Sometimes an artist can be as surprising in conversation as on canvas. See if you can identify which artist is behind each of the quotes below... Then click through to Part II to check whether you were right!
1. “I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist, or I’d draw a ram’s head, really messy. I’d never win painting contests. I remember losing to this guy who did a perfect spiderman.”
2. “People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs. The faulty system is making their lives a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs.”
3. “I am quite aware of the chance that I have or will have AIDS. The odds are very great and, in fact, the symptoms already exist. My friends are dropping like flies and I know in my heart that it is only divine intervention that has kept me alive this long. I don’t know if I have five months or five years, but I know my days are numbered. This is why my activities and projects are so important now. To do as much as possible as quickly as possible.”
Banksy™ Thrower released through Gross Domestic Product, 2019.
4. “A lot of people dislike me, they’ve never met me. A lot of people think my work’s crap, they’ve never seen it. A lot of people think I’m a kind-of-foul-mouthed whatever, they’ve never spoken to me.”
5. “I’m really only interested in technology that is about pictures. I’m interested in anything that makes a picture. I was always interested in photography because it makes a picture. And even fax machines, when I found out you could make a picture if you did them right.”
6. “I don’t think I’m good at telling jokes or trying to be funny. Anytime I have tried to be funny wasn’t very funny so I try not to be funny. I’m happy that people find the work amusing but I think it’s important to do things seriously.”
Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel at Andy’s studio at 860 Broadway, April 23, 1984.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
7. “I couldn’t remember why I had done it. I realized whilst I was being sarcastic, ‘yeah let’s make the world a better place,’ at the same time I believed it. There was a real paradox there. I started to have the idea that maybe art is to make the world a better place.”
8. “You say graffiti, and the majority of people are going to be offended by it. I don't have a marker in my pocket. I don't deface anything. It almost shocks me to remember I once had that impulse. I don't feed on that desire to say, 'Check me out.'''
9. “The problem whenever I come to America is that the hamburgers are so delicious, I end up eating one every two days and fattening myself into a round ball.”
10. "I just love dressing up in everything a man is supposed not to be, in all that vulnerability, sweetness, preciousness and impracticality."
Untitled by Takashi Murakami (detail), acrylic on canvas mounted on aluminum frame, 2018.
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