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Ben Shahn Quotes

Quotes by Ben Shahn - (25 quotes)

Ben Shahn - From the Abstraction category:

To abstract is to draw out the essence of a matter. To abstract in art is to separate certain fundamentals from irrelevant material which surrounds them. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Artists category:

The artist is likely to be looked upon with some uneasiness by the more conservative members of society. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Authority category:

Art almost always has its ingredient of impudence, its flouting of established authority, so that it may substitute its own authority, and its own enlightenment. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Collectors category:

It may be a point of great pride to have a Van Gogh on the living room wall, but the prospects of having Van Gogh himself in the living room would put a great many devoted art lovers to rout. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Colour category:

How do you paint yellow wheat against a yellow sky? You paint it jet black. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Communication category:

I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Form category:

Form is the shape of content... (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Form category:

Forms in art arise from the impact of idea upon material... so that thinking and belief and attitudes may endure as actual things. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Humanity category:

The natural reaction of the artist will be strongly towards bringing man back into focus as the center of importance. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Ideas category:

Content may by trivial. But I do not think that any person may pronounce either upon the weight or upon the triviality of an idea before its execution. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Imitation category:

It is not the how of painting but the why. To imitate a style would be a little like teaching a tone of voice or a personality. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Individuality category:

Only an individual can imagine, invent, or create. The whole audience of art is an audience of individuals. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Intimacy category:

It is an intimately communicative affair between the painter and his painting, a conversation back and forth, the painting telling the painter even as it receives its shape and form. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Intuition category:

The apprehension of... values is intuitive; but it is not a built-in intuition, not something with which one is born. Intuition in art is actually the result of... prolonged tuition. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Journey category:

The moving toward one's inner self is a long pilgrimage for a painter. It offers many temporary successes and high points, but impels him on toward the more adequate image. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Originality category:

All art is based on non-conformity. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Profession category:

An amateur is an artist who supports himself with outside jobs which enable him to paint. A professional is someone whose wife works to enable him to paint. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Purpose category:

It is the mission of art to remind man from time to time that he is human, and the time is ripe, just now, today, for such a reminder. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Revelation category:

The values that reside in art are anarchic, they are every man's loves and hates and his momentary divine revelation. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Style category:

Personal style, be it that of Michelangelo, or that of Tintoretto... has always been that peculiar personal rapport which has developed between an artist and his medium. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Thinking category:

If one has set for himself the position that his painting shall not misconstrue his personal mode of thinking, then he must be rather alert to just what he does think. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Tradition category:

A work of art rests its merits in traditional qualities. It may constitute a remarkable feat in craftsmanship; it may be a searching study of psychological states; it may be a nostalgic glance backward; it may be any one of an infinite number of concepts, none of which may have any possible bearing upon its degree of newness. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Truth category:

Paint what you are, paint what you believe, paint what you feel. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Uniqueness category:

Each artist comes to the painting or sculpture because there he can be told that he, the individual, transcends all classes and flouts all predictions. In the work of art, he finds his uniqueness confirmed. (Ben Shahn)

Ben Shahn - From the Vision category:

The popular eye is not untrained; it is only wrongly trained – trained by inferior and insincere visual representations. (Ben Shahn)