Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Famous quotes about art that will inspire the artist in you.

Famous Quotes About Art

Human beings are unique in their ability to create and appreciate art, and were expressing themselves through cave-paintings even when they were living in dark caves of prehistory. Since then, we have developed various sophisticated forms of art which are able to express anything from abstract ideas and feelings such as love and hate, victory and defeat, or happiness and sorrow to concrete details of grand events like wars or trivial personal affairs. While every individual is different in expressing himself/herself through art, art can also help us identify cultural groups collectively, such as lost civilizations like Egyptians, Incas and Mayans who have all left their marks on the world through their art. However, whether art does/should have a purpose is a controversial topic in itself. Let us take a look at what prominent people have to say about art and how they are inspired by it.

There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.

William Shakespeare

I never studied art, but taught myself to draw by imitating the New Yorker cartoonists of that day, instead of doing my homework.

Bil Keane

Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.

Pablo Picasso

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

Albert Einstein

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Pablo Picasso

Education is my next big thing. When music and art were taken out of the schools, I went berserk!

Bette Midler

Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.

Woody Allen

In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.


Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

Jonathan Swift

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Sun Tzu

Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.

Oscar Wilde

Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.

Bertolt Brecht

One eye sees, the other feels.

Paul Klee

The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seemed filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster

Elizabeth Bishop

The first mistake of art is to assume that it's serious.

Lester Bangs

All art is political in the sense that it serves someone's politics.

August Wilson

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.

Margaret Atwood

All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.

Federico Fellini

Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.

Oscar Wilde

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.

Maya Angelou

To me the purpose of art is to produce something alive...but with a separate, and of course one hopes, with an everlasting life of its own.

Henry Green

We have art in order not to die of the truth.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.


As an artist your first loyalty is to your art. Unless this is the case, you're going to be a second-rate artist.

Margaret Atwood

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun

Pablo Picasso

I don't look at our society today too much. My focus is still in the past, and part of the reason is because what I do - the wellspring of art, or what I do - l get from the blues. So I listen to the music of a particular period that I'm working on, and I think inside the music is clues to what is happening with the people.

August Wilson

...and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?

Vincent van Gogh

If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it.

John Lennon

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.

W. H. Auden

Great art is horseshit, buy tacos.

Charles Bukowski

The artist does not draw what he sees, but what he has to make others see.

Edgar Degas

Art is born of humiliation.

W. H. Auden

Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art.

Kurt Cobain

'Healing,' Papa would tell me, 'is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.'

W. H. Auden

Art is the proper task of life.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.

William James

Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.

Lester Bangs

All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.

W. H. Auden

It seems almost backwards to me that my music seems the more emotional outlet, and the art stuff seems more about ideas.

David Byrne

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for.

Alice Walker

I think it is time we learned the lesson of our century: that the progress of the human spirit must keep pace with technological and scientific progress, or that spirit will die. It is incumbent on our educators to remember this; and music is at the top of the spiritual must list. When the study of the arts leads to the adoration of the formula (heaven forbid), we shall be lost. But as long as we insist on maintaining artistic vitality, we are able to hope in man

Leonard Bernstein

No art is less spontaneous than mine. What I do is the result of reflection and the study of the great masters.

Edgar Degas

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.

Edgar Degas

It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence.

Isadora Duncan

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.


Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.

Dorothea Lange

Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.

Ludwig van Beethoven

We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.

Kazuo Ishiguro

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.

George Bernard Shaw

Art is not necessary at all. All that is necessary to make this world a better place to live in is to love - to love as Christ loved, as Buddha loved.

Isadora Duncan

Art is what you can get away with.

Andy Warhol

I strongly believe that the art of the novel works best when the writer identifies with whoever he or she is writing about. Novels in the end are based on the human capacity, compassion, and I can show more compassion to my characters if I write in a first person singular.

Orhan Pamuk

I've been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.

Barbra Streisand

Art is never finished, only abandoned.

Leonardo da Vinci

From Borges, those wonderful gaucho stories from which I learned that you can be specific as to a time and place and culture and still have the work resonate with the universal themes of love, honor, duty, betrayal, etc. From Amiri Baraka, I learned that all art is political, although I don't write political plays.

August Wilson

Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.

Stephen King

Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.

Toni Morrison

I am not a great cook, I am not a great artist, but I love art, and I love food, so I am the perfect traveller.

Michael Palin

Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one

Stella Adler

A work of art does not answer questions, it provokes them; and its essential meaning is in the tension between the contradictory answers.

Leonard Bernstein

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.


I don't think any movie or any book or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today. But it's certainly worth a try.

Steven Spielberg

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.

Walt Whitman

Any asshole can chase a skirt, art takes discipline.

Charles Bukowski

The practice of art isn't to make a living. It's to make your soul grow.

Kurt Vonnegut

I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.

Steve Martin

All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.

James Baldwin

Art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic.

Charles Eames

I didn't always value the ways black people talked. I thought, in order to make art out of it, you had to change it.

August Wilson

Anybody can direct a picture once they know the fundamentals. Directing is not a mystery, it's not an art. The main thing about directing is: photograph the people's eyes.

John Ford

So therefore I dedicate myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being.

Jack Kerouac

Art is an expression of who we are, what we believe, and what we dream about.

Julianne Moore

A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.

W. H. Auden

I think you learn a lot about a country from its art. To me, it's part of the drama of life. It teaches you that there are places, moments and incidents in other cultures that genuinely have a life of their own.

Michael Palin

The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

Sun Tzu

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly'.

Vincent van Gogh

Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.

Susan Sontag

Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.

Leonardo da Vinci

The only kind of work which permits an able woman to realize her abilities fully, to achieve identity in society in a life plan that can encompass marriage and motherhood, is the kind that was forbidden by the feminine mystique, the lifelong commitment to an art or science, to politics or profession. If divorce has increased by one thousand percent, don't blame the women's movement. Blame the obsolete sex roles on which our marriages were based.

Betty Friedan

Art is to console those who are broken by life.

Vincent van Gogh

Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.

Maya Angelou

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.

Andy Warhol

One must give value to their existence by behaving as if ones very existence were a work of art.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.

C. S. Lewis

Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself.

Daisaku Ikeda

Here’s to freedom, cheers to art. Here’s to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start.

Jason Mraz

Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art

Virginia Woolf

This overload is edging me further out to sea, I need to put some distances between overkill and me.

Elton John

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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.

Albert Camus

It is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.

John Irving

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.

Pablo Picasso

For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.

Gustave Flaubert

She's got electric boots, a mohair suit, you know I read it in a magazine.

Elton John

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.


The art of a people is a true mirror to their minds.

Jawaharlal Nehru

I think a lot of actors, comedians, musicians, artists are drawn to this world, because you're allowed to excavate whatever it is that you're struggling with, and hopefully turn it into art.

Sandra Bullock

The beautiful in life... Some talk of it in poetry, Some grow it from the soil, Some build it in a steeple, Some show it through their toil. Some breathe it into music, Some mold it into art, Some shape it into bread loaves... Some hold it in their hearts.

Bernard Meltzer

All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet -- it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.

Joss Whedon