it.
I think art is a great big river that just flows and it's been flowing for thousands of years. . . . Art doesn't win wars, but it's the only thing that remains after the civilizations go. Nobody knows much about the politics of certain Egyptian dynasties but people remember the art, the great things that were created.
What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not your life?
I like to know what a picture represents without being told by the artist. Ladies with no mouth and six arms; gentlemen with eyes in their stomachs and legs of grand pianos; landscapes with wardrobe trunks overflowing with human limbs and peopled by alarm clocks with black silk-stockinged feet, only make me laugh, and anyone who can take them seriously has my undying admiration.
Einstein's space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh's sky. The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist's discoveries impose his own order on chaos, as the composer or painter imposes his; an order that always refers to limited aspects of reality, and is based on the observer's frame of reference, which differs from period to period as a Rembrandt nude differs from a nude by Manet.
One of my role models is Bob Dylan. As I grew up, I learned the lyrics to all his songs and watched him never stand still. If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That's the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure. This Apple thing is that way for me. I don't want to fail, of course. But even though I didn't know how bad things really were, I still had a lot to think about before I said yes. I had to consider the implications for Pixar, for my family, for my reputation. I decided that I didn't really care, because this is what I want to do. If I try my best and fail, well, I've tried my best.