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Jasper Johns's Quotes

Jasper Johns profile photo

Born: 1930-05-15
Profession: Artist
Nation: American
Biography of Jasper Johns

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To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.

Tags: Desire, Give, Good

To do a drawing for a painting most often means doing something very sketchy and schematic and then later making it polished.

Tags: Making, Means, Often

Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me.

Tags: False, Seems, Whatever

At first I had some idea that the absence of color made the work more physical. Early on I was very involved with the notion of the painting as an object and tended to attack that idea from different directions.

Tags: Color, Idea, Work

I was raised in South Carolina; I wasn't aware of any art in South Carolina. There was a minor museum in Charleston, which had nothing of interest in it. It showed local artists, paintings of birds.

Tags: Art, Artists, Interest

In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant. I think I thought it meant that I would be in a situation different than the one that I was in.

Tags: Art, Place, Thought

My experience of life is that it's very fragmented; certain kinds of things happen, and in another place, a different kind of thing occurs. I would like my work to have some vivid indication of those differences.

Tags: Experience, Life, Work

Sometime during the mid-50s I said, 'I am an artist.' Before that, for many years, I had said, 'I'm going to be an artist.' Then I went through a change of mind and a change of heart. What made 'going to be an artist' into 'being an artist', was, in part, a spiritual change.

Tags: Change, Mind, Spiritual

The only logical thing I can think of is that I knew there were such things as artists, and I knew there were none where I lived. So I knew that to be an artist you had to be somewhere else. And I very much wanted to be somewhere else.

Tags: Artist, Else, Wanted

This image of wanting to be an artist - that I would in some way become an artist -was very strong. I knew for a long, long time that that's what I would be. But nothing I ever did seemed to bring me any nearer to the condition of being an artist. And I didn't know how to do it.

Tags: Become, Strong, Time

Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.

Tags: Freedom, May, Work

Most of the power of painting comes through the manipulation of space... but I don't understand that.

Tags: Power, Space, Understand

I am not strong on perfection.

Tags: Perfection, Strong

Intention involves such a small fragment of our consciousness and of our mind and of our life.

Tags: Life, Mind, Small

When something is new to us, we treat it as an experience. We feel that our senses are awake and clear. We are alive.

Tags: Alive, Experience, Treat

The thing is, if you believe in the unconscious - and I do - there's room for all kinds of possibilities that I don't know how you prove one way or another.

Tags: Another, Kinds, Room

I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don't think that's a painter's business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason.

Tags: Business, Ideas, Reason

Everyone is of course free to interpret the work in his own way. I think seeing a picture is one thing and interpreting it is another.

Tags: Another, Free, Work

I am just trying to find a way to make pictures.

Tags: Pictures, Trying

I decided that if my work contained what I could identify as a likeness to other work, I would remove it.'

Tags: Decided, Likeness, Work

I don't know how to organise thoughts. I don't know how to have thoughts.

Tags: Organise, Thoughts

I don't want my work to be an exposure of my feelings.

Tags: Exposure, Feelings, Work

I love drawings, so I've always enjoyed making drawings that exist on their own.

Tags: Exist, Love, Making

I never wish for critics.

Tags: Critics, Wish

I often find that having an idea in my head prevents me from doing something else. Working is therefore a way of getting rid of an idea.

Tags: Else, Often, Working

I tend to like things that already exist.

Tags: Exist, Tend
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I think a painting should include more experience than simply intended statement.

Tags: Experience, Painting, Simply

In the place where I was a child, there were no artists and there was no art, so I really didn't know what that meant.

Tags: Art, Child, Place

One likes to think that one anticipates changes in the spaces we inhabit, and our ideas about space.

Tags: Changes, Ideas, Space

One wants one's work to be the world, but of course it's never the world. The work is in the world; it never contains the whole thing.

Tags: Wants, Whole, Work

One works without thinking how to work.

Tags: Thinking, Work, Works

Sometimes I see it and then paint it. Other times I paint it and then see it. Both are impure situations, and I prefer neither.

Tags: Both, Sometimes, Times

Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.

Tags: Else, Object

There was very little art in my childhood.

Tags: Art, Childhood
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