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    jasper johns Quotes

    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
    tags: artist 
     
    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
    tags: heart  spiritual  mind  artist  year 
     
    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
    tags: work  ideas  painting 
     
    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
    tags: work  experience 
     
    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
    tags: work  seeing 
     
    Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    tags: work  bad  artist  extreme 
     
    I wish there were more humor in my work than I see in it.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: humor  work  wishes 
     
    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
    tags: time  strong  artist 
     
    Bend color names which should be made of neon or copper tubing. Place an object on a surface - trace the object - then bend the object - leaving some part of it attached.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    I would tend to say that I do what I do as well as possible and that most people don't.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: people 
     
    Art is either a complaint or appeasement.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    tags: ideas  painting 
     
    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
    tags: night  american 
     
    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
    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
    tags: work  learn 
     
    I don't know how to organise thoughts. I don't know how to have thoughts.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: thoughts 
     
    I tend to like things that already exist.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    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
    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
    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
    tags: experience  awake 
     
    One works without thinking how to work.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: work  thinking 
     
    It's simple, you just take something and do something to it, and then do something else to it. Keep doing this, and pretty soon you've got something.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    tags: work  world 
     
    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
    tags: world  personality  facts 
     
    Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.
    — Jasper Johns
    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
    tags: meaning 
     
    To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: desires  artist 
     
    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 freedom or a confusion.
    — Jasper Johns
    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. At every point in nature there is something to see. My work contains similar possibilities for the changing focus of the eye.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: time  nature  work  focus  eyes  possibility 
     
    I decided that if my work contained what I could identify as a likeness to other work, I would remove it.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: work 
     
    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
    tags: meaning  seeing 
     
    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
    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
    tags: children  work  believe  child  ideas 
     
    To do a drawing for a painting most often means doing something very sketchy and schematic and then later making it polished.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: painting 
     
    My work is largely concernedwith relations betweenseeing and knowing,seeing and saying,seeing and believing.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: work 
     
    I'm working in my mind.
    — Jasper Johns
    tags: mind 
     
    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
    tags: saying  painting 
     
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