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ART IS THE HIGHEST

FORM OF HOPE

& OTHER QUOTES BY ARTISTS


Preface 7 Drawing 138 Philosophy 232

Advice 8 Drugs + Alcohol 142 Photography 236

Art 22 Exhibition 148 Routine 244

Art Market 34 Failure 156 Scale 250

Art School 40 Frame 160 Sculpture 256

Artist 46 Identity 166 Sex 262

Audience 56 Influence 172 Studio 266

Beauty 64 Inspiration 180 Subject 274

Chance 72 Intention 188 Success 282

Childhood 78 Light 196 Technology 288

Collaboration 88 Limitation 202 Title 292

Color 94 Materials 204 Tools 298

Creative Process 110 Money 212 Weather 302

Day Job 126 Nature 222 Artist Index 309

Discipline 130 Originality 226 Sources 319


PREFACE

An air of mystery surrounds the inner What is striking is how many


lives of painters, sculptors, photographers, artists’ revelations, admissions, and
and other visual artists. Many are private, philosophies are universal, transcending
protecting their solitude and time to focus centuries and the creative process.
on their practice. While we are familiar When Salvador Dalí reframes failure
with the works they create, the individuals by writing that “mistakes are almost
behind the art are often more elusive. always of a sacred nature,” his message
Art Is the Highest Form of Hope resonates beyond the world of art.
collects hundreds of moments when And we can all learn from the rules of
artists have stepped away from their tools life Laurie Anderson shares: 1. Don’t
and materials, studios and foundries to be afraid of anyone. 2. Get a really good
share their intuitive perceptions, hard- BS detector and learn how to use it.
earned advice, and unvarnished opinions. 3. Be really tender.
They weigh in on subjects as diverse as These excerpts were discovered
color, discipline, day jobs, inspiration, light, in a variety of sources—diaries, letter
sex, failure, collaboration, and more. collections, notebooks, interviews,
The profound sits beside the practical monographs, etc. If “quotable quotes are
as the artists’ inner worlds emerge. They coins rubbed smooth by circulation,”
tell us what ignites their imagination and as Louis Menand writes in The New
why art is essential. But they also reveal Yorker, this collection offers insights that
the persistent, longstanding challenge of haven’t been recycled and worn smooth
balancing the inspired with the mundane. over time. Source notes can be found
It is easy to relate to Henri de Toulouse- in the back of the book for those inspired
Lautrec when he is despondent after to read the words in context.
two rainy days prevent him from painting “Art is the highest form of hope”
outside. Time collapses with the shared is a quotation by Gerhard Richter, and
experience of dealing with moody weather its own small packet of wisdom. Art has
and “unsettled” skies. It is humbling to spanned time and cultures, lifted us up,
learn that Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and and brought us together. Or, in the
Judy Chicago (to name just a few) struggled eloquent words of Dorothea Tanning,
to make ends meet—that artists have “Art has always been the raft on to which
always forged ahead tirelessly regardless we climb to save our sanity.” This book
of public and financial recognition. In the is also a raft—whether you read the
encouraging words of Vincent van Gogh, collection from beginning to end or dip
“One must go on working silently, trusting into any one section, you’ll be enlightened,
the result to the future.” amused, inspired, and transported.

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ADVICE
DRAW LINES,
YOUNG MAN, MANY

YOU ARE LINES, FROM MEMORY


OR FROM NATURE;

AS GOOD IT IS IN THIS WAY THAT


YOU WILL BECOME
A GOOD ARTIST.
AS YOU Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

EVER WILL DON’T PRETEND


BE AT THE THAT YOU’RE
MOMENT. NOT PROUD OF
YOUR WORK.
Constantin Brâncus i April Gornik
´

ADVICE 9
LET
FRUSTRATION IF A
FUEL PAINTING
INSPIRATION.
Sonia Boyce
DOESN’T
THE MINUTE SOMETHING WORK,
WORKS, IT CEASES TO
BE INTERESTING. AS SOON THROW
AS YOU HAVE SPELLED
SOMETHING OUT, YOU IT OUT.
SHOULD SET IT ASIDE.
Rosemarie Trockel Franz Kline

10 ADVICE
Make sure to allow Sit down with a TRY TO PUT WELL I FEEL
people to take care of you. pencil and paper and IN PRACTICE WHAT LIKE I CAN
Mickalene Thomas think about what your
life is about. What you YOU ALREADY KNOW; GIVE A LOT
KEEP YOUR are about. Don’t even AND IN SO DOING, YOU TO YOUNGER
EYE ON YOUR take a camera into
WILL, IN GOOD TIME, PAINTERS
INNER WORLD your hands before you
AND KEEP AWAY figure that out. DISCOVER THE HIDDEN BY JUST
FROM ADS AND TINA BARNEY THINGS WHICH YOU TELLING THEM
IDIOTS AND MOVIE
NOW INQUIRE ABOUT. TO RELAX.
STARS, EXCEPT TAKE A CANVAS.
WHEN YOU NEED PUT A MARK ON IT.
Rembrandt Elizabeth Peyton
AMUSEMENT. PUT ANOTHER
Dorothea Tanning MARK ON IT.
JASPER JOHNS

THE ADVICE THAT CULTIVATE A


I GIVE PEOPLE WANTING DON’T GET RID OF
TO KNOW HOW TO NEGATIVE EMOTION, BUT WELL-ORDERED MIND,
“MAKE IT” AS AN ARTIST, JUST USE IT. .. LIKE THE IT’S YOUR ONLY ROAD
BASED ON MY OWN SALT IN YOUR FOOD.
LIMITED EXPERIENCE Yoko Ono TO HAPPINESS; AND TO
WITH THAT, IS TO
CREATE SELF-INITIATED SOMETIMES IN A REACH IT, BE ORDERLY IN
PUBLIC PROJECTS HOSTILE SITUATION EVERYTHING, EVEN IN
THAT AREN’T INTENDED YOU STICK AROUND,
FOR A COMMERCIAL BECAUSE HOSTILITY THE SMALLEST DETAILS.
GALLERY CONTEXT. ITSELF IS IMPORTANT.
Harrell Fletcher Dorothea Lange Eugène Delacroix

12 ADVICE ADVICE 13
FOR THE NEXT
WEEK TRY THE BEST YOU

FIND
CAN TO PAY ATTENTION
TO SOUNDS. YOU WILL
START HEARING ALL THESE
SOUNDS COMING IN.

YOUR Robert Irwin

STARE. IT IS THE

EYES.
WAY TO EDUCATE YOUR EYE,
AND MORE. STARE, PRY,
LISTEN, EAVESDROP.
DIE KNOWING SOMETHING.
YOU ARE NOT HERE LONG.
alec soth Walker Evans

ADVICE 15