Poisonous and Insightful - Famous Quotes About The Arts
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Oct 15, 2012

Poisonous and Insightful - Famous Quotes About The Arts


For every person that can, there are countless people who say they can’t. Every successful person has a critic who thinks that breath is wasted simply talking about him or her. What is to follow here are some of the better insults about artistic people throughout time. It is in no specific order, and my opinion is not represented in any of these quotes, they are merely amusing to read, so I though I would share them with you all.

On Architecture

Arquitecto Luis Barragán
"Any work of Architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake".
Luis Barragán "Time" (1980)
"An architect is two percent gentlemen and ninety-eight percent renegade car salesman."
-Anonymous
"In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture."-Nancy Banks-Smith “The Guardian” (1969)
The famous American architect Philip Johnson a...
"Modern architecture is a flop. There is no question that our cities are uglier today than they were fifty years ago."
- Phillip Johnson (1968)
"Architects are pretty much high-class whores. We can turn down projects the way they turn down clients, but we’ve both got to say yes to someone if we want to stay in business."
-Philip Johnson “Esquire” (1980)
English: Norman Mailer, Miami Book Fair Intern...
"Perhaps the blank faceless abstract quality of our modern architecture is a reflection of the anxiety we feel before the void, a kind of visual static which emanates from the psyche of us all, as if we do not know which way to go. "
-Norman Mailer "Cannibals and Christians"
"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozed out the trees, then names the streets after them."
-Bill Vaughan

Quotes on Fashion

"Never in the history of fashion has so little material been raised so high to reveal so much that needs to be covered so badly."
-Sir Cecil Beaton (On Miniskirts - 1969)
Français : Nora Arnezeder et Pierre Cardin aux...
"The jean! The jean is the destructor! It is a dictator! It is destroying creativity. The jean must be stopped."
-Pierre Cardin "People" (1976)
Gabrielle
"Saint-Laurent has excellent taste. The more he copies me, the better taste he displays."
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
"Art produces ugly things, which frequently become beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time."
-Jean Cocteau
"Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no breeding."
-Queen Marie of Romania (1938)
English: Joan Rivers at Musto's 25th Anniversary.
"Princes Di wears more clothes in one day than Gandhi wore in his whole life."
Joan Rivers
"A dress has no purpose unless it makes a man want to take it off."
-Francoise Sagan 
"Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes."
-Henry David Thoreau

Quotes On Art and Painting

"Modern art is like trying to follow the plot in alphabet soup."
-Anonymous
"All profoundly original art looks ugly at first."
-Clement Greenberg
Blaise Pascal first explained his wager in Pen...
"How vain painting is, we admire the realistic depiction of objects which in their original state we don’t admire at all."
-Blaise Pascal "Pensées" (1669)
"I have generally found that persons who had studied painting least were the best judges of it." -Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso 1962
"Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don’t they try to understand the singing of the birds? People love the night, a flower, everything which surrounds them without trying to understand them. But painting… that they must understand."   -William Hogarth (1761)
"The more minimal the art the more maximum the explanation."
-Hilton Kramer
"An artist should be fit for the best society and keep out of it."
-John Ruskin
"The immature artist imitates. Mature artists steal."
-Lionel Trilling
Anti-Stratfordian Mark Twain, wrote
"I’m glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner."
-Mark Twain
"Visiting museums bastardizes the personality, just as hobnobbing with the priests makes you lose your faith."
-Maurice Vlaminck
English: Andy Warhol
"An artist is someone who produces things that people don’t need to have but that he, for some good reason, thinks it would be a good idea to give them."
-Andy Warhol

Oscar Wilde at Oxford
"A work of art is useless. So is a flower."
-Oscar Wilde

Quotes on Painters

"They couldn’t find the artist, so they hung the picture."
-Anonymous 

Salvador Dali

"Faced with a virtual complete record of the old phony’s unswerving bathos, it was impossible not to burst out yawing… the uproar of banality numbed the mind. "
-Clive James “Flying Visits” (1984)
 "Senor Dali, born delirious, considers it folly to be serious."
-Phyllis McGinley (1960) 
English: portrait of Salvador Dali taken in Ma...
Portrait of Salvador Dali taken in Maurice Hotel Paris 

            Vincent van Gogh

"Vincent van Gogh’s mother painted all of his best things. The famous mailed decapitated ear was a figment of the public relations firm engaged by van Gogh’s dealer."
-Roy Blount Jr.

            Michelangelo

"If Michelangelo had been a heterosexual, the Sistine Chapel would have been painted basic white and with a  roller."
-Rita Mae Brown (1988)
"He was a good man but he did not know how to paint."
-El Greco

          Claude Monet

"It is only too easy to catch people’s attention by doing something worse than anyone else has dared to do it before."
-Charivari
"A skillful but short-lived decorator."
-Edgar Degas (1888)

          Pablo Picasso

"A Catalan wizard who fools with shapes."
-Bernard Berenson
"Picasso kept finding new ways of avoiding maturity."
-Clive James “Flying Visits” (1984)
"If I met Picasso in the street I would kick him in the pants."
-Sir Alfred Munnings “Speech at the royal palace” (1949) 

          Andy Warhol

"The most famous living artist in America is Andy Warhol, unfortunately."
-Augustine Renoir 
"Warhol’s art belongs less to the history of painting than to the history of publicity."
-Hilton Kramer
"The only genius with an IQ of 60."
-Gore Vidal

Guest Author: The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this information, you can follow me on twitter @JakabokBotch. I am writing on behalf of 15thstreetstudio.com, which is perhaps the best art gallery in Boulder.