Art Quotes

Quotes are a lazy bloggers saving grace. In lieu of a formal post, here are some of my favorites.



As I am currently suffering from a bad case of writers block, I have decided to dial in this weeks entry.

That said, here are some of my favorite art and arts related quotes…bring, bring:

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” George Burns

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

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” George Bernard Shaw

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela

“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol

“All art is quite useless.” Oscar Wilde

Canada’s Most Hated Painting

Despite being purchased 24 years ago, Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire is Canada’s most polarizing artwork.


Voice_of_Fire_photo cropped

ABOVE: Barnett Newman, Voice of Fire, 1967, acrylic on canvas, 212.6 x 94.5 inches, National Gallery of Canada

“You know that painting the National Gallery of Canada spent…like…millions of dollars on? I don’t get it. It’s just a line down a canvas. What a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

If you live in Canada, chances are, you’ve heard some variation of the above statement – maybe, someone’s heard you say it.

The painting in question is Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire, and despite being purchased 24 years ago, it is Canada’s most polarizing artwork.

I could get all nerdy and explain why Voice of Fire is an important piece.

I could point out that never, has an artwork commanded such a prominent place in the national conversation.

I could go on and on, but I doubt it would change anyone’s mind.

Instead, I will leave you with this:

In 1989, the National Gallery of Canada purchased Voice of Fire for $1.8 million. In 2013, Sotheby’s sold a similar painting by the same artist for $43.8 million.

A great work of art? Debatable. A waste of taxpayers’ money? Absolutely not!

The Art of Music

I love music and I cannot create without it. My musical choices vary but currently, my playlist includes the following tunes.



ABOVE: Marilyn Manson, 500 Cent, watercolor, 30 x 22 inches

Pollock liked Jazz, Bowie likes Balthus; Warhol managed a band, Hirst played in one. Art & Music. Music & art. The two go together like golf and a cart.

Unfortunately, I haven’t a musical bone in my body. I will gladly show my art here, there and everywhere, but I am far too self conscious to sing – I’m pretty sure I’d be tone deaf if I did.

As for instruments, I played the clarinet in elementary school. Sounded OK when everyone else was playing. Sounded like shit when they weren’t.

What I lack in musical talent, I make up for in musical appreciation. I love music and I cannot create without it.

My musical choices vary but currently, my playlist includes:

  • Air, Surfing on a Rocket
  • Beach House, Walk In The Park
  • Beirut, Santa Fe
  • The Flaming Lips, Do You Realize?
  • Gary Jules, Mad World
  • Interpol, NYC
  • The Kooks, Shine On
  • The National, Afraid of Everyone
  • The Pixies, Here Comes Your Man
  • Radiohead, Let Down
  • The Shins, New Slang
  • Snow Patrol, Run
  • The Temper Trap, Sweet Disposition
  • Wilco, Jesus, Etc.

If you’re viewing this on a desktop computer, you can listen to the above playlist here