Famous Quotes & Sayings

Jasper Johns Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 72 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jasper Johns.

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Jasper Johns Quotes 1937943

I would tend to say that I do what I do as well as possible and that most people don't. — Jasper Johns

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In my early work, I tried to hide my personality, my psychological state, my emotions. This was partly due to my feelings about myself and party due to my feelings about painting at the time. I sort of stuck to my guns for a while but eventually it seemed like a losing battle. Finally one must simply drop the reserve. — Jasper Johns

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That's what painting does; it organizes vision in a certain way or suggests that certain things be paid attention to and certain other things not be paid attention to. It functions in that way to a certain extent in our civilization. — Jasper Johns

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There may or may not be an idea, and the meaning may just be that the painting exists. — Jasper Johns

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I think a painting should include more experience than simply intended statement. — Jasper Johns

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Donald Judd spoke of a "neutral" surface, but what is meant? Neutrality must involve some relationship (to other ways of painting, thinking?) He would have to include these in his work to establish the neutrality of that surface. He also used "non" or "not" - expressive - this is an early problem - a negative solution or - expression of new sense - which can help one into - what one has not known. "Neutral" expresses an intention. — Jasper Johns

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

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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. — Jasper Johns

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Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that. — Jasper Johns

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I'm working in my mind. — Jasper Johns

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I don't know how to organise thoughts. I don't know how to have thoughts. — Jasper Johns

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I'm not looking for images, They just appear and take on an interest. Sometimes you look at a thing and it has no interest and then you see it in a different way and it has another meaning. Or something that was of no use will become useful. — Jasper Johns

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A picture ought to be looked at the same way you look at a radiator. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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Cubism is an anatomical chart of a way of seeing external objects. But I want to confuse the meaning of the act of looking. — Jasper Johns

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One works without thinking how to work. — Jasper Johns

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

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

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Art is either a complaint or appeasement. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it. — Jasper Johns

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Marcel Duchamp, one of this century's pioneers, moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with Impressionism into a field where language, thought and vision act upon one another. There it changed form through a complex interplay of new mental and physical materials, heralding many of the technical, mental and visual details to be found in more recent art ... He declared that he wanted to kill art ("for myself") but his persistent attempts to destroy frames of reference altered our thinking, established new units of thought, a "new thought for that object". — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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I'm especially interested in the music of John Cage ... I would like to do some experimenting with the relationship between his freeform sound and free-form art. — Jasper Johns

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I'm interested in things which suggest the world rather than express the personality ... The most conventional thing, the most ordinary - it seems to me that those things can be dealt with without having to judge them; they seem to me to exist as clear facts, not involving aesthetic hierarchy. — Jasper Johns

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Merce is my favorite artist in any field, — Jasper Johns

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It's almost just a difference of mood as to whether I would describe myself one way or the other. I think I share that experience with most people. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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My experience with life is that it's very fragmented. In one place certain kinds of thing occur, and in another place a different kind of thing occurs. I would like my work to have some vivid indication of those differences. I guess, in painting, it would amount to different kinds of space being represented in it. — Jasper Johns

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One night I dreamed that I painted a large American flag, and the next morning I got up and I went out and bought the materials to begin it. — Jasper Johns

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I feel that works of art are an opportunity for people to construct meaning, so I don't usually tell what they mean. It conveys to people that they have to participate. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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Object in/ and space - the first impulse may be to give the object - a position - to place the object. (The object had a position to begin with.) Next - to change the position of the object. - Rauschenberg's early sculptures - A board with some rocks on it. The rocks can be anywhere on the board. - Cage's Japanese rock garden - The rocks can be anywhere (within the garden) ... — Jasper Johns

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Art as a fantasy has been one of my earliest experiences. I suppose a lot of my childhood was a fantasy that involved getting away from things I didn't like. Fortunately it had some relationship to reality so that later I was able to, to some extent, act as I imagined I might. — Jasper Johns

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Every artist feels alone and isolated, Friends are very important in terms of all sorts of definitions of oneself. They tell you what you are and what they are aside from the intellectual aspects. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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Working is very important to me. Probably because as a child I was taught that work was good. I don't believe it intellectually but I identify with that idea. So it's probably just like a habit. — Jasper Johns

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I think through living one's life, one both changes and remains the same. One can see it either way, one can see oneself as being now what one was and one can see oneself as being absolutely different from what one was. It's a trick of thought. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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I am just trying to find a way to make pictures. — Jasper Johns

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To me, self-description is a calamity. — Jasper Johns

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

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

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Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me. — Jasper Johns

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As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken. Artists sense within their own work that kind of swelling of possibilities, which may seem a confusion, or a freedom. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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

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

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Put a lot of paint & a wooden ball or other object on a board. Push to the other end of the board. Use this in a painting. - ruler on board. — Jasper Johns

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I have meant what I have done. Or I have often meant what I have done. Or I have sometimes meant what I have done. Or I have tried to mean what I was doing. — Jasper Johns

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One's range [of ideas] is limited by one's interests and imagination and by one's passion. — Jasper Johns

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There was very little art in my childhood. 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. — Jasper Johns

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What you might consider a bad work can be of extreme interest to an artist in ways which are not about its being a good or bad. — Jasper Johns

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Generally, I am opposed to painting which is concerned with conceptions of simplicity. Everything looks busy to me. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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I would like to have insights into things like government, all those big ideas that you brought up that I simply don't have ideas about. I would like to be able to since so many people discuss them, but I don't want to work at them. I don't think my ambition is that strong in that direction. — Jasper Johns

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I'm not sure what 'coming out right' means. It often means that what you do holds a kind of energy that you wouldn't just put there, that comes about through grace of some sort. — Jasper Johns

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I never wish for critics. — Jasper Johns

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My work is largely concerned
with relations between
seeing and knowing,
seeing and saying,
seeing and believing. — Jasper Johns

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

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Old art offers just as good a criticism of new art as new art offers of old. — Jasper Johns

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

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I think that one wants from a painting a sense of life. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement. It has to be what you can't avoid saying. — Jasper Johns

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I tend to like things that already exist. — Jasper Johns

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Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it. — Jasper Johns

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When you work you learn something about what you are doing and you develop habits and procedures out of what you're doing. — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns

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I am not strong on perfection. — Jasper Johns

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I wish there were more humor in my work than I see in it. — Jasper Johns

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A not complete unit or a new unit. The elements in the 3 parts should neither fit nor not fit together.
One would like not to be led. Avoid the idea of a puzzle which could be solved. Remove the signs of thought. It is not thought which needs showing. — Jasper Johns

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Make something, a kind of object, which as it changes or falls apart (dies as it were) or increases in its parts (grows as it were) offers no clue as to what its state or form or nature was at any previous time. Physical and Metaphysical. Obstinacy. Could this be a useful object? — Jasper Johns

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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. — Jasper Johns