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

A collection of quotes and sayings by Jasper Johns on flag, object, doing, give-up, artist, facts, style, thoughts, die, experience, desire, painting, freedom and experience.

45 Great Quotes By Jasper Johns For The Abstractionist

Quick Facts

Famous As: Painter, Sculptor, Costume designer

Born On: May 15, 1930

Born In: Augusta

Jasper Johns is a distinguished American sculptor, printmaker associated with Abstract expressionism and painter. After the marriage of his parents failed, he spent his early days in South Carolina with his paternal grandparents. He is renowned for his painting ‘Flag’. He had a dream of the American flag and that is when he made this painting. His work is opposite of pop art and described ‘Neo-Dadist’. His thoughts and subject matters include objects from popular culture and images. The artistic use of classical iconography by Johns has also made his works to be included in pop art and he is also at times considered as a pop artist. Following is a list of some popular quotes and sayings by the accomplished painter which have been extracted from his works, thoughts and life. Zoom through the quotes and thoughts by Jasper Johns that reveal his artistic bent of mind.

I assumed that everything would lead to complete failure, but I decided that didn't matter – that would be my life.

Jasper Johns

Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.

Jasper Johns

As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken. Artists sense within their own work that kind of swelling of possibilities, which may seem a freedom or a confusion.

Jasper Johns

Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.

Jasper Johns

I don't want my work to be an exposure of my feelings.

Jasper Johns

To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.

Jasper Johns

I think a painting should include more experience than simply intended statement.

Jasper Johns

When something is new to us, we treat it as an experience. We feel that our senses are awake and clear. We are alive.

Jasper Johns

I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don't think that's a painter's business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason.

Jasper Johns

Old art offers just as good a criticism of new art as new art offers of old.

Jasper Johns

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.

Jasper Johns

I tend to like things that already exist.

Jasper Johns

One works without thinking how to work.

Jasper Johns

Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me.

Jasper Johns

At first I had some idea that the absence of color made the work more physical. Early on I was very involved with the notion of the painting as an object and tended to attack that idea from different directions.

Jasper Johns

Art is either a complaint or appeasement.

Jasper Johns

In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in.

Jasper Johns

I think that one wants from a painting a sense of life. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement. It has to be what you can't avoid saying.

Jasper Johns

To do a drawing for a painting most often means doing something very sketchy and schematic and then later making it polished.

Jasper Johns

As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken. Artists sense within their own work that kind of swelling of possibilities, which may seem a confusion, or a freedom.

Jasper Johns

Everyone is of course free to interpret the work in his own way. I think seeing a picture is one thing and interpreting it is another.

Jasper Johns

I'm not sure what 'coming out right' means. It often means that what you do holds a kind of energy that you wouldn't just put there, that comes about through grace of some sort.

Jasper Johns

To me, self-description is a calamity.

Jasper Johns

What you might consider a bad work can be of extreme interest to an artist in ways which are not about its being a good or bad.

Jasper Johns

I wish there were more humor in my work than I see in it.

Jasper Johns

I decided that if my work contained what I could identify as a likeness to other work, I would remove it.'

Jasper Johns

One wants one's work to be the world, but of course it's never the world. The work is in the world; it never contains the whole thing.

Jasper Johns

I was raised in South Carolina; I wasn't aware of any art in South Carolina. There was a minor museum in Charleston, which had nothing of interest in it. It showed local artists, paintings of birds.

Jasper Johns

I love drawings, so I've always enjoyed making drawings that exist on their own.

Jasper Johns

My experience of life is that it's very fragmented; certain kinds of things happen, and in another place, a different kind of thing occurs. I would like my work to have some vivid indication of those differences.

Jasper Johns

The thing is, if you believe in the unconscious - and I do - there's room for all kinds of possibilities that I don't know how you prove one way or another.

Jasper Johns

One likes to think that one anticipates changes in the spaces we inhabit, and our ideas about space.

Jasper Johns

Most of the power of painting comes through the manipulation of space... but I don't understand that.

Jasper Johns

I often find that having an idea in my head prevents me from doing something else. Working is therefore a way of getting rid of an idea.

Jasper Johns

I never wish for critics.

Jasper Johns

I am just trying to find a way to make pictures.

Jasper Johns

I don't know how to organise thoughts. I don't know how to have thoughts.

Jasper Johns

I am not strong on perfection.

Jasper Johns

In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant.

Jasper Johns

Sometimes I see it and then paint it. Other times I paint it and then see it. Both are impure situations, and I prefer neither.

Jasper Johns

Intention involves such a small fragment of our consciousness and of our mind and of our life.

Jasper Johns

The only logical thing I can think of is that I knew there were such things as artists, and I knew there were none where I lived. So I knew that to be an artist you had to be somewhere else. And I very much wanted to be somewhere else.

Jasper Johns

There was very little art in my childhood. I was raised in South Carolina; I wasn't aware of any art in South Carolina. There was a minor museum in Charleston, which had nothing of interest in it. It showed local artists, paintings of birds.

Jasper Johns

Sometime during the mid-50s I said, 'I am an artist.' Before that, for many years, I had said, 'I'm going to be an artist.' Then I went through a change of mind and a change of heart. What made 'going to be an artist' into 'being an artist', was, in part, a spiritual change.

Jasper Johns

This image of wanting to be an artist - that I would in some way become an artist -was very strong. I knew for a long, long time that that's what I would be. But nothing I ever did seemed to bring me any nearer to the condition of being an artist. And I didn't know how to do it.

Jasper Johns