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Jenny Holzer's Quotes

Jenny Holzer profile photo

Born: 1950-07-29
Profession: Artist
Nation: American
Biography of Jenny Holzer

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I'd been doing projects outdoors for the public. I made pigeons eat geometry by putting bread out in rhomboids and triangles. I don't know if this activity made sense, but the work was available.

Tags: Public, Sense, Work

I'd paint long strips of canvas and abandon them on the beach, or put bread out in geometric patterns for the pigeons downtown. I wanted people to find something nice and intriguing to puzzle over. Then I'd go back to see if the things were still there, or if anyone would notice.

Tags: Nice, Put, Wanted

It's necessary to start most work alone. But I'm tickled to death when I can pull somebody in or join someone, whether it's borrowing poetry or traveling with an associate.

Tags: Alone, Death, Work

One thing that changed when I moved upstate was that I became interested in different materials. I started making the stone benches because I was seeing rocks.

Tags: Interested, Making, Started

So much of art-making is about reducing things to the essentials, so I don't feel particularly crippled by this. I don't want it to look natural because then I would be making a documentary film.

Tags: Film, Making, Natural

That's the test of street art - to see if anybody stopped. People would cross out ones they didn't like and would star others. I liked that people would engage with them.

Tags: Art, Others, Star

Well, I think in trying to make life seem real enough that one is moved to do something about the more atrocious things. By going really far afield into a completely fake world, maybe there's a chance to make things resonant somehow - or in this case, truly terrifying. To make it as bad as the real stuff that's happening.

Tags: Bad, Fake, Life

I really like doing the laundry, because I succeed at it. But I loathe putting it away. It is already clean.

Tags: Away, Laundry, Succeed

Lack of charisma can be fatal.

Tags: Charisma, Fatal, Lack

I suspect you've noticed that making art can be lonely.

Tags: Art, Lonely, Making

Expiring for love is beautiful but stupid.

Tags: Beautiful, Love, Stupid

I wanted to support things that are helpful to people and maybe bash what I think is dangerous. So I switched from being everybody to being myself.

Tags: Dangerous, Support, Wanted

Protect me from what I want.

Tags: Protect

The desperate things seem to require attention, the lovely things seem to elicit celebration. If I had to choose, I would go to the awful in the hope that doing something could yield a happier result.

Tags: Attention, Hope, Lovely

Company makes my day.

Tags: Company, Makes

I am not free because I can be exploded anytime.

Tags: Anytime, Exploded, Free

I began to see that the short texts I was writing were poster material.

Tags: Material, Short, Writing

I moved to New York in the 1970s and started writing when I was at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.

Tags: Started, Study, Writing

I used language because I wanted to offer content that people - not necessarily art people - could understand.

Tags: Art, Understand, Wanted

I wanted to be an abstract painter, but I was rotten at it.

Tags: Abstract, Painter, Wanted

I'm always trying to bring unusual content to a different audience - a non-art-world audience.

Tags: Bring, Content, Trying

It can be kind of gruesome at times, making things alone.

Tags: Alone, Making, Times

It's fun wandering around other people's minds.

Tags: Fun, Minds, Wandering
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On the worst days, I don't feel like an artist.

Tags: Artist, Days, Worst

One of the glories and terrors of working in public is that you do see if your output means anything to anyone.

Tags: Anyone, Means, Working

Sloppy thinking gets worse over time.

Tags: Thinking, Time, Worse

The epiphany for me was that I wasn't a writer, and I had to do something with these texts. I put them in the streets as posters.

Tags: Put, Streets, Writer

The most profound things are inexpressible.

Tags: Profound

When my daughter was young, she thought all electronic signs were mine.

Tags: She, Thought, Young

I get up about four times a night and go back to sleep, or not. Then I swill tea around 8 a.m. I answer e-mail, while I stall thinking about whatever scares me.

Tags: Night, Sleep, Thinking

I seldom have my stuff up unless I'm testing it. If I'm worrying about a painting, I put it up and see if I detest it quickly or slowly. Otherwise I have things by other artists.

Tags: Painting, Put, Stuff

I think of a piece, and then people who are competent fabricate it. But lately I've started finger painting, which probably should be a joke but isn't!

Tags: Joke, Painting, Started

The difficulty is not that great to die for a friend, the hard part is finding a friend worth dying for.

Tags: Friend, Great, Hard

A rich man cannot enjoy a sound mind nor a sound body without exercise and abstinence; and yet these are truly the worst ingredients of poverty.

Tags: Enjoy, Mind, Rich

Luxury may possibly contribute to give bread to the poor; but if there were no luxury, there would be no poor.

Tags: Give, May, Poor

The truly generous is the truly wise, and he who loves not others lives unblest!

Tags: Lives, Others, Wise

Violent passions are formed in solitude. In the busy world no object has time to make a deep impression.

Tags: Busy, Deep, Time
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