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The 83 Best Quotes About Art

Tammy Lamoureux from

What does it mean to be an artist? How do you know what makes art good?

These are tough questions with elusive answers. But, luckily, you’re not the first person to wonder about the world of art and creativity.

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Art is my life and my life is art. Yoko Ono

Art is not a thing — it is a way. Elbert Hubbard


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

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection. Oscar Wilde

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

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. Twyla Tharp

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life. Oscar Wilde

In art as in love, instinct is enough. Anatole France

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

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. Jean-Luc Godard

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Cesar Cruz

To be an artist is to believe in life. Henry Moore

I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living. Robert Henri

Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. Andy Warhol

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


Art is a way of survival. Yoko Ono

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. Kurt Vonnegut

Good art provides people with a vocabulary about things they can’t articulate. Mos Def

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. Emile Zola

To be an artist, you have to nurture the things that most people discard. Richard Avedon

Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind. Magdalena Abakanowicz

Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all. Ray Bradbury

I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly. Vincent Van Gogh

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. Oscar Wilde

I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty places in my life. Some of them. Not all. Neil Gaiman

A great artist is always before his time or behind it. George Moore

An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it. Paul Valéry

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. Bruce Lee

The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it. Bansky


Art resides in the quality of doing; process is not magic. Charles Eames

Art is the stored honey of the human soul. Theodore Dreiser

Art is an argument between what it looks like and what it means. Brett Whiteley

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. Friedrich Nietzsche

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams

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

There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent Van Gogh

The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence. Woody Allen

Art is love and it covers. It sheilds. Chrisette Michele

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known. Oscar Wilde

Art is to console those who are broken by life. Vincent Van Gogh

You don’t make art, you find it. Pablo Picasso

Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be meaningful. Duane Hanson

An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s. J.D. Salinger


The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. Paul Strand

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art. Neil Gaiman

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

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery. Francis Bacon

Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. D.W. Winnicott

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. John F. Kennedy

You don’t have to make something that people call art. Living is an artistic activity, there is an art to getting through the day. Viggo Mortensen

An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing. Louise Bourgeois

The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable. Robert Henri

The object of art is to make eternal the desperately fleeting moment. Tennessee Williams

What is art but a way of seeing? Thomas Berger

The ‘Earth’ without ‘Art’ is just ‘Eh’. Unknown

I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun. Yoko Ono

To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes. Akira Kurosawa

I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing. Francis Ford Coppola

Great art picks up where nature ends. Marc Chagall

Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them. Franz Marc

Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money. Ernst Levy


The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. Pablo Picasso

An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture. Jean Cocteau

Art is not a thing, it is a way. Elbert Hubbard

If a man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle. Albrecht Durer

There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it. Henry Moore

One never finishes learning about art. There are always new things to discover. Great works of art seem to look different every time one stands before them. They seem to be as inexhaustible and unpredictable as real human beings. E. H. Gombrich

Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first. Arthur Schopenhauer

I will be an artist or nothing! Eugene O’Neill

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. Émile Zola

I just do art because I’m ugly and there’s nothing else for me to do. Andy Warhol

An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world. George Santayana

Art suffers the moment other people start paying for it. Hugh MacLeod

Sex is like art. Most of it is pretty bad, and the good stuff is out of your price range. Scott Roeben

Anyone who says you can’t see a thought simply doesn’t know art. Wynetka Ann Reynolds


As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life. John Lubbock

In the haunted house of life, art is the only stair that doesn’t creak. Tom Robbins

An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one. Charles Horton Cooley

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