8 Curious Quotes from Alex Katz to Celebrate his Birthday
The painter turns 88 today.
Artist Alex Katz turns 88 on July 24. His portraits and landscapes quietly defy their two-dimensionality. The artist paints “wet on wet,” so his fluid brushstrokes blend together on the canvas, evoking a lustrous finish.
To mark his birthday, here are some musings from the master of color.
1. On painting Anna Wintour’s first portrait:
“She was very nice, very easy, very pleasant. I was told it was her first time being painted, which is kind of amazing.”
“Ada for me is like Dora Maar to Picasso. But Ada has better shoulders, and could easily be Miss America.”
3. On Andy Warhol:
“The thing with Warhol is that he was basically a great graphic artist. He’s not a painter. And his work has a different quality. He’s such a terrific graphic artist that he could make things that are more interesting than a lot of paintings, but it’s not the same thing as a painting, for me.”
4. On Competition:
“We compete for audiences, as artists. I’m competing with the Abstract Expressionist guys. I’ll knock ‘em off the wall. If you put my work next to an aggressive A.E. painting, I’ll eat most of ‘em up. And I want to compete with the kids. I’m there with the kids.”
5. On Getting Better with Age:
“Most painters, when they get older, they get worse. And the real good ones get better. This is, like, my stab at saying ‘I got better.'”
6. On Haters:
“I just love putting it to people who didn’t like me. There are people from 20, 30, 40 years ago that I love meeting on the street and saying hello. I don’t have to say anything, I just have to say hello.”
7. On Spontaneous Moments of Inspiration:
“One day I just looked out the window and just decided I was going to paint a window.”
“I thought to be an artist you had to be a genius or something. It was that 19th century idea…but with hard work, I got to be good.”
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