These 4 Artists Have Birthdays Today—Can You Guess Who Said What?

It's a great day for Aquarian artists.

What do Juergen Teller, Mickalene Thomas, Claes Oldenburg, and Jackson Pollock all have in common? Aside from their status as massively influential artists, the answer is January 28: their shared birthday.

In honor of the Aquarius superfecta, we’ve amassed some of our favorite quotes on topics like beauty, love, and New York City. Can you guess who said what?

On Beauty:
“We respond to beauty, its seduction and attraction, yet what that has done culturally to people that are subject to universal codes of beauty has been devastating. Still beauty is something we aspire to and continue to be seduced by.”

B. “This beauty ideal is everywhere. You can’t escape it—TV, wallpaper, posters, billboards, magazines. They put on these crazy perceptions about what people should look like. It’s really shocking the way everybody is striving for this one thing, this ultimate beauty, but what is it?”

A. “I am drawn to objects and people that have undergone some kind of a hardship. They are beautiful and there is an artifice to them, but if you dig deeper, there’s another layer.”

On New York:
“I was very fortunate in coming to New York at a time before things got out of control.”

A. “It made me feel like I was in the right place at the right time. The whole Lower East Side was filled with young people coming from all over the world aspiring toward something creative. I loved it.”

On Art-Making:
“If I didn’t think what I was doing had something to do with enlarging the boundaries of art, I wouldn’t go on doing it.”

D. “Every good painter paints what he is.”

B. “Everything in a wide sense is a kind of a self-portrait. It’s just the way you see things and you’re curious about certain things and just excited about them.”

A. “You know, the emotion—it comes in my art…All of the things I’m going through and dealing with—that’s why my art has always been from a personal space, it’s the way I entered art from the beginning.”

On Love:
“Love is friendship set to music.”

A. “I may have hated her sometimes because she wasn’t the person I wanted her to be, but I loved her stature, I loved her strength—through the end.”

On Art:
B. “People take the whole thing far too seriously.”

C. “I am for the art of underwear and the art of taxicabs. I am for the art of ice cream cones dropped on concrete.”

D. “The strangeness will wear off and I think we will discover the deeper meanings in modern art.”

A. “I never saw art as something that people did as a profession.”

Scroll down for the answers.






Answer Key:

A. Mickalene Thomas

B. Juergen Teller

C. Claes Oldenburg

D. Jackson Pollock

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