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“Don’t pretend that you’re not proud of your work.”

Hito Steyerl

Art is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists is a collection of punchy and pithy quotes by big-name artists. It’s a Phaidon coffee-table book (toilet-reading book?) the exact size and shape of a Protestant hymnal. It came out last year. Glasstire spotted it on the coffee table of a favorite art-world person recently and started skimming, and as much as one might like to dismiss it as a load of superficial soundbites, it’s oddly addictive and rewarding. It’s 300+ pages of quotes by an  array of otherwise unaffiliated artists, and yet the whole reads like cross between a self-help manual, an art-school manifesto, and a Chicken Soup for the Soul for creative types.

Here are some favorite quotes found in its pages:

Don’t pretend that you’re not proud of your work. – April Gornick

Instead of looking at things, look between things. – John Baldessari

Sometimes in a hostile situation you stick around, because hostility itself is important. – Dorthea Lange

The first time you do something only happens once. – Chris Burden

I don’t think you can really put a monetary value on a painting. – Jacob Lawrence

I don’t know what kind of an artist I am. – Jasper Johns

I learned everything I know from films. – Nan Goldin

I have this juvenile fascination for things that are repulsive. – Cindy Sherman

I will not put on an electric light unless it’s a totally freak situation. – Alex Katz

The fact is that most people don’t do anything special enough to be ripped off. – John Currin

I don’t believe in heroes. In heroines, perhaps. – Hito Steyerl

There is a right physical size for every idea. – Henry Moore

Whom one gets into bed with is no light matter. – Paul Gauguin

My studio is in my head. – Fred Wilson

What I’ve found is the more famous I’ve become, the more success I’ve had, the less people seem really interested in me as a person. – Pipilotti Rist

Yes, the title does matter. – Lynda Benglis

 

 

 

 

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